Yesterday I had a good laugh toward the middle of this article for Vanity Fair by Christopher Hitchens. Entitled “Vidal Loco,” it is Hitchens’s lament over how his one-time friend and mentor Gore Vidal, the man he and others once nominated as the 20th century’s Oscar Wilde, dove off the deep end after September 11, 2001 and has been sinking steadily to the bottom of the pool ever since, embracing various dark and ludicrous 9/11 conspiracy theories, and generally behaving like a tired, resentful old shit.
It’s a good, and somewhat sad read, but there in the middle, while Hitchens recounts Vidal as he was in his glory days, is a line that had me laughing out lout as I read it:
Who but Gore could begin a discussion by saying that the three most dispiriting words in the English language were “Joyce Carol Oates”?
I’ve since discovered that this is one of Vidal’s best remembered zingers, and that he also once said the same thing of Sandra Day O’Connor. It got me to thinking: What are the three saddest words in the English language?
What do you all say? I put the question to you. “Ku Klux Klan”? “Barack Hussein Obama,” as pronounced by the president’s fear-mongering critics, with a heavy hit on the “Hussein”? “The Jonas Brothers”?
What are the three saddest words in the English language?