The Rhinoceros Effect

SYNOPSIS: A quick note on Mickey Kaus . . . the Rhino!

I don't know how many people have read or seen Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros, a parable about conformity and the authoritarian impluse. It tells of a town in which people begin turning, one by one, into rhinoceri - yet few are willing to acknowledge what's happening. The most memorable scene is one in which the hero's friend (famously played by Zero Mostel) begins making excuses for his neighbors - maybe it's not so bad to be a rhinoceros, after all - and, as we watch, turns into a rhinoceros himself.

What reminded me of the play was a visit to my old publication Slate. I've pretty much restricted my blog reading to Brad DeLong and Josh Marshall - but I couldn't help noticing that Zero Mostel had nothing on Mickey Kaus.

Meanwhile, some of us refuse to ignore the rhinoceri running the country.

Originally published on the Official Paul Krugman Site, 7.21.02