The Noonanator Has Lost Her Mind

Shorter Peggy Noonan: Americans need to speak a common language or my condescending superciliousness might not be as deeply appreciated by brown people as it should be.

Actual Peggy Noonan: “Suddenly in my sight there’s a young woman standing on a street grate. She is short, about 5 feet tall, and stocky, with a broad brown face. She is, I think, Latin American, maybe of Indian blood. … I wanted to say something–I don’t know what, find out where she was from, encourage her. I said hello, and she looked at me and I patted her arm and said, ‘Happy Fourth of July, my friend.’ She was startled and then shy, and she smiled and made a sound, and I realized: She doesn’t speak English. ‘God bless you,’ I said, because a little while in America and you know the word God just as 10 minutes in Mexico and you learn the word Dios. And we both smiled and nodded and I left. I went into Bloomingdale’s and wrote these words: ‘We must speak the same language so we can hearten each other’.”

Shorter Melissa McEwan: Hurl.

Actual Melissa McEwan: Huuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrllllllllll.

Lest any more immigrants have the profound misfortune of being rendered helpless by the haughty onslaught of the Noonanator in future, I’m going down to the southern border to hand out pamphlets with the Spanish-to-English translation of “Shove your sanctimony up your ass, White Devil Lady.” Who’s with me?

[H/T Angelos, who got it from Wonkette, where the comments thread is truly hilarious–though you’ve got to plow past some sexist and transphobic rubbish, by way of warning.]



Filed under 01_shakespeares_sister

53 responses to “The Noonanator Has Lost Her Mind

  1. Makes me kind of wonder why we have to go across the world to find nations of brown people to bomb the fuck out of. We have one right next door but we’re just so coy about shitting on them.

  2. Graham

    I have news for Peggy.

    People immigrate to other countries too. Countries like Canada, where people say “hi”.

    On July 1st, we might even get bolder and say, “Happy Canada Day”.

    Fuck you Peggy.

  3. Peggy should learn some other languages so she can hearten people in their native tongue. Happy Fourth of July you foreign people.

  4. I think maybe we should observe Bastille Day on the 14th.

  5. “Shove your sanctimony up your ass, White Devil Lady.”

    I’m in. 😉

  6. I love the way she says this woman might be part “Indian”. What if she turned out to be 100% native american “indian” and was in fact speaking a tribal language of the type spoken in the US before the arrival of white people? Then surely it is Peggy herself who needs the language classes.

  7. Pingback: Suburban Guerrilla » Adventures of Nooners

  8. Constant Comment

    And she needs to “encourage” this woman why, exactly? She can’t just say hello? Idiot.

  9. Thomas: and ruin the source of cheap labor for corporates? 🙂

  10. Oh, but Graham, check out this line:
    In Canada they have two national languages, but that’s one reason Canada often seems silly. They don’t even know what language they dream in.


  11. Adnan Y.

    In Canada they have two national languages, but that’s one reason Canada often seems silly. They don’t even know what language they dream in.

    WTP, indeed.

    “So Adnan, why do you drink?”
    “To kill the pain…of the Stupid.”

    I’m often reminded of the American tourist I saw in Cuzco and Machu Picchu who’d complained about people not speaking English (in a non English-speaking country?Le Gasp!, and kept “speaking” to locals loudly and slowly in English JUST. LIKE. THIS. BECAUSE. SOMEHOW. SPEAKING. ANOTHER. LANGUAGE. MAKES. YOU. HEARD. OF. HEARING.

    A llama at Machu Picchu later spat at him right in the face with what must have been a six-month stockpile, so that was good. 🙂

  12. “Shove your sanctimony up your ass, White Devil Lady.”

    Beseme culo works pretty well.

  13. Adnan Y.

    Missed that second “)” it would appear. Oy.

  14. Adnan Y.

    And “hard” not “heard”

    Oy x 2.

  15. I believe hurling is understood in any language and would be the universal response to Peg’s gesture.

  16. amish451

    “….who’s with me? ….

    Road Trip..!!! I’ll drive …!

  17. NMRon

    “Shorter Melissa McEwan: Hurl.”

    no shit!

  18. jan

    Mellisa McEwen makes me ill… pandering to the diminishing breed of Americans who think we owe illegals ANYTHING. Your making a kind gesture into a condescending act makes me HURRRRRRRRRLLLLLLLL.
    Get off your broken cart, Melissa. Americans who work for their money have the right to spend it WHERE and WHEN they want.
    I am a lifelong Democrat who is sick and tired of people trying to make
    me feel that I OWE illegals something because their ILLEGAl presence should make me feel SOOOOOOOOOO fortunate that I am an American. YOU want illegals here, YOU pay for them. Sponsor a family, smartass, and see where you end up. I no longer give to food banks, churches, fund drives that help illegals. I now spend my money on my relatives, especiallly the young families, by buying them groceries. I think God will smile on my 10% tithe going to my family. If Americans wise up, we can make it VERY hard for illegals to drain our medical, social, and moral resources.

  19. NameChanged

    She feels like she has to encourage someone to learn the only language she knows? Fuck that! I speak only English, despite having taken several years of Spanish classes in high school and college. I am embarrassed about this. I am working (slowly) on really knowing Spanish, and I would like to also learn another language. This is to help me linguistically, and to assist in my teaching career.

    The Noonanator should be ashamed of herself. I am ashamed of her.

  20. Ask, and ye shall receive:

    Shove your sanctimony up your ass, white Devil Lady translated Spanish for you…well, more-or-less, since the phrase “white devil lady” translated literally is a bit of a mouthful and wouldn’t really be used as readily as White Witch; Mustang Bobby’s phrase–also excellent–translates simply to kiss my ass.

    Méte la santurronería en el culo, bruja blanca!

    There is an actual saying in Mexico that cries out to be employed here, though:

    Pobre Mexico! Tan lejos de Dios, y tan cerca a los Estados Unidos.

    (Poor Mexico! So far from God, and so close the the United States…)

  21. translated into *sigh*

  22. MAJeff

    I think maybe we should observe Bastille Day on the 14th.

    I already do. It’s my mom’s birthday 🙂

  23. Canuck Liz

    Litbrit – we have a saying like that in Canada too (at least in my hometown) and that’s in the Queen’s English. Don’t even get me started about our “bilingual” country – 40 years here and all I know in French is the ingredients of Cheerios and what the CBC French announcers are saying about the hockey game. I speak more Ukrainian and Russian than I ever did of French (it’s a prairie thing).

  24. stekatz

    This is classic! What a bruja blanca!

    I just wish the scenario had played out a little differently. As soon as Noonan said she touched the woman’s arm (forget language, if you want to talk American culture, that’s a big no-no), I heard the devil on my shoulder saying “Oooo, I hope she punches her!”

    Did anyone else also get a Cruella DeVille-like imagery during this story? I could almost see the long, blood-red fingernails, the wild hair, the crazy eyes.

    And what the people in Bloomingdales must have thought when this crazy woman walked in and started penning her philosophical rantings on a McDonald’s napkin or something?

    The visuals just go on and on. This could be a great short story.

  25. Meowser

    I know some very nice white witches who wouldn’t appreciate being compared to Peggy Noonan.

  26. stekatz As soon as Noonan said she touched the woman’s arm … that’s a big no-no

    Yeah. I live in a hispanic neighborhood near LA, and am constantly struck by how quiet, polite, and formal my neighbors are. (Being kind of that way myself, I love it.) There are some teenage, gangster-wannabees down the street, and even they’re that way. So there’s no chance the young woman with the “broad brown face” would have ever slugged the Noonanator. It’s simply Not Done in polite society.

    You’ll notice she didn’t even respond in Spanish. Part of that’s probably an accurate assessment of Noonan’s abilities, but part of it’s also politeness. In multilingual societies, you make the effort to speak the other person’s language. If you can’t, you smile and nod.

    It’s a pity Noonan was brought up in a pigsty somewhere.

  27. oddjob

    It’s a pity Noonan was brought up in a pigsty somewhere.


  28. oddjob


    😆 !!!

  29. oddjob

    Much better.

  30. quixote, you’re dead right.

    Latin people are quite formal and polite, only in a warm and friendly way (if that makes sense). When you encounter someone you know in Central America, it’s common practice to ask after his or her family, health, and general well-being, then share a bit of gossip, and then enter into a business discussion or ask work-related questions you might have. If you try to do that here, a lot of people get this “Jeez, hurry up and get to the point!” look on their faces.

    I imagine the unfortunate Mexican woman was mortified but much too polite and embarrassed to say anything to the strange woman touching her arm and calling her “my friend”. And you know, she may well have been Guatemalan, Honduran, El Salvadoran or Nicaraguan for all Ms. Noonan could discern.

  31. It’s a pity Noonan was brought up in a pigsty somewhere.

    That would make her una chingadera de puerco.

  32. I read that kind of crap in letters to my local newspaper here in MONTEREY.

    For those of you who don’t know the history of Monterey (or California in general), Monterey was founded in 1770 by Spanish missionary Father Junípero Serra and Spanish soldier/explorer Gaspar de Portolà — Spanish speakers obviously.

    Monterey served as the capital of California under the rule of Spain, Mexico and Argentina from 1777 to 1849.

    California’s first constitution was drafted at Colton Hall in Monterey in 1849. It was written in both Spanish and English.

    Monterey is known as the “Language Capital of the World” — home to both the U.S. Defense Language Institute and the Institute of International Studies.

    Monterey has been bilingal from the very beginning. Yet, white rich people move here to enjoy golf and stunning views and protest that their are Spanish speakers living in their community.

    They are ignorant of the history of Monterey. They drive on streets and pass buildings named after William Hartnell without knowing that he founded the first college in California as a bilingal school.

    “Being one of the few people who could speak both English and Spanish fluently, he was able to play a major role in the transition from Mexican to American rule. He translated the important Mexican laws into English for John C. Frémont, and translated the first California Constitution, as well as all the laws drawn up in the Constitutional Convention of California, into Spanish.”


  33. oddjob

    Fritz, wouldn’t “Monterey” in Spanish mean the same thing “Montreal” means in French – “king’s mount”?

  34. Here’s an example of what I see regularly in my local newspaper:

    Learn the language

    I believe it is good having Mexicans working in the fields, because many Americans don’t want to get their hands dirty. However, if the Mexicans want to stay in this country, they should learn the English language. They can still speak Spanish in their own homes, but one cannot understand them if they don’t speak English.

    My first wife was Japanese and took her citizenship in Washington state. She was required to recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” in English. She learned it and recited it at her appointed day.

    If any Mexican person does not want to learn English, he or she should be sent back to Mexico. That is their homeland anyway.

    Alan MacDonald

    Marina is just a few miles from Monterey. The jackass who wrote this letter lives in a part of the country that was Mexico. Many of the people who he will allow to pick vegetables if the learn English are descended from native people who came to this area 12,000 years ago.

  35. Mellisa McEwen makes me ill…

    LOL! Seriously, if you’re going to make a comment like that, at least spell my name right, moron.

    It’s only all over the fucking blog.

  36. Fritz, wouldn’t “Monterey” in Spanish mean the same thing “Montreal” means in French – “king’s mount”?


    Most people who grow up in California are technically bilingal. I know thousands of Spanish words and phrases. Our cities and streets have Spanish names. I’m not conversational in Spanish, but I know enough to make myself understood.

    Peggy Noonan should be ASHAMED that she doesn’t know enough Spanish to greet someone. How fucking hard is that?

    Buenos días, Señora. ¿Cómo está usted?

    The woman is a sanctimonious moron.

  37. ¡Dios te bendiga!

    Wow! I can use that one to “hearten” a little brown person!

  38. jan, I seriously doubt you’re a “lifelong Democrat.” Real democrats know how to spell and use proper punctuation.

  39. I know some very nice white witches who wouldn’t appreciate being compared to Peggy Noonan.

    Hey, I know some winter-creating Jesus-symbol-killing evil white witches that wouldn’t appreciate it either.

  40. She is, I think, Latin American, maybe of Indian blood.

    Or, perhaps she was from Puerto Rico — a U.S. territory.

    Puerto Rico has two official languages, Spanish and English.

    Spanish-speaking Puerto Ricans are AMERICAN CITIZENS!

    And, there are dozens of communities in the United States where English is not the primary language.

    Spanish, German, French, and many other languages are spoken in these communities — many are over 300 years old!

    In Pennsylvania, English and German were the co-official languages until the 1920s. There are still some towns in which German is the preferred language.

    Here is a list of U.S. states and territories that still have more than one co-official languages:

    American Samoa – English and Samoan

    California – English and Spanish

    Northern Mariana Islands – English, Chamorro, and Carolinian

    Guam – English and Chamorro

    Hawaii – English and Hawaiian

    Louisiana – English and French

    New Mexico – English and Spanish

    Puerto Rico – English and Spanish

    Sorry I’m harping on this, but it really strikes a nerve. Xenophobia is a terrible thing.

  41. Dear Jan — Are you native american? If not, where did your family come from, and when?

    My great-great-grandfather immigrated from Sweden in the 1800s, and when he got here, he was helped by a number of government, church, and social programs — not the least of which was the Homestead Act of 1862, without which, he would never have been able to own property upon which to farm.

    He didn’t speak English when he arrived. He barely spoke English when he died. Also true of my great-grandfather, but he was born here, so no prob, eh?

    US Naturalization had no English requirement until 1906, and the length of residency required was 5 years — for everyone. No one had to get a “green card” to establish this residency in the US at the time he arrived.

    Language barriers are the primary reason given, by people who otherwise qualify for citizenship, when asked why they don’t apply. (There are exceptions to this requirement for those over 50, or who are deaf/other-wise disabled).

    I’m guessing you were born here. In which case, you didn’t have to file (and pay) for a green card, wade through piles of forms and waiting periods, or actually take an oath to “uphold the Constitution” (which immigrants are required to do), in order to enjoy the rights of US citizenship.

    I simply despise the attitude “Well, I’ve got mine — everyone else can fuck off!”

    I consider it, dare I say it? — Un-American.

    I’ll probably blog about this later.

  42. Evelyn

    “I went into Bloomingdale’s and wrote these words: ‘We must speak the same language so we can hearten each other.’”


    And obviously the other lady, so in need of your white-lady heartening, is the one who needs to learn your language, eh, Peg? Just like your ancestors needed to forget Gaelic and speak like proper Englishmen, once the Englishmen took control of your land. Since English-speakers took control of the 1/3 of the US that was settled by Spanish speakers, now it’s their turn to bend to the Anglo-juggernaut. Got it.

  43. Anne

    Or maybe she does speak English, and was terrified into silence by a random lunatic coming up to her and patting her on the arm. Or maybe she’d just had a bad day and didn’t feel like being “heartened” by some condescending white woman. (BTW, does that arm-patting strike anyone else as the type of thing somebody might do to their pet, for chrissakes? Would Lady Looney do that to a white person I wonder, or does she just consider brown-skinned people her special little pets?)

    Also, maybe the woman was just visiting from another country…We know so little about her and her situation, and suddenly Peggy Noonan has jumped to all these conclusions about her — her race, her English speaking ability, why she’s here, whether she’s been here long enough to have had a proper chance to learn English….To write an entire bleeding column on immigration based on a two-second encounter with a woman who didn’t say a word is beyond absurd.

  44. amish451

    “…spell my name right, moron….”

    And your own name too, please …I seriously doubt that Jan is your whole name, assuming as I am that you are female ….a lifelong Democrat?…nah, most of us our more aware of rampant condecension than you seem to be. I am a lifelong Jan and male, as most authentic Jan are….not Janice, Janet, Jannelle, Jana, …

    Most Dems also realise that the basic problem of illegal immigration begins with the Americans who employ them …and pay them the wages that Americans will not accept. These are not the jobs that Americans wont do; they simply expect a living wage for their effort…

  45. oddjob

    (Shorter version of “Jan”):


  46. oddjob

    Yes, the present volume of immigration is a burden, but Jan’s bigotry is the anciet, and ugly, “know nothing” asshole of American history. In the Know Nothing era it was captured by businesses that posted Help Wanted signs in their windows with this at the bottom – NINA – which was short for “No Irish Need Apply”.

    A century ago it was repeated, with endless Jew, Polack, & Italian jokes, jokes that were still making the rounds when I was a kid in the 1960’s.

    My maternal grandparents hated, hated, hated Italians. Now the charge of the foaming at the mouthers is led by someone whose last name ends in a vowel!


  47. oddjob


  48. And another thing…

    I live in Miami, the city that Mr. Tancredo called a “third-world city.” The majority of immigrants are from Cuba. The majority of those Cubans came here on a free pass thanks to the Cuban Adjustment Act; all they have to do is show up on the Key Biscayne Causeway and they get in and the fast track to residency. Not surprisingly, most Cuban immigrants who become citizens are registered as Republicans because they blame JFK for blowing the Bay of Pigs invasion…conveniently forgetting that it was dreamed up by the Eisenhower administration.

    The Cuban Adjustment Act applies only to Cubans. Any other refugees from repressive regimes in the hemisphere — i.e. Haiti — get sent back. So it’s no wonder you don’t hear a lot of complaints about the immigration laws from down here in Miami.

    That said, the people who do become permanent residents and get jobs have a hell of a lot to overcome. They’re in a strange country with a different language and customs. And yet they manage to learn English, get jobs, and support their family. Regardless of their politics or their obsession with overthrowing Castro, these people work their asses off and they do it against a lot of odds, including people like Jan who think that anyone who wasn’t born with a silver foot in their mouth is scary.

    I think the biggest fear these anti-immigrant folk has is that they’re being shown as lazy and incompetent by people who do the hardest jobs in a strange land and face hostility just because they’re different. I’d like to see someone like Tom Tancredo have to start his life all over again in a new country with a different language. Hell, I’d help pay for the trip.

  49. Pingback: The Adventures of Peggy Noonan « The Opinion Mill

  50. amish451

    Ferdinand, Indiana (20 miles North of the Ohio river)

    “98% Catholic-100% German !!!” … English was a second language there.

  51. tharine

    i haven’t anything too bright to add, i usually lurk, truth be told. but holla to Fritz! i’m from carmel valley myself, but went to high school in monterey. and i did not know that about mr. hartnell. awesome.

  52. I would think that even if everyone did speak the same language, the situation described here would be one where the young woman would pretend that she didn’t anyway.

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