A Kurt Vonnegut novel cites Alexander Woollcott as having coined the phrase “ink stained wretch.” We hope both would applaud this year’s non-existent retchings…. (More)

Welcome back to the conclusion of the 3rd Annual BPI Awards, the curvaceous and coveted Bippies. Thursday we honored the best of non-existence in ads. Yesterday we honored movies and TV series that were not made. Today we reveal the bottoms of our Bippies, the pixelized retchings of political columns that were not written.

Alexander Woollcott’s last words were reportedly “I never had anything to say,” and he is remembered for saying nothing at great length. That alone would be Bippie worthy. Yet while there is no confirmed source for Woollcott using the phrase “ink stained wretch” to describe writers in general and journalists in particular, a character in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Deadeye Dick attributes the phrase to Woollcott. As fictional sources are almost a prerequisite for modern punditry, it seems appropriate to dedicate the 2011 BPI Awards for Political Columns to The Man Who Was The Man Who Came to Dinner.

First let’s check in with our roving reporter for the conclusion of Scenes of the Behind: The Making of the Bippies.

Squirrel@BPI: I’m just saying, a non-existent award winner should be able to lift a non-existent trophy, no matter how heav…. Oh, we’re on? Ahem. I’m here again with Ms. Scarlet, the model for the curvaceous and coveted Bippie. So Ms. Scarlet, how much gold goes into a Bippie?

Scarlet@BPI: Gold? None. That’s just phony tinsel.

Squirrel@BPI: I see. And what’s beneath the phony tinsel?

Scarlet@BPI: Real tinsel.

Squirrel@BPI: Isn’t that what Oscar Levant said about Hollywood?

Scarlet@BPI: Indeed it is. And you know what Alexander Woollcott said about Oscar Levant?

Squirrel@BPI: “There is absolutely nothing wrong with him that a miracle can’t fix?”

Scarlet@BPI: Exactly. It would take a miracle for a non-existent award winner to lift a non-existent trophy if it were solid gold, so the Bippies would be made of phony tinsel over real tinsel, if they actually existed.

Squirrel@BPI: Do you ever feel as if you’re running in a wheel?

Scarlet@BPI: Now that I look at them, this year’s Bippies are a bit bigger. I going to the gym.

Squirrel@BPI: Thank you for showing us the making of the Bippies, Ms. Scarlet.

And thank you, Squirrel. If you’re still waiting outside the Kodiak Theater, we’re still not there again this year because the Fish and Game Commission said the bears reserved it for salmon volleyball. If you’re not there, thank you for being not there with us. Now on to the awards. As you may remember, last year we expanded the category of political columns to include the Internet, to narrow the scope of non-existence. As always, the votes were tabulated in BPI’s state-of-the-art High-Energy Meta Mojo Elucidation Detector (HEMMED) Lab, and the results then sealed in Pootie the Precious’ litter box. We apologize for the smell.

So without further adieux, the nominees for the 2011 BPI Awards in Political Columns That Were Not Written:

Let them build the Park 51 Center, by Pamela Geller and Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Lead: You’ve probably heard of it as the Ground Zero Mosque, but it’s actually a community center and several blocks away from the former site of the Twin Towers. Those are just two of several astonishing facts we recently discovered. Here’s another: don’t eat mushrooms from your lawn. Those hallucinations were scary.

So Goodbye, Y’know, Also, by Sarah Palin

Lead: What if Paul Revere went out ringin’ those bells and firin’ those shots to warn the British that we’re armed and we love our freedom but the British weren’t there and that was my bus tour so I’m going back to my front porch to watch Russia and our brave troops also.

Obama succeeded where Bush failed, by Charles Krauthammer

Lead: In the week after the Bin Laden raid, I said the Obama administration is defined by “dithering” and he would never have had the information to find Bin Laden without the enhanced interrogations that were carried out during the Bush years. But I’ve reviewed the facts, and I was wrong.

Norway attacks prove we need more intelligence, by Jennifer Rubin

Lead: Within hours of the horrific attacks in Norway, I blamed Al Qaeda and said those attacks proved we can’t cut defense spending. But that story really proved we need more intelligence, especially in newsrooms and on the Internet. Dozens of newspapers and websites reported my original story, and they should have known better.

There was no there there, by Robert Knight

Lead: In July I wrote a column in the Washington Times about how letting LGBTs marry led to Obamacare. I went back and reread that piece several times, thinking I must have had some rational connection based in fact and logic when I wrote it. After hours of careful analysis and research, I found nothing.

All are clearly worthy candidates for non-existence. And the winner is …

So Goodbye, Y’know, Also, by Sarah Palin.

Alas, her non-existence in the public forum was short-lived, as she came to Iowa this weekend for the Ames Straw Poll, or to hawk Sarahbilia in a conveniently concentrated fan market.

And that reminds me: I almost left out the results of the first-ever BPI Straw Poll! That’s right. We took our own straw poll, and the winner is …

… Plastic!

Because metal tastes funny, glass is too fragile, bamboo is too hard to clean, and paper sticks to your lips.

That’s it from the 2011 BPI Awards. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks again to the Squirrel and Ms. Scarlet for their Scenes of the Behind featurette. Until next year, I’ll leave you with another quote from Alexander Woollcott:

I’m tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn’t work. Of course it doesn’t work. We are supposed to work it.

How fitting for a Non-Cynical Saturday.


Happy Saturday!