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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Fire Maureen Dowd

I read Maureen Dowd's column in the New York Times this morning and my day is ruined.
Research published last week in the journal Nature reveals that women are genetically more complex than scientists ever imagined, while men remain the simple creatures they appear.

Women are not only more different from men than we knew. Women are more different from each other than we knew - creatures of "infinite variety," as Shakespeare wrote. (
Now if I were a (female) professor of biology at Harvard and I read this, I would want to throw up. And if I were on the staff at the New York Times, I would vote to have Dowd removed. And if I were a Harvard professor of mathematics, I would scream, "discrimination!" Let's wait and see if the National Organization for Women (NOW) calls for Dowd to resign.

Of course, all this is silly. And a bit hysterical, if I'm allowed to say so. Few people even read Maureen Dowd's column anymore. And those who do, can't usually make heads or tails out of her meanderings.

But it seems, dare I say it, hypocritical for people like Maureen Dowd to become apoplectic when Larry Summers suggests there is a difference in the sexes, and then turn around weeks later and make the same observation.

Somebody needs to help me with this.

Michael Kinsley In Full Grovel Mode

Now I'm going to throw up. I just ridiculed Maureen Dowd for being hypocritical, unreadable, and a grossly overrated columnist. Then I read this (in the Washington Post) from Michael Kinsley:
When the New York Times anointed Maureen Dowd as a columnist nine years ago, I gave her some terrible advice. I said, "You've got to write boy stuff. The future of NATO, campaign spending reform. Throw weights. Otherwise, they won't take you seriously." The term "throw weights" had been made famous by a Reagan-era official who said that women can't understand them -- whatever they are, or were.

Dowd wisely ignored me and proceeded to reinvent the political column as a comedy of manners and a running commentary on the psychopathologies of power. It is the first real innovation in this tired literary form since Walter Lippmann. Eighty years ago, Lippmann developed the self-important style in which lunch with a VIP produces a judicious expression of concern by the columnist the next day about developments in danger of being overlooked. Most of today's columns are still variations and corruptions of this formula. But Dowd is different, and she is the most influential columnist of our time [my emphasis]. (link)
Michael Kinsley is in full grovel mode now. If you pay close attention to the news, you know that Kinsley, the head of the liberal Los Angeles Times op/ed page, was viciously attacked by Susan Estrich recently for not having enough women writing opinion columns for the paper. And in liberal circles, a charge of sexual discrimination is tantamount to having been accused of rape.

Thus, Kinsley thinks he can make up for his transgressions by sucking up to the feminists. And by making himself look like the wienie-boy that he is.

"The most influential columnist of our time." Please.