Sunday, October 30, 2011


I have no particular objection to what Nicholas Kristof writes in today's column, and I suppose he's written enough columns on life-and-death issues to take it easy today and publish one about addictions to things that aren't ingestible (and to ask, Gosh, could I possibly be an exercise addict?) -- but really: is this guy, who occupies prime op-ed space in one of the most important newspapers on the planet, so unworldly, so out of touch, that he can actually write the following?

Who knew that orgasms, in men and women alike, light up the pleasure centers much like cocaine? (And who knew that researchers immobilize subjects in a lab, hook them up to a brain scanner, and then instruct them to engage in sexual activity?)

To answer the second question firs, um, anyone who knows the first thing about Kinsey or those who've followed him in the field of sex research? Anyone who's read Mary Roach's bestselling book Bonk? Any adult (or, presumably, any teenager) who has even a moderate level of familiarity with the social history of the West in the past century?

And the same goes for orgasms as chemical analogues of cocaine ingestion -- how do you manage to live in this society and not come across this knowledge? At the very least, how can you live in this society and imagine that hardly anyone knows this, even if it's only now coming to your attention? Didn't Kristof ask anyone of his acquaintance, "Hey, did you know this?" Didn't his editor tell him that it's common knowledge?

Look, I suppose the world really is divided into hedgehogs and foxes, but this is ridiculous -- if Kristof knows everything about the grinding misery of the world's desperately and knows very little about anything else, maybe he should stick to what he knows.

1 comment:

c u n d gulag said...

He can write some really great columns. But sometimes, he puts the dope in dopamine.