In ’93, Spy magazine put out a parody of The New Yorker, which included a brief review of the live-action Flintstones movie, credited to British literary demi-god Martin Amis. The genius of that parody was how completely out of touch the cleverer by ¾ faux Amis appeared, attributing the brutish, Neanderthal dynamics to a uniquely post-Reagan backlash, suggesting John Goodman improvised “yabba-dabba-doo,” and entirely missing the antecedent of the iconic, 1950’s cartoon. It was hi-freaking-larious that an aloof intellect such as (faux) Amis could miss the whole point of the film, not to mention basic cultural history. But I fear that most folks wouldn’t get that level of joke these days.
A friend sent me a link to a piece in the Atlantic titled “The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence.” I can only assume that it was an earnest article, depicting the last 20 years of coining and studying the construct of “emotional intelligence,” which seems to bely an intellectual and statistical analysis of the strange and magical world of emotions (stage direction: getting mildly sarcastic). Yet, to me, it read like the Flintsones parody. Despite a fair and balanced explanation that an understanding of the emotional valence of imagery, gestures, music could be used to project empathy, caringly sway, or overtly manipulate others in the name of purported good or evil, I kept thinking “Does someone really need to write this out?” or “Is this breaking news?”