Recently retired Philadelphia Daily News/Inquirer columnist Stu Bykofsky is having a hard time adjusting to his new life, in which no one cares about his opinions anymore. After leaving the position he held for nearly 50 years—where he demonized immigrants, proclaimed that America needs another 9/11 for our own good, and notoriously played a too-cute did-he-or-didn’t-he semantics game over the joys of sex tourism in Thailand—Bykofsky promised he’d be back with a blog of his own. It’s unreadable, and I’m not going to link to it.

If Bykofsky’s name rings a bell, and you’re not from Philadelphia, it may be because of his hysterical (in both senses of the word) meltdown after his colleague Inga Saffron ripped him a new one at his retirement party. Since then, he’s struggled to be relevant. Today, he made a blatant and pathetic attempt to get some attention by tweeting a stupid, gratuitous, and sexist comment about country/pop singer Taylor Swift.

This would be offensive from anyone, to be honest, but coming from a creepy old man who writes glowingly of sex trafficking it’s just… well, it’s disgusting.

As Saffron said at his retirement, Stu is an old school news man, emphasis on the man. In his day… well, women weren’t really in the news business. And that sexist attitude has clearly stuck with him ever since.

Not that this should bear mentioning, but physical attractiveness is subjective, and has nothing to do with artistic skill. I hesitate to even bring any specific performers up, because it’s offensive and crass to remark on people’s looks, and women’s looks in particular. But let’s say that a violinist like Gaelynn Lea looks quite different from whoever’s on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Mama Cass probably doesn’t meet muster for today’s beauty standards. And so on and so forth. Is their work somehow less because they don’t look like a Heidi Klum or Giselle Bundchen? (I had to look these names up.)

Not that any of that matters: as they say, “beauty is skin deep.” Children’s author Roald Dahl, in the introduction to his wonderful short novel, The Twits, took it further.

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

He included a funny illustration to make his point too.

But really, it’s not even about what an elderly gadfly whiling away the time waiting to die by shouting at clouds thinks about a given woman’s looks. Bykofsky couldn’t pick Taylor Swift out of a lineup if she was the only one there. It’s even more pathetic: it’s a washed up has-been desperately begging for attention by glomming onto someone who’s at the top of her game, who’s famous around the world, and is clearly successful and happy with what she does.

Meanwhile, Stu Bykofsky just gets uglier by the day. It’s almost sad to watch him flail. Then I remember what a nasty piece of work he is.

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