Panglossian Password

The NY Times password retrieval questions are bizarrely panglossian. Usually a website will ask you something like "What is the name of your pet?" or "In what city were you born?" The NY Times' questions are offputtingly superlative:

1. Name of favorite book?
2. Name of best friend?
3. Name of favorite film?
4. Name of first pet?
5. Name of favorite band?
6. Name of elementary school?

I don't have a favorite book, a best friend, a favorite film or band, I don't remember my first pet, and don't even have a single elementary school (although that's the one reasonable question in the group).

Lest you think this simply a meaningless annoyance, I will reveal unto you its significance. Have you ever noticed that a certain stripe of person is annoyed at/hates circumstance or life or God because things are not as good as they should/could be? This type of idealist usually insists on behaving as if things were ideal. This is why, for example, liberals in this nation are more off their rockers than conservatives; the conservatives, at least, act as if other men are evil. Liberals behave as if evil is only caused by ignorance. In this worldview, people (and therefore what they do) are/could immediately be perfect.

The nice thing for them is, they are at the enlightened apex of human thought, so they're justified if they feel a little smug toward the laggards. This is also the reason for trendiness. It is important to be up on the latest ways of thinking and performing. It is important to find the best, and have it. That is why it is philosophically important to this sort to have a favorite band, favorite artist, and even best friend.

This (if I may stretch a point) goes along well with ideas of platonic unity, making even questions like "Your first pet?" and "Your elementary school?" relevant. This is no innocent "Your mother's maiden name?" That question makes your referrents other people, and your history is a part of you. "Your first pet?" and "Your elementary school?" refer you back only to yourself.

Think about it. You know the precious sort who has a favorite everything. You (i.e. I) just want to say "Relax, for goodness' sake. Have a beer." And, ironically, every trendster in the world would reach for a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Sigh.

So I answered the last question. I had to think about it briefly, had to go back through my history, and cycle through the five schools, and decide on the one that epitomized "elementary." And I rolled my eyes at the NY Times again. But I wanted access anyway. See, there's this really cool article about the blending of country and rap music...