On the Opinion Page: May 1, 2008

01May08

In which The Gay Recluse scores selected opinions in The Times.

Gail Collins/How Will It Play in Apex?

The Short Version: It’s hard to say who’s worse: Blabbermouth Bill or The Reverend Wright.

In her words: “On the other hand, young voters who have yet to have their hearts broken by a politician find it wicked (sic?) depressing.”

Score: A (Applause)
We like this column because Collins humorously riffs on a lot of media fluff, but in a reflective and resigned manner that avoids being overwrought or overbearing. Plus we love that Collins wrote “wicked depressing,” which reminds us of going up to Boston as a kid, when all of our cousins used to say everything was “wicked” this or “wicked” that.

Nicholas Kristof/Can We Be as Smart as Bats?

The Short Version: We’re destroying the rain forests.

In his words: “Somewhere in the world, we humans cut down an area of jungle the size of a football field every second of every day, and deforestation now contributes as much to global warming as all the carbon emitted by the United States. ”

The Score: D (Depressing)
We don’t disagree with anything Kristof says about the cool things the two guys running the eco-lodge in Ecuador are doing (though we still want to know if they’re gay!) but we are too fatigued by the pedantic, scolding tone of the piece to do much but feel relieved when we finally reach the end and put it aside. We also don’t enjoy being told the same facts in consecutive columns, e.g., Sunday: “More than half of the world’s tropical rain forest is already gone, and every second of every day, another football-field-size chunk is destroyed,” which comes off as rather too cut-and-pasty (same problem with featuring the same slide show in two consecutive columns.)

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