Friday, June 29, 2007

Say Cheese, Gordon

When he suddenly remembers to smile -- as he did, quite awkwardly, outside No. 10 -- his face bursts into an unnatural glare, like a fluorescent light flicked on in a dark room, as opposed to the warm, glowing grin of Blair. (James Geary on writing about Gordon Brown).

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Debating a New Captain for the WSJ Ship

No outside board can tame any owner, a former Sunday Times investigative reporter, Bruce Page, told me. “Newspapers are like ships,” he said. “They are real-time systems. You must make your decisions. It is better to have bad decisions rather than no decisions. You can’t have the captain of the ship appointed by people onshore, and fire him when he comes back to shore.” (Ken Auletta in The New Yorker about the prospective sale of The Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch).

And ...

In most newsrooms, John Carroll said, “there are some leaders, but the majority are followers. The majority lines up like iron filings to a magnet.”

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Day at the Beach for Lady Chatterley

Viewers will no doubt like and dislike Pascale Ferran's "Lady Chatterley" in ample numbers, but the picture itself is an impressive construction that seems indifferent to such concerns. Watching it is something like swimming in the ocean: You have an idyllic, sun-struck dip for a while, and then the sun goes behind a cloud and you get stung by jellyfish and heaved up on the beach, shivering, half-dead and slimed with seaweed. It's all the same to the ocean. (Andrew O'Hehir on

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Similes on Steroids

Giambi’s career spans baseball’s epoch of human growth hormone and miracle flaxseed oil, as players’ bodies expanded like saltines in water from the late ’90s and into the new millennium. (Selena Roberts in The NYT).

Friday, June 15, 2007

Tastes a Little Like Duck Soup

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. (Groucho Marx).

Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse. (Groucho).

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Heat in the Lebanese Kitchen

"This country is like a cake. On the top it is cream. Underneath it is fire." [About Lebanon]. So a Hezbollah spokesman told me last June, speaking in the shabby Beirut apartment that served as the party's press office until an avalanche of Israeli ordnance leveled the building.... (Max Rodenbeck in the New York Review of Books).

A Political Dish, Dressed & Stuffed

The farce in the far north involves two national politicians who are used to getting their way, and a lobby that treats legislators like houseboys. (Timothy Egan in The NYT).

And ...

As chairman of the committee that bundled all pet projects into a single transportation bill last year, [Representative Don] Young had this to say about the legislative process: “I stuffed it like a turkey.”

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Lee Marvin, a (Belated) R.I.P.

Lee Marvin moved across the screen like a shark coming in for the kill. Long and lean, with shoulders that looked as wide as his hips and hair as silver as a bullet, he seemed built for speed. (The NYT).