Saturday, October 19, 2002

Good Mileage

Give David Brooks of the Weekly Standard credit for getting as much mileage out of an idea as possible. Brooks has gone from "Bobos" to "Patio Man and Sprawl People" to "Birkenstock Man." If Brooks could get an internal combustion engine to squeeze as much mileage out of a gallon of gas as he's squeezed out of Bobos, he'd deserve some kind of environmental award from the Sierra Club.

In his latest sociological riff, Brooks weighs the question of which team we should root for in the World Series which begins tonight. Both teams are deserving of victory on the athletic merits, so we must think culturally. The Bay Area, home of the National League's San Francisco Giants, is the land of Birkenstock Billionaires who wear open-toed sandals, live in $4 million Victorian homes with renovated minimalist interiors, and keep Thai religous figures on the raw cedar mantlepieces proclaiming the need for inner peace in a world of commercial excess. Orange County, home of the American League's Anaheim Angels, is the land of the Sprawl People whose most perfect exemplars live in $4 million McMansions in Newport Beach, own furniture collections from Ethan Allen named after Ivy League universities, and have golf bags that match their Japanese luxury cars.

Brooks, of course, will be rooting for the Angels whose Washington, D.C. faithful can take the "perfect conservative flight, from Ronald Reagan National Airport to John Wayne Airport in Orange County." Despite IA's editorial position, I will have a difficult time rooting for the team that beat my Yankees. Moreover, the pleasure of being a Yankee fan is escaping whatever bourgeois, bohemian, patio-loving, birkenstock-wearing existence you might have. As a Yankee fan, no matter what your earning power, you may partake in oligarchy. This doesn't simply mean lording your baseball wealth over others. It also means, among other things, never having to wave a "rally monkey," as Angels fans have taken to doing. To our loyal readers: by all means follow Mr. Brooks's advice and root for Anaheim, but don't wave any rally monkeys. See you next year in the Bronx, Mr. Brooks; and leave your rally monkey at home.


Post a Comment

<< Home