Wednesday, September 26

The National Review has started a running feature they're calling Kumbaya Watch, which keeps an eye on the most egregious, unrealistic let's-understand-where-the-terrorists-are-coming-from moments in our national life. I'm on the lookout for something else, but I'm not sure what I'll call it: maybe Yankee Doodle Watch or perhaps the Lee Greenwood Watch. I'm after examples of commercial exploitation of the current situation, in which the line between patriotism and marketing has clearly been crossed. The news networks all flying little flags in the corner of their screens would qualify. The most startling example this week for me has been the sight of a ceiling-height American flag built out of Coke cases at the grocery store - regular Coke for the red stripes and Diet for the white, with a square of blue paper in the corner. No stars yet. Maybe bottle tops?
Maureen Dowd had her day about three years ago, and it's been downhill ever since. She is now just astonishingly bad, and for this reason: she isn't about anything. She argues no principles. Her observations are offered in nothing but the most superficial context: what supposedly fashionable people are thinking. Catch today's column here. It's actually rather vile. The ladies-who-lunch are having a hard time finding gas masks. This is worth 800 words on the New York Times op-ed page?

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