P.S.: Last time I wrote about Conason's 1992 foray into "sheet sniffing" (his phrase) he chastised me for relying on contemporary press accounts of his Bush/sex article rather than reading the full original in the defunct magazine Spy. I finally located a copy of Spy stored several stories beneath the surface of the Earth in the vaults of UCLA's Southern Regional Library Facility. Conason's article turned out to be not as sleazy as the press accounts had led me to expect. It was much sleazier! ("In addition to following up the women on the list, SPY's own investigation succeeded in finding a woman who apparently had an affair with Bush while he was running for President in 1980. ... As for Mrs. X herself, when SPY reached her to ask whether she indeed told friends aout the affair ..." etc. ) ... [Note to Conason: All emails are on the record.] 3:40 P.M.
He's still out there: The Deseret News snags an interview with "the entire media's designated 'man on the street' for all articles ever written." Good get!
Greg Packer, 44, of Huntington, N.Y., traveled to Washington earlier last week for the Mass at the new Nationals Stadium and was on Fifth Avenue Saturday. ...
"The homilies bring me out and the togetherness of everybody," Packer said. "It was really beautiful. It was worth going to Washington, but this is home. I feel like he is coming over to visit me."
O.K., one of us is wrong. 2:31 P.M.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Help! I'm A Snob Like Obama! Greg Mitchell ridicules Bill Kristol for insinuating that Barack Obama was a Marxist for saying that residents of economically depressed small towns "cling to guns or religion ... as a way to explain their [economic] frustrations." But of course it was a Marxist thing to say, wasn't it? If Democrats had delivered on the economy, Obama suggests, all those GOP cultural "wedge" issues would lose traction. This idea--that the economy trumps culture--isn't new. It's "materialism." The economic "base," Marxists would argue, determines the cultural "superstructure." If the economy changes (i.e. if small town Pennsylvanians get well-paying jobs) then the superstructure will change (Pennsylvanians will feel less intensely about their religion).
Actually this isn't simply Marxism--it's what, when I was in college at least, was called Vulgar Marxism. More sophisticated Marxists hypothesized various ways the cultural "superstructure" could interact with the economy or take on a life of its own. Less supple Marxists (Engels, if I remember) hew to the crude base/superstructure idea--with feudalism you get feudal beliefs, which give way to bourgeois beliefs once capitalism takes over.