Thursday, July 30, 2009

A way with words

Is it something in the (potable if rather unpleasant) water? Or does it come with the donning of a gaudy Hawaiian beach shirt?


The conscience of the sunshine State, the magnificent and, doubtless, mean and moody, but unfailingly marvellously-readable Carl Hiaasen starts his latest column thus:

Unlike Sarah Palin, Charlie Crist has chosen not to quit his governorship early. Florida's own one-term wonder is using his remaining time to ingratiate himself with as many deep-pocket interest groups as possible.

The governor's unseemly burst of groveling is directly connected to his upcoming run for the U.S. Senate. Sucking up to the National Rifle Association and the Christian right, Crist last week declared his opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, whose confirmation is already a done deal.

Many of Crist's longtime supporters were surprised, but they shouldn't have been. Charlie has no problem with timely pandering.

That is the prelude to a characteristic toccata and full-blown fugue on Hiaasen's favourite topic, the on-going rape of southern Florida by property interests.


Here's Fred Grimm warming up, on line today, for the Miami Herald:

I noticed an inert bio-mass, approximately 13 years old, parked on the couch, working the remote control like a virtuoso.

"When I was your age,'' I told her, embarking on a Dostoyevskian tragedy from the Eisenhower era, "I had to stand up and walk across the room to change the channel.''

My daughter and her contemporaries can text like Olympic athletes -- their thumbs moving with dazzling speed and incredible endurance, far into the night. The other digits? Not so athletic.

That, believe it or not, is the intro to a piece on child obesity and exercise regimes.

  • Whatever potation provides it (please let it be something with an alcohol content),
  • whatever ridiculous costume one has to wear to get it,
  • Malcolm wants some.
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