Saturday, August 25, 2007

Beat the Kettle, Slowly

Human speech, Flaubert said, is “like a cracked kettle on which we hammer out tunes to make bears dance when we long to touch the stars to tears.” (Anne Midgette in The NYT).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some Live, Some Die. Why?

Brother Juniper [in "The Bridge of San Luis Rey"] considered three possible explanations for the deaths: The victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time (a heretical interpretation he immediately rejected); God was punishing the wicked for their sins; or angels were being called early to heaven. Either humans are "like the flies that boys kill on a summer day" or they're like sparrows "who do not lose a feather that has not been brushed away by the finger of God." (Cynthia Crossen writing in The Wall Street Journal about why some people died and others lived in the Minneapolis bridge collapse).

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Gone Fishing

The helicopter moved like a drunk descending a staircase, lurching and rocking while the backwash of its fiberglass blades whipped the tall, pale green grass along Newfoundland’s Main River into a frothy, snapping mass. (Pete Bodo in The NYT, about fishing up north.

And ...

And what would a fish camp be without the obligatory, faded flannel shirt, flung like a discarded snake skin over a shrub to dry?

And ...

Catching a salmon on a small river is a little like fighting a badger in a phone booth: an awful lot happens, very fast, in a small space.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Scenes From a Marriage (Yoiks)

“You ask me for intimacy,” Marie was telling her husband of 22 years, Clem — and, unavoidably, the therapist and four other couples in the room — “the same way you ask if I’d like croutons on my salad.” She spoke slowly, deliberately, each word chipping out of her mouth like an ax striking wood. “I don’t hear the difference.” (Laurie Abraham in The NYT's Sunday magazine).

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The End of 'Take My Money, Please!'

It is, in a way, the Henny Youngman Economy. Lenders pleaded: "Take my money ... please!" In recent months, harbingers of the end of the credit bubble have been popping up like shoots of yellow forsythia. (Daniel Gross writing in

Swatting Bugs at a Standup Gig

"They [hecklers] are like little bugs hitting the windshield. You have to wipe them off and keep moving. But as soon as you get angry, you are not being clever. The secret is stay cool." (Comedian Rich Hill commenting to Reuters).

Friday, August 03, 2007

Bourne Ultimatum:: Doubling Down on Similes

Jaw clenched, brow knotted, body tight as a secret, Matt Damon hurtles through “The Bourne Ultimatum” like a missile. (Manohla Dargis in The NYT).

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Assessing Angelina

[Angelina Jolie] is not short, but she is very small, down to her bones, which are like twigs. And yet her flesh -- her golden, mortified flesh -- is extraordinary: Like the sheets on a barracks bed, there's no slack to it. (Tom Junod in Esquire).

And ...

She shines all over. Her eyes and her lips are, as advertised, extravagant creations, but then, in addition to all that extravagance, they also glisten like wet roads in a car commercial. (Junod).

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

One Prognosis for The Wall St. Journal

This news is like hearing from an old friend that he has a debilitating, fatal disease. You know that things will continue as they are for awhile, but you also know that the future looks bleak. (johnsmcdaniel posting on Wall Street Journal forum about the Murdoch deal).