Levine claims that she means to limit herself to the necessities of daily life. One scans through Levine's list of necessities with growing incredulity. High-speed DSL (hey, it's for work!), cable television, the occasional $55 haircut, 'organic French roast coffee beans,' skiing?!
Levine airily insists that necessities in New York are different from those of a 'farmer in Bangladesh.' But she seems to forget this relative wealth when she describes the aily life she leads with her partner, Paul. She paints a pitiful picture: This 'highly insecure' existence includes two residences (an apartment in Brooklyn and a house in Vermont), flexible work that allows the couple to take off and ski in the afternoon, three cars, a windsurfer, and a healthy diet of such Whole Foods staples as 'Thai sweet black rice' and 'Mexican huitlacoche fungus.'
I'm a little stunned that this book would be this bad, so I'm tempted to buy the book so I can find out for myself. From reading a little about the book in general from other sources, I understand that it's a big anti-Republican screed which is fine. But as most Democratic screeds about Republicans, it's anti-Republican for what I suspect to be all the wrong reasons.
But no matter, it's not her politics I care about, it's the hypocrisy that I'm watering at the mouth to get at.
Miller ends her review with an utterly fantastic closer:
Levine’s no-shopping pledge has all the anti-capitalist bona fides of Adbusters’ “non-brand” brand, Blackspot, or, better yet, one of Citibank’s “Live Richly” ads. Spiky haircut? $55. Organic coffee beans? $7 a pound. Excoriating everyone else for overconsumption? Priceless.