- Paul Ryan’s not just the GOP VP candidate, he’s the most prominent successful example of the young professional ambitious political person, or YoPAPP.
I started running into YoPAPPs at Northwestern, met a crap-ton in D.C., and then even knew a few here and there at Michigan. They come in all ethnicities, genders and a somewhat varied scope of economic backgrounds, but all share several traits:
- A calculating personality that makes it difficult to discern conviction from triangulation – everything is expressed in such a practiced way that even spoken core beliefs leave you with the nagging feeling that those beliefs could change tomorrow;
- Flat tone that might sometimes dip slightly into “I’ll say I’m concerned” if something is particularly sad and occasionally rise into “almost bemused” when something funny or charming happens, but otherwise showing very little in the way of empathetic connection;
- Little to no professional work outside the politics / policy sector, save the odd high-school or college job to provide some color;
- Seemingly unstoppable advancement within said politics / policy sector, starting at the high-school level;
- Conscious avoidance of all cameras when in fun situations, unless the fun is explicitly planned for the cameras.
As much as those sound like dislikable qualities, the YoPAPP is very much a creature of our own political society – with constant news coverage sparking an obsession with the trivial, perhaps these YoPAPPs are so robotic because they truly do care about “how it should be” to the point that they recognize the only way to get to an elected position of power is to button up completely and wall off from the normal human experience of venturing, triumphing, failing and becoming a wiser person through all of it. Cool realization, bro.
- Big ups to Hermione, newly minted yinzer.
- I had to quit MapMyRun – despite my prior props, I couldn’t deal with the messed-up GPS tracking and decided I’d do better with Google Maps and my smartphone stopwatch. They did send this promo email last week that’s ostensibly supposed to make me focus on running, but subliminally I’m also supposed to focus on other things:
- It’s the time of year for NFL preview writing, and after I’ve found SI’s preview issues to be a little stale the past few years, I really like the ones at the NYT’s Fifth Down blog. Even better, I don’t think they count against the 20-articles-per-month threshold for the payroll that I quit a few years ago.
Bonus awesome NFL reads: the “Why Your Team Sucks” series at Deadspin.