Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Getting Buff(ed)

So who knew that the New York Times' illustrious--and conservative--editorialist, John Tierney, was so openly...fey?

It appears that over the Memorial Day weekend, when his cohorts in politics and commentating were probably going on about patriotism and honor and the duty to serve, Johnny was getting...a manicure!

He writes it off as research, the classic field trip that editorialists very rarely take into the world when they realize they can't solve all the problems from their desk on the Upper West Side. In order to tackle and conquer the big policy issues, like immigration, unemployment and economic opportunity, they need to go see for themselves how the plebs is making out.

So John went to LA and got some manicures. See, his theory is that immigrants aren't stealing American jobs. And he proves it by describing how when all the Vietnamese manicurists started edging out their pricier American counterparts in LA, the Americans just became freelance manicurists. They left the strip malls to the new girls, and upgraded to the luxury spa market in Santa Monica where the clientele wants a nail girl who speaks English.

Nothing beats a real numbers-based policy solution, huh?

John was really impressed with the work he got at Shutters On the Beach! "Harris spent half an hour working on my right hand, gently using compresses infused with tangerine and peppermint as well as hazelnut and menthol scrub." Looks like John has found his cuticles! The $8 counterpart from Nancy Nguyen, a recently-arrievd Vietnamese immigrant, well, John wasn't so pleased: "Nguyen did my left hand in 10 minutes without explaining what she was doing." The nerve.

But John's got as point, and that's that the cheapie manicure serves its function--it's inexpensive, accessible, and it's serving a market that didn't exist before. Relax, nobody's stealing anybody's jobs. And John is willing to go out and get buffed to prove it.


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