Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Consulting Biz: Trafficking in Intel

The year before [Mitt] Romney joined [Boston Consulting Group], William Bain, one of the company’s stars, had left to start his own firm, Bain & Company, which he promised would be a radical new consulting business. If B.C.G. was like an ivory tower, Bain was a trade school. The tradition best exemplified by McKinsey, one of the oldest firms, had consultants acting like pollinating bees, moving valuable information from one company to another, even within the same industry. Much of what you paid for as a C.E.O. was the expertise that McKinsey had lifted from your rivals. (Ryan Lizza in The New Yorker).

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hillary Channeling Eleanor

[Hillary Clinton] quoted Eleanor Roosevelt: "Women are like tea bags -- you never know how strong they are until they get in hot water." (Peggy Noonan in The WSJ).

Friday, October 12, 2007

Phoenix Gets 'Owned'

... the life begins to leak out of “We Own the Night,” and especially out of [Joaquin] Phoenix’s performance. In the actor’s case, this seems deliberate, as if he had chosen to interpret grief as a form of petrifaction. His elbows and shoulders stiffen, and he lumbers across the sets like a Frankenstein monster. (A.O. Scott in The NYT).

And ...

“I feel light as a feather,” Bobby says in a crucial scene, at which point the movie starts to sink like a stone.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Self-Improvement With Salmon, Mussels & Yoga

Off I went again to sleep, and came round to find myself alone, like a pink salmon on a slab, with "Greensleeves" playing softly on the stereo. (Christopher Hitchens in Vanity Fair on "the limits of self-improvement").

And ...

And a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine, as they say in France.

And ...

In the morning, none too early, I descended to the beach to begin my program of yoga stretching. It was not thought advisable that I do this by myself—muscles become like mussels at my stage of life, and if not stretched carefully will either lose their elasticity or else snap with a sudden "pop" that I have already once, and disconcertingly, heard as I made the mistake of running for the phone.

And ...

This was less like being a salmon on a slab, more like being a steamed Chilean sea bass in the hands of a capable sous-chef.

And ...

I suppose one could easily enough add seaweed and algae and mud (and, on one occasion, another tincture of green in the shape of an Avocado-Citrus Body Wrap, which at least gave me a new and better way of looking like an overripe pear) to one's list of regular addictions. It would be like going to confession in between an exhausting program of sins.