Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Go figure

The Boston Globe has an article linking David Brooks and Thomas Frank and accuses both of them of looking down on and stereotyping the very people they claim to praise.

But some readers may notice a similar internal dissonance within each author's work. Brooks, the conservative, does a terrific job of insulting the people with whom he shares his politics -- all those exurbanites who vote overwhelmingly Republican. Frank does an equally great job of insulting the people he believes should share his politics -- all those working-class, born-again, gun-toting Kansans.

Okay, fair enough. But then, in the next paragraph, this writer does the exact same thing.

Which would seem to beg the question: Just who do Brooks and Frank think they're writing for? Does Frank think his book is going to convert a single conservative, working-class Kansan? Does Brooks think his exurban Ubermoms will see the humor -- and the moral instruction -- in his caricatures?

Apparently, this writer shares the same stereotypes, if he thinks that us middle America, working class types don't read these books and think about these things. Yes, I said "we". I don't fit so much into a Brooks or Franks or whatever stereotype, or I don't think I do. But I have a pink collar job, live with a man who has a blue collar job, live in a red state, was born to and went on to be in the working class, and I live in the 'burbs (at least for a few more weeks). And I read these kind of books and I get it, even if I don't agree with it.
It's interesting to me that these stereotypes have so much power that people can believe in them as they denounce them.


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