Archive for September, 2009

The Art of War

20 September 2009

I suppose I could spend tonight studying the factual issues for tomorrow’s debate, but I’d much rather study Schopenhauer’s Thirty-Eight Ways to Win an Argument.

Numbers 8, 29, and 38 are particularly appealing.



15 September 2009

Must resist temptation to quote Frost.

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Exercises in Poor Journalism

12 September 2009

This article, subtitled “[South Carolina] Has a History of Rowdy Politics, neglects to mention the mother of all South Carolinian altercations.

Quote of the Day

11 September 2009

“Someone should do a remake of “No Exit” in which Andrew Sullivan, Leon Wieseltier, and Mickey Kaus are locked in a room together for all eternity.”

I think I’d pay good money to see that.

Belly Full

11 September 2009

I’m traditionally underwhelmed by both Kardinall Offishall and poor attempts at reggae; and yet, I’m quite fond of this song.

Update: Its Afrobeat companion piece is pretty nice too.

Columbia Heights is…

6 September 2009

Columbia Heights is...

Between Scylla and Charybdis

6 September 2009

6.  Do not overwrite.

Rich, ornate prose is hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating.  If the sickly-sweet word, the overblown phrase are your natural form of expression, as is sometimes the case, you will have to compensate for it by a show of vigor, and by writing something as meritorious as the Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.


9.  Do not affect a breezy manner.

The volume of writing is enormous, these days, and much of it has a sort of windiness about it, almost as though the author were in a state of euphoria.  “Spontaneous me,” sang Whitman, and, in his innocence, let loose the hordes of uninspired scribblers who would one day confuse spontaneity with genius.

The breezy style is often the work of an egocentric, the person who imagines that everything that comes to mind is of general interest and that uninhibited prose creates high spirits and carries the day.

– “The Elements of Style” (4th ed.) by Strunk and White,  pp. 72-73.  See here, generally.