Friday, December 15, 2006

heh! this is funny...

New Republic reporter Mike Crowley wrote a profile of Michael Crichton for an issue of TNR in March this year. Apparently, Crichton didn't like it -- and guess how he responded? Well, in his latest novel Next, Crichton has a character, "Mick Crowley", who -- well, I'll simply quote the passage:
Alex Burnet was in the middle of the most difficult trial of her career, a rape case involving the sexual assault of a two-year-old boy in Malibu. The defendant, thirty-year-old Mick Crowley, was a Washington-based political columnist who was visiting his sister-in-law when he experienced an overwhelming urge to have anal sex with her young son, still in diapers. Crowley was a wealthy, spoiled Yale graduate and heir to a pharmaceutical fortune. ...

It turned out Crowley's taste in love objects was well known in Washington, but [his lawyer]--as was his custom--tried the case vigorously in the press months before the trial, repeatedly characterizing Alex and the child's mother as "fantasizing feminist fundamentalists" who had made up the whole thing from "their sick, twisted imaginations." This, despite a well-documented hospital examination of the child. (Crowley's penis was small, but he had still caused significant tears to the toddler's rectum.)
LOL. So not only does Mick Crowley sodomize two-year old boys, he also has a small penis. Isn't that funny? Like a double-sledgehammer? You could imagine Crichton going, ok, what's the worst I can do to Crowley? A child-molester, aah, yes. Of a two-year old. Yessss. But surely, nothing could be more damaging to a man than the size of his penis?

Gawd, I've only read one Crichton novel in my life (Airframe, and it wasn't too bad) but I sure as hell feel like reading him after this. The guy is just awesome!

Janet Maslin's review of Next here.

UPDATE: I read the Crowley profile and I must say, it's not the most flattering. But I was surprised at how nakedly polemical Crichton's books have been. Rising Sun, I'm told, actually played into the paranoia in the US in the early 90s about Japan's evil intentions (I once saw the beginning of that movie, but couldn't watch beyond a few minutes). Airframe, which I have read has caustic comments on the media, Disclosure was a perverse take on feminism and sexual harassment and of course, everyone knows about State of Fear and global warming. Here's Crowley:

You can read these books in search of an ideology, but you won't find a distinct one. Clearly, Crichton is no liberal (although he argues that one of his earliest books, A Case of Need, did have a pro-abortion rights message). But a free-market conservative wouldn't write an essentially protectionist book like Rising Sun, either. What Crichton's worldview really amounts to is a kind of hectoring contrarianism that is increasingly targeted at America's know-it-alls, against the liberal elites, against the very type of expertise that had given him his professional cachet. And that worldview has reached its bitter, frothing apex with State of Fear.

Anti-expert, is what Crichton is. That does make a twisted kind of sense. But more on that, some other time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On a sidenote, Chidanand Rajghatta of the TOI fame finds a mention in the Bibliography section.
"Blondes extinction a pigment of imagination". TOI. October 3 2002

He must have been real pissed at crowley to give him so little but so prominent a spotlight in the book.

Enjoy your india trip.