Santorum's wife authored children's book on good manners, with foreword by Joe Paterno, blurb by Bono

This is not a joke. Ethan Persoff, archivist of weirdo ephemera and "comics with problems," tells Boing Boing:

In 2011 Rick Santorum insulted the planet by comparing traditional marriage to a napkin. But did you know he ALSO wrote a short piece of fiction about "the birth of the napkin" in 2003? And to add further humor: This same book contains an endorsement of the Santorums from Bono of U2, and includes a foreword on "decent manners with children" by Joe Paterno.

Look inside "Karen Santorum's Dirty Book on Manners" at Ethan's website, and you can buy a copy on Amazon. One wonders if future printings will scrub the reference to Paterno (and if the Bono endorsement will stay?)


  1. The CULT OF BONO continues to crumble. Further proof that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get a book published.

  2. I think there’s a need for good manners and etiquette and virtues and all that. I wouldn’t have a problem with it being taught in school, along with changing the oil in your car, balancing a checkbook, and roasting a chicken.

    But these celebrity-driven books really hit my glurge alarm. I suspect that they rarely get actually read to kids, except perhaps as a substitute for laudanum. Their real audience are Conserva-Grannies who get a thrill from imagining their grandkids acting like the boys and girls in period dramas on the Hallmark Channel.

    Maybe, ah, thirteen years back the must-have dust-collector was the Book of Virtues, by former Secretary of Education and Indian Casino customer William Bennett. They actually did a cartoon of that one. I remember once walking through a hideous mall (“The Great Mall of the Bay Area” I think) around the holidays; episodes of the cartoon was playing on overhead monitors. I’m sure it was some kind of promotion to shill the VHS tapes, but seeing it on screen after screen as I worked my way around the crowded corridors I couldn’t help but feel there was this Orwellian indoctrination vibe to it.

      1. You must be under 50 years old then. In the 1960s parents used to give it to children for teething pain.

          1. Laudanum contains 25 times the morphine by volume compared to Paregoric, according to Wikipedia.  So, not really the same thing unless the wiki is wrong, which is of course always a real possibility.

    1.  Oh my God the Great Mall is such a huge piece of shit.  So poorly named.  I remember seeing the giant blue sign for the first time as a kid, then a few years later actually ending up there, and being devastated.  The best store at the time was Sam Goody, so that’s saying something.

  3. If I have kids, I’m teaching them swear words from birth, with the caveat that they are only to be uttered to people who think they can force their extremist and absurd morality upon you.  However, they’ll be far too young to be taught the meaning of Santorum for sometime.

    1. Wait, someone who wants to teach their children when and why foul language is appropriate and when and why it isn’t?!  Fucking shocking!

  4. “Never speak ill of anyone on your coaching staff. They’re fine men, and pillars of your community. They’ve volunteered their time to help you grow up to become real men.”

  5. The publication date is listed as April 1, 2003! Happy April Fool’s Day from 9 years ago! Because I absolutely refuse to believe that someone can be that much of a complete caricature of themselves.

  6. Bono is pretty big into the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement. I wonder whether he might have met the Santorums at some international Catholic Charismatic event where Mr. Frothy gave some kind of feel good speech and made a good impression on Bono, so he blurbed the book without knowing much else about him.

    And maybe Bono and Frothy are in agreement on a lot of things. I know Bono seems all liberal with his support of the Jubilee movement to reduce and renegotiate third world debt, but maybe he’s otherwise a pretty strong traditional family values type. I remember seeing in a documentary somewhere that on U2’s  first US tour  that one of the members of U2 who was not a Catholic Charismatic like the other three was pretty upset about the strictly enforced “no groupies” policy.

  7. One of the members of U2 who was not a Catholic Charismatic like the other three was pretty upset about the strictly enforced “no groupies” policy.
    Sounds like that would be Adam Clayton, the bassist.

    I wonder whether he might have met the Santorums at some international Catholic Charismatic event.
    Probable, common causes make extremely strange bedfellows.  But during the Jubilee thing, Bono met with a ton of congresscritters, focusing most of his efforts on charming the republicans, as he understood that’s where resistance may have popped up from.  He did a man’s job there, Bono did.
    Anyway, Santorum was elected to the Senate in 1996, so he was already there when Bono showed up, I wouldn’t be surprised if they kneeled and prayed in Santorum’s office.

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