Ask Matt Labash: Vol. IV
I want an electric car for the awesome torque, but am worried that my friends will think I’m trying to make some kind of lame, self-aggrandizing “green” statement about myself. What should I do? — Jake
I’ve been there, Jake. When I went through my ethical eating phase, back in early 2010, I put up with a lot of grief from the Cro-Magnon types that I call friends. They didn’t cotton to my new conscientious lifestyle. But I ignored them, because I knew in my heart that right is right. If I don’t eat veal, then how are those poor, cramped baby calves ever supposed to escape those hideous crates? Yes, there were plenty of times when I felt like eating pork, or maybe a steak, and didn’t need the pasta carb-load that comes with the scaloppini. But sometimes we have to deny our appetites, to ignore the taunts of others, and to listen to that still, small voice that says, “It’s time to do better.”
Then again, you don’t seem to care about doing your part to halt global cooling by driving a gas guzzler. Ethics clearly aren’t your motivator, as they are mine. So let me just lay it out plainly: electric cars are goofy. Sure, I like the idea of bankrupting OPEC. And it would be really refreshing to hear cries of “blood for sand” instead of “blood for oil,” during our next Middle Eastern adventure. But let me run three terrifying words by you: Ed Begley Jr. He drives an electric car. Do you want to be thought of as an EBJ? Or do you ever want to get laid again? True fact: in blind taste tests, women will choose men who smell of fossil fuels over a guy who uses an electricity-generating bicycle to make toast, ten out of ten times. If you enjoy making sweet love to a special lady, stick with your Honda.
How can I party with Roger Stone? Loved your story on him a while back. — Michael E.
Thanks, Michael. I have, on numerous occasions, written about the dirty trickster/diabolical genius Roger Stone. There was the time he served as Donald Trump’s consigliere for a possible presidential bid, dutifully putting out hand-sanitizer for reporters since Mr. Trump doesn’t like shaking hands with people who are less classy than he is. Then there was the time I watched Stone start an anti-Hillary Clinton 527 group, under the moniker, Citizens United Not Timid. Mrs. Clinton’s fans were not amused by the acronym.
Along with the Trump story, my longest Stone saga is included in the collection that I have already over-publicized in this space, and which I will do so again now, being a shameless slut for vulgar commerce: “Fly Fishing With Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys.” Stone is, in fact, the political hit man of the subtitle. (Gratuitous sales pitch: buy two copies, and Daily Caller publisher Neil Patel, who supplements his income as an Ashiatsu massage therapist, will come to your house and walk on your back while singing “Walking On Sunshine” by his favorite band, Katrina and the Waves). Needless to say, I have repeatedly interviewed, drank with, been threatened by, and corresponded with Roger Stone. But I have never “partied” with him in the traditional sense, even if, as legend has it, his partying tends toward the untraditional.
My best guess if you’d like to party with him, is to bring a stack of crisp one-dollar bills for tipping, protective eyewear, a Swiffer mop, a Nixon lapel pin, a bespoke suit from Alan Flusser, a can of Crisco, forceps, Cortisone, one pound of deli bologna (shaved, not sliced), and the number of a 24-hour bail bondsmen. Again, that’s just a guess. But since I’m in frequent contact with Mr. Stone, I’ve kicked the question to him, to let him answer for himself. Stone emails:
“Of course my libertine days are …ahem…….. behind me. But I stick with clear liquid such as water and vodka martinis, very dry and deadly cold. If there are not tiny shards of ice floating on the surface, you haven’t mixed it right. I’m reminded of this limerick: ‘I like a good martini, two at very most, with three I’m under the table, with four I’m banging my host.’ I have also found that women…..ALL women, are susceptible to intense flattery from a well dressed, well manicured man with a tasteful pinky-ring.”
Are you French? With a name like “Labash,” you must be a French-American. Have any Daily Caller staffers of German heritage beaten you with their fists or panzers? My relatives were from Poland, so I’m not much help if you’re trying to organize a counteroffensive. — TheHoosierSlant
No. For one, being Scandinavian, Tucker Carlson refuses to hire German staffers, as he knows how fast they can take over, and then what do you have? A lot of fawning tributes to the unsung musical genius of David Hasselhoff. A happy newsroom is not one that lives in fear of being herded into this rock ‘n’ roll Buchenwald.
For two, I’m not French. “Labash” is an Ellis-Island corruption of a Russian name. (I’m Italian on my mother’s side.) Though it’s fair to assume that if I were French, I wouldn’t be admitting it in public. Actually, I retract that last statement. That was just another cheap, lazy French jab like those from all the other freedom-fries eating chuckleheads. I apologize, French readers. You’ve suffered enough. Plus, it’s high time we stop beating up on you, and start beating up on real anti-Americans, like the British, who resent us for being better at most things than they are, like brushing our teeth and gaining our independence from ridiculous royal families, and who are still sore at us for sticking them with Gwyneth Paltrow (understandable).
In most ways, of course, the French are preferable to the British. They have better scenery, better food, better wine, and better yellow mustard. Also, they’ve given us the best gift of all, first lady Carla Bruni, even if she is, like most desirable things in Europe, Italian. The British could never have that. Well technically they could, I guess. A couple Brits have had Carla Bruni. Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger come to mind. And in the Brits’ defense, the French are responsible for producing Bernard-Henri Levy, he of the perpetually unbuttoned blouse, who Americans keep paying to explain a country that he doesn’t understand (ours) to us in unreadable English. So maybe it’s a wash.
How will you react if Christopher Hitchens challenges you to a duel? —Vineet
With fear. Whether its pistols, swords, or just plain fists, Hitchens is a fierce dueler, who possesses blinding speed, lethal accuracy, and a low center of gravity. I once saw him clean out an entire nunnery, stacking sisters like cordwood without spilling his drink. Then he gutted them, painted the walls with their bloody entrails, and picked his teeth with their splintered bones. That guy plays for keeps. The two advantages I have over him are that I haven’t smoked six packs a day since I was four, and God is on my side. Though since Hitchens doesn’t believe in God, that doesn’t provide much of a psychological disadvantage for him. Let’s just hope we never have any real differences, and that if we do, we can settle them not with violence, but like real men: on the dance floor. I’m not positive that I can out-drink, out-smoke, or out-fight Christopher Hitchens, but I’m pretty confident that I can out-dance him.
Matt Labash is a senior writer at the Weekly Standard magazine. His new book, “Fly Fishing With Darth Vader: And Other Adventures With Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys” is just out from Simon & Schuster.