Top 10 Letters
Giants, toasters, Bobos, crooked senators, and more.
11:00 PM, Oct 27, 2002
THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.
I have been frustrated by the great American toaster for several years (Larry Miller, You Gotta Have a Toaster, Right?). I have taken the cheap toaster route, I have taken the expensive toaster route. None of them last for more than six months. The great American toaster no longer exists. Sorry, to break this to you Mr. Miller, but be prepared: your six-year model was a fluke. And please don't get me started on the waffle iron.
David Brooks's piece on the World Series caught my eye (Birkenstock Man vs. The Sprawl People). I noticed that the San Francisco couple listened to NPR, and the Orange County couple listened to ESPN. Shouldn't it have been FOX?
The title of Fred Barnes's essay The Worstest Hyperbole in the World--Ever! reminded me immediately of a chapter in Edwin Newman's book "Strictly Speaking" that dealt with redundancy: (actual headline from a small town newspaper) "A Fatal Slaying of the Very Worst Kind!"
If Larry Miller is distressed by buying something "Made in Mexico," then he should be apoplectic over the fact that everything else seems to be "Made in China." [Ed. note: See Larry Miller's My American Flag Was Made in China.]
Nothing illustrates this fact more clearly than a visit to that bastion of American retailing, Wal*Mart. I remember the not-so-distant days when Wal*Mart would proudly trumpet that their store primarily carried items "Made in the USA," but a recent trip to America's largest retailer would instead lead one to believe that it is actually China's largest retailer.
Walking down the toy aisles shopping for my two-year-old son proved enlightening. Not only were there no toys made in the USA, but no toys existed that were NOT made in China. I mean, seriously, can't we competitively make Play-doh in our own country?
Life truly is not fair. Here I am, an Angels fan since childhood, dutifully reading the spring training reports year after year, praying for solid pitching--I could write a book. And David Brooks thinks I wouldn't even take time out to watch a Series live, much less know much about who's playing or how cool it is to see two managers from the other "favorite" childhood team (the Dodgers) counter each other in the big chess match.
Here's a bottom line: A fan doesn't give a rat's rear-end about the Bay area effete/fan or the presumed Newport Beach preppy clan which Brooks gnaws on. A real Angels fan delights in the fact that Tim Salmon finally has a great nickname (King Fish! How good is that for a veteran fixture!!) and the Halos have a pesky shortstop who doesn't make $100-$200 million a season for staying home in October. These guys have gone through a lot--for 41 years--to get to the series. Brooks should drop the pen, close the notebook, put on his glove, and watch for a screamer down the line.
David Brooks needs a more nuanced definition of the Bobos here in Northern California:
Birkenstock man lives only in Berkeley--not Marin County or the Peninsula. He is definitely childless and probably gay. In Mill Valley, only the losers wear Birkenstocks: people with bad feet, bad breath, and unpleasantly graying facial hair. Those of us who like to think of ourselves as cool, hip Bobo parents, make it a point to look slightly less green.