From LIFE magazine
Bookcover art by Salva for Jerry Crayton, Chasse aux documents, Ed. Le Trotteur
Kory Stamper writes: Everyone knows that slang is informal speech, usually invented by reckless young people, who are ruining proper English. These obnoxious upstart words are vapid and worthless, say the guardians of good usage, and lexicographers like me should be preserving language that has a lineage, well-bred words with wholesome backgrounds, rather than recording the modish vulgarities of street argot.
In fact, much of today’s slang has older and more venerable roots than most people realize.
Take “swag.” As a noun (“Check out my swag, yo / I walk like a ballplayer” — Jay Z), a verb (“I smash this verse / and I swag and surf” — Lil Wayne), an adjective (“I got ya slippin’ on my swag juice” — Eminem), and even as an interjection (“Say hello to falsetto in three, two, swag” — Justin Bieber), swag refers to a sense of confidence and style. It’s slangy enough that few dictionaries have entered it yet. Read the rest of this entry »
“‘Worthy Fights’ is highly self-regarding even for a Washington book.”
Peggy Noonan writes: There’s the sense of an absence where the president should be.
Decisions are made—by someone, or some agency—on matters of great consequence, Ebola, for instance. The virus has swept three nations of West Africa; a Liberian visitor has just died in Dallas. The Centers for Disease Control says it is tracking more than 50 people with whom he had contact.
“Publicly Mr. Panetta has always been at great pains to show the smiling, affable face of one who is above partisanship. But this book is smugly, grubbily partisan.”
The commonsense thing—not brain science, just common sense—would be for the government to say: “As of today we will stop citizens of the affected nations from entering the U.S. We will ban appropriate flights, and as time passes we’ll see where we are. We can readjust as circumstances change. But for now, easy does it—slow things down.”
[Check out Panetta's "Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace" at Amazon.com]
Instead the government chooses to let the flow of individuals from infected countries continue. They will be screened at five U.S. airports, where their temperatures will be taken and they will be asked if they have been around anyone with Ebola.
A lot of them, knowingly or unknowingly, have been around Ebola. People who are sick do not in the early stages have elevated temperatures. People who are desperate to leave a plague state will, understandably if wrongly, lie on questionnaires.
“He is telling partisan Democrats on the ground that he’s really one of them, he hates those Republicans too, so you can trust him when he tells you Mr. Obama’s presidency is not a success.”
U.S. health-care workers at airports will not early on be organized, and will not always show good judgment. TSA workers sometimes let through guns and knives. These workers will be looking for microbes, which, as they say, are harder to see. A baby teething can run a fever; so will a baby with the virus. A nurse or doctor with long experience can tell the difference. Will the airport workers?
None of this plan makes sense. Read the rest of this entry »
Hemingway, who lived from 1899 until his suicide in 1961, was a journalist, author, world traveler and sportsman. In the 1940s and 1950s, he spent half the year in Cuba and would summer in Idaho
“This is a really emotional day, being here with the people of Cojimar. It’s something personal, it’s a family thing, and I also think it is historic.”
– John Hemingway
COJIMAR – Carlos Batista writes: Just like Ernest Hemingway used to do, two of his grandsons sailed into the fishing town of Cojimar on Monday, marking 60 years since the iconic US author won the Nobel prize.
John and Patrick Hemingway sailed in from the Ernest Hemingway International Yacht Club west of Havana, through the Gulf waters where “Papa” used to fish, with a group of 16 that arrived Sunday.
“This is a really emotional day, being here with the people of Cojimar. It’s something personal, it’s a family thing, and I also think it is historic,” John Hemingway, 54, said in Spanish to about 200 people who gathered on the fishing town’s waterfront to greet them.
The author, also known for works such as “The Sun Also Rises,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and “A Farewell to Arms,” received the Nobel prize for literature in 1954.
About a dozen boats joined the four yachts carrying the Hemingway party in the two-hour sail over to Cojimar.
- New Hemingway Artifacts From Cuba At JFK Library (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Author: Hemingway watched Che’s firing squad massacres ‘while sipping Daiquiris’ (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- The Last Days of Ernest Hemingway: He Thought the Feds were Spying on him (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
Hemingway, who lived in Cuba for over 20 years, rented a home in the town. He fished enthusiastically and was inspired here to write the classic “The Old Man and the Sea.“
Hemingway’s boat is in dry dock these days, near his Cojimar home, now a museum run by the government of Raul Castro, 83
The four yachts flew both US and Cuban flags; the two countries have not had full diplomatic ties since 1961.
Events like this “could contribute to some positive things between the United States and Cuba,” said John, a writer who lives in Montreal, alongside brother Patrick, 48, a photographer who lives in Vancouver.
Hemingway’s close ties to Cuba
Hemingway, who lived from 1899 until his suicide in 1961, was a journalist, author, world traveler and sportsman. In the 1940s and 1950s, he spent half the year in Cuba and would summer in Idaho.
“I met Hemingway myself when I was very young, maybe 13 or 14, and then we became friends.”
– Osvaldo Carrero Pina, now 78.
The dramatic twists were not just in his books; he struggled with mental illness and health consequences of heavy drinking even as he became an acclaimed author with a singular and strong spare style.
Married four times, Ernest Hemingway had three sons: Jack, Patrick and Gregory, the latter being John and Patrick’s father.
Ernest Hemingway was fascinated by game hunting and deep sea fishing, capped with drinks and some writing.
The author, also known for works such as “The Sun Also Rises,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and “A Farewell to Arms,” received the Nobel prize for literature in 1954.
And it was here in Cojimar that Hemingway docked his boat “El Pilar,” obsessed about marlin, knocked back mojitos, and where Cuban fishermen inspired his “Old Man.“
When the Americas’ only communist government took power, around 1960, Hemingway left Cuba for the last time—but not before meeting longtime president Fidel Castro. Read the rest of this entry »
The shocking story of a beautiful and desperate girl of the slums!
Hank Janson was born Stephen Daniel Frances in London in 1917. Although he had never been in Chicago or even America, he was one of the earliest exponents of the British pseudo-American gangster books that were all the rage in Britain in the 40s and 50s. He was a prolific writer, producing a book a week and also wrote under the pseudonyms of Ace Capelli, Johnny Grecco, Steve Markham, Tex Ryland, Duke Linton, Link Shelton, Max Clinton, Astron Del Martia and probably more. He soon ran into the censors and was tried several times on obscenity charges, had many books seized and destroyed and eventually moved to Spain. He wrote nearly 300 books some of which were eventually reprinted in America by Gold Star Books (1960s). The British Jansons are quite scarce and highly collectible with some great covers, particularly those done by Reginald Heade.
For more information on Janson see Steve Holland’s book The Trials of Hank Janson published in 1991 by BAE in Richmond Kentucky. It includes many nice color reproductions and an extensive checklist.
For the New York Post, Kyle Smith writes: Ever get the sense that the middle class is downwardly mobile, being pressed to the floor and squeezed to the limit? It’s not happening by accident. Someone is doing the squeezing: a new class of entertainment and tech plutocrats, cheered on and abetted by a priesthood of media, government and academic elites.
“Almost every institution of power, from government and large corporations to banks and Wall Street, suffers the lowest public esteem ever recorded.”
Joel Kotkin’s “The New Class Conflict” (Telos Press Publishing) paints a dire picture of the undeclared war on the middle class. What he calls the Oligarchy (Silicon Valley and Hollywood) and the Clerisy (the media, bureaucrats, universities and nonprofits) enrich themselves and gratify their own strange obsessions at the expense of the middle class.
This New Class, for instance, venerates the city and despises suburbia. They think you should feel the same way — and in innumerable magazine and newspaper pieces, they twist facts to make it sound as if America loves living in apartments and taking trains to work.
Though New York and a few other cities have seen population growth over the last 20 years, the real surges are out there, where the space is.
In 2012, nine of the 10 fastest growing metropolitan regions were in the Sun Belt, mainly in the Southwest. In 2013, lightly regulated Houston saw more housing starts than the entire state of California, writes Kotkin.
“With 12 percent of the nation’s population, California is home to about a third of its welfare recipients, while its 111 billionaires hold a collective $485 billion in wealth. The middle class is now an actual minority in the state.”
So, suburbanites are punished. In California, where the New Class reigns supreme, the middle class is being garroted by environmental and anti-sprawl strictures. Those who wish to live in houses are pushed farther and farther from their jobs, spending more and more on commuting and energy costs. Proposals being debated now would, for instance, allow only 3 percent more housing by 2035 in the exurban part of the Bay Area. Read the rest of this entry »
She must battle these forces alone, trying desperately to save her marriage — faced with blackmail, a killer, and unknown terror. How could one little French girl get into so much trouble?
Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere Gambles His Sanity on a 4000-word Article About Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Predictable FlameoutPosted: September 17, 2014
She’s become a liability to the Democratic National Committee, and even to her own prospects, critics say
This news isn’t surprising, to anyone but hard-core Wasserman supporters (they must exist, somewhere, not counting her immediate family) but what is surprising is that Edward-Isaac Dovere could actually write (or Politico would publish) a 4000 word article about Debbie Wasserman Schultz, without achieving spontaneous composition, acute nausea and raging headaches, or having the urge to hurl the keyboard out the window, and then follow it, head first. Though, to be fair, perhaps it’s premature to suggest Dovere gambled his sanity.
Third-rate Palace Intrigue involving a failed administration and its loyal-but-doomed messengers is like black-tie Shakespearean drama for the insider class. In Washington D.C., surviving an assignment like this can get you promoted. If there’s a national journalism award for sheer endurance, Dovere should be nominated for the newly-minted “Debbie Wasserman Schultz” award.
If Politico thinks this merits a New Yorker-length expose (4000 words, yes, really) who are we to disagree? it’s not written for readers, mind you, but for other media people and fellow insiders. However, if you have an appetite for democratic party politics exceeding that of even the most seasoned Democratic party operatives, you can find the whole ungodly thing here.
Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Edward-Isaac Dovere writes: Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the White House, congressional Democrats and Washington insiders who have lost confidence in her as both a unifying leader and reliable party spokesperson at a time when they need her most.
“I guess the best way to describe it is, it’s not that she’s losing a duel anywhere, it’s that she seems to keep shooting herself in the foot before she even gets the gun out of the holster.”
Long-simmering doubts about her have reached a peak after two recent public flubs: criticizing the White House’s handling of the border crisis and comparing the tea party to wife beaters. [See Walker gives 'back of his hand']
“One example that sources point to as particularly troubling: Wasserman Schultz repeatedly trying to get the DNC to cover the costs of her wardrobe.”
The perception of critics is that Wasserman Schultz spends more energy tending to her own political ambitions than helping Democrats win. This includes using meetings with DNC donors to solicit contributions for her own PAC and campaign committee, traveling to uncompetitive districts to court House colleagues for her potential leadership bid and having DNC-paid staff focus on her personal political agenda.
She’s become a liability to the DNC, and even to her own prospects, critics say.
“The Obama team was so serious about replacing her after 2012 that they found a replacement candidate to back before deciding against it, according to people familiar with those discussions.”
“I guess the best way to describe it is, it’s not that she’s losing a duel anywhere, it’s that she seems to keep shooting herself in the foot before she even gets the gun out of the holster,” said John Morgan, a major donor in Wasserman Schultz’s home state of Florida.
“Obama and Wasserman Schultz have rarely even talked since 2011. They don’t meet about strategy or messaging. They don’t talk much on the phone.”
The stakes are high. Wasserman Schultz is a high-profile national figure who helped raise millions of dollars and served as a Democratic messenger to female voters during a presidential election in which Obama needed to exploit the gender gap to win, but November’s already difficult midterms are looming. Read the rest of this entry »
In 2011, Erwan Rambourg was a six-year veteran of the luxury industry as an analyst for HSBC, based in Paris, a city that many high-end brands call home.
“The balance is story-telling. Luxury consumers are like kids. Brands are a dream, an aspiration.”
That year, he moved to Hong. While the brands were European, the consumption was shifting eastward toward China. “The reason I moved to Hong Kong was to try to understand better the trend and how the Chinese were consuming,” he said.
After three years of observation, the 41-year-old Mr. Rambourg, who continues to cover the sector for HSBC, has put together his insights into the industry in a new book, “Bling Dynasty: Why the Reign of the Chinese Luxury Shoppers Has Only Begun.”
“If you get the impression that you’re the only one, that you’re unique and being the only one told the story, you’ll pay up. If you feel like everyone else, you won’t.”
He recently spoke with China Real Time about how China’s luxury consumption is different, why the corruption crackdown is a good thing and how Chinese and American consumers are becoming more alike.
“You have to develop the illusion or reality of scarcity.”
Take us back to when you first arrived in Asia. What was the luxury landscape like?
The luxury sector 20 years ago was driven by European consumers. Ten years ago, it was driven Japanese consumers, with the hope that Chinese consumers would eventually take over. Today, the Chinese are the key driver. In 2015, Chinese consumers will become 35% of luxury consumes.
The development of the Chinese luxury market is often compared to that of Japan. But you see vast differences.
They’re considered similar by investors but the differences lie in culture and how the markets are built. First, gender: The Japanese market was centered on the office lady. These are secretary-types who were living with parents, allocating most of their income to their next handbag.
The Chinese market was built by men. The core consumer was male, businessman, a lot of corporate gifting, instead of self-purchasing.
Today, the core consumer in Japan is female and aging. The core consumer in China is diverse. You still have the businessmen, but you have the emergence of young, female shoppers and a whole diversity of consumer profiles you don’t see in Japan.
Currently in Japan, there’s a move away from luxury and brands. They’re looking for more holistic experiences: Instead of a handbag, they’re going to a spa. Read the rest of this entry »
Originally posted on TIME:
Since the Jennifer Lawrence photo hack, Internet security has come under scrutiny. But why do many young women feel the need to take and share nude selfies in the first place? Don’t get me wrong: I think hackers are morally reprehensible and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But I also think that we need to build an alternative to the dogma “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” Young women are told that it’s a sign of being proud of your sexuality to “sext” young men—a philosophy that has turned girls into so many flashing beacons, frantic to keep the attention of the males in their lives by striking porn-inspired poses.
Today if you watch the famous Algerian-French singer Enrico Macias singing to his late wife, Suzy, about how he “won her love,” their dynamic seems as if it’s from another planet. Some might watch this…
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Originally posted on Book History, Illuminated:
Also known as “The Devil’s Bible,” this 13th-century Bohemian manuscript is believed by some to have been produced solely by a monk called Herman the Recluse. The book is enormous; it has 310 parchment leaves (in other words, 620 pages), and it measures 89 x 49 centimetres and weighs approximately one hundred and sixty-five pounds. The first half of its text includes the Old and New Testaments, while the second half includes Josephus Flavius’ “The Antiquities of the Jews and the History of the Jewsish War,” St. Ididore of Sevilla’s Etymologies, a medical textbook, and “The Bohemian Chronicle of Cosmas of Prague.”