Here you have it: we pessimists are doomed (funny that this article doesn't reference Sunday's). [Edited to add: But wait! I'm over-educated! I will live!]
But really what I'm here to talk about is Lisa Belkin's nanny article, about which I was quite determined to say nothing, but C said--and I quote--she was counting on me to comment, so I feel I must oblige. If you didn't read it, and I'm not sure it's worth reading, the circumstances are thus: Lisa Belkin had a nanny with some red flags; she finally got rid of the nanny after a weird incident; several years later the nanny, now a nurse, was charged with assaulting patients in an Irish nursing home; Belkin went to the trial where the nanny-nurse was found guilty. In the article, Belkin tells the story and describes her feelings, lots of feelings.
Basically I think this is just more narcissistic upper-middle-class liberal white woman nanny guilt, expiated in the pages of the NY Times Magazine. Even though Belkin calls attention to the problematic nature of the mother's desire for the nanny, she still enacts it, and, worse, in my opinion, she turns Noreen's fairly tragic story into a story about herself: how she misjudged Noreen, how Noreen betrayed her, how she angsted about her relationship with the victims' families, how she tried to help Noreen by writing a letter to the judge explaining that Noreen had big problems and needed help not punishment (and then, surprise, Noreen's lawyer refused to use the letter). There's also something...I'm having a hard time finding the word here...tacky? despicable? queasy-making? about the way she reveals Noreen and all her secrets in print (Econo-Girl makes a good point about the nature of trust). In short: standard-issue NY Times nanny-employer (can I saw employatrix?) bullshit.