Fertile ground

There's nothing like the Times Magazine to put an end to a month-long, self-imposed (adding an air of mystery to actual laziness) blogging hiatus.

First, the snark:

People can’t accept failure in this country, which probably explains why kids are addicted to fantasy baseball, with its illusion of mastery.

Thank you, Deborah Solomon, for the least insightful statement-cum-interview-question about fantasy baseball, ever. Ms. Solomon was fortunate that in interviewing interview Lou Pinella this week, she found a misogynistic old coot who actually leaves her looking like the more sympathetic of the interviewee-interviewer pair.

Diving back into familiar territory (water can, after all, be territorial, we come to The Ethicist. This week, Randy Cohen opines that you have an ethical obligation to inform potential house buyers that the former occupant, your mother, killed herself. Because of ghosts or something. Of course, if you happen to be upset about your mother's untimely death then it's okay not to say anything about it. Acknowledging that parental suicide might be a difficult topic to discuss with random strangers is as close as The Ethicist has ever gotten to understanding human behavior and emotion in his column.

Moving on to matters nearer and dearer, and since this is the Times Magazine, about 18 months too late to be topical: there's a piece on Chinese gold farmers. The article didn't offer anything that hasn't been covered before.

One thing I did like about the web version of this week's Magazine was the slideshow matching real folks up with their online avatars. WoWers weren't very well represented; I was definitely not approached to bust out the axes and pointy hat and ape Antepo. Oh well–there's always next week.


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