I’ve never been one for cruelty or needless vulgarity, and since embracing sobriety five and a half years ago I’ve even…well, now and then I’ll take a couple of steps back and temper my prose before posting. But as an ex-New Yorker and one who grew up in a semi-tough, white-bread New Jersey town (Westfield) that had its share of coarse Italians, there’s something in me that relates to those profane, pugnacious quotes from Anthony Scaramucci in that Ryan Lizza New Yorker piece.
I talked to a hundred guys like Scaramucci in New York-area bars during my drinking days; that cussy big-mouth thing is a bullshit-blowhard routine they all get into, or a good percentage of them.
I despise Scaramucci’s politics, of course, and certainly his devotion to the most deranged sociopath to occupy the White House in the history of this country. But I understand the patter. He’s a New York bullshitter, and I miss that music from time to time. “I’m not Steve Bannon…I’m not trying to suck my own cock” — c’mon, who didn’t at least crack a smile when they read that? And calling Reince Preibus “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac” — that’s angry, saliva-bomb stockbroker talk.
Seriously — Martin Scorsese would be in hog heaven if he could make a film about Scaramucci in a few years. I want to see that movie…please! Scaramucci is Tommy from Goodfellas in a bucks-up, New York-Washington mode.
And speaking of New York bluntitude, there’s a great Bobby Zarem quote about former hotshot columnist Liz Smith in a 7.28 N.Y. Times profile by John Leland (“The Rise and Fall of Liz Smith, Celebrity Accomplice”). When Leland reached out, Zarem said, “I hope it’s for an obituary.”
I’m not saying that’s an unjustified or overly harsh crack on Zarem’s part, but it’s the kind of thing that only a serious New Yorker would say. I didn’t exactly love working for Zarem in the mid ’80s, but I love that I did in retrospect.