On the Opinion Page: April 12, 2008


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

Bob Herbert/Losing Our Will

The Short Version: The war in Iraq, recession, decaying infrastructure — OMG, we’re so fucked!

In his words: “It’s both tragic and embarrassing.”

Score: D- (Depressing)

Herbert is not necessarily wrong about anything he says, but he’s not right, either. The situation in the United States is far more complicated than Herbert’s simplistic analysis, which exemplifies the problem of talking about “we” as a nation, where there are still many winners — even in Herbert’s own terms — even if they are vastly outnumbered by the losers. Because we have no reason to believe that Herbert is a “loser” — at least from a class perspective — what’s really tragic and embarrassing about this column is his use of meaningless expressions such as “precious human treasure,” which sounds (and hilariously!) as if it was lifted from a gift card.

Gail Collins/The Revenge of Lacey Davenport

The Short Version: There are some really old politicians these days.

In her words: “The age question is of particular interest this year since John McCain, at 71, is going to try to break the record for oldest newly elected commander in chief.”

The Score: C+ (Constrained)
For whatever reason — like her age — Collins holds back a bit too much here to make this column worth reading. If we’re going to speak in generalities, how about this: it’s hard to say which generation is worse, the tedious, self-righteous baby boomers or their vapid, materialistic children, who will no doubt be running things soon.

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