Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Era of Contempt VI

    How long can genius maintain its spark? Can any person, being mortal, be expected to top all previous effort, time and time again? Is it even fair of us to even hope it might be possible? No, of course not. A miracle cannot be demanded with regularity.
    But people are greedy, and it was with a thrill of expectation that I lifted an envelope from the mail and recognized the Tinley Park peel-and-stick return address label of Alan P. Leonard, and held my breath at the thought of what wonders must wait within. 
     Regular readers of course remember his introduction to these pages, his March 10, 2018 defense of "our wonderful president." A star was born. "A masterpiece of unintentional humor," one critic raved.  Not to forget his four subsequent installments, a body of work I labeled "The Era of Contempt." You can—indeed, you must—catch up with them here and here  and here—his classic attack on Michelle Obama, a racist excrescence one can hardly believe exists in the real world—and here, his most recent symphony in words, inspired by a passion for Trump, now elevated from "wonderful" to "glorious." What's next? Gloria in excelsis Trump.
     In light of those marvels, well, what can I say of his latest opus? Even noble Homer dozed. And while Mr. Leonard does reprise a few of his trademark flourishes: the misspelled name, the grammatical flub in the midst of calling for editorial rigor—"Does anyone review your articles and verify there accuracy?" You can see why I can't help but cherish the man—the seething contempt, the whole somehow never comes together.  It's so ... unspecific. he doesn't take time to articulate the supposed errors and departures from fact—so precious to a man of his caliber—that have moved him to once again take pen and floral stationery in hand. 
    Still, credit where due. He has produced another letter for our times, which the Republicans have has made into being far more about abuse than argument or correction. His points are at best allusions. Nothing like his previous installment's demand: "What do all of 'God's mistakes' have to be proud of?" The subtext of course being that he, Alan P. Leonard, is the self-appointed editor of God, and can confidently red pencil His errors. 
     But enough preface. Perhaps, spoiled by past masterworks, I have become overly-critical. You can judge for yourself. Has the craftsman entered into a decline that is the inevitable fate of a prodigy? We can only hope that he is merely tired. Sapped by his labors. That is certainly the prerogative of genius. And remember, he has disappointed before; his third letter also prompted me to wonder, "Is this up to his high standards for nitwittery?" Perhaps this is merely another dip, a fallow period, a retrenchment, the natural variance that even the artist at peak talent is liable to experience. A rest, a lacuna before he comes surging back, full strength, blooming anew, as he did after that third letter, once again the Alan P. Leonard that we have come to know and love. I'm sure you, as I, will be able to greet this latest missive not with disappointment, but with the proper sense of gratitude of those who have already been given so much. We must be thankful for this latest message, limited though it may be, and not demand too much of the man.


  1. Uh oh. I better take Mr. Leonard's advice and stop reading your columns before I start to believe your unqualified and ignorant remarks about, um, about.....anything?

  2. It is a bold new floral pattern. Have to give him credit for that. It's bolder and simpler than his previous stationery. Maybe even too simple.

  3. Lenny does put in some effort to do this. I just wonder if he is laughing when he writes this or mad. I think he's laughing and enjoying the irony of the message and the stationary.

  4. Oh he is indeed the gift that keeps right on giving. This one is a slight let down, but a lot of trilogies have that problem. His next three should be true gems once the election season goes into full swing.

  5. You should feel indebted to the gentleman, Neil. As M. La Rochefoucauld put it, "A clever man would often find himself at a loss without the company of fools."


  6. Errors, untruths, inaccuracies. Out of touch with reality. "Fake news"...written by an unqualified and uninformed "someone" who has a column in a "major news outlet." Yup...still crazy after all these years. But still able to scribble a few insults on his wife's notepad, stick it in an envelope, and lick a stamp. Thanks, Al!

  7. And he doesn't even spell your first name right.


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