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December 21, 2004

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» Buy Blue/Buy Red from fredschoeneman.com
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» Buy Blue/Buy Red from fredschoeneman.com
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Comments

Matt Cheney

I haven't read the Time article to go along with the Thing of the Year award, but I do seem to remember folks like Hitler and Stalin also having been chosen in the past...

Maud

How'd you shift to Powell's? And I thought you were out until early January or I would've put you in my list of "while I'm away" destinations!

Maud

(Although naturally I'm not nearly as "away" as I thought I'd be....)

dansays

The award is given to "the person or thing that had the greatest impact on the news, for good or ill." I think that GW is an appropriate choice.

I also think that Time punked out by naming Giuliani, and not Osama bin Laden, the 2001 Person of the Year. I don't think there's any doubt that OBL had the greatest impact on the news, but they went with the less controversial choice. Weak.

TEV

Points taken. However given that the opening blurb of the piece reads as follows:

"For sticking to his guns (literally and figuratively), for reshaping the rules of politics to fit his ten-gallon-hat leadership style and for persuading a majority of voters that he deserved to be in the White House for another four years, George W. Bush is TIME's 2004 Person of the Year"

... it smacks more of hagiography than critique.

Jeff

It should be noted that Time Warner gave nearly 85% of its contributions to the Dems this year. Also note that I'm a fan of the Atlanta Braves and would hate to see a Time boycott cut into the already shrinking payroll of my favorite team.

I would also like to know how you made the switch over to Powell's.

jessica

dammit. i luv, luv, luv powells (it's the first bookstore i ever drank coffee in), and i review books on my site, too, but i also review lip gloss, eyeshadow, and other beauty items. if only powells would start selling cosmetics... sigh.

Bill  Day

I would also like to know how you made the shift to Powell's, please. Perhaps you could post instructions?

Tito

glad to help. can you email beer? maybe at least send a whiff (with possibly your last smell-o-vision update of the year): http://www.smh.com.au/news/Technology/Smell-comes-to-multimedia/2004/12/20/1103391690350.html?oneclick=true

stephan

Is Bush a nitwit? Yes, 9 out of 10 dentists agree. But should we boycott Time for naming the President its Person of the Year? No. As said in other posts, this is not an endorsement, it's their way of saying he was the most influential person in 2004. And he was. Regrettably so. All this boycotting, it's got to stop, I think. We have differences, all of us, but we should be able to buy and sell goods between one another. The Nazis painted "Juden" on store-front windows; what will we do, replace it with "Republican"? There's got to be a better way.

Robert Nagle

I have many reasons why I ought to hate Time magazine (AOL conspiracy theories, anti-RIAA), but I can't help it; I just enjoy the writing too much. Time is great at taking a mainstream news stories (OJ, Tanya Harding, etc) and turning it into a novel. (Also, there's Shickel and Corliss). This is mainstream journalism, and some cover stories bore me. But so far I haven't found a good replacement.

Although I wonder if the mag spends too much time in cross-promotion, in fact the writers/editors seem relatively independent and critical(and it does help to have these Time/Warner book excerpts too).

BTW, I've read the Mencken quote several times and laugh harder every time I come across it.

Fred Schoeneman

Mark,

If you want to boycott something, boycott Pfizer. They're the ones responsible for blog spam viagra, through their referral programs.

http://www.fredschoeneman.com/archives/000418.html

f

The comments to this entry are closed.

TEV DEFINED


  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."

SECOND LOOK

  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

    Bs

    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe

    Rider_4

    Tim Krabbé's superb 1978 memoir-cum-novel is the single best book we've read about cycling, a book that will come closer to bringing you inside a grueling road race than anything else out there. A kilometer-by-kilometer look at just what is required to endure some of the most grueling terrain in the world, Krabbé explains the tactics, the choices and – above all – the grinding, endless, excruciating pain that every cyclist faces and makes it heart-pounding rather than expository or tedious. No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist (ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation) and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid – an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. "Non-racers," he writes. "The emptiness of those lives shocks me."