Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

And the award for best journal article title ever goes to…

Parag Khanna, “The Metrosexual Superpower,” Foreign Policy (July/August 2004)

What’s easy to miss is that it’s actually a pretty good article.

[To the tune of Bill Evans Trio, “Autumn Leaves [Take 1],” from the album Portrait In Jazz.]

4 Comments

  1. I’m not sure that I see the usefulness of that article. Why do you think it is good? It’s just sort of silly and relies on a sort of scattered stream anecdotal evidence. Another article in the same issue (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=135)
    tends to suggest that Europe has had more limited success in terms of persuasion in, say, Europe. The facts it does muster are questionable or subject to reasonable debate in terms of interpretation. For example, the combined Europe’s force numbers are meaningless given the quality of the forces, the rapid reaction force is a really questionable affair (it has only very limited infrastructure to project itself for any sustained period of time), as we’ve all learned in Iraq there isn’t much you can do w/such a small force, and, finally, is military prowess meaningful or not? They’ve done a better job stopping al-Q than us? That is only b/c they have a much greater presence than we do. And not b/c they are simply being infiltrated. Mohammad Atta joined al-Q in Europe. Not America. Not Egypt. In Europe.

    The metrosexual is rapidly becoming one of our society’s most tired themes.

  2. “Good” in the sense of entertaining. Granted, it works better as a set of assertions than an actual argument– it’s not George Kennan’s “X telegram” by any means– and it doesn’t try to deal with potential counterarguments or counterevidence.

    I wonder if the author started with the title first, then came up with an argument to fit it.

  3. Ahhh I see. By the way, this is a nice blog.
    Peter

  4. Well, what can I say. I’m not feeling especially critical at the moment.

    And thanks for the compliment!
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    DATE: 07/25/2004 12:33:57 PM
    Som ett svar på Robert Kagans idéer om europeisk vekhet och amerikansk styrka och våldsamhet hävdar Parag Khanna i “The…
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    DATE: 07/25/2004 12:30:13 PM
    Som ett svar på Robert Kagans idéer om europeisk vekhet och amerikansk styrka och våldsamhet hävdar Parag Khanna i “The…

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