July 07, 2003


Examine this Maureen Dowd column for the Five Immutable Laws. I think every law is represented, apart from the Fifth. But who ever reads to the end of these godawful things?

Posted by Tim Blair at July 7, 2003 07:07 AM

Chafetz has depicted someone who has never grown out of childhood, someone stuck in the transition years of adolesence. The linked Dowd column illustrates she is only a girly once again.
Her coice of vocabulary and metaphors reflect it rather well.

Posted by: d at July 7, 2003 at 09:59 AM

Generally I prefer to skip the rantings of old Maureen, it is not like she makes much sense and inevitably gives me a headache...much like the rest of the SMH editorial staff. I think they miss the Cold War and the Soviet Union as they behave like a bunch of frustrated 'Cambridge Spies' wannabe's.

Posted by: A. Ng at July 7, 2003 at 11:33 AM

I don't know that anyone really reads to the end of a Bimbopundit column. The people who agree with her sort of pass it in front of their eyes for a few minutes, sort of like one of the scenic wallpapers from Away.com, knowing they will see something bright and inoffensive. In this way she fills a useful function for The New York Times, her home paper, whose readers rely on its editorial and Op-Ed pages to provide a kind of official sanction for their prejudices and dislikes.

Posted by: Zathras at July 7, 2003 at 12:10 PM

Kiwis rate bottom of the class for IQ

Go to the back of the class, New Zealand, you don't measure up in the international IQ stakes.

Results from the more than 10,000 people who sat the TV One IQ test on-line on Monday evening have been broken down on the Test the Nation website.

They fall short of those obtained from similar televised IQ tests in Australia and Britain. These results can also be found on the net, as can summaries of tests in Germany, France and the Netherlands.

After dividing up this country's test entrants regionally, only the north of the South Island registered an average IQ of 100 or more - 100 is in the middle of the average IQ range of 90 to 109.

The other regions struggled from 90 in the Chatham Islands to Auckland, Canterbury and Taranaki, with a mediocre 99.

In contrast, southern New South Wales finished bottom in Australia with 102, and Canberra scored 115.

The top Aussie score of 151 went to schoolteacher Terry Ymer.

A TVNZ spokeswoman said this country's top scorer was "Joel", a student in Wellington who finished with a score of "more than 127".

Even Australian Footy Show presenter and former rugby league player "Fatty" Vautin can claim an IQ of 127.

Just to twist the knife, New Zealanders featured in the Australian test as one of the contestant groups, along with blondes and builders, and finished last, getting only 44 per cent of the questions right on average.

We fared little better against Britain, where regional results ranged from a low of 103 in the West Midlands, Wales and southeast England up to 107 in southern England.

One of the creators of the New Zealand test, Professor John Hattie, head of Auckland University's school of education, said the reason for the transtasman gap was obvious - "They cheated. Of course they did, they are Australian."

He suspected that the Australian test was too easy and was very happy with how his test performed as the results almost perfectly matched the expected average national IQ of 100.

Former quizmaster Hamish McDouall agreed that the test was not plain sailing, despite scoring an impressive 130-plus IQ.

The 34-year-old won Sale of the Century in 1989 and Mastermind in 1990.

He refused to disclose his exact score, but did admit he was stumped by the spatial questions.

So did the test really prove New Zealanders are dummies?

Dr Vivian Robinson, head of Auckland University education department, said it was impossible to tell unless all participants in every country were asked the same questions, under the same conditions.

Posted by: Jeff Lucas at July 7, 2003 at 02:02 PM

This week, for the first time, I came across a MoDo column (an op-ed piece) in the New York Times. (I live in LA and generally do not read her stuff.) At first I didn't realize who had written it, I just began reading the article and then thought "This makes no sense. It's incoherent." I then glanced up to the header and saw the author's name and thought, "My God. She's not only as bad as they say she is, she's WORSE."

Tim, you have understated the case. How could anybody who writes as badly as she get PUBLISHED? I mean, hell, I could do a better job, and so could any of a thousand or so other unpublished writers, I dare say.

Posted by: Alice at July 7, 2003 at 04:51 PM

Readers of Tim Blair love him for his long lists of names connected only by the faintest gossamer, his relentless Googol skills, his irremediable snarkiness and his total lack of political solutions that don't involve driving faster. He never calls people he doesn't like bad names, and is a trenchant and principled critic of the left.

Why can't the funny people all be nice people?

Posted by: Mark at July 7, 2003 at 05:46 PM

You mean like Robin Williams?

Posted by: tim at July 7, 2003 at 06:17 PM

I was more thinking of people who had a long deep puff late in the afternoon and consequently misspelled "Google" in public.

I should put this on my résumé when I apply for a job at Wired.

PS -- I am outraged at your suggestion that Robin Williams isn't funny. I am stamping on my straw hat as I type. Please excuse shaky typing.

Posted by: Mark at July 7, 2003 at 06:22 PM

This would all be very interesting if I had the slightest interest in this Dowd creature. But I don't.

The only reason anyone reads Dowd is that she writes for the New York Times ("All the news that's left to print").

Were it not for that, she wouldn't even get a gig writing for People magazine.

Posted by: Kim du Toit at July 7, 2003 at 08:16 PM

Maureen! Hello! South Korea - 53 years, Germany - 58 years, aw, never mind. Talk about HADD....

Posted by: Tongue Boy at July 8, 2003 at 03:36 AM