Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, May 29, 2009


Your Megan McArdle Moment for the day:
HL Mencken once defined Fundamentalism as "the terrible, pervasive fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun".

First, the period should be before the quotation mark. I understand that the British don't punctuate the same way we do, but we are not in Britain and The Atlantic is not a British magazine. I guess this is like her use of "chaps"--a feeble attempt to sound British and therefore more elite than she really is. Thank god she's not actually British, or we'd have to listen to a fake Royal accent too.

Second, the quote is inaccurate. She could take the four seconds I took to look it up, but I guess that would be above and beyond the call of duty.
If you don't believe [prejudice against minorities exists], ask yourself why repeated studies show that resumes with identifiably black names get fewer interview offers than identical white resumes. Being identifiably black hurts your chances worse than having a felony conviction. Even if you want to argue that an identifiably black name is a socio-economic marker for a certain kind of parenting, an argument I find pretty dubious, are you really willing to argue that black kids should be permanently barred from employment because their parents have dubious taste in names?

I'd think twice before I said people named, oh, say, Ta-Nehisi Coates, have parents with "dubious taste in names."
Making race, or racial politics, the central complaint [regarding Sonia Sotomayor], makes it seem like your biggest policy priority is making sure that not one minority in the land gets anything they don't deserve. But hey, we all get things we don't deserve. I'll go further: almost all of us get something we don't deserve as a result of our race, including white people. Perhaps even especially white people.

"Perhaps"? That's quite generous of her, to say that perhaps it's to one's advantage to be one of the majority. Indeed, the entire post is generous to minorities, saying that it's quite possible that some people actually do experience prejudice. It's very nice to see McArdle appreciate the difficulties of being a minority, especially after she has stated that she just doesn't see enough evidence that they suffer from economic discrimination. But we know McArdle is the practical type, and realizes that when people of a certain political ideology have alienated approximately 80% of the country, it might be to their advantage to complain a little less about all the unfair perks given to minorities in our society.


clever pseudonym said...

How can an American English major not know the period goes inside of the quotations? That's a habit of hers that's bothered me for a while. I don't think it's a "look, I'm smarter because I write in British" thing, or she would have given that up with the extra "u"s. I think it's a Megan is Stoopid thing.

And also:

1: giving rise to uncertainty: as a: of doubtful promise or outcome (a dubious plan)
b: questionable or suspect as to true nature or quality (the practice is of dubious legality)
2: unsettled in opinion

How exactly does a parent have "dubious taste in names"?

Susan of Texas said...

Some day I have to sit down and point out every single error in one of her posts. It would take forever but I'm concerned that we make her look better than she is. (Heh!)

clever pseudonym said...

More than once, I've imagined how marked up in red any given post of hers would be if an editor actually had a go at it.

Righteous Bubba said...

I'd think twice before I said people named, oh, say, Ta-Nehisi Coates, have parents with "dubious taste in names."

That's hilarious office politics. I don't think he's much of a writer either though.

Anonymous said...

It's Scroll again! Sorry, I forgot to ask you which days you'll be in DC! I'm only there Thurs night to Sunday night. That okay? See my email.

Susan of Texas said...

Scroll, e-mail sent.

Downpuppy said...

Alas, a quick search finds McMegans mess already crowding out the real quote about Puritans.