The most glorious paragraph I have read all day

From Slog:

“About halfway through the handshaking, Santorum was glitterbombed. This was not just any glitterbomb, where a handful of glitter is haphazardly thrown at the candidate: Rick Santorum was glitter bukkake’d: He had glitter cascading down the front of his sweater vest, all down his back, through his hair, and his giant forehead shone in the flashes of photographs like Ke$ha had just vomited on it. But Santorum plodded onward with the weary grace of someone who had been sprinkled with glitter by strangers against his will many times before.”


  1. ScottS says

    I’m a Libetarian and, therefore, a Gary Johnson fan. I will happily vote Republican (for the first time EVER) if Ron Paul gets nominated, but as long as the GOP keeps promoting douches and scumbags like Romney, Gingrich and Santorum, they will continually fail. Epically.

  2. DaveyGTi says

    Why glitter? Why not something unpleasant, like fish paste or flour (not that flour itself is unpleasant, but being flour bombed is prob a touch worse than glitter bomb, certainly if I was glitter bombed I’d be more like ‘oh I’m a bit shinier’ and go about my day). Is there some symbolic significance of glitter I’ve missed?

  3. Robert B. says

    I think they use glitter because it’s fabulous.

    Or if you like, because glitter in this context serves as pointed contrast to (and by implication, critique of) the sexist and heterosexist tropes of what constitutes a “masculine” image, which makes a particularly eloquent statement with someone like Santorum who, judging by his public statements, seems to have strongly accepted a traditional, erroneous view of gender and sexuality.

  4. nemothederv says

    or maybe it just goes with the sweater. Santorum is going for the Mr. Rogers thing and the glitter adds some trolly.

  5. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    And they’ll fail even worse if they nominate the racist, homophobic, anti-American Ron Paul for anything more advanced than Blackboard Monitor.

  6. Tony says

    Whoa there. We love our glitter (well some in the ‘community’) and it’s far too absolutely fabulous to waste on that douchebag. Plus it’s too inoffensive. Santorum needs something with a bit more ‘oomph’. Oooh, how about silly string?

  7. says

    I think if you do it with something nasty, you risk making him look like a martyr and giving a better excuse to people who want to vilify what you stand for as a gay rights activist. Glitter is something non-violent, non-threatening, not associated with anything bad, but at the same time something unusual enough to catch a lot of attention from the cameras and makes a statement that santorum is homophobic (therefore needs a little more glitter in his life).Of course there’s the implicit connection to things “rainbow”, but I think it’s a good choice regardless. At the same time if he complains about it too much and tries to pull the martyr card he comes off as a crybaby.

  8. says

    Why glitter? I have two guesses. First, it’s kinda sorta original (so far at least); and second, something less savory, like flour or fish stuff as suggested above, would be considered dangerous and get a much harsher law-enforcement response. Flour and other whitish powdery substances, in particular, would bring back memories of that whole anthrax thing, and they’d probably haul you off to Gitmo just for making them go through all the precautionary measures that would entail.

    Oh, and what ‘Tis Himself said. If you really think Ron Paul is any different from the rest of the Republican lineup, then you really haven’t been paying attention. Why do you think he’s still a Republican? Duh.

  9. becca says

    Y’all are overthinking. “glitter bukkake’d” is the *precise* mental image people should have for santorum.

  10. Ray Moscow says

    One day this glitter stuff is going to turn some conservative politician gay, and then won’t these people be sorry!

    (I mean, the non-self-hating kind of gay)

  11. says

    Why glitter?

    Have you ever been in a nursery or kindergarten before? You know those glitter pictures they draw? You remember how that stuff would stick to your hands and get in your hair.

    Now imagine being covered with the stuff! Santorum is going to sparkle until November at the rate he’s being glitter-bombed.

    It’s nearly invisible in most cases, it sticks around for a long time, and it’s annoying without being disgusting.

  12. Svlad Cjelli says

    Glittering powders derived from mushrooms contains powerful magic in The Legend of Zelda.

    It sets dogs on fire.

    And turns money into bigger money.

    If it is derived instead from fairies, all bets are off.

  13. carpenterman says

    Oh no. Oh, no no NO! PLEASE! Don’t make me defend Rick Santorum!
    Oh, this is going to hurt…
    I’m sorry, but in this case, Rick Santorum is in the right. The ones who glitter bombed him are in the wrong. Miss McCreight, et al, you do wrong to rejoice in it.
    I detest Rick Santorum because he seeks to deny rights to a particular segment of the population. Because he does not hold to the principal that all citizens are…MUST be!… equal under the law. If homosexuals have the right to marry who they choose(they do),to adopt and raise children(they do),and to have all the rights shared by all citizens(THEY DO!); then Rick Santorum has the right to be secure in his person. Everyone has the right to appear in public without being assaulted… and yes, he was assaulted. It is illegal to hit someone with something; be it glitter, santorum, or a baseball bat. And if he did, indeed, endure this with “grace”; well, then, he’s the good citizen in this picture, not his detractors.
    Equality under the law is the principle at the heart of Rick Santorum’s political opponents.(That’s us,right?) We must not violate this just because it’s funny or provides a momentary sense of schadenfreude. Let’s stick to the high road. The view is better.

  14. Art says

    Given my preference over the tool used to christen Santorum I would pick a manure sprayer.

    Not to sour the mood but how do they keep the glitter out of the person’s eyes?

    I was at a party where a couple of ladies were tossing glitter around and got one tiny little square of glitter in my eye. It burned and scraped and irritated. I couldn’t get it out. Everything I did to get it out made it worse. It felt like a ball of barbed wire was in my eye.

    Having tried all the tried and true methods, top lid over bottom, hunting it down with a wet Q-tip while staring into a mirror, water splashed from the faucet, etcetera I was desperate to get it out. I was just about to head down to the urgent care center (ER-lite), when a friend had me lay on the couch while she squirt contact lens saline in my eye. The little fucker washed out and was on the towel under my head. A tiny little green square that felt like it was the size of a billboard.

    To this day I’m a bit leery about glitter. Tossed in my general direction I reflexively look at my shoes.

  15. Ray Moscow says

    If someone gets hurt with one of these glitter things, then all involved are going to look pretty bad (and possibly wind up in jail). And the victim is going to look like, well, a victim.

    It doesn’t seem like a good approach, actually.

  16. says

    In Canada, we’re rather notable for pie-ing our politicians rather than assassinating them when we disagree with them. This is even less violent than a whipped cream pie to the face (although less delicious) and certainly isn’t attempting to hurt anyone (nor is it likely that it would). Since rational discourse with this guy is impossible, I think it’s a great way to make a statement and get noticed without getting violent.

    On the downside, this could rally the troops behind Santorum. On the upside, if he wins he has zero shot at the presidency. On the downside we will have months and months of Santorum plastered all over the fronts of our newspapers. On the upside, The Daily Show will have plenty of material…

  17. joek says

    Not being American: do people not have the right to peaceful, non-violent protest in the country which claims to be the protector of democracy? I can’t see how glitter-bombing someone attacks the security of his person…

  18. says

    I’m with you ScottS. Paul is not my ideal candidate and what I know of Johnson I like. But it looks like we’ll have another election where the candidates look pretty much the same.

  19. hacka says

    The question really is whether the Sanctum Santorum is full of santorum…..given his obsession with Teh Geyz, one really has to wonder.

    (FWIW, your blog is rapidly becoming one of my favorite reads – thank you so much for your thoughtful and cogent blogging)

  20. hacka posting for Dirk Gently says

    Glitter is also a nice way of hiding the fact that Rick S keeps ducking out of events, ostensibly to go to the bathroom, and actually using a time machine to go back to the 15th century to validate his religious dogma. Professor Chronitis said so….


  21. Azkyroth says

    Obama has been very disappointing in many respects, but arguing that him and any of the Repugs are the same is like arguing that being kicked in the shin and having a running chainsaw shoved up your ass are the same.

    If you’re going to throw a temper tantrum because you’re not getting everything you want in a candidate, please wait to throw yourself on the floor and kick and hold your breath until after you’ve voted for the lesser evil, because us grownups have to live with the actual consequences of policies that get enacted.

  22. Tom Singer says

    Here in the US, you do not have unlimited rights to anything. Speech is free right up until the point that you create an immediately dangerous situation (by yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater, for example). Freedom of religion doesn’t get you off the hook when your religion commands you to kill the infidels.

    Your right to protest someone does not extend to battery. Which is what this was – an act which caused offensive contact, with that intent. Further, it’s entirely possible that this could have caused harm (eye or respiratory irritation), which would become assault. Although I note that I didn’t find anything in the Washington criminal code that deals directly with battery, this sounds like 4th degree assault. And both are also civil torts.

    I suppose you could call this civil disobedience. But, as much as I dislike Santorum’s views, I don’t think assault is justified. And, like carpenterman, I think this potentially backfires, making him and his cause look sympathetic. The fact that he reacted to it gracefully makes him look even better.

  23. Azkyroth says

    You’re welcome to do what you like in the privacy of your own home with other consenting adults, but we really don’t want to hear about your coprophilia.

  24. Azkyroth says

    If we’re going to extend “battery” to dropping glitter on someone then the word has lost all meaning.

  25. Azkyroth says

    Oh, but dropping glitter on someone is “violent”. It’s “battery.”

    No word yet on whether matchbox cars will now be subject to licensing and registration requirements.

  26. Tom Singer says

    Battery has been interpreted pretty widely for a long time.

    “The second type of contact that may constitute battery causes no actual physical harm but is, instead, offensive or insulting to the victim. Examples include spitting in someone’s face or offensively touching someone against his or her will.”

    My pregnant wife, who is a former public defender, delights in telling me that a gentle flick on a pregnant woman is a felony in this state. Not that I let that stop me.

    That said, I don’t think it takes a particularly wide interpretation to deem throwing glitter on someone in this situation battery. The room for interpretation generally comes down to consent; in the case that you’re walking down the street during a parade, you implicitly consent to the possibility that someone might throw some confetti at you. That’s a gray area. But I don’t think there’s a question that Santorum has not implicitly consented to having glitter thrown on him.

  27. Brandon says

    Not to mention, even if no one’s hurt, it almost certainly messes up a perfectly good shirt. I detest Santorum, but I can’t imagine what the logic for it being acceptable to damage other people’s property and person against their will is.

  28. Brandon says

    While Wiki’s certainly imperfect, it seems fine to use for general parlance –

    In common law, criminal assault often accompanied battery. See common assault. The elements of battery are (1) a volitional act[6] (2) done for the purpose of causing a harmful or offensive contact with another person or under circumstances that make such contact substantially certain to occur and (3) which causes such contact.[7]

    How would glitterbombing not fit that description?

  29. Tom Singer says

    Your sarcasm is amusing, but it’s not a particularly good argument. Violence is not a necessary element of battery.

  30. Tom Singer says

    That definition of battery has been in use for quite some time, I believe. Further, do you really think I should be allowed to intentionally touch you against your will, even if I’m not doing it violently (or sexually, I suppose)? If not, what do you feel is an appropriate way to get me to stop?

  31. cottonnero says

    “Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies.” -Demetri Martin.

    Which makes me even happier, because I thought it was something Dane Cook said, and now the list of “Funny things Dane Cook has said” is back down to zero. Or, I suppose, it was always at zero, but an accounting error made it appear greater. I’ll stop now.

  32. Azkyroth says

    How would glitterbombing not fit that description?

    By really pushing “contact,” not being harmful, and not being “offensive” by any reasonable standard in context as a protest against Santorum’s vile behavior?

    But of course, ethics only exist when they can be used as a weapon against the good guys.

    You’re not fooling anyone.

  33. Azkyroth says


    How long has that definition been in use…

    …and how does it compare to the tenure of a legal definition of rape which held that a wife could not be raped by her husband?

    Or might there be more to the case than longevity?

  34. Tom Singer says

    Distinguish it from spitting on someone, which is given as an example of battery. Neither involves direct contact. Neither are necessarily harmful (although certainly bodily fluids can carry disease, and glitter can cause eye or respiratory irritation). Offensive is somewhat subjective, but I think it’s clear that intentionally spitting on someone is meant to give offense, and I think it’s equally clear that throwing glitter on Santorum in this case is meant, at least in part, to offend him.

  35. Tom Singer says

    When F said that this is an example of the law having lost contact with reality, I took that to mean that, sometime in the past, the law was in contact with reality, and recently has become less so. I’m not arguing that longevity makes it a good definition.

    But my question still stands, to both of you. If you think that violence should be a necessary element of battery, do you think I should be allowed to intentionally touch you against your will, non-violently? If not, what do you feel is an appropriate way to get me to stop?

  36. Tom Singer says

    Probably in the sense that glitter is a pain in the ass to get out of clothes. Particularly clothes with a heavy thickness (I’m not sure what the proper fabric term here is), like the sweater vests that Santorum seems so fond of. I don’t know if that’s what he was wearing, though.

  37. Tom Singer says

    And it really doesn’t matter how vile you believe the object of your protest to be, or how apropos the act is. It’s still battery.

  38. Brandon says

    As a number of people have pointed out, it’s pretty hard to get glitter out of a sweater. Regardless of anyone’s personal taste, it’s safe to say that altering the appearance of other people’s clothes against their will isn’t really acceptable.

  39. Brandon says

    I have no idea who you think I’m trying to “fool”. I’m likely as pro-gay rights as anyone in this thread, and I despise Santorum. Unlike you, I’m apparently not sufficiently blinded by hatred to the extent of being unable to discern how throwing things at people constitutes “offensive contact”.

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