Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cookie toss

Roy Lichtenstein, Head with Monocle, 1980.
You'll recall Mr Charles Cyril Wimpleton-Cooke, late of Knightsbridge, now helping out at National Review Online, where he helps to furnish the word cheese, with dainty morsels like this:
one really shouldn’t be surprised by the ever-mind-numbing output of Gawker, a website that is run by professional trolls and read primarily by people with eyes that are so close together that they could host a monocle.
Hmm (Thx to @mattyglesias for noticing the strangeness of the expression).  I first heard of him, anyway, on the Twitter machine, in the context of Governor Snyder's campaign to take Michigan back to the 1880s, where he wanted to know if President Obama intended to deny him "the right to work for less money." Naturally I thought he meant to complain about the way union contracts discriminate against the very wealthy, who might be embarrassed by high wages and benefits and prefer a smaller and less visible paycheck.

But no! It turns out that Charles Clarence Wilfrid isn't wealthy at all, unless you count his job, which is surely not unionized, and presumably doesn't pay the way it did when old Lord Buckley was alive (to say nothing of the lunches in those days, which were spectacular). To the contrary, he has no particular wish to be paid less money at the moment; rather, it's a matter of principle:
So that's another story. And I wonder what story it is? Where I come from, the right to be paid less is when you want to take a job away from somebody who has to feed a family and can't afford to work for less; in Magic Market terms, it's selling your labor at loss leader prices to get that foot in the door. To the true conservative market theorist, I guess, the other person there deserves to lose the job: What do they want to be going around having all those children for anyway? To me, the principle has a name, and it's scabbing.
This monocled Barbie is modeled from Otto Dix's famous 1926 portrait of the journalist Sylvia von Harden (see inset); flotsam, found in a Google search (monocle + cubism), from somebody's shipwrecked Tumblr account.

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