Wandering about the bookstore, I came across Th!nk, by Michael LeGault. It is a reaction against the popular Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. And just reading the description of Th!nk made me loathe it with every fiber of my being.
Here’s the loathsomeness:
Outraged by the downward spiral of American intellect and culture, Michael R. LeGault offers the flip side of Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling phenomenon, Blink, which theorized that our best decision-making is done on impulse, without factual knowledge or critical analysis. If bestselling books are advising us to not think, LeGault argues, it comes as no surprise that sharp, incisive reasoning has become a lost art in the daily life of Americans. Somewhere along the line, the Age of Reason morphed into the Age of Emotion; this systemic erosion is costing time, money, jobs, and lives in the twenty-first century, leading to less fulfillment and growing dysfunction. LeGault provides a bold, controversial, and objective analysis of the causes and solutions for:
• the erosion of growth and market share at many established American companies, big and small, which appear to have less chance of achieving the dynamic expansion of the past
• permissive parenting and low standards that have caused an academic crisis among our children — body weights rise while grades plummet
• America’s growing political polarization, which is a result of our reluctance to think outside our comfort zone
• faulty planning and failure to act on information at all levels that has led to preventable disasters, such as the Hurricane Katrina meltdown
• a culture of image and instant gratification, fed by reality shows and computer games, that has rendered curiosity of the mind and spirit all but obsolete
• stress, aversion to taking risks, and therapy that are replacing the traditional American “can do” mind-set.
It’s classic Cranky Old Man, talking about how the world is all going to the dogs and we need to return to the old days, when men were real men, women were real women, you whipped your child twice before breakfast every day just to keep the fear of God in him, and the Coloreds knew their place! Well, that last part usually doesn’t get said out loud. But you get the idea. It’s Conservatism in its worst caricature.
So, we usually hate things that we deny in ourselves. Am I in denial of my inner Cranky Old Man, that I react with such knee-jerk emotion to the Cranky Old Men I see?