Friday, January 16, 2004

The O'Neill Book

Sorry, I mean the Suskind book. Suskind Suskind Suskind. Suskind wrote it. Anyway, so this O'Neill book (which I reviewed for a Large Internet Bookseller) is, I think, really really good. Well written, provocative, even kind of fun. But I was baffled by the now-famous "blind man in a room full of deaf people" quote. I was all like what the hell does that mean. Slate's Michael Kinsley, however, was more eloquently baffled in his quasi-review:
I'm sorry, but how is being uninterested in policy like being a blind man in a roomful of deaf people? Are blind people uninterested in policy? Or, more accurately, do blind people become less interested in policy when they find themselves in a room with deaf people? Does a blind man surrounded by deaf people talking policy issues think: "Oh, hell. These folks are going to go on and on and on about the problems of deaf people. Who needs that? I've got problems of my own." Is that O'Neill's point? And even if there is something about a room full of deaf people that makes a blind man disengage from policy issues, what does this have to do with President Bush and his Cabinet?

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