February 5, 2006

Malcolm Gladwell, Superstar

I just discovered that Gladwell responded at length to my uncomplimentary VDARE.com review of his humongous bestseller Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. It's a marvel of fatuity. (My favorite line of Gladwell's: "Sailer and Posner have a very low opinion of car salesmen." Now that's a killer comeback!) I'll have my answer up on VDARE late on Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, tomorrow's Sunday New York Times runs a 2,600 word tongue-bath entitled "The Gladwell Effect." There is, however, a barely perceptible degree of subversive snark in Rachel Donadio's profile that shows she Googled my review. For example, she lifts from my piece when she writes:

His message is that we should trust first impressions — except when we shouldn't. Gladwell, who is multiracial, said he became interested in first impressions when he grew his hair into an Afro and then was repeatedly pulled over for speeding, and stopped once by the police looking for a rapist with similar hair.

And there's a new parody book out called Blank: The Power of Not Actually Thinking at All by "Noah Tall" (Lewis Grossberger and Michael Solomon):

Stop! Don't think! You already know what this book is about. That is the power of BLANK: the power of not actually thinking at all. Using what scientific researchers call "Extra-Lean Deli Slicing" (or would if they actually bothered to research it), your brain has already decided whether you're going to like BLANK, whether its cover goes with your shirt, and whether it will make you look smart if somebody sees you reading it on the train.

Chances are you and your shirt are both liking it a lot, you're going to buy several copies, and you don't even know why! That's why you've absolutely got to read BLANK: to find out why your brain keeps doing these wacky things without your permission. In BLANK, a hilarious parody of the number-one bestseller it looks eerily like (and sort of rhymes with) and that your brain wisely advised you to just read a review or magazine excerpt about while avoiding the actual book itself, the brilliantly impulsive and slightly irresponsible Noah Tall explains how people as diverse as General Custer, Roy Rogers, a semi-famous rock star, and the entire New York City Police Department either won big or lost miserably as a result of their minds going completely Blank.

About the Author

Noah Tall is a longtime subscriber to The New Yorker and other magazines that people leave on their coffee tables when they want to look smart. He has also been a member of NAMES, the dyslexic branch of MENSA, since 1598. He is the author of the highly acclaimed national bestseller The Tippling Point, which has yet to be published.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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