Colson Whitehead, funny guy

by Michael O. Allen on November 7, 2008

With all due respect to the people whose business it is to find hillarity in our politics–the Stewarts, Colberts, Griers and Feys–I read the funniest bit yesterday on the Op-ed page of The New York Times. It was written by novelist Colson Whitehead.

Whitehead, a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, is the author of numerous books (John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, The Colossus of New York, The Intuitionist, and the forthcoming Sag Harbor).

Some of you might remember Whitehead’s “Visible man,” which came out in the Times’ Op-ed page in April, at a point when I thought we’d reached the nadir of race-baiting in the campaign. Little did I know, of course. “Visible man” was brilliant and, though it’s had its funny moments, it punched you in the face with its bitterness.

Yesterday’s piece, “Finally, a Thin President,” though no less brilliant, was just too funny. Whitehead was working your brain as well as your funny bone here.

I was clutching my side, my throat hurt and tears were streaming down my face, I was laughing so hard. I would give you excerpts here except that the piece really deserves to be read together because of the way it builds. So, please, check it out.

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