Sunday, May 04, 2008

Painting a Political Picture

The lioness of Chappaqua is hot on the trail of the Chicago gazelle, eager to gnaw him to pieces, like a harrowing scene out of a George Stubbs painting. (Maureen Dowd in The NYT).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Devils Made Him Do It

“Sean Avery is like a case of jock rash. It’s there, it bothers you, and eventually you have to just play through it.” (The New Yorker quoting a retired NHL referee, Paul Stewart, on Avery's playoff antics.

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Different Sort of Buzz

Reality Stars Are Dropping Like Flies! (

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In Surgery, Checking the Light Upstairs

My surgery lasted nine hours, and for most of it I had to be awake, so that the doctors could test the connection, like asking somebody to go upstairs and see if the light in the bedroom comes back on while you fiddle with the circuit-breaker box in the basement.(Michael Kinsley in The New Yorker).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Frogs, Hymns & the Smell of Mud

There are others, but tree frog croon is deep. Like the hymns we sang every morning at school. Or muffled voices rising from the kitchen. The wind through the crack in a pane. When I hear the peepers it's time to smell mud, to dig, to quit your tent. (A Walk Around the Lake blog).

Popcorn Done, Is This Race Over Yet?

One Obama adviser moaned that the race was “beginning to feel like a hostage crisis” and would probably go on for another month to six weeks. And Obama said that the “God, when will this be over?” primary season was like “a good movie that lasted about a half an hour too long.” (Maureen Dowd in The New York Times).

And ...

Obama, like the preternaturally gifted young heroes in mythical tales, is still learning to channel his force.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Spitzer Pile-Up

The Eliot Spitzer case is one of those public train wrecks in which the clichés pile up like freight cars in a chain-reaction collision. “Follow the money … ” (It was an I.R.S. investigation of Governor Spitzer’s suspicious cash transfers that led to the prostitution ring.) “The cover-up is always worse than the crime … ” (It was the governor’s effort to hide the source, destination, and purpose of the money he was moving around that may be a more serious offense than violation of an antique white-slavery law.) “Pride goeth before a fall … ” (A man who dared to think he might one day be president is a national laughingstock instead). But the most apt cliché of all is the most karmic: “What goes around comes around.” (Todd Purdum in Vanity Fair).

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Wiki Metropolis: Leaves, Ancient Ruins & Some Hairy Caterpillars

It's like some vast aerial city with people walking briskly to and fro on catwalks, carrying picnic baskets full of nutritious snacks. (Nicholson Baker in The New York Review of Books on Wikipedia, the subject a new book, "Wikipedia: The Missing Manual."

And ...
It was like a giant community leaf-raking project in which everyone was called a groundskeeper.

And ...
The fragments from original sources persist like those stony bits of classical buildings incorporated in a medieval wall.

And ...

For researchers it's a place to look stuff up, [Brion] Vibber said, but for editors "it's almost more like an online game, in that it's a community where you hang out a bit, and do something that's a little bit of fun: you whack some trolls, you build some material, etcetera."

And ...
On December 7, 2007, somebody altered the long article on bedbugs so that it read like a horror movie....

And ...
If an article bristles with some quotes from external sources these may, like the bushy hairs on a caterpillar, make it harder to kill.

And ...
When I managed to help save something I was quietly thrilled—I walked tall, like Henry Fonda in "Twelve Angry Men."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Obama's Mrs: Gladiator or Tin Man

[Michelle] Obama works out like “a gladiator,” a friend has said. (Lauren Collins in The New Yorker).

And ...

When people — they’re almost always shorter — ask her to pose for pictures, instead of bending her knees she leans at the waist, like the Tin Man.

And ...

It assuages fears of difference — “We’re just like you” is the cumulative message of all the back-and-forth about the breath and the bread — and inoculates against jealousy, a smart bit of self-deprecation on the part of a young, gifted, attractive couple whose fortunes have risen quickly, like movie stars insisting that they were unpopular in high school.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Exercising the Body Politic

The candidate who tried to present herself as inevitable has been out-maneuvered nearly every step of the way by a prodigy with a warm and brilliant smile who still seems as energetic as an athlete doing calisthenics before a big game. (Bob Herbert in The NYT.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Riding the Political Wave, While It Lasts

Barack Obama has ridden these primaries like a skilled surfer, catching big emotional waves and riding them spectacularly, letting this new force carry him forward. Even the biggest waves, however, eventually break on the shore. (Daniel Henninger in The WSJ.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Foreign Policy With a French Flavor

The foreign policy of France, like its cuisine, should be unmistakably, ineffably . . . French. (James Traub in The NYT Magazine.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Drive Through Candidates

Florida is one of those places that makes participating in elections as easy as ordering a drive-thru hamburger. (Gail Collins in The NYT).

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Body Politic Weeps a Bit

Let's look at the tears before they harden like resin into cliché. (Peggy Noonan in The WSJ).

And ...

He [Barack Obama] plays down emotionalism in terms of his visage (not his words), keeps his guard up, wears dignity like a cloak.

And ...

When he [Obama] appeared with Oprah in Des Moines, she vibrated at the podium like a puppy.