"Who Do You Have To Sleep With In This Town To Get Your Blog Compared To Montaigne'S ESSAYS In THE ECONOMIST?"
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Now we may have a clue to the answer to that old question in Johann Hari's bedazzled tongue-bath of Andrew Sullivan, the Barry Bonds of bloggers.

If anybody is interested in why Sullivan is so super-confident in his judgment despite so often being wrong in public (as his mercurial changes of view demonstrate), he explained why in the NY Times Magazine way back in 2000: He had revitalized his flagging career in the late 1990s by getting a prescription for synthetic testosterone.

"Because the testosterone is injected every two weeks, and it quickly leaves the bloodstream, I can actually feel its power on almost a daily basis. Within hours, and at most a day, I feel a deep surge of energy. It is less edgy than a double espresso, but just as powerful. My attention span shortens. In the two or three days after my shot, I find it harder to concentrate on writing and feel the need to exercise more. My wit is quicker, my mind faster, but my judgment is more impulsive. ...

And then after a few days, as the testosterone peaks and starts to decline, the feeling alters a little. I find myself less reserved than usual, and more garrulous. The same energy is there, but it seems less directed toward action than toward interaction, less toward pride than toward lust.

We'll skip over the details of Andrew's Lust Phase and get to his next mood swing:
... "Then there's anger. I have always tended to bury or redirect my rage. I once thought this an inescapable part of my personality. It turns out I was wrong. ... That was an extreme example, but other, milder ones come to mind: losing my temper in a petty argument; innumerable traffic confrontations; even the occasional slightly too prickly column or e-mail flame-out."
Personally, I don't like competing with a chemically pumped-up pundit anymore than I suspect that pitcher Greg Maddux liked competing with Roger Clemens over the last decade or so of their careers. But the bigger point is that the Atlantic Monthly should put a label on Sullivan's blog that says:

Warning: Don't take anything Andrew Sullivan says seriously. Remember that what you see here is the product not of careful thought and proven good judgment, but just of whatever phase of his hormone therapy Andrew happens to be in at the moment.

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