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New Yorker Moment of Zen

Posted by anandrr on June 3, 2009

How better to ensure that your quote gets published in the New Yorker than, 6 months after the end of the Bush administration, to get a random dig in about him? Elizabeth Kolbert writes about the mass extinction of animals around us and is talking to Al Hicks about what was happening to bats in the northeast US:

… dead bats everywhere … animals looked as if they had been dunked … in talcum powder … [sent] the photographs to … bat specialists … [n]one of them could explain it…

So far so good. But then Al Hicks gets into gear, almost immediately:

“We were thinking, Oh boy we hope this just goes away,” he told me, “It was like the Bush administration. And, like the Bush administration, it just wouldn’t go away”

What the hell? I hated the Bush administration as much as the next guy, but isn’t it a little late to be getting in gratuitous digs? But all that aside, I do highly recommend the article itself, like every Kolbert article in recent memory, she does a wonderful job of writing about the very real impact that humans have, inadvertently or otherwise, on the ecology around us. Unfortunately online access to the article for subscribers only, the rest of you have to buy the paper version or ask a friend for a photocopy.

Of course, if, like some people I know, you hate the New Yorker length essays and would rather read the Economist’s shorter edition just wait another 50 years or so at which point all the extinction will raise them out of their conservative slumber and write a quick page and a half wringing their hands about the situation and decrying the absence of free market rhetoric in the proposed solutions. Mission Accomplished!

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