Toppling point

Pulitzer-in-waiting Photo

Toppling Point: I have received more than one e-mail (that means two) regarding the use of the term “tipping point” during this war: When is it going to occur? Has it occured? What will make it occur? Like “shock and awe,” the term seemed suddently to appear and then be used by everyone in formal and informal ways. My e-mails have been in reference to the term in its “pre-war” life, before it was “drafted” into the military. I’ve received the messages because I was an early and eager evangelist for Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point. Indeed, I tried to serve as maven, connector and salesman for it (sorry, inside joke). Anyway, I first started quoting Gladwell when the article appeared in The New Yorker and then as it became a best selling book and then as it launched a thousand power point presentations. So, today, I’m a little sad to see the end to an era in which “tipping point” had another definition. Sorry Malcolm, the term has reached a tipping point and will never again have the meaning you intended. It will now forever be associated with a statue being toppled this morning.