Jay Nordlinger, over at the National Review, is tired of teabagging and wants to try something different. Or at least he wants it called something different. His problem -- well, one of this problems -- is that the expression "teabagger" has been ruined by sniggering liberals:
In any event, it may well be too late to purge "teabagger" from our discourse, certainly from discourse controlled by liberals. But I'm for giving it a try: for running "teabagger" out of town, even at this late date. It is really a lowdown term. "Tea partier" is a neutral term. "Tea-party patriots" is a positive term, used by some of the protesters themselves. "Teabagger" -- not so positive, and not so neutral... "tea-partiers and anti-tax demonstrators." Much better, don't you think?
Nordlinger's issue -- well, one of his issues -- is that the anti-Obama protest movement didn't know what "teabagger" meant when they started using it to praise themselves. They hadn't heard that it was a reasonably well-known term for a sexual practice that, frankly, sounds like a lot of effort for pretty limited reward. Something more for your gluteus minimus than your bucket list. And by "you" I mean "me."
But we're not talking about me. We're talking about Jay Nordlinger. You'd think that someone who could write something about George W. Bush like
He has conducted himself magnificently in office -- not just as a wartime leader, but all-around. Someone suggested to me that he's as good as Reagan. I believe that, actually -- and there's no greater Reagan nut than I. Even Nancy.
wouldn't be so uncomfortable with sucking balls.
No two ways around it. When you announce that you love a man more than his wife does, there's something you're not saying.
Which has nothing on Jay Nordlinger's supple and turbulent feelings for William F. Buckley:
He simply seeps into your bloodstream. Was there ever a better smile -- a smile that lit up several counties around it? When you have been smiled at by Bill Buckley... You have been well and truly smiled at. And the Buckley voice... I must have drunk in thousands of hours of it, all over the world. Sometimes we listened to music together, played on the hi-fi (as Bill would call whatever the device was). We would not speak, or barely speak. Just listen, and sort of commune: with the music, with each other, and with higher things. Those wordless sessions were some of my most prized. I'd go to Salzburg, and he -- feeling somewhat left out -- would say, "Say hello to music for me!" I confess -- and this is egotistical -- I loved being out with him. Out in public with him. You were the recipient of reflected glory. I'd take him to a restaurant, and the maitre d' would be wide-eyed. He would never look at me the same way again. I loved taking walks with Bill, and took many of them, in various parts of the world -- especially in Stamford. He would not necessarily like to talk about politics or policy or history or anything intellectual. He liked to appreciate: "Isn't the sky lovely?" "Isn't that an interesting garden?" "Isn't it amazing how squirrels scurry?" Once, we were in a Mexican restaurant (New York). As we were coming in, Mr. T. and his entourage were going out. Mr. B. and Mr. T. brushed up against each other. I thought, "Two American legends." I loved to hear him speak Spanish -- especially in Spanish-speaking countries. He would sometimes say something in French to me, when he wanted to be conspiratorial. He was a big, tall man, and surprisingly strong -- I mean, really strong. When he was old and feeble, I saw him lift a heavy table, sitting down -- remarkable. His muscles strained. He may have spent much of his life on a seat, writing, but he was damn strong -- physically strong. He was a man, not an angel. Actually, he was an angel: a man/angel.
This is no way to behave. If you read it in your daughter's diary you'd make her change schools.
To recap: If you work at the National Review, "Say hello to the music for me" is okay. But not "teabagging." Because it sounds too gay.
So if Jay Nordlinger wants to stop calling what he does "teabagging" and start calling it "tea-partying," that's his prerogative. The sooner he gets that worked out, the sooner he can start working on his other issues.
Teabagging is dirty. "Tea-partying" has a proud British etymology that dates back at least a century and describes the practice of meeting other gay men for anonymous group sex in public washrooms. It's another word for "cottaging." The "tea" (T) stands for "toilet."
Should we tell them now, or let them find out for themselves?