Sunday Bloody NYT Sunday: The Friedman-Free Edition We've Been Longing For
We have an important announcement that, at least for today, we do not hate the New York Times quite as much as the last several weeks. We were wondering if the pills were starting to kick in, but then we remembered that we like it because there is NO THOMAS FRIEDMAN you guys, so no matter what the NYT throws at us, the earth won't be flat, we won't vertically integrate anything, and there will likely not be an fortuitous conversations with cabdrivers. There is even a legit nice time that you should read even if you are a heartless jerk like yr Wonkette.
Let's start with nice time because that makes all things nicer. The Sunday Routine article, which gives a little look (but not a creepy voyeur look) into what New Yorkers do on their Sunday has a great profile of seriously the world's awesomest lady who works at New York 311, the call center for what should be routine city problems but also escalates into things like people calling because they are lonely or because they are wrecked enough to jump off a bridge. Awesome lady Sherone Lewis, the supervisor of the 3-11 shift, spends her Sunday hanging out with the fam, listening to gospel, leaving for work 90 minutes early because SHE HAS NEVER BEEN LATE TO WORK HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE. The first thing she does when she gets there is to say hi to every single one of her staff:
"MAKING THE ROUNDS I go on the floor to greet the staff. I feel it’s very important that I know every call center representative. When I was coming up it really made my day. Especially if you had a hard call, and the manager came by and gave you a smile and said, “'How was your day?'” That really made my day.'"
Seriously, we would go work for Sherone Lewis. We have nothing snarky whatsoever to say about this piece except to remind you that SHE HAS NEVER BEEN LATE TO WORK EVER because we really can't get over that.
After a really awesome story about a woman that works hard, loves the family, and clearly is not rolling in dough but is happy and grateful, we made the mistake of going to the Sunday Styles section. When will we ever learn? Probably around Nevrubary 32nd, we think. Sunday Styles has an unforgivably precious little piece about how rich ladies send their rich husbands and their rich children off to their rich country home while rich ladies stay in the rich city home and have a staycation:
"On a rainy August night when it seemed that most people in Manhattan had fled town, Jes Wade, a fashion designer and married mother of two, was lying in a 97-degree salted bath called a Flotarium, at Aire Ancient Baths in TriBeCa. Eyes closed, hands splayed by her side, in a crocheted black bikini, she seemed impermeable to stress. 'This must be what it feels like to be in the womb,' she said...
"'Summer is a recharge time because you don’t have all the after-hours responsibilities of spending time with your family,'” she said. 'When you’re a mom and you work, it’s hard to take time for yourself.'"
We are trying to figure out ways we could loathe this woman more, but we are failing. Also, too, may people need to take time for themselves but cannot do so by sending the entire family to your OTHER HOME while you hang about in the city and take womb-y salt baths. We'd like to think that awesome 311 lady could eat salt bath woman for brunch and still have time to get in some gospel listening before getting to work BECAUSE SHE IS NEVER LATE.
Speaking of money, we have a quick answer to this article: Is It Nuts to Give to the Poor Without Strings Attached? NOPE SURE ISN'T. Presuming the poors will drink their money away while the not poors will do Important Things with it like take salt baths is some industrial grade paternalistic bullshit so shut the hell up.
Just 'cause we dodged the Friedman bullet doesn't mean we'll get out the NYT unscathed. Frank Bruni wrote a perfectly respectably article about how Jeb Bush is still a viable 2016 prospect. We are not mad at Frank Bruni's column for discussing this possibility in non-hyperbolic reasonably thorough tones, but we are so chagrined by the possibility of another Bush presidency that we are mad at Frank Bruni for writing about it and sullying our beautiful minds.
Our beautiful minds are LITERALLY drowning in a wastebasket garbage soup of coffee grounds and day-old oatmeal and the New York Times from reading Ross Douthat. Today, Ross turns his big brain to the goings-on in Egypt, because apparently being a goateed retrograde sexphobic Catholic dude makes you an expert on international relations. The whole column is the patented Douthat meander through something about which he clearly knows little, but isn't afraid to share:
"We are, after all, the longstanding patron of Egypt’s generals; they are among our best-financed clients. We are the world’s sole superpower; their country is a needy basket case. We’re supplying them with $1.5 billion in aid this year; they can certainly use the money.
Instead, our impotence as Egypt burns is the latest case study in a reality that American statesmen should always keep in mind: Client governments are never as tractable as their patrons in far-off capitals expect, and a great power that thinks it’s buying influence is often buying its way into trouble instead."
We are always irritated by the fact that "client," in geopolitical terms, means the opposite of what the word means everywhere else. In good old 'Merican English, the clients give YOU the money, not the other way around. Our Egypt relationship seems more like they're the Breakfast at Tiffany's George Plimpton to our wealthy older lady who is patient enough to fund the silly little writing thing as long as we get laid. Except now we are not getting laid and we are pissed, we think, so it is totally time to break up with Egypt, says the goatee:
"Right now, the Obama administration is trapped by its client state the way that great-power patrons often are. Because our aid to Egypt is our most obvious leverage over its military, and because we can really only pull that lever once, Washington is afraid to follow through and do it.
"But leverage can be lost through inaction as well. If we can’t cut the Egyptian military off amid this blood bath, we’re basically proving that we never, ever will.
Far better to act like the superpower we are, and make an end. It’s time, and past time, to let this client go."
Egypt, it's not us. It's you. Time for you to start seeing other people, Egypt. Just don't have sex before marriage because then Ross Douthat will never ever shut up about it.
Oh, Maureen Dowd. Shall we compare you to a summer's day? Only if that summer's day is located at the edge of the gaping maw of hell, the endless abyss, which is what it always feels like to read MoDo. With MoDo, worse still, it is an ever-repeating hellmouth, a permanent abyss that is SO FUCKING BORING. We approach this thing with a weary existential dread. You will not be surprised to know that MoDo is mad about the Clintons! SO MAD! The Clintons are terrible people because they make money, which no one that has left politics has ever done. Hang the bastards!
"As George Packer wrote in The New Yorker, Bill Clinton earned $17 million last year giving speeches, including one to a Lagos company for $700,000. Hillary gets $200,000 a speech.
"Until Harry Truman wrote his memoirs, the ex-president struggled on an Army pension of $112.56 a month. “'I could never lend myself to any transaction, however respectable,” he said, “'that would commercialize on the prestige and dignity of the office of the presidency.'”
Yes, Maureen, if we skip back to HARRY FUCKING TRUMAN we can ignore the fact that Saint Ronnie once accepted a $2 million speaking fee in order to pretend that Bill Clinton invented money in politics. We'll also just skip merrily past LBJ on the way from Truman to Clinton and ignore how that dude never met a fortune he didn't like to make, even while on the sly during the presidency.
MoDo also spends more precious column pixels to again try to impute the raging boner of liability that is Anthony Weiner to the Clintons somehow, but that beaten horse is so very dead. Stop trying to make WeinerClintonGate happen, Maureen.
So there you have it, folks. Regular people in New York are awesome. Rich people in New York are terrible. Ross Douthat is a pretentious git. Maureen Dowd is the single worst part of our Sunday. Par for the course.