Friday, January 9, 2009


I spent the last forty days in the desert. The entire time I was there I had this overwhelming urge, this non-directional impulse to do something. Unfortunately, I didn't know what that something was. Turns out that drinking water is good for you. I knew nothing at all about water--until, that is, I read a brilliant woman named Megan McArdle. Do you have some questions about water? Well golly the Atlantic higher a scholar on water, or an aquascholar. I'm assuming this is just a precis of her larger thesis, but here it goes:

Distilled water has some uses for cleaning. Bottled water for
drinking, however, is a total waste of space and money. It is tap water,
just tap water you've paid someone to pour and transport. I repeat, most bottled
water comes out of a municipal water system somewhere. If your tap water
tastes funny, buy a Brita filter.


Anonymous said...

Ah, the smell of McArdlisms in the morning. That perfect blend of arrogance and ignorance ("I don't need these items. Why should you?"). Common sense and everyday knowledge dressed up on a platter of thesaurus-sought language, presented as if it were unique and informative knowledge. The nose-snubbing towards those rubes who take frozen short cuts because they can't be bothered to spend the time that Megan does, a single, childless woman with a job that appears to occupy a mere few hours of her day. The irony of the know-it-all attitude comfortably aside the complete disregard for people who do not live with the same means and circumstances that she does ("why wouldn't you make it all from scratch? Doesn't everybody live right around the corner from a supermarket?").

We're now well past one year that she's been getting away with this sort of asinine, low-quality garbage. All hope for the salvation of the Atlantic is gone.

Anonymous said...

Aquablogger tells you all about the stuff in her kitchen.

Seriously, this is what the Atlantic thinks blogging is about?

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I actually made the mistake of reading the original post, which probably isn't a good idea since I'm a freelance writer struggling to find work...

How I envy Megan. Not only does she get to trumpet her innate superiority over people who are uncouth and plebian enough to buy brownie mix and microwaveable dinners (count me guilty and woefully uneducated on both counts), but she gets paid to do so.

Plus I should mention the warm feeling I get from reading condescending statements on how I should just use the extra "five minutes" to cook from someone who has one of the cushiest jobs imaginable.

Oh, and as for her statement about bottled water, it took me less than three minutes on Google just to find a link to the Natural Resources Defense Council and its research on bottled water, something that would have backed up Megan's assertions. Christ, I read plenty of casual, non-political, and unpaid bloggers who are more concerned with finding support for their claims.

If converting to glibertarianism is all it takes to get someone like Sully to give me an easy but well-paying writing job with virtually no professional expectations or standards, then, screw it, sign me up while I try to figure out how to read "The Fountainhead" in a non-ironic way.

Andrew Johnston said...

Megan's actually taking a lot of shit from her commenters, particularly those with kids and jobs that account for more than a hobby. One guy pointed out that her "five-minute" chicken recipe actually requires around 30 minutes of preparation, plus it requires thawed chicken breasts so I hope you had those out before you went to work.

Again, its Megan's lack of professionalism that strikes me. She seems to have a few readers who genuinely like these goofy food posts, but I can't imagine that they make up the majority of their audience. That sort of thing might be acceptable when you're just penning a personal blog, but you're getting paid for this, lady. Stick to the topic at hand.

Susan of Texas said...

The topic is Megan, so that leaves a lot of leeway.