Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thus Beginneth The Smackdown

A well-written insult can be a joy to read.

So, I'll send you to Mark Goldblatt's review of Maureen Dowd's latest book. Now, I'll admit I'm not a big reader of Ms. Dowd; the doctor said exposure to copious amounts of inane moronity ar bad for my blood pressure. And nothing can be more aggravating than to be lectured at by those who don't know what they are talking about. So I avoid her.

Mr. Goldblatt, on the other hand, wades right in:
Maureen Dowd begins her book Are Men Necessary? with a confession: "I don't understand men." If only she'd left it at that, we could simply add "men" to the long list of subjects into which she has no particular insight: history, psychology, philosophy, religion, economics, literature, art, constitutional law, international diplomacy, and several other topics upon she comments in her twice weekly column for the New York Times. But Dowd had to go and write a book about men and women, and Putnam had to go and publish it, and now it's sitting on my desk, waiting to be reviewed, and I feel like Bugs Bunny, holding a freshly baked cherry pie, about to smash it into the face of the haughty but hapless magician Ala Bahma, thinking to myself: "If I dood it, I get a whippin' . . . I dood it!"

Dowd claims her book "is not a systematic inquiry of any kind, or a handy little volume of sterling solutions to the American woman's problems." She insists she has "no special wisdom about redemption in matters of sex and love," nor is she "peddling a theory or a slogan or a policy." She concedes that she's "as baffled as the next woman" and that her book "offers only the diligent notes . . . of a fascinated observer of our gender perplexities." As is the custom with intellectual cowards, Dowd wants her ideas taken seriously; she just doesn't want them judged according to traditional evidentiary and logical standards.

So be it.
And that's just the first couple of paragraphs.

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