been struck (no less than Max Weber)nby the inevitable relationship betweenncommunal disintegration and an unrestrictednmanagerial state. Unlike traditionalnstates which focus on “the political,”nthe managerial state seeks tonreconstruct social relations and hasnbecome the agent of embattled reformers.nNone of these counterrevolutionarynideas may appeal to Bloom and hisnadmirers, but they do explain morenabout our social problems than do hisnattacks on the critics of the Enlightenment.nAs a young professor in the laten60’s, I heard radical students appealingnto Rousseauistic compassion in thenname of the suffering Just. Many ofnMarilyn and Gloria by Janet Scott Barlon”Love-making is radical, while marriage is conservative. “n—Eric HoffernMarilyn: Norma Jean by GlorianSteinem, New York: Henry Holt andnCompany; $24.95.nOne day in the early 70’s, I read anmagazine article in which GlorianSteinem was reported to have said thatnshe would have no problem continuingnher work as a writer should shenever have a baby—she’d do her writingnwhen the baby napped. I can’tnrecall the date I read this, or even thenyear, but I do remember vividly that itnwas a rainy afternoon and those wordsnabout writing mothers and sleepingnbabies were responsible for what youncould call a significant moment. For Inwas on that afternoon the mother ofntwo toddlers, one of whom had avoidednsleep since birth and continued tondefy parental expectations, not tonmention physiological law, by thrivingnnicely without once lying down, muchnless closing his eyes. And I was certainnthat if he ever did take a nap, I wouldnnot sit down to write. I would doninstead something meaningful, somethingnimportant. I would take a nap,ntoo.nParenthood may be the world’s biggestnclub, but it’s not a club withoutnrules. And the first and most inflexiblenrule is: If you aren’t a member, youndon’t know what the hell you’re talkingnabout. (Which is not the same asnsaying that you automatically knownwhat you’re talking about if you are an]anet Scott Barlow covers popularnculture from her home in Cincinnati,nOhio.nmember—but that’s a different issuencompletely.) Gloria Steinem didn’tnknow what the hell she was talkingnabout. And I had the proof—pudgy,ncheerful, diapered, and sleepless—nright in my own house. The knowledgenof this proof was, well, liberating.nSo liberating that it presented, yes, anFemale Option: I could completelynignore Gloria Steinem.nAnd now, over a decade later, itnturns out Gloria Steinem is still at it.nShe has written a book called Marilyn:nNorma ]ean, in which she demonstratesnthat feminist thinking hasnchanged through the years only to thenextent that it has become even lessnconnected to reality. Ms. Steinem’snsubject this time is Marilyn Monroe,nat first glance an unexpected choice forna feminist writer. But feminists havenfallen on hard times since the gloryndays (people are sick of them—a definitenhandicap for a social movement),nand the subject of Marilyn Monroenseems to offer Gloria Steinem what itnoffered Norman Mailer—any port inna storm.nSteinem begins her “factual andnemotional holograph” of MarilynnMonroe with the assumption thatnMonroe is a cultural “icon of continuingnpower,” a lasting “part of our livesnand imaginations,” a woman whosen”enduring” force “hook[s] into ourndeepest emotions of hope or fear,ndream or nightmare of what our ownnfates might be”—in short, a “legend.”nCan we stop right there? What isnmost interesting about this idea ofnMarilyn Monroe’s deep and abidingnLegend is that it is universally acceptednnnthe same radicals proposed their ownn”educational projects” to extend democraticnequality throughout all levelsnof American society. What I honestiynnever heard from a student radical wasnpraise of tragic fatalism, or calls for anneo-medieval hierarchy. Perhapsnthings were different at Chicago!nby those who write about her, andnnearly nonexistent to everyone else.nSteinem marvels at seeing Monroe’snlikeness displayed everywhere fromndress shop windows to magazine coversnand cites these encounters asn”everyday signs of a unique longevity.”nWhat she actually is seeing areneveryday signs of effective merchandising,nand what this pervasive merchandisingnproves is not the strength ofnMonroe’s Legend but the shallownessnof it. Marilyn Monroe does not “inhabit”nour lives and emotions. To thendegree that she exists in our “consciousness”nat all, it is as a mind sketch,nvisual shorthand. A logo.nThe notion of Marilyn Monroe’snunique and enduring grip on our imaginationsnhas come directiy from thenimaginations of those who have writtennabout her, writers who inventednSEPTEMBER 1987 133n