New Juliana Hatfield video: Short-Fingered Man

Video: Juliana Hatfield – “Short-Fingered Man”

Juliana Hatfield rules. Check her out, dancing around her hallway, looking into her phone all mean and cool. She’s the best.

“She’s so bored she falls asleep / Short-fingered man can’t get her off / Short-fingered man best give it up / He claims he’s all the way in / But she can’t feel anything / He must be lying.”

The history of Graydon Carter’s “short-fingered vulgarian” epithet is rather amusing. At least it was amusing a year ago. Now, maybe less so.

Like so many bullies, Trump has skin of gossamer. He thinks nothing of saying the most hurtful thing about someone else, but when he hears a whisper that runs counter to his own vainglorious self-image, he coils like a caged ferret. Just to drive him a little bit crazy, I took to referring to him as a “short-fingered vulgarian” in the pages of Spy magazine. That was more than a quarter of a century ago. To this day, I receive the occasional envelope from Trump. There is always a photo of him—generally a tear sheet from a magazine. On all of them he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers. I almost feel sorry for the poor fellow because, to me, the fingers still look abnormally stubby. The most recent offering arrived earlier this year, before his decision to go after the Republican presidential nomination. Like the other packages, this one included a circled hand and the words, also written in gold Sharpie: “See, not so short!” I sent the picture back by return mail with a note attached, saying, “Actually, quite short.”

“He’s very insecure / You have to talk gently to him / Like a little girl.”

Juliana Hatfield’s Pussycat is due April 28 on American Laundromat.

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