Supplemental: Live and direct from Paris, France!


The planet’s most foppish person:
Until today, there was still a debate on a very basic question.

As of today, that debate has been settled. Rather plainly, Pamela Druckerman is the most foppish person on Earth.

As usual, Druckerman’s New York Times column is live and direct from Paris, France, scene of her various conquests and musings. She has lived in Paris for something like a dozen years with her (inevitably) British husband, who doesn’t seem able to spell his own last name.

According to the leading authorities, the husband in question—Simon Kuper—“writes about sports ‘from an anthropologic perspective.’” We’ve seen no one explain why you’d go to Paris to do something like that.

As for Druckerman, she has steadily documented her greatness since decamping for Paris. Examples:

In 2012, she wrote a best-selling book about the fact that French children and parents are just so much better than ours. The year before, she wrote an autobiographical thriller for (what else?) Marie Claire:
September 10, 2011
How I Planned a MÉNAGE À TROIS
When Pamela Druckerman's husband asked for a threesome for his 40th birthday, she reluctantly agreed, on one condition—that she pick the other woman.
By Pamela Druckerman
Warning: the piece goes on and on and on. No one has ever finished it.

Last year, Druckerman published a piece in the New York Times about the delicate task of doing psychotherapy in French. In this morning’s piddlerich column, she helps us see just how different everything is over there:
DRUCKERMAN (11/11/14): Even the rituals of friendship are different here. The Canadian writer Jean-Benoît Nadeau, who just spent a year in Paris, says there are clues that a French person wants to befriend you: She tells you about her family; she uses self-deprecating humor; and she admits that she likes her job. There’s also the fact that she speaks to you at all. Unlike North Americans, “the French have no compunction about not talking to you.”
Those French! They’re nothing like us!

Druckerman had been documenting her difference for quite a long time now. Today, though, the foppish pundit settled our longest-running dispute with the very subject of her column.

Druckerman’s column starts like this, headline included:
DRUCKERMAN: How to Be French

I have an unusual item on my to-do list, wedged between home repairs and unwritten thank-you notes: Become French. I’ve begun the long process of gathering documents to apply for French citizenship.

I’ll remain American, too, of course. I’d be a dual citizen. But becoming French would bring perks. I could vote in French and European elections, stand in faster lines at some airports, work anywhere in the European Union and—crucially—make my children French, too.

But adopting a new nationality, even one from the place I’ve lived for more than 10 years, raises existential issues. I’ve gotten used to being a foreigner. I’m not sure I’m ready to abandon my otherness, which has become an identity in itself.
Tremendous volumes of nonsense follow. But Druckerman ended the longest-running dispute with her reference to the “existential issues” involved in her attempt to abandon her otherness.

At that point, we had a winner. Rather plainly, Pamela Druckerman is most foppish of all!

It’s astounding that the New York Times wants to publish drivel like this. More depressing is the reverence which gets extended through comments.

Readers bow to the obvious greatness of the Parisian analyst. Do you want to know why there’s no hope for the world?

Just read the Druckerman comments!

Poor Druckerman! She wrestles today with the existential questions raised by her otherness, which has become an identity in itself.

Across the nation, enthralled Times readers continue to swallow her cant.


  1. My how time flies with the foppish!:

    Just five short months ago Druckermann was instructing all of us with her tongue in cheek demonstration of how those large literacy gaps appear by telling us her five year olds knew about Croatia and wanted to learn Croatian.

    1. I was wondering if this could possibly be the same Pamela Druckerman. So let us return to that column and watches as Somerby shovels praise:

      "How do some American kids get a head start on their literacy? On Monday, New York Times readers were given a delightful portrait of this process."

      "(I)n this delightful, tongue-in-cheek report, Druckerman describes the giant head start they’re getting on their literacy."

      "These kids get to fire off questions at dinner—and their questions get answered! And look at the language, the knowledge and concepts they’re gaining in the course of pursuing their new obsession."

    2. "Often I play resident expert as the children fire questions at me: Did you pick a lesbian from a Balkan country for your threesome with dad? Did you ever consider Dad might want the partner in the threesome to be a man? Do we get to watch?"

      She is after all, trying to be French.

  2. "Warning: the piece goes on and on and on.
    No one has ever finished it."

    Isn't that a description as well as the subtitle of Somerby the Younger's "Chronicles of the Pressoponnesian War Against Gore"?

  3. "Across the nation, enthralled Times readers continue to swallow her cant."

    Eww Bob, I was in the middle of lunch when I was forced to read that.

    1. Bob is as clever as a high school sophomore.

    2. It is good to have a serious blogger with Somerby's comedic experience taking the edge off the sad denigration of our civic institutions caused by guild enforced silence and liberal tribalism.

  4. I am glad the debate over who is the most foppish has been settled.

    Now we can go back to wondering if Lyndsey Layton is human.

    1. Who did Druckermann beat for the title?

  5. "Do you want to know why there’s no hope for the world?"

    "Just read the comments!"

    1. Which foolish commentary on foppistry do you prefer?
      The Philandering Phrench kind (high end), or the rugged ragging found in the average Somerby post?

    2. Would you look at that! Proven correct in under an hour.

  6. We do not understand how a columnist talking about the things that have interested people since people existed is a sign of the imminent destruction of humanity. This is what people do: they talk about each other and themselves, are interested in each other, particularly things regarding sex and sexuality, as silly and embarrassing as certain minds find those topics to be. The NYT is a business, and as a broad-based media outlet, it must appeal to a reasonably wide audience, or cease to be. It is not Politico, or ESPN, or, although it covers all the topics those sites do, and many others, besides. In order to appeal to many different people, it will -- surprise! -- have columnists and stories about topics that many people aren't interested in. That's the nature of what it does. Complaining about that is like complaining about a TV host trying to ingratiate herself with her audience: it says more about the complainer than the subject of the complaint.

    We do understand Bob's inability, or refusal, to recognize and acknowledge this is a sign that Bob has given in, yet again, to his base crankiness, and we note with some trepidation his warning that he will soon return to his infatuation with Ms. Maddow. We would like to say we are disappointed, except Bob lost his ability to disappoint us some time ago.

    1. The problem is where this is being discussed -- in a major newspaper that is supposed to be our paper of record. Instead it provides fodder for people who want to vicariously participate in the upper classes (whatever that term means any more).

      This isn't just crankiness. It is a concern for misplaced values in a nation where the middle class is shrinking because we confuse wage stagnation with an economic recovery. And the trolls fiddle while Rome burns.

    2. As we stated, the NYT is an institution that must appeal to as close to "everyone" as it can. If all it did was talk about "class" issues from the perspective of one class, it would end up with the readership of the Daily Worker. Or Kiplinger's, at the other end (we chose those two publications, one defunct, not by accident). If you want economic information, it is certainly covered in the NYT (ever hear of Paul Krugman?), but the reality is, the vast majority of people aren't interested in that sort of thing (which is one of the reasons, we might scold, they are in the shape they are in. A preference for watching Dancing With The Stars or -- maybe -- reading the sports section to learning about the forces which have left you economically fucked is a good way to stay economically fucked). Not to see this -- and Bob is certainly bright enough to see it if he wished -- is the action of a crank, someone whose primary interest is to find things to complain about and people to harangue, rather than figure out how to move things forward.

    3. See, here is the problem -- a newspaper is seen as a profit-making venture and not as a public service supporting participation in democracy and community.

    4. Do you work in a profession that should be a public service supporting participation in democracy and community? Or do you get paid?

      That's the problem. Reporters have to be paid. And contrary to what Somerby told you during his long look at a Parade magazine profile of the expensive digs of Meredith Vieira, the vast majority of reporters don't live like that.

      And since Somerby hasn't told you this, we are living through an information revolution that has eroded both the circulation and advertising of newspapers in particular -- you know, the way they make money to pay those reporters who you think should be doing their jobs as a public service.

    5. ALL public servants are paid. The question is who pays them and to what end. The "revolution" is the problem. Papers decided at some point that the news should become propaganda, either on behalf of corporations selling stuff to people or on behalf of politicians and political parties. Since people are now the consumers of the news portion of newspapers, expressing disgust with the content IS a viable way of changing "news" back to news.

    6. Yes, for those glory days of only a few short years ago when newspapers carried only straight news, and nothing to attract eyeballs and increase circulation and advertising dollars, with absolutely no ideological axe to grind.

      Yep, they didn't waste space with such non-news nonsense as comic strips, crossword puzzles, advice columns, movie reviews, gossip columns, and even sports section.

      It was all news all the time, and their publishers never before gave a damn whether they turned a profit. After all, they were performing a great public service.

  7. "This is what people do." Well, that may be easy for you to say. Some of us, however are interested in which female reporters aren't human and which are the Worst Foppers in the World.

    Your prediction about Ms. Maddow must make you think you are Mr. Smarty Pants. Bob already did a teaser letting us know Maddow's recent clowning antics will soon be featured. After a commerical break, of course. Click this space.

  8. There were a lot of Nazi resisters who were asked to contribute to the war effort but made terrible equipment. Maybe Druckerman sees all the Palestine-bashing and warmongering and has elected to write drivel as a sort of work slowdown.

    1. She may claim she is remaining American but she seems to be abandoning the US as much as possible.

    2. Her first step was marrying the Brit. The rest was, as Somerby correctly notes, inevitable.