Saturday, July 19, 2003

The New York Times' fact-checking still leaves something to be desired. 

Ed Rothstein gets a cavity

It's too bad that a prestigious organization like the NYT can't get their facts straight, especially since they've had such a public problem with it in the recent past.

Check this out (registration is required, but it is free.) Rothstein seems to think Cayce's name is Packard which, as anyone who has read even the jacket flap of Pattern Recognition can tell you, is wrong. Maybe Ed should read my review. Better yet, maybe he should actually read the book.

Further, I'm getting pretty tired of this assertion that the mass of humanity is fed up with consumerism and we're all developing some mild version of Cayce's affliction, because it's simply not true. The world is awash in consumerism, marketing, and branding. By and large, not only are folks not averse, they're reveling in it. Sam Wahl wouldn't be the biggest retailer in the world without at least some participation from avid consumers. So there's no use in blaming Wal-Mart for the ugly face of American consumerism, and there's no use blaming Americans for the ugly face of the world's consumerism. The only ones to blame are the consumers, and frankly we're too busy enjoying our consumption to care. Globalization, mass marketing, and the avid consumer are not going away any time soon. Rather than protesting the inherent evil of the system and calling for it's demise, we ought to be reveling in it, and trying to find constructive ways to channel the energy.

Which is what Rothstein is doing, in his way. But damn, is it so hard to get the girl's name right?

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