I couldn’t p now if I tried

I was home sick all day yesterday. I hate being home sick. It’s one thing to be home all day and feeling great, just sitting around and doing absolutely nothing. But illness requires constant distraction from the fact that my head feels like a medicine ball full of hot mayonnaise. Luckily, there are economists in the world.

Specifically, economists Tyler Cowen and Gabriel Rossman, who both pointed the way to the 1993 General Social Survey. The National Opinion Research Center has been doing these every couple of years; they tabulate all kinds of opinions—cultural, religious, political—so you can cross-reference them. And in 1993, they saw fit to ask everybody how much they liked classical music.

So now I know that, for example, we classical music lovers are also avid campers (the more red the box, the more significant the correlation):

chart comparing incidence of camping with preference for classical musicAnd that we want more trains and buses:

chart comparing desired mass transit spending with preference for classical musicAnd that we’re a bunch of drunks:

chart comparing consumption of alcohol with preference for classical musicBy now, logical types among you are limbering up your fingers to post comments regarding post hoc fallacies and what-not. (“Your love of classical music has nothing to do with the fact that you’re drunk,” etc.) But if recent history has taught me one thing, it’s that, as an American, I have a God-given right to narrowly interpret ambiguous data to suit whatever conclusions I please. Besides, apart from repeated exposure to Peter Grimes, how to explain this?

chart comparing preference for spanking children with preference for classical musicWhat about Der Freischütz?

chart comparing incidence of gun in the home with preference for classical musicMadama Butterfly?

chart comparing acceptability of suicide to avoid family dishonor with preference for classical musicOn the other hand, we seem to have forgotten how Don Giovanni ends.

chart comparing number of sexual partners in past year with preference for classical musicHow many sexual partners a year? Eleven to twenty. In Spain alone!

(Title courtesy of Mark Glickman, who has more silliness here. Click here to get all the jokes.)

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