Don't Bite Your Nails!

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In commenting on his toughness in being able to endure despite his low numbers in recents polls (and stave off Donald Trump's repeated tweets that he drop out of contention), Jeb Bush told CNN's Jamie Gangel,

"I'm a grinder. I eat nails before I have breakfast."

("Bush Keeps Hitting Rubio," CNN, 11/3/15). There's a famous scene in Pasolini's Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom, a masterpiece of depravity, far exceeding even the Republican presidential debates, in which the feckless victims are forced to eat apples laced with nails. It's one of the more harrowing interludes of a film that's both brilliant and well nigh impossible to watch--comprising as it does coprophilia and numerous other eccentricities that leave little left to the imagination when it comes to the indignities that human beings are capable of perpetrating on each other. Pasolini himself was murdered shortly after Salo was shot. But getting back to Bush when you watch the interview he doesn't look like someone who has eaten nails. Let's go back to the video, as Warner Wolf used to say. If you look at Salo you will get a pretty good facsimile of a normal human reaction to eating nails and it isn't something that's going to turn a politician into a great interview subject on CNN. Huge cries of anguish emanate from the nail grinder and then there's the inevitable damage to the gums and teeth. If Bush's claim about his nail eating ability is simply afflatus, he should watch out what he wants for he may get it. How is someone going to get on the horn with Putin, speak to the UN or negotiate Iran-Contra II when they chew their nails?

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}