Monday, July 12, 2010

Matt Labash On Living Like a Liberal - It's Not As Easy As It Looks

Weekly Standard writer Matt Labash has just read Justin Krebs book, 538 Ways to Live Work and Play Like a Liberal and has now seen the error of his conservative ways. He has decided to take Krebs advice to heart and as he says: "Since politics, particularly liberal politics, bring people so much joy, wouldn’t I be better off politicizing everything—the way I live and work and play? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. The answer is a resounding “yes,”" . Of course you should go and read the whole chronicle of how he is changing his life, but this part about how he is bringing his new liberal principals to his work place. 

One thing liberals need to feel is a sense of community. I learn this from reading a very important liberal book, Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone, while sitting on my front porch, smiling and waving at my neighbors (thus pulling a Krebsian hat trick). Krebs says that “every office will benefit from its staff feeling a sense of ownership,” which means a free exchange of ideas, which means a “feedback box” by which “management hears from its team.” 

I’m not a craftsy person, so I decide to forgo constructing a physical feedback box and set up a virtual suggestion box instead. I email colleagues that I will collect their important feedback and send it to our boss, Bill Kristol. After I open my virtual box for business, a flood of feedback comes in. Here are just some of the things my colleagues are convinced they need to make The Weekly Standard a more positive work experience:

More key parties .  .  . institute a ‘buddy system’ for all lavatory use .  .  . group showers, so we can save water and go easier on our earth mother .  .  . more irony in staff meetings .  .  . fewer first-person insertions into magazine pieces .  .  . prepare for Y2K .  .  . pension off Labash .  .  . change our name to ‘US News & Weekly Standard Report’ .  .  . institute an open-door trust-tree policy for managers so that employees understand that they are in a safe space to seek counsel for personal/emotional problems/issues.

I forward the results to Kristol, who seems fairly amenable. He agrees to the first three demands, and regarding group showers, vows to go “the extra mile by ending gender segregation and don’t ask, don’t tell.” Regarding many of the suggestions from our literary editor, Phil Terzian, Kristol promises to “check on whether Terzian has too much free time.”

Read it all. It's hilarious.

(Thanks, Megan!)
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