Petri has plenty of socks: So far, we’re not fans of Alexandra Petri, who now writes a weekly column in Saturday’s Washington Post.
This morning, the young scribe reminds us why. She dropped by the Wall Street protests this week. Her column starts like this:
PETRI (10/8/11): It might be too easy to dismiss the Occupy Wall Street movement as a first-world problem.Ha ha ha ha ha ha! As she continues, Petri exhibits a first-world upper-class skill—the skill of having a thing both ways:
I listen to a man complain about the challenges of getting a job in the maritime industry. He is skilled. He is jobless. He is pessimistic.
Then he whips out his iPhone.
PETRI (continuing directly): The grumbles are many: Just because you have a liberal arts degree doesn’t entitle you to a job. Why are you protesting? Why aren’t you job-hunting? What are you doing here? Next you’ll surge into the streets to complain about the decline in the quality of organic kale!Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh boy! Petri calls these grumbles unfair—but not before she has entertained Post readers by turning those grumbles to jokes.
But that would be unfair.
(To read her piece as it appears in the Post, click here, then click one more time.)
Tribunes of the upper class have been rolling their eyes at the protestors, just as we pseudo-liberals kept doing with the tea party folk. As Petri continues, she even uses a familiar old phrase to describe these iPhone-using organic kale adherents:
PETRI (continuing directly): I’ve seen some of these people before—at Jon Stewart’s Rally for Sanity, or the vast upswelling of Hope after the election of ’08, when we poured into the streets and cheered.Darlings! Petri has seen “these people” before! So she says, even as she refers to these people as “we” and “us.”
In today’s column, Petri claims to speak for her generation. This is an improvement over her usual work, in which she tends to adopt the term “we” to speak for the whole nation. Just sixteen months out of Harvard, Petri believes she can speak for us all. And she has lots of jokes about the world “these people” live in:
PETRI: The occupants of Liberty Plaza are overwhelmingly young. Some border on hipsters. Some are students. Most of those I spoke to were employed. Some were “aspirationally employed.” They aren’t rebels without a cause. They’re rebels with a surplus of causes.Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh boy, that last one was good!
There's a saying: "I was angry that I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet." We aren't there yet. We are angry that we have no socks. But we see what might be next.
To date, we've had two basic reactions to Petri’s ongoing work:
The first reaction involves gender. It’s hard to imagine a man being hired to write such columns in the Post. But Petri is straight outta the Dowd/Collins line. Within upper-class press corps culture, silly, simpering remarks about pain would seem to be woman’s work.
Our second reaction involves Petri’s age. This child is one year-plus from Fair Harvard. Reading her work, we’ve been amazed that a person can become so facile and so uncaring at such an early point in life. But the rewards are now vast at the top of the heap, and facile young children pursue them.
This morning, Petri plays it both ways. She cracks her jokes about “these people,” refers to them as “us.”
Update on the Hunting Camp 7: We'll finish our series on Monday. Question:
Did witnesses contradict Perry's account? We think the Post's report is oddly unclear. Given the seriousness of the subject matter, we think the ombudsman should make it a point to explain.
Race is our most important subject. Race should not be a toy.
(With this, we return to our normal weekend duty—working on the games the Post played in 1999 and 2000. For our efforts to date, just click here.)