Terry Southern on Rush Limbaugh: ‘Unspeakable slime and putrefaction’
05:08 pm

In 1968 Esquire magazine hired Terry Southern, William Burroughs, Jean Genet and John Sack to cover the volatile Democratic Convention in Chicago.
Some voices from the counterculture are so sorely missed in these turbulent times. Kurt Vonnegut, William Burroughs, George Carlin… wouldn’t you just love to hear what they would have to say about the Tea party, Sarah Palin or the GOP’s misguided anti-union putsch? Sadly we never will, but thanks to Nile Southern, we can read exactly what his father, the celebrated satirist, novelist and screenwriter, Terry Southern thought about Rush Limbaugh. Although these unpublished observations were made in the 1990, they still seem pretty fresh today, if you ask me!


Mr. Howard Stern
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, N.Y. 10020

Dear Howard Stern:

As a long time admirer of your wit, and your enduring integrity re the First Amendment, I was intrigued by your recent expression of the interest in the “actual weight” of the outlandish pumpkin head of the total A-hole, R. Limbaugh. By grand good chance, a friend of mine is a professor in bio-physics here at the university, and, with some sophisticated instruments, and his professorial savvy, he was able to take the measurements necessary for the calculations directly off the video screen. Howard, you will be interested to learn that the weight came in at a whopping 58 ½ pounds; that’s right, fifty-eight and a half pounds of unspeakable slime and putrefaction – perhaps the most concentrated conglomeration of homophobic spleen, racist venom, rancid anti-fem menstrual corruption, all infested with coprophillic and child-abuse fantasies ever to accrue in a single enclosure – Howard, they say that stench of this monstrous vessel will send the needle of an E-Meter right through the side of the goddamn box! Can you believe that he is allowed to regurgitate this foul muck under the guise of public buffoonery? It is outrageous; in his case, I would be obliged to shut down the First Amendment pronto. And yet, you, apparently are so unaware of him as to express only a passing curiosity about the “actual weight” of his pumpkin head. This was disappointing, because you, Howard Howie Stern, have the ideal forum from which to blast this vomitman A-hole. Should you, hopefully, decide to do so, let me tell you that one of the best ways to get his goat, to set him hopping, so to speak, is to confront him (and his moronic viewers) with a few of what he calls his ‘action-warthogs’. Evidently there also exists video tape footage of this horrendous coupling. Howard, they say the imagery will make an ambulance attendant puke.

I’m enclosing a short piece which I think may amuse you. With all best wishes for your continuing and most highly deserved success,

Terry Southern
East Canaan, Connecticut


March 23, 1995

The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY

To The Editor:

Readers of every stamp and kidney are increasingly perplexed by your failure to respond to the xenophobic rant of the so-called ‘radio commentator’ RASH LAMEBRAIN. To dismiss his remarks as merely the dotty musings of a curmudgeon/buffoon (a la Major Hoople) is to be unaware of the scope and focus of their calculated savagery – which has now progressed from comparing the President’s daughter with a dog, to ridiculing persons dying of AIDS. Why hasn’t at least one of your great champions of truth and decency (Lewis, Rich, Quindlen) been allowed to counter his unopposed spew of sleaze and putrefaction? The fact that they have not is painfully reminiscent of another era of fear and silence in recent American history.

Terry Southern
East Canaan, Connecticut


The Most Delightful bit of poetic justice I’ve seen lately happened when, immediately following the Okla City disaster, the crypto curmudgeon/buffoon Rash Lamebrain started barking his mad dog mantra “Bomb the Arabs! Bomb the Arabs!” only to discover the next day that the initial suspects of the deed were the very mirror image of himself – two mindless rednecks. The irony was absolute.

Terry Southern,
East Canaan, Connecticut.

Thank you Nile Southern/Michael Simmons!

Posted by Richard Metzger
05:08 pm



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