Thank the Catholic God it's Friday with Peggy!This weird and wonderful year has been packed with implausibilities and impossibilities: the Clintons losing, a black man elected president and Peggy Noonan occassionally making sense. This week’s installment of her serialized first-person novel of Manhattan Madness, Declarations, contains two well-written arguments for the current conventional wisdom — Hillary is an interesting yet troublesome choice for Secretary of State, and Robert Gates should stay on for a while as Secretary of Defense. Which is nice and all, but it doesn’t really leave your Wonkette much to work with. Luckily, Peggy was just coming down from her Dexedrine-Percocet highball when she scrawled her first zany sentence, in Lancome mascara, on the walls of her Upper East Side apartment.

Rumors, leaks, gossip, backbiting, an air of mounting mistrust. Looks like Lulu’s back in town.

Okay … who the hell is Lulu?

We are accustomed to Peggy’s use of somewhat antiquated references, and we enjoy a columnist who feels no need to keep up with the latest stupid vulgarities from the teevee or the “You might be a redneck” or the hip hop or whatever.

But this one stumps us. Lulu. Noonan is, we think, referring to the melodrama surrounding Hillary Clinton’s supposed ascent to the State Department and Bill Clinton’s usual filthy and villainy making the process unpleasant and noisy.

Let’s see, wasn’t there a pop singer in the 1960s called “LuLu”? Did she have something to do with that Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner? movie? Let’s check the Internets …. Ah hah, LULU is “Lululemon Athletica Inc.,” a NASDAQ-listed company which is trading at $7.60 per share this afternoon, or $43 down from its 52-week high. But that’s pretty much every stock these days, right? So Peggy did not mean LULU, which is apparently a manufacturer of track suits worn by Armenian gangsters. Or fancy yoga clothes for ladies, who knows?

Anyway, the singer. It was To Sir, With Love. Same thing? She was/is Scottish. Married a BeeGee once! Can’t see what this has to do with the Clintons, though.

A comic strip about a little girl. A bear in a children’s book. A video game character. Oh but wait, look here: There were two plays (in German) written more than a century ago, and one was adapted to film — a silent movie, naturally, in 1929 — and also made into an opera. And there’s a character called “LuLu.”

The “Lulu” plays Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1904) are probably his best known works. Originally conceived as a single play, the two pieces tell a continuous story of a sexually-enticing young dancer who rises in German society through her relationships with wealthy men, but who later falls into poverty and prostitution. The frank depiction of sexuality and violence in these plays, including lesbianism and an encounter with Jack the Ripper (a role which Wedekind played himself in the original production), pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable on the stage at the time. The plays formed the basis for G W Pabst’s acclaimed silent film Pandora’s Box (1929), starring Louise Brooks as Lulu, and Alban Berg’s uncompleted opera Lulu (1937), which is considered to be one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century opera.

Bingo. It doesn’t really matter what the story of a “sexually-enticing young dancer who rises in German society” has to do with the Clintons, or the White House, or anything, really. (Jack the Ripper?!) All that matters is that we’ve found the source of this week’s Peggy Noonan reference: an Opera! So refined!

Keep Gates [Wall Street Journal]

Oh and here is the NOT SAFE FOR WORK modernist rape-murder opera Peggy Noonan loves, and which your editor actually owns ON VINYL hahahahahah because why not? (Works well for Halloween, too, if you don’t want those fucking kids coming to your door.)

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  • choinski

    Ahem: “an Opera”

  • Vanity Smurf

    Not even Bill Buckley was so opaque in his references. Brava, Lady Peguine de Noonington.

  • hockeymom

    Given a choice, I’d prefer to watch turkey decapitation over that opera.
    Guess I’m not classy.

  • carerer

    I look forward to Fridays on Wonkette because it’s the “what did Peggy Noonan write this week?” posting. Sike.

  • Weeping Jesus

    “The appointment is so surprising that everyone’s inner Machiavelli is working overtime.”

    Worth it for that crap line alone.

  • shortsshortsshorts

    Oh modern Opera, we hardly knew ye.

  • TGY

    Well, obvs., she means ‘Legs’ Lulu, the Lascivious Lambada Lady and her trained cadre of gossip-mongering gits. It’s clear as day.

  • Serolf Divad

    Is “Lulu’s back in town” one of those curious euphemisms ladies use to describe their period?

  • S.Luggo

    More Alban Berg.

  • space stout

    i kan haz therapy aftr wachin vidyo?

  • Guido Samurai
  • el_chupacabra

    that was not NSFW enough for my taste. that opera gets a fail. basically just Old Greg with Sinead O’Connor as the fish mangina guy. weak.

  • metropolitan

    what’s with all these conservatives writing positive things about the upcoming obama cabinet?
    here’s david brooks drooling over democratic appointments:
    the brawler in me is not liking this post-partisan love fest to the point that i’m starting up a write in campaign to the new york times so they wont drop bill kristol –just so i can have some thing to read in the morning that will piss me off enough to get me out of bed.

  • Ken Layne

    [re=183475]choinski[/re]: Sorry, editing is done LIVE around here. (“A refined opera” became “A/An opera. So refined!” SEE HOW WE WORK FOR YOUZE.)

  • 4tehlulz

    >>ON VINYL

    And now that Tweeter is liquidating you can now afford the equipment to play it.

  • choinski

    Hillary Clinton stars as Lulu, a young and impulsive Democrat whose raw sexuality and uninhibited nature bring about the downfall of almost everyone she meets. She marries a respectable Arkansas Governor, but soon drives him into insanity, climaxing in an incident in which she accidentally shoots him to death. Found guilty of manslaughter, she escapes from justice with the help of her former pimp (whom she considers her father) and Chelsea, who is also in love with her. After spending several months hiding in an illegal gambling den in France, where Lulu is nearly sold into slavery, Lulu and her friends end up living in squalor in THE Senate. On Christmas Eve, driven into prostitution by poverty, Lulu meets her doom at the hands of Mark Penn.

  • sanantonerose

    [re=183479]hockeymom[/re]: Can’t tell the difference.

  • Guido Samurai

    Sorry about that “Fat’s.” It’s “Fats.” I’m multi-tasking and forgot to edit myself.

  • Jukesgrrl

    Don’t insult Pegs. She wouldn’t write in Lancome. She’s more of a Clarins customer. It’s not enough to be pretty. You have to be BETTER. The Clarins salesbots in their clinician-white coats understand this and TEST the customers. Now tell me Pegs wouldn’t find that attractive.

  • Capitol Hillbilly
  • american mutt
  • WadISay

    Peggy’s shit’s kind of drying up. Somebody introduce her to another Mexican, or, peradventure, a China-man. Tell her their dicks hang slightly askew.

  • shortsshortsshorts

    [re=183475]choinski[/re]: You are wrongs sir. It is actually “ah Opera.”

  • Deepthroat

    Paddy? …. Who’s been wearing Miranda’s clothes?

  • Neon Trotsky

    [re=183494]choinski[/re]: Don’t forget the scene where a dashing young official named Vince Foster wins the heart of Hillary, but then is killed in a duel with his dear old friend and husband of Hillary, Bill, who then covers up the death as a suicide…

  • choinski

    I think she needs to marry Onion Publisher Emeritus T. Herman Zweibel:

    My lackeys inform me that it is almost time to appoint a new President, and therefore time for the suet-brained populace of this flaging Republic to be once again herded into voting-booths to allegedly choose precisely which bloody-handed butcher will crack their bones and suck the marrow over the next few years.

  • Serolf Divad


    I read that in college! Emile Zola, right?

  • Tra

    “The appointment is so surprising that everyone’s inner Machiavelli is working overtime.”

    My inner Machiavelli kicked off after putting in about three hours and spent the rest of the day surfing the Web. But he does that all the time, and my innner Mother Teresa won’t let me fire him.

  • The Cold Sea

    Is that dude, Christian Bale? I didn’t know he could sing.

  • Cogito Ergo Bibo

    [re=183489]Guido Samurai[/re]: Sadly, I immediately recognized it as the lyrics of that song. I needs to git me a life.

  • populucious

    You can tell the mailman not to call
    I aint coming home until the fall.
    And then again I might not get home at all.
    Lulu’s back in town.

    Why does Hilary Clinton hate the US Postal Service?

  • Vewol Mevemont

    She’s weird, and I don’t often agree with her, but she’s certainly too smart to be lumped in the the tundra tard and her ilk. Oh the Republicans, so full of contradiction and wonder… and German rape opera?

  • sarahconnor

    Maybe she is reefering to the episode of Ab Fab in which Eddy is trying to do PR for the 60s era Lulu… and attempting to make the “crud credible”

    god only knows

  • choinski

    It’s a typo.

    She was referring to Lula, the thirty-fifth and current President of Brazil and a founding member of the country’s Workers’ Party.

  • Fabuloso

    Thanks for the opera break, so chic. However, Dorothy was right: “you can bring a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”

  • metropolitan
  • Birdcrash

    Gotta get my old tuxedo pressed
    Gotta sew a button on my vest
    ‘Cause tonight I gotta look my best
    Lulu’s back in town

    Al Dubin & Harry Warren ca. 1934

  • Pat Pending

    “Where’s that careless chambermaid?
    Where’d she put my razor blade?
    She mislaid it, I’m afraid,
    It’s gotta be foun’!
    Ask her when she cleaned my room
    What she did with my perfume;
    I just can’t lose it,
    I’ve gotta use it,
    ‘Cause Lulu’s back in town.”

    You guys… Noonington loves Waller! It’s so obvious. One never knows, do one…

  • randomsausage

    The Pegster should just stick to driving the Yokels out of the Republican Party.

  • Fivetree

    I have been anxiously waiting all week for Our Lady of Noonington. Friday is Peggy Day!!!!! Okay, here’s my theory about the weird Lulu reference. Lulu was one of the first of those “one name stars” that started emerging in the 60s. She sang the title song for “To Sir With Love” but she was also onscreen as well. She was part of this class of n’er do-well underachieving punk-ass lower class Brit kids who got schooled by Sidney Poitier to get a grip and fucking shape up. I think she sang to him at the end (“how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume” or something like that that made no sense given that they were hardly in kindergarten when the film started and he never dispensed any beauty tips as far as I could remember). Anyway, Lulu is Hillary (another blonde with a shag who hardly needs her last name – as her campaign posters demonstrate) and Barack Obama is Sidney Poitier, coming into the classroom of America and making us straighten up and get our act together. I just hope this doesn’t mean that Hillary is going to have to sing because she famously. can. not. carry. a. fucking. tune.

  • dano

    With all due respect Mr. Layne it is I who will decide what is and what is not safe for work, thank you very much.

  • ManchuCandidate

    I was kinda hoping Peggy was talking about going “Downtown” or finding the “Man with the Golden Gun” instead of a damned opera.

  • NewSpence

    I’d be willing to bet that I sold this to you in the back room at Amoeba, Ken Layne.

  • Iggy Plop

    Any reason to squeeze in an Alban Berg reference, I see.

  • RGH

    “Lulu’s Back in Town” is a song from the 30s, introduced by Dick Powell, back when Peggy was a chorus girl. Here’s the Best Version Ever:

  • totoro

    Not sure I want to put my head in her lap, in that slightly sweaty bus trip coming back from the class trip to Colonial Williamsburg kind of way, anymore.

  • NJB

    Maybe Peggers meant “Lola” – as in “what Lola wants, Lola gets”. Or maybe the cross-dresser from the Kinks song….

  • p-Sludge ofTheElves

    ok – from the Dr D days –
    “As the sun pulls away from the shore, and our boat sinks slowly in the west, we approach the island of Lu-Lu (sproing) – spelled backwards: (sproing) Ul-Ul. Ah, in the distance we hear Spike Jones and his Wacky Wakakians.” –

  • gurukalehuru

    Lulu had a boyfriend, his name was Tommy Tucker
    He took her into an alley
    to see if he could bang-bang Lulu, bang-bang Lulu
    who we gonna gang bang now that Lulu’s gone away, HEY!

    Everybody knew that one, right?

  • sati demise

    My mother, rip, used to say-about a lie or a fabulous story-“now that is a lulu”.

    I dont know why this is a euphemism either.

  • CivicHoliday

    WTF was that?!? I’m frightened by the bald-headed seductress.

  • MarieDeGournay

    [re=183512]Tra[/re]: I loled.

  • Aurelio

    [re=183503]Capitol Hillbilly[/re]: You’ve got it. That’s the “Lulu” source–the old jazz song, “Lulu’s back in town.” Like Lulu, Hillary sows a whirlwind wherever she goes.

    That, my friends, is the Meaning of the Noonanism.

  • SpecialK

    “Lulu’s back in town” is a reference to an old Fats Waller song from the 1935, a la:

    Gotta get my old tuxedo pressed,
    Gotta sew a button on my vest,
    ‘Cause tonight I’ve gotta look my best,
    Lulu’s back in town.
    Gotta get a half a buck somewhere,
    Gotta shine my shoes and slick my hair,
    Gotta get myself a boutonniere,
    Lulu’s back in town.
    You can tell all my pets,
    All my Harlem coquettes;
    Mister Otis regrets
    That he won’t be aroun’.
    You can tell the mailman not to call,
    I ain’t comin’ home until the fall,
    And I might not get back home at all,
    Lulu’s back in town.

    This Lulu seems to be quite an exciting character. I think Miss Noonington has outdone herself with this reference.

  • Internally valid

    [re=183543]RGH[/re]: Now that was NSFW. SEXY!

  • auntanna

    Guys, guys, GUYS. You are clearly forgetting that Peggy Noonan is to politics what Karl Lagerfeld is to fashion: a blithely insane, half-mythical creature who cannot be understood or judged in the way we “humans” are.

    As such, a Lulu doesn’t reference any earth “song” or “opera” or anything so banal. Lulu is CLEARlY the twelve-faced bitch goddess who controls the tongue, uvula, and tastebuds in Peggy Noonan’s world. You might think this is because “Lulu” backwards is “uluL”, which is the first, and most important, part of the word ululation, and that the two are somehow related, but you would be wrong. OH, HOW WRONG YOU WOULD BE.

  • Mrslulu

    Doesn’t anyone remember this classic Sesame Street number?:

  • Mrslulu

    Doesn’t anyone remember this from Sesame Street (1969)?:

  • Toomush Infermashun

    Clearly, “Lulu” is Peg’s alter ego, the one she summons forth when the eighteenth century grows too small for her….Lulu, trapped herself in the 1940s, nevertheless often resonates with our own new millenium, at least when Peg has not had her meds for a few days…

  • DoctorCulturae

    Oh how I do luv me some Peggy Noonie Day!!!!1!!

  • Borat

    I thought Lulu was that Ukrainian chick who was in the movie the 5th Element. You know the one with Bruce Willis

  • Lazy Media

    [re=183503]Capitol Hillbilly[/re]: Why am I not surprised that Peggy Noonan is a HUGE Dick Powell fan, and no doubt owns “Broadway Gondolier” on Beta. That dreamy marcel wave just makes the dollies swoon.

  • regisgoat

    [re=183594]gurukalehuru[/re]: Bang it, Lulu, Bang it! Bang it good and strong/ What will we do for ‘bang-it’/When Lulu’s dead and gone!

  • A Geek Tragedy

    [re=183520]choinski[/re]: Also known as “that swarthy fellow from the video where no G20 leaders want to touch Dubya. You know, the one people actually seemed to like”

  • sezme

    [re=183856]SpecialK[/re]: I can almost picture Peggy jitterbugging to this back when she was in her late 30s.

  • N8Ma


    (insert loudest music you’ve ever heard in your life.)

    If she’d also used “passacaglia” in the same article=5.2 billion whore diamonds.

  • Satorist

    I’ve always told my significant other, “I’ll attend an opera when they replace the fat lady with a bald chick, packing heat, and a cubist nude.” Damn!

  • Babs Hula

    Lulu is the one who sang

    “If I knew you were coming I would have baked a cake.”

  • Babs Hula


    Oh my God.

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