Stuffed Shirt (2003)
From Urban Dictionary:
1. A pompous jerk.
2. A politician.
"That stuffed shirt thinks his by-products smell like roses when in fact they do not."
"To a Stuffed Shirt" by Robert Service:
On the tide you ride head high,
Like a whale 'mid little fishes;
I should envy you as I
Help my wife to wash the dishes.
Yet frock-coat and stove-pipe hat
Cannot hide your folds of fat.
You are reckoned a success,
And the public praise you win;
There's your picture in the Press,
Pouchy eyes and triple chin.
Wealth,--of it you fairly stink;
Health,--what does your Doctor think?
Dignity is phony stuff.
Who is dignified deep down?
Strip the pants off, call the bluff,
Common clay are king and clown.
Let a bulging belly be
Your best bid for dignity.
For indulgence you must pay.
Yet there's salvation in prayer,--
Down on your fat knees and pray.
Know that with your dying breath
There is dignity in death.
How ironic. If I had to envision a "stuffed shirt poet," Robert Service would certainly be a contender. But, perhaps, I judge him harshly. In a recast age where Bush's "have-mores" are now a political base and CEOs make 600 times what their employees are paid, these fat cat stuffed shirts do indeed "stink of wealth." Service does make the mistake, though, of assuming these Enron-type execs have a trace of conscience. They are beyond shaming and will go to the best graves money can buy without giving dignity a passing thought.
From Forward Newspaper Online -- "Bush's Stuffed Shirt" by Kevin Berger:
October 29, 2004: George W. Bush tried to laugh off the bulge. "I don't know what that is," he said on Good Morning America on Wednesday, referring to the infamous protrusion beneath his jacket during the presidential debates. "I'm embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt."
Dr. Robert M. Nelson, however, was not laughing. He knew the president was not telling the truth. And Nelson is neither conspiracy theorist nor midnight blogger. He's a senior research scientist for NASA and for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and an international authority on image analysis.
[Image from Salon]
More from Salon:
How can Nelson be certain there's some kind of mechanical device beneath Bush's jacket? It's all about light and shadows, he says. The angles at which the light in the studio hit Bush's jacket expose contours that fit no one's picture of human anatomy and wrinkled shirts. And Nelson compared the images to anatomy texts. He also experimented with wrinkling shirts in various configurations, wore them under his jacket under his bathroom light, and couldn't produce anything close to the Bush bulge.
In the enhanced photo of the first debate, Nelson says, look at the horizontal white line in middle of the president's back. You'll see a shadow. "That's telling me there's definitely a bulge," he says. "In fact, it's how we measure the depths of the craters on the moon or on Mars. We look at the angle of the light and the length of shadow they leave. In this case, that's clearly a crater that's under the horizontal line -- it's clearly a rim of a bulge protruding upward, one due to forces pushing it up from beneath."
Hapke, too, agrees that the bulge is neither anatomy nor a wrinkled shirt. "I would think it's very hard to avoid the conclusion that there's something underneath his jacket," he says. "It would certainly be consistent with some kind of radio receiver and a wire."
Speaking of bulges, my pants are stuffed, too...
[Photograph from The Village Voice]
For an emperor without clothes, it's amazing how many garments Bush can stuff. He fits the definition above to a Texas T.