Thursday, May 1, 2014

Short Takes: Ann Coulter's Grapes of Wrath

Not too long ago, conservative good-time girl Ann Coulter opined about "poor people" and how it was "cruel" for "rich people" not to " shame" poor people for being poor.

She also stated that poor people need to be told to keep "their knees close together" before they got married, so they will stop breeding all those babies that feed at the public trough.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, April 27th, writer Leonard Pitts, Jr. published a column commemorating the 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, one of America's most cherished novels, later made into a classic film starring Henry Fonda as Tom Joad and Jane Darnell as his stoic (but heart-broken) ma.

Pitts ends his piece recounting how Rosasharn, Tom's sister, having lost her child, suckles a man too starved and shriveled to take solid food. As Pitt points out, although Rosasharn has literally lost everything else, she still knows her breast milk could save this man, so she willingly shares the only thing she has left.

In light of Ann's recent pronouncements, I began to wonder how Coulter would react to Steinbeck's novel in general and Rosasharn's behavior in particular.

First, I am sure Ann would score Rosashrn for being in a poor family and for not marrying a wealthier man.

Next, I bet Ann would complain that Rosashrn was too poor to be pregnant anyway and, although married, she should have kept her knees together until the family's finances shaped up.

After that, Ann would most likely point out that Rosashrn shouldn't have been traveling with her family in that run-down truck in her condition anyway. Didn't she have family or friends she could stay with until the baby was born?

And considering that Rosashrn shared that long, hot, bumpy, dusty drive with relatives who were sick and would die along the way, how could she possibly expect to have a healthy baby? Didn't granny expose everybody to TB or something?

Oh, and that husband of hers: he left her, right? Guess Rosaharn should have married more carefully. Or maybe she has bad taste in men. Either way, that's her fault, too. Better luck next time.

And if Rosashrn's baby had lived, well, you can bet Ann would see it as just another poor kid tax payers end up supporting, so maybe the tyke's death was a good thing after all.

Finally, Rosashrn's nursing of the starving man? Come on! Isn't that going a bit too far with that artistic license stuff? You can practically see Ann waving that off as some stunt you'd expect from a Hollywood liberal touring a displaced person's camp--with the cameras rolling, of course--rather than some cracker with little education and no press agent. Where do these writers get their ideas?

All in all, you can bet Ann would dismiss The Grapes of Wrath as a predictable left-wing peon to "the little people" and the film itself (including Henry Fonda's famous speech) as nothing more than cheap sentiment meant to grab an Oscar. In fact, she might even demand a probe into Steinbeck's background and finances to see if the late author had any "real" experience with poverty himself, which would entitle him to write a book where big business, banks and union busters were looked upon unfavorably.

Or maybe I'm being too hard on Ann. After all, she has a reputation for being controversial, for saying outrageous stuff meant to shock. Maybe her comments about poor people and closed knees and the need to "shame" poor people so they won't be poor anymore was just to make headlines and sell books and she really doesn't think that hatefully at all.

As another famous American writer once wrote, "Isn't is pretty to think so?"

1 comment:

  1. Coulter looks down at other people with contempt in order to lift herself up. She has this deep-seated need to be superior to others as pointed out in the book, Vanity: Ann Coulter’s Quest for Glory, available at