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Showing posts from August 23, 2020

A voice, a vice

Give unto God what is God’s and to the mudwrestlers what are the mudwrestlers’. The girls work for tips, gents - the girls work for tips.     (Don’t we all, darling!) The kingdom of bog is within me. One forever morning ago   the Georgia red clay stuck its dog tongue down my throat, and since I’ve tried scrubbing it out and scraping it out   (gents, the ladies work for tips) but it doesn’t go. The tinge remains - shaming me, shaming me - on my flow. - Karen Chamisso

Peter Baker - perhaps the worst reporter of his generation!

  I have a special affection for Peter Baker. He is, perhaps, the worst reporter of his generation. It is a much coveted title, and so many others have struggled for the fool's gold, but Baker always carries it away by his delightful blend of sycophancy and an inability to analyse that would make a brick proud. His portrait of Trump, in the NYT, is full of Bakerisms, too many to count! It starts out with promise, and just gets better: "For a man on the edge of history, President Trump sounded calm and relaxed." This is a lesson to all reporters - you begin portentiously, and proceed to produce, oh, the prose equivalent of earwax. The edge of history? Well, it is a wonder someone on the edge of history sounds calm and relaxed - not just calm, and not just relaxed, but a twofer! and that's your lead. The lead could have been - for a man with a nineinch dick (as has been the case of all our great presidents!), President Trump has the most awesome voice, and I shivered t

Quiet history

  The municipal libretto weaves together all kinds of speeches and rhythms, from the American east coast tourist to the Tunisian proprietor of the kebab shop. Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese – when I go out in the Marais, this is what I expect to pick up. Covid has marked a change. A change that has not been marked, or at least I have not read about it yet - a moment in Paris’s phonic history. This spring and summer, the tourists are gone. I walk down Vielle de Temple, I walk down Rue de Bretagne, and from the cafes arise: only French. Paris has not been this French, I think, in a long time. Maybe since the Commune. Like an American chiropteroid, my ears are keen for American, and since I’ve lived here – going back to 2010 - I’ve felt how in the great Paris opera there is a strong American current. Paris is as much the New Yorker as it is Le Monde. I don’t have the figures, but I’d guess that perhaps 100,000 Americans live in the greater Paris area. Plus a considerable portion of th