Brushes With Less-Than-Greatness


I may be free associating here, but for some reason I've always pictured Kilgore Trout, Kurt Vonnegut's hack-writer alter ego, being a largish, balding guy with glasses, a beard, and a hangdog, slightly scruffy look. Looking, in other words, somewhat like firebreathing scourge of the left David Horowitz. Readers may recall Trout's terse exchange with New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller when they met in a Cohoes grocery store:

"How's it going, fella?" Governor Rockefeller asked him.

"About the same," said Kilgore Trout.

So imagine my shock of recognition when Horowitz rushed into print to record his even more banal exchange with a political luminary of our own day.

NEXT: Keep Your Levelers Off My Playing Field!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Giants still walk the earth. But I’d figure Bush would have some sort of nickname for him. There’s a lot of possibilities with a name like “Horowitz”.

  2. There’s a lot of possibilities with a name like “Horowitz”.

    One would think so – but have you read his stuff?


  3. I’d figure Bush would have some sort of nickname for him.

    The lack of a nickname is definitely the dog that didn’t bark in this story. Glad you noted that.

  4. In this particular story, I think the appropriate nickname would be “Mary Sue.”

  5. Surprise, surprise that this is the first White House to hold Chanukah parties. What more evidence do you need to see to know that the Jews are running this country.

    If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention (to bumperstickers).

  6. wasn’t trout a real guy?

    and no one ever answered my question from another thread about the VP pn west wing…you know the guys who was in animal house…was that hover?

  7. I just assumed he thought Horowitz was a nickname.

    There’s really no macho way to blog about bear hugging a man you love, is there?


  8. There’s a lot of possibilities with a name like “Horowitz”.

    It would be even better if his name were “Lipchitz.”

  9. Jesse,

    That’s Ensign Mary Sue to you!

  10. wasn’t trout a real guy?

    SF writer Philip Jose Farmer (“Riverworld”) infamously wrote a novel under the Kilgore Trout pseudonym.

  11. I always pictured Kilgore Trout looking like Colonel Klink, sans monocle.

    This question should be on some sort of psychological test.

  12. and no one ever answered my question from another thread…

    Josh, whatever you do, don’t hold yer breath waitin’…you might turn blue.

    If I knew the answer, I’d answer.

  13. Horowitz is actually a good writer, the Ford bio was fascinating.

    And, of course, when he was a stoner he was a commie. Seems like he shoulda gone libertarian instead of conservative. Big Sigh, got some friends like that. From Ma Bell Public Enemy # 1 to I Used To Be Liberal

    Ramparts was such a great name for a magazine.

  14. Wow, I didn’t read a WORD of that.

  15. Josh –
    re: the West Wing. I haven’t watched the show in years but I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of Otter. IMDB says: Tim Matheson. And it verifys the ex-VP role on WW.


  16. thank you steve.

    and william H. depperman …you sir are an asshole

  17. Horowitz is actually a good writer

    Horowitz is to good writing what William Depperman is to concision.

  18. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were the next manic-depressive to be shot to death in an airport jetway.

  19. Who, Horowitz or Depperman?

    Dippo Man: I read the first line of your headline and then completely skipped over your spam, you nattering dick.

  20. Who, Horowitz or Depperman?

    The correct answer is yes.

  21. Holy shit, Bill, you left out the part about the CIA mind control lasers.

    I remember the days when this stuff was carefully written out with no paragraphs, single-spaced, mimeographed, and handed out retail, usually on street corners. What a marvelous world we have today!

  22. I suppose now the Unabomber has computer access.

  23. For those of you wondering what Diaperman was all about, here’s the jane chord of what he said: “Capitalism…wall!”

    That’s all you need to know.

    You’re welcome.

  24. Last week I watched a debate between Horowitz and Chomsky. If I hadn’t gotten back on the horse immediately I just know I’d be dead now.

    Franklin Harris,
    Thanks, I didn’t know that. Both authors rock.

    Clean up in aisle 5!

  25. Many more Deppermans and the H&R server squirrel will have to be put down.

  26. Mr. Depperman: that’s gooooood crazy!

  27. I hadn’t been at an event with the President (who is looking slim and trim) in four years

    Sounds like he’s gunning for a seat on the Supreme Court…

  28. I wonder what brings Depperman around, anyway. He posted that same article like a week ago, well I think it was that article, I didn’t read either of them. At least Depperman manages to avoid multiple posts.

  29. Damnit, Tim, the White House is magical this time of year, which you would know if you were an important person, like for example if you were the main squeeze of our slim, trim President.

    There’s just one thing: if David Horowitz is going to be the Monica Lewinsky of the Bush Administration, let’s hope for Bush’s sake that he gets the damn suit dry-cleaned. It may look like egg-nog but those damn DNA tests don’t lie.

    Oh, yeah. And global warming is a capitalist plot. I just wanted to get that in.

  30. Can we not ban this Depperman whackaloon?

  31. Number 6: what depperman needs is a verbal/editorial anti-diarrheal medication.
    … or a plug.

  32. Wow, you know you’re out there if the libertarians are calling you crazy…

  33. my word, horowitz really is a bilious little troll, isn’t he? he can’t even write about a holiday party without reveling in division and hatred.

    My wife an I attended the Chanukah Party at the White House last night.

    chanukah party??? where is the outrage? WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

    I hadn’t been at an event with the President (who is looking slim and trim) in four years and didn’t know if he would recognize me. But the minute he saw ,me in the line he called out “Horowitz” with a big smile on his face, then embraced me in a bear hug. In the moment I had his ear I said, “Thank you for taking all those arrows for the rest of us.” Graciously, he said “You take more than I do,” which I don’t and said so. Then as I was walking away he called out, “Don’t let them get to you.” I called back, “Don’t you either,” and he replied in a strong voice. “I won’t.”

    It was a one day cross-country trip for me and my wife to attend this event but those few seconds made it worth it. I left energized for this battle which is so crucial to the future of our country and the freedom of others.

    so — who wants to be the one to tell horowitz that he’s gay, in love and doesn’t know it?

  34. I want to know if they made latkes, and if so whether the oil came from the freedom fryer.

  35. “Can we not ban this Depperman whackaloon?”

    hmmm well soemthing has to be said..i don’t know what something about libertarianism and free speach and fuck i don’t know..

    my vote is not to ban him.

    and what the hell number 6?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.