Thursday, November 10, 2005

Weenie O'Poindexter and Douglas McDweeb

Now that the NY Times has finally lurched its way to deciding what to do re Judith Miller, I think it's time they toss Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt, the Freakonomics authors, who have a regular column in the Sunday magazine. Last Sunday they discussed the irrationality of voting, constructing an argument that was logical only because it was so tiny. In a Horn Book editorial a few months back I questioned both the math and the integrity of their argument that reading aloud to a child has no effect on that child's educational achievement. Their strategy there took the same pattern: make the playing field very small and move the goalposts very close together.

I just had a waking nightmare about what it would be like to be married to one of these guys. You're finishing dinner together, chatting about the day, when hubby dearest straightens his tie, prissily dabs at his face with his napkin, purses his lips and makes a small smile to himself before saying, in that tone you've come to know and abhor, "well, my dear, you're just not being very logical. Let's examine your prem--" when the brass candlestick, so long denied, comes down on his pointy little head.

3 comments:

Elizabeth, who's hard at work this morning said...

Roger, will you write a column on "what TV shows are most like reading a children's book?" I would answer that the Amazing Race is like Choose Your Own Adventure, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart is like The Giver (she has the job where she decides what people will do for the rest of their lives), The Gilmore Girls is like M.E. Kerr's I'll Love You When You're More Like Me, Alias is like Oh, the Places You'll Go and The Office is like The Phantom Tollbooth--all those places Milo visits where nobody is getting any work done.

Liz B said...

What a great idea! Let me think: The OC is the modern Sweet Valley High; Veronica Mars is Rats Saw God (OK, since both are written by Rob Thomas that may be cheating).

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