October 31, 2014

Staten Island congressional candidates can’t remember the last book they read


via the best source of art in the world, WikiHow.com. With minor manipulation by Mark Krotov.

via the best source of art in the world, WikiHow.com. With minor manipulation by Mark Krotov.

Books are dumb. They’re full of impractical, useless information (especially novels! Ugh, novels are awful); they’re awkward to carry around; and even the short ones take at least a few hours to read. And the worst part? The time you spend reading these stupid “books” (they should really be called “moronics,” or something else similarly derisive) could be used so much more productively. In the time it takes to read even one moronic, you could, for example, raise thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions.

Which is why there is only one possible reaction to the news that in a recent debate, Staten Island congressional candidates Michael Grimm and Domenic Recchia could not remember the last book they read. This is the proper reaction:

All hail Michael Grimm and Dominic Recchia!

Finally! Some political leaders who have the courage to challenge the oppressive reading lobby—or, as it’s sometimes known, Big Book. (Bob Book is like Big Tobacco, but much more unhealthy and evil.) These two men have staged a revolt, seemingly spontaneously, against the antiquated, bourgeois practice of reading moronics, and particularly the antiquated, bourgeois practice of politicians reading moronics.

In the past, politicians had to pretend to be interested in things other than themselves or money, and the most effective way to do this was to talk about moronics that they might have read, though they probably didn’t. (This gave them credibility, though who knows why.) Hence the appearance, in President Barack Obama’s private office, a copy of Julian Barnes’s Booker Prize-winning moronic The Sense of an Ending, or Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s endorsement of J. Steven Wilkins’s pro-slavery Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee.

But why bother with all this deception? Money is great, moronics are dumb, and Grim and Recchia are calling it like it is! Here’s the transcript of the relevant portion of their debate at City University’s College of Staten Island, which was held on Tuesday:

Errol Louis (moderator): Mr. Grimm, what’s the last book you read?

Michael Grimm: Wow, it’s been a while. I haven’t had time to read. [Chuckles] [Long pause] I think it was a Tom Clancy book—I don’t remember the name.

Louis: These are not supposed to be stumpers. Mr. Recchia.

Grimm: Working twelve, fourteen hours, you don’t get a lot of time to read books.

Domenic Recchia: Errol, we’re on the campaign trail—we like talking to the people.

Yes, the people! Grimm and Recchia love the people. Here’s a Gawker piece about, among other things, just how much these two candidates—especially Grimm—enjoy people.

Anyway, the rest of the debate footage is unavailable, but here is how the conversation probably continued:

Grimm: Yeah, talking to the people is great. You know Errol, books—you know what I say about books? They’re not people. They’re nothing like people.

Recchia: That’s right, Errol. Books are like—they’re like the opposite of people. And forget books! The people of Staten Island don’t want books.

Grimm: Yeah! Yeah! Books are dumb! They’re for morons! They’re moronic!

Louis: Okay gentlemen, I think that’s all the time we have—

Recchia: Errol, I’d like to finish, because Congressman Grimm has made a really important point. Books are moronic. That’s not up for debate. And in fact, Errol, I didn’t particularly like your question. Because who cares about books? The good people of Staten Island don’t care.

Grimm: Yeah! They don’t care! Stop asking us about books! Books are moronic! You know what, we should call books “moronics,” and not “books.” Who decided to call them books anyway?

Recchia: That’s right. That’s a very important point. Very important.

The increasingly amicable debate continued for another six hours. Both candidates claimed victory.


Mark Krotov is senior editor at Melville House.