web analytics

Archives for February 2018

The editor has fallen asleep

This is from The New Yorker. This sentence, written by , is 61 freaking words long and contains 12, yes 12, prepositonal phrases. Six such phrases is a sure sign of a severe, if not fatal, case of wordiness. Twelve prepositional phrases means the writer must be quarantined for at least a month until this malady clears up. Turner Catledge, the great southern gentleman and New York Times managing editor, once said the paper’s composing room had an unlimited cache of periods and admonished his reporters to use them liberally. Doreen, listen up. If you can’t,  Doreen’s editor should immediately report to the school nurse. The narcolepsy must be treated.

Here is the offending and offensive prose:

“On Wednesday, seven days after the nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz walked into his former high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, in Parkland, Florida, and killed seventeen people with an AR-15, the White House invited a select group of the survivors of that shooting, and of mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and at Columbine High School and in Aurora, Colorado, for a ‘listening session.’ ”


Sexual harasser-in-chief

Someone please explain why former Sen. Al Franken was hounded from office for this photo while Trump the humper has attracted complaints from 19 women of sexual misconduct. When historians look back on this time, they will perforce call it The Age of Bullshit.

The stubborn rose

   This rose appeared in early February. Roses are supposed to be dormant in early February. Nonetheless this flower, called Angel Face, a floribunda, decided the time was right to bloom.

   I tried to reason with her but to no avail. Nothing is quite as stubborn as a rose, and it has the thorns to prove it. This particular bush took June of 2017 rather personally. It is but a shadow of its former self, severely stunted and not fully recovered yet from the fierce relentless heat. We expect this June will bring a scalding encore. Growing roses in the Sonoran desert allows us to experience climate change on a personal basis.

   It is a mystery how so many Americans deny the fact of climate change. But then this is a nation of mysteries. How is it, for example, there are no school shootings in Japan? Or France? Or Great Britain? How is it that this American civilization breeds a 19-year-old killer such as Nikolas Cruz who so easily takes the lives of 17 people?

   Then there is the mysterious Congress, a congregation of ignorant, Republican fools like Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa who helped pass legislation last year that allows the mentally ill to buy guns. These prostitutes who service the National Rifle Association are beneath contempt.

  The greatest mystery is how this nation was forced to suffer the nation’s foremost whore-monger as its godless president with the whole-hearted support of evangelicals. The greatest mystery is also the greatest hypocrisy.