Saturday, October 6


I ADMIT it, as a guilty pleasure;  I read Gregg Easterbrook's "football" column at ESPN, especially now that he's decided to sneak a little football in every week.

Okay, truth is that I was a little flummoxed when Easterbrook cut his workload a few years back, from "commenting on every game played that week" to "mentioning three or four marquee games, in-between libertoonian 'government waste' snark, This Week in Illogical Movie or Teevee plots, and Reader Mail. Oh, Plus "Obscure College Score of the Week", your sennightly reminder that Pierre Garçon attended Mount Union. The goddam thing is still 7000 words long.

Then there's "Christmas  (now 'Unified') Creep", in which the observation that retailers push the opening of whatever moneymaking idiocy is next on the calendar earlier and earlier, until Xmas starts in September, Washington's Birthday sales occur the previous August, and nobody's sure when Tet is. This is such a wellspring of Funny it's been going on for like five years now, despite the fact that the concept was already ancient back when Easterbrook and I were hippies.

We'll get to that in a moment, Reader. In the meantime, let me just note that this is precisely what I find so incomprehensible about facile libertoonianism. This is precisely the way "Enlightened" self interest works. It's what Capital, large and small, does: it gobbles up whatever's handy, and bulldozes whatever's inconvenient. Old growth forests and common sense are just obstacles. The only difference is that you think ass-raping logic is just kind of amusing, while doing the same to the Gulf of Mexico is defensible.

And don't get me wrong; I'm glad, thrilled, even, that Easterbrook decided to admit Global Warming is real, and largely man-made, a good twenty-four months ago. And, personally, if you really wanna spend time arguing that CFLs are no better than incandescent bulbs, be my guest. Just a) do the rest of us the courtesy to recognize which side you're on, and how strange your bedfellows (see under Hitchens, C.). That Jim Inhofe was on your side should have been enough. And b) if you're smart enough to believe in technology, then you're smart enough to realize what its real track record is. Saying that technical innovation is our best hope for reversing climate change, or ameliorating disaster, is functionally the same thing as saying it doesn't exist in the first place.

These Kids Today! No. 1: The mainstream media are run by graying Baby Boomers. When young, they viewed themselves as extremely open-minded, in addition to being the first generation ever to discover sex. Now their collective attitude toward today's young, the Millennials, may be described with the technical term "harrumph."

Gregg Easterbrook was born in March of 1953, which makes him even older than I. And which should have given him some perspective on the Sexual Revolution, including the fact that it was led by people from the previous generation.

Of course the true timetable, as with civil rights, gender equality, gay rights, and opposition to US military adventurism, doesn't work for today's social moralist (or social immoralist, apparently). Beatnik punching just never caught on.
Over the summer, TMQ noted the MSM have proclaimed a shocking, sweeping trend of "hooking up" that supposedly means out-of-control carnality among those of college age

Okey-dokey. I guess I spent my summer somewhere else. Not to mention wasting the time it took to scan the first eight pages of Google results for "hooking up" in the Dreaded Em Ess Em. (Nice tell, by the way.) Hanna Rosin wrote a piece the Atlantic carried; among the many things she and its publisher, Jay Lauf, are not, is "Boomers".  That was about it; everything else was on YouTube, unless Tom Wolfe got a mention somewhere. I sit through NBC News most weeknights, unless I can get the remote away from my Poor Wife, and if Brian was going on about this I must've missed it.
-- though studies show that sexual activity is in shallow decline among the young.

Though, as always, we might note that "studies of activities among the young" basically tell us what sort of shit lies The Young pull on the people who study them.
Assuming hooking up even exists as some new social phenomenon -- it sounds an awful lot like meeting at parties -- graying MSM editors view it as empty sex without commitment. And sex in a sleeping bag at Woodstock differed how, exactly?

And who said this, exactly? Maybe next summer you could take notes.

I'm all for exposing hypocrisy. Provided we can, y'know, attach it to a specific hypocrite. The real hypocrisy here is someone in my age group pretending that every Boomer was a "hippie", or that "hippie" and "free love" weren't gag lines and "Woodstock" a soundtrack. Maybe it was different in far-out Buffalo, but in the suburban midwest, if you were born in 1953, your coming of age took place in the metaphorical 50s, not Swinging London. I admit that the smattering of proto-hippiechicks at my high school lightened my own journey, but for most people it was backseats at the Drive-In and a clear distinction between Good girls and Easy. I went to one of the five largest high schools in Indiana, and in 1972 it was a big scandal when one of my fellow seniors got knocked up.

Which means that we haven't exactly proved either the hypocrisy or the underlying Hippiedom. Plenty of car Nazis and religious maniacs in my vicinity. Dunno if any of 'em grew up to control the Dreaded Em Ess Em, Gregg, and nice tell. The odds that people at the top of the MSM trade today were incontinent orgiasts are no better than even. I do know that most of the people I know who were, or are, stereotypically hippielike are still rather joyous sensualists, or seem to be, and have always been aware of the frictional play between parenting and admitting the adventures--and the tidal pulls--of one's youth.

It's the fucking religious bastids who're hypocritical about sex, Gregg.

And as for the Dreaded U No Whut, yeah, it sells adolescent sexual fantasies (much like your column sells juvenile cheerbabe T&A) as well as hypocritical outrage that can't wait to see the accompanying photos. This isn't something new. Neither is its hypocritical manipulation. It's just Jobs Creating at work. Try to be a little understanding.


R. Porrofatto said...

Last week the august New York Times (that's the august paper, not an August issue)

You were right about that wellspring of Funny.

ana said...

You know what they say, Gregg- if you think the 60s were lamentable, it's because you somehow managed to get through them without having any fun. Time for a second childhood!

Anonymous said...

"Gregg Easterbrook was born in March of 1953" ... doesn't that make him a graying Baby Boomer ? Or does only his stylist know ?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was different in far-out Buffalo, but in the suburban midwest, if you were born in 1953, your coming of age took place in the metaphorical 50s . . .

I came of age in Buffalo, three months after Easterbrook. Trust me, it wasn't different.