Nov 30 2012

Ok, So Maybe I’m A Little Envious

It’s not like I would wish harm to befall him, and thus open up his staff writing position at The Nation. But Calvin Trillin, well, comments on things, in verse, and makes a living at it.

You can see where I might have mixed feelings toward the man.

He was on the Daily Show last night (video down below), with Jon Stewart singing the praises of his new book, Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign In Verse. The presidential campaign in verse? What am I, chopped liver?

You want political doggerel? You’ve come to the right place! Being paid to write it for a magazine can’t hold a candle to obsessively writing it to get it out of your skull. You want Mitt? We’ve got Mitt. A meaningful percentage of Mitt. You want Newt? We got Newt. Plenty. Perry? Lots. And lots. Bachmann? Santorum? Yes, Santorum. Value Voters Summit? The Republican Primary Race? Tons. Seriously. The Convention? And a few commentaries on the voters themselves.

Akin? Beer? The debates? More debates? Horses and bayonets? The debate over whether polling works?
It’s enough to drive one mad. But despite it all, encouragement.

Ah, the video. Trillin has a poem title that alone is worth the price of the book. He mentions it at about the 6 minute mark.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Calvin Trillin
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Now… Retire, Mr. Trillin. Call me, Nation.

The sad thing is… this isn’t even my whole collection of appropriate verses. Just a sampling.


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  1. 1

    To replace him you will also need to write restaurant reviews for places in Kansas City.

  2. 2

    There once was a rhyming cuttlefish
    Who was a bit en-vi-ous
    To Trillin he penned
    Retire, my friend
    Because your job is just so delish.

    [Don't worry, I won't give up my day job.]

  3. 3
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    If it’s any consolation, I thought of you.

  4. 4


  5. 5
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    He seems like a nice man – calmly quick-witted. But I don’t know – does he have that elusive cuttlefish spark? The divilish glint in the eye – the sly turn of phrase? I bet NOT!

    I refer to your volume, dear Cuttlefish, when I need an apt verse for just about any occasion. And you know, I don’t think there are any Trillin car emblems out there in the wild! That guy is small potatoes!

  6. 6

    Awwwww…. thanks, nifty!

  7. 7

    So you’re envious of old Calvin Trillin,
    And wannabe deadline poet, “god”™ willin’,
    But he’s really quite old,
    And if I may be bold,
    He’ll pop off, and you should be chillin’

  8. 8

    WAIT, THERE IS A BOOK? How did I not know there was a slender volume of Cuttleverse to be had. To the shop!

  9. 9

    Actually, embertine, there’s a relatively thick volume. See the link in the Cuttlestuff tab above!

  10. 10

    I love Calvin Trillin with the fire of a thousand suns. His take on the world is letter-perfect. Sorry, Fish, he cannot be replaced.

    Though I admit, I’d love to meet the “wily and parsimonious” Victor Navasky who recruited Trillin to write for The Nation with a per-column rate in the “high two figures.”

  11. 11

    Heh. That would still, easily, beat what I make writing here! Good thing I have a badly paying real world job, too!

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