June 1, 2008
Re "Why don't you all f-fade away?," Opinion, May 25 I turn 60 this year. I had a wonderful time when I was younger, but I don't pine for Woodstock, nor for my few years of commune life, nor for the pot plants I tried to sneakily grow on a back porch. I do not celebrate silly memorials like Jim Morrison's death. He was just a singer. I never thought my generation was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Only the media said that. I know our sheer numbers fascinated people following World War II. We did influence things during that economic boom.
May 16, 2008
Re "The fairy dust of insecurity," Opinion, May 10 In her lambasting of Hillary Rodham Clinton's confidence and persistence in the face of increasingly dismal odds, Meghan Daum goes beyond hostile -- all the way to neurotic. Daum characterizes Clinton's "Bush-level delusion" as far less appealing than the "rampant insecurity" on display in Barbara Walters' recent autobiography. But why? Sure, a dose of humility is always appreciated. But how much of that can a contender for the presidency let show?
May 10, 2008
Re "Long, strange trip to Ecstasy," Opinion, May 3 Meghan Daum suggests that modern antidepressants are successful because they prevent the mind from "expanding into uncomfortable places." Uncomfortable? This completely belittles the terribly real (and terribly common) phenomenon of clinical depression. That antidepressants are somehow happy pills that prevent one from feeling negatively, and that they are primarily taken by people who don't need them, is an old trope. Modern antidepressants are remarkably good at treating depression -- the kind of depression that causes real suffering in real people.
February 23, 2008 |
In the march issue of the Atlantic magazine, sandwiched between an article about Chinese Internet technology and a review of modernist art criticism, lies a seven-page essay called "Marry Him! The Case for Settling." Its author is Lori Gottlieb, a 40-year-old Los Angeles writer and single mother who admits that the idea of finding Mr. Right, a notion she once harbored, was in fact a bill of goods. Young women in search of marriage and family, she writes, should think seriously about resigning themselves to Mr. Good Enough.
January 30, 2008
Re "A house is more than an ATM," Opinion, Jan. 26 A few years ago, I discovered that my domicile was more than a household -- it was, and still is, a piggy bank in disguise. This happened when the mortgage industry began bombarding me with pitches encouraging me to crack open the bank. I'll admit I was naive enough to be taken in by this new financial scheme and used the ready cash to improve the property. Once hooked, I decided to purchase a better car and create an investment account.
January 15, 2008
Re "She's gotta have it," Opinion, Jan. 12 Meghan Daum is concerned about voters who know Hillary Clinton would be the best candidate but feel guilty because they don't like her. As a high school teacher, this bit of adolescent fluff reminds me of the girl who wanted to be a cheerleader so much that all the kids were embarrassed for her. How embarrassing for Daum to suggest that Clinton should perhaps play "hard to get" so the voters will like her...
July 21, 2007 |
FOR A WORLD that's messed up, we sure have a lot of goodness being shoved in our faces. If we're not hearing about Angelina Jolie's impending sainthood (a profile in the July issue of Esquire magazine unblinkingly calls her "the best woman in the world"), we're busy trying to convert our cars to run on nothing but lavender oil and beer. Folks who as recently as the mid-'90s were littering on their grannies' front yards and mocking mentors of any kind are now buying back carbon emissions, volunteering in droves (61.2 million last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics)
May 26, 2007
Re "Smoking's sinful sensuality in movies," Opinion, May 19 Meghan Daum's half-hearted attempt to defend smoking in movies doesn't address what is going on in real life. Indeed, in the end, she gives in to the inevitability of surrender to the tyranny of antismoking zealots. About 45 million people smoke in the U.S. Smokers have been demonized as social outcasts, subjected to punishing taxes and held up to public hatred and ridicule by the behavior police. Yet they still exist. So what's the point in adding movies to the denial of reality?
April 14, 2007
Re "Best, brightest -- not admitted," Opinion, April 9 Meghan Daum is spot on with her piece about the absurd credence we give to college rankings.The wizardry of Oz that goes on at the admissions offices of these anointed schools is clearly meant to be beyond the comprehension of the folks in front of the curtain. College admission is not a precise science but really an art, we're told, and who can explain art? So does the spurned one now make fun of the club to which he or she was denied entry, as Daum finally suggests?