Sunday, January 16, 2022

Tracking a decline …

The Atlantic’s Nervous Breakdown.

Not all Atlantic writers are of this type. Caitlin Flanagan’s recent essays on living for decades with cancer are phenomenal, and Conor Friedersdorf’s conservativish-contrarian takes are always a welcome respite from the doomsaying. But the general tone of the Atlantic suggests something about the mindset of the segment of elite America it represents and caters to: The Atlantic reader is more driven by alarmism and panic than the Fox News–viewing folks on the other side of the partisan divide whom they criticize. The Higher Perspective of the Atlantic is an elite species of panic—it has no interest in the concerns of someone who is worried about how to put food on the table after getting laid off from her restaurant job. Rather, it feels deeply the emotional burden of those coming to the realization that “Office Holiday Parties Really Might Never Be the Same.” This is the class of people who, amid an ongoing pandemic, identified with an unmasked and glamorous Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a “Tax the Rich” gown at the Met gala, not with the masked minimum-wage underlings standing silently nearby who served her and her fellow partygoers.

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