"In the end, I just can't shake off this damnable sense of perspective." David Mitchell's evenhandedly hilarious appraisal about the word "passionate" as corporate-speak. A reader named Tom pointed this out in the comments this morning—thanks to him for getting my day off to a good start.
In another random follow-up to a past post, I have to say that I now notice when I see books that made the readers' recommended list a few weeks ago. So, speaking of that, I wonder if the videocaster above is the same David Mitchell who wrote Cloud Atlas and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
Writers really ought to change their names to something easily rememberable and friendly, don't you think? Like Hollywood stars: you might have heard that Hedwig Kiesler, Joseph Levitch, Tula Ellice Finklea, Webb Parmelee Hollenbeck, Issur Danielovitch Demsky, and Virginia McMath became, respectively, Hedy Lamarr, Jerry Lewis, Cyd Charisse, Clifton Webb, Kirk Douglas, and Ginger Rogers—or even that "Theda Bara" is (deliberately) an anagram of "death arab"—but did you know that Boris Karloff's real name was William Pratt? William Pratt—are you kidding me? Whoever came up with "Boris Karloff" is a genius. David Mitchell the novelist needs a name with Karloff-level creativity. I guarantee you that if you ask me three months from now who David Mitchell is, I won't have the slightest idea.
In a final follow-up, TOP reader Tim Bradshaw contacted Emma Duncan, the Economist Deputy Editor responsible for the "Obama vs. BP" cover, and has this to report: "Emma Duncan replied to my mail and it's fairly clear that this was a genuine mistake on her part rather than a deliberate attempt to mislead. Now it's been pointed out, she also can see the picture the way most people do. She says they will be more careful about how pictures are edited in future. So I'm happy that this was a mistake, rather than something intentional." Thanks for that, Tim.
(Thanks to Bill Bryson for the star names)
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.