Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The virtues of shelf-reliance

I’ve been doing some research that involves skimming a representative selection of American pop polemicists from the past 10 years, and it seemed pretty zeitgeisty (straitened global circumstances and all) to start in the second-hand bookshops. Oddly, there were loads of lefty tomes (Michael Moore, Al Franken, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky) but very little from the rightists (Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Bernard Goldberg and so on).

However, I did pick up a slightly foxed copy of Freakonomics and, since I’ve been accused of plagiarising said tome, I thought I'd better get round to reading it. So, applying the analytical techniques of Messrs Levitt and Dubner, I can tell you that the political imbalance in two second-hand bookshops proves that: there are no right-wingers in Bangkok; there are lots of right-wingers, but they keep hold of their books (maybe they’re slow readers); there are lots of right-wingers, but they’re quite poor, so every time a second-hand right-wing book appears, they snap it up; there are lots of right-wingers, but they’re functionally illiterate; there are lots of right-wingers but they never go to second-hand shops because they smell funny (the shops, that is, not the right-wingers); there are lots of right-wingers but they never go to second-hand shops because they smell funny (the right-wingers); there are lots of left-wingers, but they have very small apartments, so they’re forever thinning their book collections; there are lots of left-wingers, and they’ve burned all the right-wing books; any or all of the above.

Next week, Chris Anderson on why Middlesbrough will be relegated, and why they won’t and why they might. And Malcolm Gladwell does a funny little dance in his vest and pants.

6 comments:

The Bureauista said...

You were probably looking in the wrong stack. Did you check out magical realism?

Billy said...

There's also the "I'm not really right-wing, I'm reading this for research purposes."

Wastrel said...

I've never heard of any of those rightwingers apart from Rush Limbaugh.

And to be honest if you'd asked me who he actually was I'd have racked my brains and come to the conclusion that he was some sort of middle-aged American who once starred in a show that never actually got shown on UK telly - Gilligan's Island or somesuch.

Hedgie said...

Maybe the leftwingers just sold many more copies, so there are more copies of their books in circulation?

Ward Hardman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tim Footman said...

I did, Bureauista. Rushdie Limbaugh, anyone?

Very true, Billy. Fox News as the new porn.

I must admit, Wastrel, for the first couple of years I was aware of Mr Limbaugh, I thought he was some sort of conceptual joke.

Too easy, Hedgie. Although it could be a double bluff...