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“We adults look around, for example, and observe that while brain surgeons and Nobel laureates probably have their good points, surely glossy-magazine editors are the most impressive people in America. Every month, in the front of their magazines, many of them have to write those six-hundred word columns with titles like ‘From the Editor’s Desk’ or “Welcome’ that are supposed to establish rapport with readers. There’s usually a signature on the bottom on the page to make it seem personalized, and a photo of the editor herself looking sensational yet casual. Since nobody want to read a lifestyle magazine edited by a shlump, the editor has to use the text to establish that she is perfect yet not stuck-up about it . . .You’d think spending month after month, year after year, churning out page after page on lip-gloss trends, armoire placement, or powerboat design would get you down, but these editors have, to use their favorite word, passion . . . And that’s really the purpose of America’s magazines: to help you get better, deeper, in fact, perfect . . . You look around the magazine racks, and there is no aspect of human existence that doesn’t have some periodical offering advice on how it can be made better . . . Here we begin to see the feature that we observe so often in American life—the ability to slather endless amounts of missionary zeal on apparently trivial subjects . . . These publications are printed on paper so rich and glossy that it might have been made from butterscotch.” [David Brooks, On Paradise Drive (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004), pp. 186-194]

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