August 15, 2011

Liebling's Law Confounded

A.J. Liebling, a mid-Century wit, made a boast that spells out the goal of every journalist: "I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better."

Or, you can get a gig with the New York Review of Books. The August 18, 2011 issue contains a review of Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which I reviewed in January. Heck, my son wrote a high school term paper on the book in April that was at least as insightful.

19 comments:

DCThrowback said...

When you're paying wastes of space like MoDo, Tommy Friedman & David Brooks north of $250k each to produce 6 columns/week, how do you have the money to pay your "average" writers (you know, folks in the top 5% of the top 1% of writers in the US) $500-$1k for a timely book review?

That's just sour grapes. The first things to get cut when an organization is the middle managers - the ones who assign the work to the writers. I guess the assignment to handle Chua's book got lost under Bill Keller's favorite coffee mug.

Anonymous said...

" a multitude of bad writers lives exclusively on the stupid desire of the public to read what has just been printed: the journalists. Well named! In English the word means "day laborers".

Schopenhauer

He says also that newspaper writers are alarmists that resemble little dogs, as soon as anything moves, start up a loud barking.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this stupid book passe by now? Why is anyone still writing (or talking) about it?

Garland said...

"my son wrote a high school term paper on the book in April"

Did he read your review first??

Anonymous said...

"Isn't this stupid book passe by now? Why is anyone still writing (or talking) about it?"

Exactly what Steve is saying.

Anonymous said...

Maybe but NYRB at its best is very good indeed. I especially love pieces by Buruma and Freeman Dyson.

Anonymous said...

The funniest is Obama's mother having been a tiger mother. She was more like a Jungle Beaver.

SFG said...

"When you're paying wastes of space like MoDo, Tommy Friedman & David Brooks north of $250k each to produce 6 columns/week, how do you have the money to pay your "average" writers (you know, folks in the top 5% of the top 1% of writers in the US) $500-$1k for a timely book review?"

They write for the New York Times, not the New York Review of Books. Different bunch of left-wing Jewish homosexual pornographers.

kaganovitch said...

dc throwback wrote "When you're paying wastes of space like MoDo, Tommy Friedman & David Brooks north of $250k each to produce 6 columns/week, how do you have the money to pay your "average" writers (you know, folks in the top 5% of the top 1% of writers in the US) $500-$1k for a timely book review?"


not that your complaint re the Times is invalid but steve is talking about the "ny review of books" not the "ny times book review"-a different set of leftists completely,(more my type iykwim)

Anonymous said...

Tiger Mom is supposed to stick around, be supportive, and be loyal in her role as motherhood.
Whatever Ann Dunham did with kid Obama for awhile, she soon dumped him to go off with another man. And then she dumped him altogether on her own mother, Obama's grandmother. So, Obama's good influences--if he really got any--came from his grandmother, not from his mother who quit being his mother; heck, even his Indonesian father was more of a parent to him than Ann ever was.

As for Obama's grandmother, she was more like a mother goose than a tiger mother.
A tiger mother makes her child excel at something. Obama was raised to succeed in life but not to be great at anything, and indeed he never attained mastery in anything. He was an okay basketball player, he was an okay student--favored by affirmative action--, he earned honors at Harvard largely because he was a clean-cut black guy(if Michelle Obama could get into Princeton and Harvard Law School, you know blacks are way favored even if they aint much), and he went into politics, a field that is for people who aren't particularly good at anything but 'human relations'. Obama wasn't even distinguished as a community organizer, laywer, or professor. He didn't do much as Senator, and he's just a tool as president.
He never wrote an important book--except one about himself though he hadn't accomplished anything in life except be 'significant' and 'symbolic' for white suckers.
It wasn't a tiger mother who made him what he is. It was the Fat Cats--in Wall Street, Ivy League, Hollywood, etc--who spotted, groomed, and trained him to be their running dog.

So, it is hilarious that Diane Johnson would say Obama was raised by a tiger mother. If Amy Chua had done for her girls what Ann Dunham did for Obama--hang around for awhile and then dump her girls to go off with another man--, she would NOT have been a tiger mother. She would have been just a...

Anonymous said...

Obama's dog sure was a lion hubby/father. He had a bunch of wives and made them do everything while he drank and dined and whined.

David said...

The elites are turning inward, entertaining themselves. Another example is SNL, of all things. Anyone could write funnier skits. But it's Tina (Fey) and "our gang" - they don't care whether YOU find it funny. (Witness the godawful skit with Betty White and the muffins, apparently written by a charmless 14-year-old.) There's a lot of mediocrity at the top.

robert61 said...

Diane Johnson's pretty insightful when she writes about her real passion, which is France and its social and sexual mores. Here she's hamstrung by an inability to address race and understand its effects on American education. So weird, so tiresome that that failing is considered no problemo - indeed, muy bueno - in the high-status news game.

Harry Baldwin said...

Now I'm interested in reading your son's book report--where's the link?

Anonymous said...

"Obama's dog sure was a lion hubby/father."

You mean his dad. Did he have a dog?

dearieme said...

Anon gives kudos to O's maternal grandmother and his stepfather. Quite right too: they are the virtuous people in an otherwise dismal tale of child abandonment.

Anonymous said...

Sailer's more and more fascinated with himself.

Charlotte said...

"Obama was raised to succeed in life but not to be great at anything, and indeed he never attained mastery in anything"

You can't make a silk purse out of sow's ear. That's what this HBD blog is all about.

btw; Hog references keep coming up in metaphors swirling around B.O. No offense to hogs meant. They are noble beasts, comparatively.

Anonymous said...

Johnson says US is failing in education, but she ignores recent international test results which showed that white Americans test better than white Europeans, Asian-Americans test better than Asians, Mexican-Americans test better than Mexicans, Black-Americans test better than Africans, etc.