Monday, May 17, 2010


So I go to this morning and this is what's staring back at me:

Yup -- Saul Bellow's son (and Lucianne's son's editor), knowing that righties can't get through the day without their minimum daily requirement of Antichrists to hate, is offering them some new targets of fury and outrage, in case they run out. The publicity isn't just coming from Lucianne -- Hugh Hewitt's going to do a radio show today (theatrically, he's decided to do it at Philadelphia's Liberty Museum) featuring many of the contributors, who include Glenn Reynolds and Bill Kristol as well as (hey, this is a high-class enterprise) Lee Siegel, Christopher Hitchens, and Shelby Steele.

I'm bringing this up because the book's subtitle cites "Banning Ice Cream Trucks in Brooklyn." Um, really? Ice cream trucks are banned in Brooklyn?

Well, no, not exactly. This appears to be based primarily on one (1) article in The New York Times last year about one (1) mom who wants to ban ice cream trucks from one (1) Brooklyn park -- or, rather, she wanted to ban unlicensed ice cream vendors from the park.

Ah, but I bet all the liberal fascists in New York rallied around her, right? Nope. She was mocked mercilessly by the likes of Gawker and Fucked in Park Slope, and the Gawker post was eventually updated with a message from the mom claiming she'd been misquoted by the Times, didn't object to ice cream trucks on principle, and had called the city's 311 complaint line once, not repeatedly as the Times claimed.

(There was also a Daily News article around the same time that quoted two Brooklyn moms complaining that they "kind of feel like [ice cream is] pushed on you" at parks -- but they didn't seem to be doing anything besides complaining. One city assemblyman told the News that trucks should offer healthy food, but I see no evidence that he's made any effort whatsoever to change the law so that they're required to do so.)

So even though Adam Bellow and his publisher deemed this particular threat to freedom so significant they put it right on the cover of his book, there's nothing to it. (Not that you'll hear that from Bellow and his merry band of contributors, or from Lucianne or Hugh, of course.)


By the way, I think there's something odd about the word "New" in the title. In America, "New" has always been a selling word that's meant to inspire hope and excitement -- put "NEW!" in a starburst on a box of laundry detergent and people believe, if only subconsciously, that it will give them unprecedented levels of cleanliness.

"New" seems like an odd word to sell a seemingly dire book of this kind. But I don't think it is. I think it's offering the same hope and optimism -- don't worry, you'll never run out of enemies to despise. I'm sure if the book sells, there'll be a expanded paperback edition -- "Now with Even More Threats to Freedom!"

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