Despite very specific instructions by us to cease and desist with his nature-based musings, designated New York Times leaf-and-cow columnist Verlyn Klinkenborg continues to invade the Sunday op-ed section with some of the world's most artisanal writing. None of which has anything to do with anything.
Here is the topic upon which Verlyn mused yesterday: mud. I am not even fucking with you. Amid news of war, politics, and sociopolitical drama, Verlyn Klinkenborg parachuted in from Walden or whatever Platonic Ideal of a Gentleman Farmer's Acreage he lives on to inform the world that "I have not lost a boot to the suction of the barnyard swamp."
Look. Verlyn. Look, man. I am not an anti-intellectual. I am not anti-literary. Cows, birds, seasons, and shit like that — it has its place. If you want to live in a sap-rich environment and spend your time meditating upon the whistle of the westerly wind through the willows as the whipporwills warble, then do it. Quietly, at home, in a journal, which you lovingly crafted out of some sort of bark.
The very worst part of Verlyn Klinkenborg's shtick is the pose that he is writing about something more grounded and timeless and real than the average columnist who is mired in the day-to-day vagaries of city life, when in fact his form of nature fetishization is the most pretentious content in the entire NYT op-ed section, which is saying something. Like many good literary hustlers, Verlyn has learned to write for an audience ignorant of the topic upon which he is writing, and to never deign to explain to that audience what he is talking about; that way, he encases himself in an untouchable cocoon of mystical knowledge, much like... probably some kind of fucking butterfly, or something.
The night song of the peepers has faded, but the Canada goslings haven't hatched. Robins are here, but no catbirds or swallows. In the garden, the chives have a long head start on the asparagus. Mars is high above, Orion subsiding, when Ceilidh the terrier and I take our last walk at night. We look at the sky, we sniff the air and when we come back in our feet are perfectly dry.
Yo Verlyn Klinkenborg, we live in New York City where we don't know what the fuck the names of the birds are and we can't see the stars. And you know this, Verlyn, but you keep going with this particular style, on purpose. We get it. You live on a farm. I bet your neighbors would like to hear all about what you saw on your terrier walk. Why don't you tell them, instead?