Whom To Love
June 2011/Fifth Week

¶ Even if we don’t post another link this week, we’re so startled by the wisdom of Michael Drury — whoever he is — that we have to share it with our friends. At The Smart Set, Jessa Crispin reviews a couple of books about “the other woman,” and in passing refers to a book called Advice to a Young Wife from an Old Mistress. In a nutshell:

The only people worth loving are those who are determined to find life good whether you love them or not.

This is one of those observations about life that are so coldly, startlingly true when you first encounter them that you can’t imagine not having known them — or you just can, and it’s terrifying. Thereafter, you make them your own, and the excitement dies down completely — until, as in this case I expect must happen, you hear about someone who’s attracted to a deadly, somebody who wants to die. The only people who are worth loving are the ones who can live without you — but are happy that they don’t have to.

¶ Given the current “political ecosystem of influence and money,” Matt Stoller writes, it’s unrealistic to expect talented Washington operators to put principles first. Why should they throw away their careers? “ If you want to fix that dynamic, then make sure that people like Doug Thornell have places to go where they don’t have to work to help Google cut its own tax rate.’ Or amend the Constitution to provide for campagin finance restrictions that no Supreme Court can overturn. (Naked Capitalism) ¶ The always bright Ed Yong nails it: (Not Exactly Rocket Science)

Do bloggers “count” as journalists? Are blogs journalism? And I’ve come to realise that this debate is exactly like the film Titanic: it is tedious, it goes on forever, everyone’s a caricature and they’re stuck on a massive sinking ship.

¶ Nancy McDermott’s review of Brian Caplan’s Selfish Reasons for Having More Children makes a lot more sense than the book it discusses. Here’s a passage that pinpoints the American social crisis about as neatly as can be done: (Spiked; via 3 Quarks Daily)

In a culture as deeply ambivalent about adulthood as America, it is not surprising that socialising young people has become problematic. The rich web of traditions and conventions that governed the interchange between one generation and the next is broken – and parents are left to pick up the slack. Even something as simple as teaching children how to behave in public becomes difficult today because adults can’t agree upon common standards of behavior, let alone enforce them collectively. Children run wild, and naturally the parents are to blame.

It’s often observed that home ownership prevents workers from moving to where the jobs are. It also prevents parents from finding congenial neighborhoods. ¶ John Hyduk of Cleveland is a 59 year-old soda truck loader who can write about his working life and his resistance to regret well enough to listen to. (Esquire; via MetaFilter)

¶ Riverside fish-and-dance halls, guinguettes — immortalized by Renoir — never went quite extinct, and now are coming back, although it’s taking a while for the kids to master the old-timey dance staps. (LA Times; via The Morning News)