Monday, October 15, 2007

Judging a Culture by Its Book Covers

I'll use the occasion of the latest Ann Coulter kerfuffle (Christians are "perfected" Jews--you know what she meant) to pass along an observation from the Guardian's Linda Hirshman. (By the way, I don't buy for a second Deutsch's naivete as Mark Shea describes it.)

Hirshman notes how with each new book, the cover shows more of Ann than the previous time around:

Now, we all know that sex sells, which undoubtedly is what is behind the trend. (Obscure reference alert) And if Joseph Ratzinger and Karl Rahner could agree on, for example, methods of biblical study, for completely different theological reasons, then we ought not be surprised that she could put herself at odds with many in the conservative movement on which she sides, like Laura Ingraham who has taken up the campaign against the pornification of society in her latest book:

The real danger, beyond her too clever by half schtick growing stale, is the extent to which Ann's objectifying herself with succeedingly skimpier cover outfits (and cable news pundit attire) reinforces and extends the left's misguided boilerplate that those on the right hate women (albeit for different reasons).

Hirshman makes a parting shot in her article that I was going to ignore about the takeaway from Coulter's latest offering. Ignore, that is, until I saw the add for the book in the current issue of National Review. Here's the actual pull quote:
Hillary wants to be the first woman president, which would also make her the
first woman in a Clinton administration to sit behind the desk in the Oval
Office instead of under it.

There is a strong streak of smart aleck-ness that's been running in the Clan for generations, and, therefore, a developed appreciation for the well-crafted barb. In that context, I find this tagline to be more slow-footed than sharp-witted, which is too bad because she's better than that (or at least used to be).

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