Magazine April 5, 2010, Issue

Can I Help You?

(Cynthia Shirk/Getty Images)

We have a service economy, in part, because we no longer have servants. Carriage maintenance happened in the stables, amongst the grooms. Perhaps you even retained/owned a smith and a carpenter, so that if a wheel came off, Ben or Fetka would fix it right up. (We project ourselves onto the heroes and heroines of what we read, yet our ancestors are more likely to have been Ben and Fetka than Elizabeth Bennett or Pierre Bezukhov.) Now that we drive hybrids, and every man is the impresario of his own life, we require service. Our refractory items have to be

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Actor Sean Penn says that anyone who calls Hugo Chávez a dictator should go to jail. In Venezuela, Chávez is way ahead of him.

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