August 08, 2003


Mark Morford has been mixing 'shrooms and Viagra again:

You cannot reach me, Dubya.

There is so much more going on than you know. There is so much deeper understanding and wider knowledge and higher winking and you can't touch any of it. Do you know this? You need to know this.

We all need to know about "higher winking".

You and your brethren are like this sticky toxic mist. You will burn off in the sun of awareness and orgasm and breath. This is what makes it so fun to watch, so magical and visceral, such a divine circus, a rich tragicomic pageant. Do you sense it?

Does anyone sense it? Anyone whose blood isn’t subject to a GlaxoSmithKline patent, I mean.

See, you cannot touch us. We are inured. You are merely hollow and sad and quickly, effortlessly forgettable the minute we step outside or get into bed with our lovers or laugh with friends or scream to the sky the lyrics to "Ballroom Blitz," always, always striving to taste the intense flavors of the collective dream state.

He’s the guy singing Ballroom Blitz, and Bush is sad?

Because there is more meaning and content and depth and significance in a lover's moan and in a drop of wine and in a dog's wag than in anything you can conjure in your homophobic faux-cowboy Lynne Cheney-thick dream, honey. Get over yourself. We are on to you. We know you are made of nothing but spin and frantic gesticulations and scowls. Poke a finger into you and out pours only sawdust and sighs.

Poke a finger in Morford (wear gloves) and out pours this stuff. Lucky we’ve got some sawdust.

Here is my porn collection. Here are my divine sex toys and my lubricants and my leather strappy things and my collection of happy open-minded perversions and my active account at and my tattoos and piercings and love of massage oil and vibrators and things that go ooooh in the night. Come on over, Mr. Ashcroft, I have something to show you.

If I was reading this in 1973, and if I was an elderly woman, I might be mildly startled by that paragraph.

You see, I know you're there, all of you. Sour politicians and conniving Wal-Mart execs and desperate reality-TV creators and gluttonous SUV manufacturers and poisonous garbage-food purveyors and all-'Murkin homophobes and the dumbed-down lowest common denominators and lip-twitching hyper-religious crusaders and anti-everything GOP lizard people, Rummy and Rove and Rice and Ashcroft and Dick, et al. I see you. We see what you are trying to do.

If the GOP are lizard people, does that make Bush the Lizard King?

I have news. I have a revelation. It is timeless and ageless and nothing new and I hold no claims to it, but it needs to be repeated and shouted and deeply felt again and again and again ...

Do tell, Mr Yelling-In-The-Street Homeless Person.

Here it is: You are immaterial. You are of zero nutritional value and are indigestible like corn and just pass right through. Do you understand?

Wow. How did Reuters miss this? “NEWSBREAK! President indigestible, like corn! Which isn’t! Updates to follow!”

There is so much more going on down here than is dreamt of in your bitter and small-minded philosophy. I, and millions like me, sense a more luminous undercurrent, a wider spiritual lens, a richer sensual mother lode.

The column kind of loses its focus beyond this point.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 8, 2003 03:32 PM

New 'paper, new byline. I wondered what was next on Hugh Mackay's CV.

Posted by: pooh at August 8, 2003 at 03:49 PM

Morford makes Ted Rall sound like George Will.

Posted by: Ryne McClaren at August 8, 2003 at 03:54 PM

The thing that has always astounded me about Morford is not his monumental ignorance -- that seems to be endemic among liberal journalists -- but that as a professional newspaper columnist he has absolutely no discernible writing skill. He was obviously in his car doing bong hits the day they discussed run-on sentences in English class.

Posted by: Lee at August 8, 2003 at 04:01 PM

Beautiful last line.

Especially when you know it could go on forever in an open-thighed invocation of the divine sylvan spirit which rubs itself on my nipples, honey.

I think Morford has now given us all the material we need to program a Morford Column Generator. The meat Morford can now be recycled.

Posted by: Mike G at August 8, 2003 at 04:02 PM

Thanks for the link. I'd initially jumped to the conclusion that 'Mark and Morf' was some debased Aussie. Whew, he's an American. We don't really like to think 'down under' has, er, persons like this. We know we do, the viciously poetic, gender bent meaningless shrikes (displaying the worst attributes of a terrible female cross-polinated by the most aggressively testosteroned male ever). With leather and oils. Hey! Killer stuff. We live in a really big country and have our garbage under control, but allow them to write. Apologies. G

Posted by: Gerry at August 8, 2003 at 04:06 PM

We DO have people like that down here ... but I don't link to her anymore.

Posted by: tim at August 8, 2003 at 04:17 PM

Maybe it's just me, but if Bush is so irrelevant to this sort of wanker, why is it that he is all they can think about? Instead of writing (writing?) this anti-Bush wahtever-the-hell-it-is why isn't Morford home playing with all the toys on that list?

This reads like the sort of crap I get from my more mentally constipated Fine Arts majors.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at August 8, 2003 at 04:23 PM

You know, I think Bush is patently misguided in his opposition to gay marriage, and I often regard John Ashcroft with the cold revulsion that one might regard a bloated dead rat floating in the gutter. But Sister Mo-Fo(rd) writes like a 17 year old goth kid scribbling with a fountain pen in his Dark Journal. "One day you will all see the light! One day I shall have mine revenge, and Lo, it shall rain darkness upon you all!"

Give me a break. There is a way to oppose policy without sounding like a fey Unabomber. His description of sexuality makes even me feel sticky and dirty and in need of a shower, and my collection of pornography probably far outstrips his in both breadth and depth.

Please accept my apology on behalf of non-idiotarian Americans and homosexuals everywhere. Maybe we can all chip in and send Morford a Thorazine. Or two.

Posted by: Evan Izer at August 8, 2003 at 04:27 PM

I would have never thought you could have that much fun on amyls. I think his airconditioner may also be leaking freon into his office.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at August 8, 2003 at 04:32 PM

Christ Jesus, Tim, why did you bother with this fuckhead? He had this whole column a while back about how important and patriotic and American Good Vibrations (a naughty toy store) was and how bad internationl global capitalism was and how evil America was, and I pointed out that half the shit [ahem, fortunately only Tim will have to deal with this visual as he's met me and the Mrs] that the Mrs and I got from that naugty toy store is made in freaking Malaysia by slave workers, and he never responded.

The guy's an idiot, Tim, and not worth the time.

Posted by: Andrew at August 8, 2003 at 04:49 PM

And what's up with taking a shot at our Gold Logie Winner - Rove? I'm not a big fan but my wife likes him and because he's from Perth and we have mutual family friends I tolerate his show on my tele.

Posted by: Razor at August 8, 2003 at 04:50 PM

>>"The column kind of loses its focus beyond this point."

Yer killin' me....

Posted by: Gary Utter at August 8, 2003 at 05:15 PM

I have a confession to make. I read the San Francisco Chronicle every day. That is not my confession. I thought the references to Mark Morford's columns were blogosphere parody (using the name of some arcane sci-fi villain), because he doesn't appear in the print edition. Today I hit the link in your post . . . ohmigawd, Morford is real (at least in an online sense). That is my confession.

He lost me after saying "you can't touch me" followed by a sentence whose predicate is "inured." If I have "inured" you, I have not just "touched" you, I have altered your behavior (and perhaps your mind, in Morford's case).

Anyway, help me out on this one . . . which poet spoke of "the sticky toxic mist" creeping through the Golden Gate on little cat's feet?

Fred Jacobsen
San Francisco

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen at August 8, 2003 at 05:58 PM

"Morford makes Ted Rall sound like George Will."

That's the funniest damn thing I've read in a week. :)

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 8, 2003 at 06:06 PM

Can't help with the "sticky toxic mist" that crept in on little cat feet (that last phrase is of course Carl Sandburg) but I was struck by the reference to George W. Bush being indigestible like corn. In 1984 Winston Smith observes that the proles pay no attention to the ideological propaganda of the Party, that it passes through them like a grain of corn through the body of a bird. Now Orwell wasn't talking about yellow corn on the cob, which he would have called maize, but that must be where Morford got the metaphor. Whether he is aware of the source I cannot say. Probably not, since so many of his brain cells are given over to thinking about sex there likely isn't room for remembering literary details.

Posted by: Chris at August 8, 2003 at 06:57 PM

Now we're deconstructing Morford. Enough with the po-mo already.

Posted by: pooh at August 8, 2003 at 07:08 PM

Eat a kernel of dried corn and see what happens.

Incidentally, why does puke always have carrots in it?

Posted by: Buddy Ebsen at August 8, 2003 at 07:15 PM

Evan Izer wrote: "...Sister Mo-Fo(rd) writes like a 17 year old goth kid scribbling with a fountain pen in his Dark Journal."
C'mon, Evan. You're giving Moford waaay too much credit. The man obviously writes in crayon.

Posted by: Sean M. at August 8, 2003 at 07:59 PM

Lileks sent me over this (Bangkok) afternoon, and I'm treated to the spectacle of the intellectually capable bashing the intellectually dwarfed and crippled, who thrash blindly among them, flailing wordily to hold up pre-pubescent polemics as if they were world-clarifying paradigms...

"...sound like George Will..." That's good. Really kewl... :)

Posted by: Straight_Talk at August 8, 2003 at 08:12 PM

At least SF Gate features Zippy the Pinhead. I think that's who Mark Morford is based on.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at August 8, 2003 at 08:59 PM

Scariest bit? "I, and millions like me…" NOOOOOOO!

Posted by: Mark Gullick at August 8, 2003 at 09:00 PM

I always wondered if ergot grew on corn, but I was afraid to ask.

Posted by: Clem Snide at August 8, 2003 at 09:42 PM

And who does Mark Morford make Harley Sorenson sound like?

Posted by: Brian J. at August 8, 2003 at 10:54 PM

Harley Sorenson is Mark Morford's future. When Morford is on the high side of 70, I don't want to have his wrinkled, bearded visage peering up at me, inviting me to come peruse his collection of lubricated strappy things. (Er, actually I don't want that now, either.)

Evan Izer's characterization of Morford as a "fey Unabomber" is spot on. Imagine old Ted K. prancing about in his Montana cabin, waving a strappy thingy and singing, "I feel pretty, oh so pretty! But John Ashcroft wants to take away my orgasms, so I must blow up a McDonalds!"

Posted by: Angie Schultz at August 9, 2003 at 12:53 AM

Funniest thing I've read in ages.

Posted by: Indole Ring at August 9, 2003 at 12:55 AM

If corn were undigestible, I think we're wasting a lot of effort growing it. And why don't diet people advise things like "fill up on corn -- it's not really food?" Besides, Orwell was talking about birds and not humans.

I'll grant you, though, a dried kernel might pass through unmolested.

Posted by: John Nowak at August 9, 2003 at 01:37 AM

It makes a bit more sense to me if you substitute "higher wanking." Maybe that's what he meant to say. But that's just me, a simple member of the VWRC.

Posted by: JCSouth at August 9, 2003 at 01:37 AM

Why did I know, without even looking at the article, that it came from Planet San Francisco.

Posted by: Wallace at August 9, 2003 at 03:05 AM

I don't mean to inadvertently upset anyone or anything, but has anyone else seen the . . . photo . . . on Morford's archive page?

The caption:

Something slightly profound if not downright splendid about this photo is right this moment hurling long hot strands of partially cooked pasta of meaning up against the purple glimmering walls of your subconscious...

Something slightly nauseous, if not downright vomitizing, is hurling up from my stomach about now. And it's got nothing to do with partially cooked pasta.

Posted by: ilyka at August 9, 2003 at 03:10 AM

"Higher Winking"?

Divine practice or typographical error?

Posted by: David Carr at August 9, 2003 at 03:22 AM

You know what really blows my mind about this crap? He has to have an editor.

I mean someone had to have read this before it got put online, even if it was just a webmaster, and said "Hey, that looks pretty sharp. It goes up as is." I can barely believe that there is one Morford, how in the hell did they manage to find two?

Posted by: Paul at August 9, 2003 at 03:32 AM

Never mind the editor, Paul. I still can't get over the horror that this guy gets a pay check for his crap.

Posted by: Emily at August 9, 2003 at 03:38 AM

That was the funniest thing i've seen in years. Thanks for the link.

He keeps talking about slippery walls in all his writing ... what does he mean?

Posted by: Bill at August 9, 2003 at 03:52 AM

The stuff this guy writes will GROW corn. And the sad thing about, he thinks he can write.

Posted by: joe evans at August 9, 2003 at 04:36 AM

I've actually never heard of this guy, but I will say that I'm very frightened right now and would like to hide under my desk.

Posted by: Matt from Vegas at August 9, 2003 at 04:36 AM

Slipper walls. It is all the crap he write, throws against the wall, and waits to see what sticks.

Posted by: Dave in SLC at August 9, 2003 at 04:42 AM

This guy's gay, right? I don't mean that derogitivly, I mean he's homosexual, or fashionably bi-?

I ask because his self-indulgent preening reminds me so strongly of the worst and most irritating aspect of gay culture- the juvenile insistence on making an irritating spectacle of yourself and your sexuality in front of disinterested onlookers.

"Whats the matter, Mr squaresville? Am I FREAKIN YOU OUT!?" You certainly would be, dipshit, if it was 1957.

I love the way this wanker pens a 1400-word, spittle-flecked loveletter to George Bush telling him how much he dosn't care about him. Meanwhile, George goes on running the most powerful nation on earth, compleatly unaware that Morford even exists.

Posted by: Amos at August 9, 2003 at 05:01 AM

I'm still caught up on the slippery walls. I'm going to e-mail him and ask him.

Posted by: Bill at August 9, 2003 at 05:26 AM

What a great way to take a break .. read this stuff and have a good laugh. I'll have to watch for other columns by this guy. I can use a good chuckle during the day.

What worries me are the people who must think he is a very 'deep' and 'profound' thinker. I'm glad not to know any of them.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 9, 2003 at 05:31 AM

"nutritional value?" He wants to eat the President?
Maybe Jef-fey Dahmer with a pen instead of a fey Unabomer.
Perhaps we could write a movie for this gork: "Dahm and Dahmer."

Posted by: Ric at August 9, 2003 at 05:31 AM


Posted by: Rebecca at August 9, 2003 at 05:34 AM

Mark Morford is like a teen-ager who thinks he's discovered sex and wants to tell the grown-ups all about it. If he finds out they already know, it will break his little heart.

Posted by: Joanne Jacobs at August 9, 2003 at 06:11 AM

What's really scary is that this guy was named "Best Online Columnist" from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists this year:

Posted by: Ed Graham at August 9, 2003 at 06:15 AM

Amos wrote "This guy's gay, right? I don't mean that derogitivly, I mean he's homosexual, or fashionably bi-? "

Being a gay person myself, and having read more than my share of similar frothy, self important diatribes on the holiness of prostate based orgasms and socialist medicine penned by my fellow homosexualists, I assumed that Comrade Morford was gay (although people who write such things usually prefer to be called "queer"). So I did a little investigation (*cough* Google *cough*) to confirm the fact.

Well, how wrong I was! Or at least I think so, though it is admittedly hard to glean facts from the sticky toxic mist of Morford's blather. Turns out our lad wrote a little piece complaining about all the bad names he gets called in emails! Poor thing, though when you fling the kind of dilute napalm that Morford consistently does you'd better be wearing some protection, since some of it is bound to splash right back in your little face.

The worst thing he gets called is "gay" (or variants thereof) and in the middle of this rant he utters the classic weasel words uttered by every closeted gay Hollywood actor and faux Latin flavored musician who is confronted about their ambiguous sexuality: "It does not matter, of course, whether I'm actually gay or not."

Uh huh. So much for radical sexual freedom.

Then later on: "Oh hell, maybe I am gay. Don't tell my girlfriend."

Oooh! How shocking! A subtle way of having the aura of a brave, outrageous sexual outlaw while reminding us that he is still a by-the-books, run of the mill heterosexual. With a capital H. Sort of having your cock and eating it too.

But I might be wrong. Read the column yourself if you have the time to waste. Maybe you can better read the writing on the slippery wall than I can.

Posted by: Evan Izer at August 9, 2003 at 06:46 AM

You cannot reach me, Dubya.


It doesn't really matter.


You're not even making a dent.


Here's a karmic Post-It note: The gods would like you to right now realize, you have zero true effect. Barely a footnote. A blip. A flicker of quick pain and then poof, gone. Very sorry.


I have news. I have a revelation. It is timeless and ageless and nothing new and I hold no claims to it, but it needs to be repeated and shouted and deeply felt again and again and again, because sometimes you get a little out of control.

Here it is: You are immaterial. You are of zero nutritional value and are indigestible like corn and just pass right through. Do you understand?


We know that no matter how much you pule and spit and hiss and spank and crack down, no matter how many laws and how many restrictions and how many wars and murders and stabs at the heart of meaning and sex and divinity, you cannot touch what really matters, you cannot really have any lasting effect.


But here's the thing: You affect only the surface of things. You are like the little swarm of gnats you have to pass through on the path to the cool summer lake. You are the tainted oyster in the vast ocean of time and sex and love. You are a jagged pothole on the highway to hell and the broken step on the stairway to heaven. But you are not real. You give no light. You contribute nothing. Not where it matters.


Look. You cannot reach me. You are nowhere near.

Do you sense a theme here, Dubya? OF COURSE YOU DO! You heard the man (or some facsimile thereof), Dubya. Give it all you got 'cause now that you've got your marching orders from....who the hell is this shrieking nutjob, anyway?

Oh, and I don't wanna hear no more complaints from self-hating Birkenstockers about how excruciatingly painful it is for you to witness trampled civil liberties at home and untrammeled American power abroad because the King of the Stonecutters says IT WON'T HURT YOU!

Launch Commander Moonbat to Gee Dubya Mission Control: "Engage launch sequence."

I just love this sh*t....

Posted by: Tongue Boy at August 9, 2003 at 06:48 AM

I thought about Dowdifying this, but each sentence stands alone as a self-Dowdification.

Posted by: charles austin at August 9, 2003 at 06:53 AM

I'm still caught up on the slippery walls. I'm going to e-mail him and ask him.

Any word? I think it was a freebase-induced mistake since padded walls aren't generally very slippery.

Posted by: Tongue Boy at August 9, 2003 at 06:56 AM

Mark Morford will never touch my higher winking. My winking is beyond his leather-gloved grasp, sailing through crystal skies like a ghost ship bearing a cargo of sex toys, lubricants, and really raunchy porn. The significance of my higher winking transcends his pathetic understanding. His drug-addled, lizard people-seeing, faux-intellectual soul - forever trapped in the '60's singing Ballroom Blitz - will never know the simple pleasure of stringing together words into coherent structures known as sentences and paragraphs.

Goddamn that stuff is hard to write when you're sober.

Posted by: Randy R. at August 9, 2003 at 07:04 AM

Do I ever owe Lileks a thank you. His Bleat sent me here, I have been richly rewarded and as the potential future Governor of California has said (set accent="Thick Austrian Accent")I'll be back!(/accent)

Posted by: Ratherworried at August 9, 2003 at 07:50 AM

This confirmed something I'd suspected for a while, that Mark Morford is indeed related to the other Morford, a convicted predatory child molester whom the Wisconsin Department of Corrections wants to house in a Milwaukee residential neighborhood.

Posted by: triticale at August 9, 2003 at 08:49 AM

"Best Online Columnist"?!?!?

Up next: Spinal Tap inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

God help us.

Posted by: Emily at August 9, 2003 at 09:35 AM

I have only one question -

How did this drivel get published? What kind of editor would allow a writer to be exposed to public ridicule?

This person sounds as if he's is descending into the depths of some bizarre mental illness.

"You can't seeeeeeeee me! 'Cos I'm hidinggggggg!"

In full denial of reality. My main thought is:

HE GETS PAID FOR THIS????????? Is it too late for me to start a whole new career?

Posted by: dee at August 9, 2003 at 11:32 AM

"Whats the matter, Mr squaresville? Am I FREAKIN YOU OUT!?" You certainly would be, dipshit, if it was 1957.

Just one of many good comments on this one. I'm still laughing.

Posted by: Cracker Barrel Philosopher at August 9, 2003 at 11:40 AM

He seems to have this thing about "corn"

"corn hole" comes to mind.

or, his sexual habits have damaged his colon severely (too much gerbil play?) And he can no longer digest his veggies.

Posted by: Hugh Wyatt at August 9, 2003 at 11:50 AM

Considering he's writing about Skanky Hot Strippers of Love in his paeon to the bachelor party at

I would gather that, underneath his higher winking and his "nyah-nyah you can't touch me" whining, beats the heart of a Rotary member from Omaha, Nebraska.

Posted by: Bill Peschel at August 9, 2003 at 01:48 PM

Dee, maybe Morford's editor hates him. "Aha, I'll teach that jerk. I'll let his garbage through just as he wrote it! Bwahahahahahaha!"

Bill Peschel, what a terrible thing to say about Rotary Club members.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at August 9, 2003 at 03:56 PM

I looked at the column Evan Izer mentioned and I have to say this guy is *consistent*. In the column cited in this thread, he goes on and on and on about 'Dubya' and Co., stating in very interesting, and some incomprehensible, ways how 'Dubya' and Co. don't matter.

In the colum Izer mentions he goes on and on and on about how he's not gay and it doesn't matter what these hateful people say.

I'd think if something really didn't matter to me, I'd mention it in passing. I don't think I'd get hyper and go on and on about it. Why keep mentining something that doesn't matter?

As for if the guy is gay or not .. can't tell and don't care. I also don't think gay, fag, etc. is the worst you can call someone, as Mark states. I can think of a whole lot worse. For example, I'd rather be called fag than a mindless moron. (I'm not gay so don't know if that's why it doesn't seem that much of an insult to me.)

Seriously, if you were going to waste time writing to Mark in order to insult him, wouldn't you want to insult his creativity, writing skills, comprehension,(how he has none of those) etc.? I'd think for someone who considers himself a writer that insulting his abilities would be the way to go.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 9, 2003 at 04:55 PM

Bill Peschel: very perceptive.

It's obvious he's in the denial phase. Let's hope for everyone's sake that he comes out, puts on the slippers and does the crossword while taking tea and toast. Can't hide your true self forever.

Posted by: The at August 9, 2003 at 06:00 PM

Holy shit! I'm a member of Rotary, and I live in Nebraska.

I'm growing frightened now.

Posted by: Ryne McClaren at August 9, 2003 at 06:09 PM

I wonder if the president will address this column in his radio address this weekend. I refuse to support a president who allows his digestability to be questioned. This is an outrage.

Posted by: Jon Black at August 10, 2003 at 12:34 AM

The column kind of loses its focus beyond this point.

I think he lost the focus as the letters started to slide off the keyboard and the screen started to pulstate and breathe and, whoa, the pixels, dude.

Posted by: Tokyo Taro at August 10, 2003 at 12:57 AM

Regarding his "question" -- "Am I freaking you out?" I'm reminded of an otherwise forgettable novel by John Kellerman, in which a very boorish character continues to say more and more outlandish things, trying to get a rise. Finally, the protag gets up to leave, and the boor yells, "Aha! See you can't take it! What's the matter, am I hurting you?" And the protag calmly replies, "No, you're boring me."

And all the wind was completely sucked out of the guy. I would love to witness the day of this buffoon's self-realization of this.

Posted by: Jerry at August 10, 2003 at 01:28 AM

Can I just say that this is one the best comment threads I've ever read? And I've read a lot.

Posted by: Andrew X at August 10, 2003 at 01:28 AM

Do you think that is really his lover moaning? Or is it some pour creature yelling "get off me you freak, and stop talking about Bush when were doin' it."

Maybe its his editor doubled over in pain-

Posted by: Thats Mr. Ashcroft 2 U at August 10, 2003 at 02:06 AM

Andrew X is right. As hilarious as Tim's original post was, I'd have to say the maybe-if-it-was-1957 comment, among others, has matched it.

MorfordWatch needs to be a regular feature somewhere, I think. Is registered?

Posted by: ilyka at August 10, 2003 at 10:23 AM

I didn't ask him about his references to slipperiness and walls, but I did e-mail him this:

"Oh my god what a horrible column! I try to avoid being judgemental as much as possible, but I can't help myself: what a looney asshat you are! Do they pay you for this? I honestly have the feeling that George Bush writes better than you do. Probably gets more action, too. Are you off of your meds?

Yet I laughed out loud at least four times. Thank you for that."

He didn't respons. :-(

Posted by: Bill at August 10, 2003 at 12:46 PM

OK, I've had enough! I'm going back to the East Coast!

Posted by: Eric Scheie at August 20, 2003 at 03:23 PM