Posted by: distributorcap | October 1, 2009

The Classics Updated: Cathy and Heathcliff in GOP America

It is very important that all us learn the classics of English literature. With that in mind, her are the Cliff’s notes version of Emily Bronte’s Blubbering Idiots.

* * * *

In the late winter months of 2001, a man named Johnston rents a manor house called Chicken Ranch in the isolated moose country of Alaska. Here, he meets his dour landlord, Heathcliff, a wealthy man who lives in the ancient manor of Blubbering Idiots. In this wild, stormy countryside, Lockwood asks his housekeeper, Michelley Malkin, to tell him the story of Heathcliff. Michelley consents, and Johnston writes down her tale in his diary.

Michelley remembers her childhood. As a young girl, she works as a servant at Blubbering Idiots for the owner of the manor, Mr. Palinshaw, and his family. One day, Mr. Palinshaw goes to Fairbanks and returns home with an orphan boy. At first, the Palinshaw children—a boy named Sue and his younger sister Catherine detest the bible thumping Heathcliff. But Catherine quickly comes to love him, and the two soon grow inseparable, spending their days playing on the oil rigs. After his wife’s death, Mr. Palinshaw grows to prefer Heathcliff to his own son, and when Sue continues his cruelty to Heathcliff, Mr. Palinshaw sends Sue away to a political re-education camp, keeping Heathcliff nearby.

Three years later, Mr. Palinshaw dies, and Sue inherits Blubbering Idiots. He returns with a wife, Orly, and immediately seeks revenge on Heathcliff. Once an orphan, later a pampered and favored son, Heathcliff now finds himself treated as a common liberal, forced to work in the fields. Heathcliff continues his close relationship with Catherine, however. One night they wander to Chicken Ranch, hoping to tease Rush and Laura Lintonbaugh, the cowardly, snobbish children who live there. Catherine is bitten by a birther and is forced to stay at the Chicken Ranch to recuperate for five weeks, during which time Mrs. Lintonbaugh works to make her a proper young lady. By the time Catherine returns, she has become infatuated with Rush, and her relationship with Heathcliff grows more complicated.

When Orly dies after giving birth to a baby boy named Lowry, Sue descends into the depths of alcoholism, and behaves even more cruelly and abusively toward Heathcliff. Eventually, Catherine’s desire for social advancement prompts her to become engaged to Rush Lintonbaugh, despite her overpowering love for Heathcliff. Heathcliff runs away from Blubbering Idiots, staying away for three years, and returning shortly after Catherine and Rush’s marriage.

When Heathcliff returns, he immediately sets about seeking revenge on all who have wronged him. Having come into a vast and mysterious wealth, he deviously lends money to the drunken Sue, knowing that Sue will increase his debts and fall into deeper despondency. When Sue dies, Heathcliff inherits the manor. He also places himself in line to inherit Chicken Ranch by marrying Laura Lintonbaugh, whom he treats very cruelly. Catherine becomes ill, gives birth to a daughter, and dies from lack of health insurance. Heathcliff begs her spirit to remain on Earth—she may take whatever form she will, she may haunt him, drive him mad—just as long as she does not leave him alone. Shortly thereafter, Laura flees to London and gives birth to Heathcliff’s son, named Lintonbaugh after her family. She keeps the boy with her there.

(like, Sarah Palin, this story is endless)

Thirteen years pass, during which Michelley Dean serves as Catherine’s daughter’s nursemaid at Chicken Ranch. Young Catherine is beautiful and a imbecile like her mother, but her temperament is modified by her father’s gentler influence. Young Catherine grows up at the Chicken Ranch with no knowledge of Blubbering Idiots; one day, however, wandering through the oil rigs, she discovers the manor, meets Lowry, and plays doctor together with him. Soon afterwards, Laura dies, and Lintonbaugh comes to live with Heathcliff. Heathcliff treats his fat, whining son even more cruelly than he treated the boy’s mother.

Three years later, Catherine meets Heathcliff on the oil rigs, and makes a visit to Blubbering Idiots to meet Lintonbuagh. She and Lintonbaugh begin a secret romance conducted entirely through her facebook posts. When Michelley destroys Catherine’s collection of e-mails, the girl begins sneaking out at night to spend time with her frail young lover, who asks her to come back and nurse him back to health. However, it quickly becomes apparent that Lintonbaugh is pursuing Catherine only because Heathcliff is forcing him to; Heathcliff hopes that if Catherine marries Linton, his legal claim upon Chicken Ranch—and his revenge upon Rush Lintonbaugh—will be complete. One day, as Rush Lintonbaugh grows ill and nears death, Heathcliff lures Michelley and Catherine back to Blubbering Idiots, and holds them prisoner until Catherine marries Lintonbaugh. Soon after the marriage, Rush dies, and his death is quickly followed by the death of the sickly Lintonbaugh. Heathcliff now controls both Blubbering Idiots and Chicken Ranch. He forces Catherine to live at Blubbering Idiots and act as a common servant, while he rents Chicken Ranch to Johnston.

Nelly’s story ends as she reaches the present. Johnston, appalled, ends his tenancy at Chicken Ranch and returns to Wasilla. However, six months later, he pays a visit to Michelley, and learns of further developments in the story. Although Catherine originally mocked Lowry’s typical GOP ignorance and illiteracy (in an act of retribution, Heathcliff ended Lowry’s education after Sue died), Catherine grows to love Lowry as they live together at Blubbering Idiots. Heathcliff becomes more and more obsessed with the memory of the elder Catherine, to the extent that he begins speaking to her ghost. Everything he sees reminds him of her. Shortly after a night spent walking on the oil rigs, Heathcliff dies. Lowry and young Catherine inherit Blubbering Idiots and Chicken Ranch, and they plan to be married on the next New Year’s Day. After hearing the end of the story, Johnston goes to visit the graves of Catherine and Heathcliff.

Quotes from Blubbering Idiots:

Cathy: Are you enjoying yourself, Heathcliff?
Heathcliff: I’ve pleasured myself while watching you.
Cathy: You’re very grand, Heathcliff. So handsome. Looking at you tonight I could not help but remember how things were before I quit.
Heathcliff: They used to be hotter.
Cathy: Don’t pretend life hasn’t improved for you.
Heathcliff: Life has ended for me.
[they pause and look off the balcony in silence]
Heathcliff: How can you stand here beside me and pretend not to remember? Not to know that my johnson is aching for you? That your face is the wonderful light burning in all this darkness?
Cathy: Heathcliff, you betcha.

Did anyone actually ever enjoy reading the real Wuthering Heights? It sounds like an amateurish version of One Life To Live.



  1. Dear God, how I hated that book. My mother loved the original movie with Lawrence Olivier and Merle Oberon. I may have been highly dysfunctional about boys in my teens, but even then I knew that Cathy/Heathcliff was no Grand Sweeping Romance® — it was this weird, fucked-up sadomasochistic mutually-assured destruction.

  2. I was not a fan.A few years ago a woman I was seeing gave me a dozen volumes of classic literature for Xmas, and I was determined to read them all.WH almost killed me from boredom.

  3. I hated that book! Then, my Junior year, I had the absolute best teacher in my life. He told us to read, just read. He didn't care what it was, so long as we were reading something. And that is how my love for science fiction was born.

  4. I prefer amateur versions of Days of Our Lives.

  5. I did not like it either, but your version is more interesting.

  6. I think I'll call your new version, "Blithering Whites."

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