Sunday, January 18, 2009
Good stuff . . . and bad
Ten items of bright writing that captured my attention in the last few weeks (along with a front page that both amused and appalled me):
Gasoline marched toward $5 a gallon, turning Hummers into white elephants with running boards . . .
James G. Cobb, New York Times, Dec. 31, 2008
. . . Rumors began flying last Tuesday morning that Blagojevich was preparing to stick a potato in the exhaust pipe of those demanding his resignation by appointing Burris.
Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune, Jan. 6, 2009
The happy StairMaster president is on his way to a mansionette in Dallas, to be the decider of where to put the sofa. His successor, Mister Mambo, has cast his lot with Harvard and Yale and old Clinton hands, and soon enough, Lord knows, they will get the first of many comeuppances, and their shining faces will be chopfallen.
Garrison Keillor, Salon.com, Jan. 7, 2009
The prefix for trillion, as we know from super-computer lingo, is “tera.” I propose a neologism for our times: terafy. (V. tr.: To instill fear by mentioning the US deficit.)
Christopher Buckley, The Daily Beast, Jan. 14, 2009
. . . As we hurry through the streets, like dog-paddling through a liquid hydrogen slushie, we might remember the tranquility with which the explorers of a century ago went to their frigid deaths.
Neil Steinberg, Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 16, 2009
Political thrillers are like fish fingers: squarish, stodgy, reliable.
The Economist, in a review of Leonard Downie's The Rules of the Game, Jan. 17th-23rd, 2009
A couple of nights ago, dusk brought a different illusion. The clouds had been hammered flat. But in the last few moments of afternoon, the sun slid below the overcast, coming out strong and red along the rim of the horizon.
Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times, Jan. 18, 2009
. . . the Fox News building . . . is the only refuge New York Republicans have. Walking into Fox is like slipping into a warm bath.
S.E. Cupp, Washington Post, Jan. 18, 2009
The chattering class saw Dubya as a walking style crime in a cowboy suit.
Debra J. Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 18, 2009
Scrabble is both mindless and cerebral, which may account for its appeal to writers -- it gives you a chance to push words around without having to make them mean something.
Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, Jan. 19, 2009