Unbelievable. This, from the homepage at washingtonpost.com Thursday night:
Wow. You think you could've waited until the body cooled to call her a gold-digger? I mean, jeezus.
It's bad enough, the coarseness. Worse, it doesn't actually describe the damn story it links to.
The essay, as it happens, is a characteristically sophisticated piece from Philip Kennicott -- a relatively charitable assessment of the uncomfortable phenomenon that was Anna Nicole Smith and an exploration, at least in part, of a vanished character -- the courtesan.
Courtesan? You recall, my children, at least those of you who remember Camille. She's "the woman who makes sexual alliances for money, who was less than a blushing bride but not so fallen as a prostitute," in the words of Kennicott, who offers up a similarly efficient reminder of where the courtesan once fit on a spectrum of sexuality of which most American's prefer to pretend ignorance.
Among other things, Kennicott points out, the courtesan
was once a vigorous cultural type ... Courtesans were the essential heroines of our greatest operas. They offered up their bodies, in various states of undress, to painters from Caravaggio to Toulouse-Lautrec .... It was a courtesan who set in motion many of our greatest novels, not least of them Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past" ... But the idea of the courtesan has all but disappeared, and with it much of the nuance about our analysis of sex and marriage.
Amen, sister. The piece is a good read; go check it out.
And while you're there, consider leaving a comment about the graceless subhead out front. It's as crass as anybody ever accused Anna Nicole Smith of being.