Matthew Yglesias: Not the Sharpest Tool in the Vox

Longtime readers are well aware that I do not take Matthew Yglesias seriously as a compelling thinker. Yglesias is one of the sources of inspiration–if not the source–for Yousefzadeh’s Law, which states that “[t]here is no meritocracy in the field of punditry.” (If one prefers, one may use the Peter Principle to explain Yglesias’s rise in the punditry world.)

Today, Yglesias gives us yet another reason to wonder whether his entire career in punditry has just been one long attempt to troll the planet. He advocates–dear God, I really don’t believe this–abolishing all time zones, and having all of us run on Greenwich Mean Time.

Why is this necessary? Yglesias voxsplains in the excerpt below:

. . . It is genuinely annoying to schedule meetings, calls, and other arrangements across time zones. The need to constantly specify which time zone you’re talking about is a drag. Commuting across time zones would be more annoying still, which is why the suburbs of Chicago that are located in Indiana use Illinois’ Central Time rather than Indianapolis’ Eastern Time.

Oh my stars and garters. Matthew Yglesias finds it “a drag” to “constantly specify which time zone you’re talking about.” Also, commuting across time zones is “annoying.” Surely, this qualifies as some kind of Eighth Amendment violation, or something.

Of course, for most people, the existence of time zones don’t nearly cause the mental crisis that Yglesias apparently has to deal with on a daily basis. Below, please find a basic outline showing how a normal conversation occurs regarding the specification of time zones when “meetings, calls, and other arrangements” have to be scheduled:

PERSON ONE: We need to have a conference call this afternoon at 2 pm.

PERSON TWO: Okay. Eastern time? Central time, Mountain time? Pacific time?

PERSON ONE: Eastern time.

PERSON TWO: Great. Talk to you then.

Usually, this is all it takes to schedule something, and clear up any confusion about time zones. I grant you that there are times when confusion does take place, but seriously, who cares? Is befuddlement regarding time zones really such a pressing issue that Matthew Yglesias has to take to writing an article demanding that we abolish them? Don’t the people at Vox have anything better to write about? And if not, doesn’t this entire episode justify Jeff Bezos’s decision not to give Ezra Klein oodles and oodles of money to build up a monumentally useless “news” site over at the Washington Post?

Lest you think that this detour into the utterly bizarre is out of character for Yglesias and that at all other times, he really is the swiftest Porsche in the garage, I refer you anew to the links in the first paragraph of this blog post, which demonstrate beyond any and all reasonable doubt that something has seriously caused Yglesias’s gray matter to go kerplunk. And if you needed more evidence that Yglesias is simply not playing with a full deck, I give you this. Query: How do you write an article that claims that England and Wales have provinces, and still keep a job as a journalist-resembling-thing?

Of course, as far as Yglesias is concerned, he really is preternaturally intelligent–all of the evidence to the contrary notwithstanding–which means that he gets to call people with whom he disagrees politically “dim bulbs.” I guess this means that in addition to his other failings, Yglesias completely lacks self-awareness.


  1. I was thinking a bi-weekly council to discuss the People’s business, like Time Zones, Human Rights World Government, and who keeps eating the community tomatoes?

    Yglesias can be the scribe, adding value with every stroke of the pen.

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