Friday, November 21, 2008

Sign of the Apocalypse #57: Joe the Plumber's book deal

By Michael J.W. Stickings

It's been quite some time since we did one of these -- the last was in August, on Britney's hot new body (click here for more of them, or see the list over on the right sidebar) -- but it's not like there haven't been many signs that the Apocalypse is drawing ever closer. Obama's victory was a major counterforce, to be sure, but I doubt even he can hold back apocalyptic inevitability.

Anyway, with the election now behind us, it's time to broaden our attention once more, even as politics remains our focus, and to get back to informing you, our readers, of some of the various SOTAs that dot our landscape. And here -- election-related, wouldn't you know? -- is a doozy.


Remember Joe the Plumber? Well, he ain't goin' away quite yet. The NYT has the disturbing, if sadly predictable, news (in its "Arts" section, no less, which only adds to the disturbance):

Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, the presidential campaign fixture and John McCain advocate better known as Joe the Plumber, won't have to open his own plumbing business just yet: he has signed a deal to write "Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream." PearlGate Publishing, a small publisher in Austin, Tex., announced the book on its Web site, The book, which will be written with Thomas N. Tabback (whose novel, "Things Forgotten," was also published by PearlGate), will address Mr. Wurzelbacher's ideas about American values, and is scheduled for release on Dec. 1. In an interview with Fox News Mr. Wurzelbacher said he could have signed a deal with a larger publisher. "But they don't need the help," Mr. Wurzelbacher said. "They are already rich. So that's spreading the wealth to me."

Uh-huh. Sure. He really close to go with a small publisher? He was really just being generous? (And taking the opportunity in the interview to slam Obama with that tired socialism refrain?) I have my doubts. I suspect the big publishing houses -- like many of the rest of us -- have had enough of him and realize that his time in the spotlight, which has, alas, far exceeded a mere 15 minutes, is over. At the very least, they must realize that he is simply not a profitable commodity, or at least not enough of one, even with the Coulter-loving mob that all-too-often propels right-wing wackos and extremists onto the bestseller lists.

I have no desire to spend any more time on the civilizational abomination that is "Joe the Plumber." We can hope that his book goes nowhere, not even to the remainder bins, but it is nonetheless troubling that he has managed to parlay his McCain-Palin-promoted mini-celebrity status into post-election prominence, however fleeting.

A Sign of the Apocalypse this surely is.

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