Ponderous left-leaning New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik recently reviewed This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust. But as an astute tipster noted, Gopnik basically cribs part of his article from the stump speeches of cray-cray Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Is this a simple case of plagiarism, influence or is there some sort of sinister coded language being used here. After the jump, we find out.
First, from Gopnick's piece:
For most of history, ordinary people lived their lives vertically, with reference to a Heaven above and a Hell below. Now we live our lives horizontally, with reference to a past that we can repair or extend, and to future generations for whom our sacrifices and examples may make a better life. (We live horizontally, too, in the knowledge of sex and death as shaping principles.)
As the post goes on to point out, "verticality" is a buzzword in the Huckabee campaign and a covert shout out to evangelicals to whom the word vertical—in a cosmic as well as political way—is a keyword. From Street Prophets:
Conservative evangelicals often talk about the need to prioritize their vertical relationships with God first and foremost before worrying about horizontal relationships among people. It's the individualized 'get right with God' approach of conservative Protestantism....I've been present a number of times when "vertical" rhetoric - the exact word - has been used in evangelical circles. It's indeed a way of speaking one hears in many churches, part of the faith vocabulary of the evangelical and fundamentalist subculture."
So we're left with the uneasy situation in which either Gopnik is a) a plagiarist who liked a trope b) a plagiarist who is winking to the New Yorker's evangelical readership (unlikely) c) a closet Huckabee supporter (unlikely, it was Rick Hertzberg who wrote the I Heart Huckabee piece) or d) most terrifyingly, the entire concept of verticalness, of up and downness, has been co-opted by the evangelical community so that any mention of something extending on a vertical axis is now some byword for conservative Christianity.