On the Opinion Page: April 3, 2008


In which The Gay Recluse scores selected opinion pieces in The Times.

Gail Collins/A Black Hole Rating System

The Short Version: Well, these are not exactly the best of times.

In her words: “Let’s prioritize. Rank all your causes for concern on a scale of: ! (unfortunate development) to !!!!! (Large Hadron Collider has a bad day). ”

Score: A (Amusing)
We love Collins’ ranking system and wish that The Times would incorporate it universally throughout the paper, just to liven things up a bit. (!!) (The truth is, except for City Room, we barely read The Times anymore…)

Nicholas Kristof (!!!!!)/A Not-So-Fine-Romance

The Short Version: We need to be pragmatic in our relationship with China.

In his words: “America and China get on each other’s nerves partly because they are so similar.”

The Score: D (Depressing)
Although we don’t disagree with anything Kristof says, we feel depressed reading his tired, antiquated prose (!!) and feel nothing but fatigue and ambivalence looking at the world through a window of nationalism and — ugh — the McLympics. (!!!) Does anybody really give a shit if the U.S. does or doesn’t march in the opening ceremony? Even though the answer is yes, it’s depressing to admit it. (!)

Roger Cohen (!!!!!)/The Politics of the Shoe Shine

The Short Version: If you put the United States on one end of the socialist spectrum and France at the other, the ideal is somewhere in the middle.

In his words: “So, do I prefer shoe-shine or no-shine societies? I favor the former because they give freer rein to the human spirit, but of course I’d like some attributes of the shine-free world, especially universal health care.

The Score: D (Disingenuous)
We’re not sure what world Cohen lives in, but we’re pretty sure he’s never shined any shoes. If not meaning, his prose always lacks desperation, and for that reason must always be taken with a grain of salt. (!!)

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