Growing Stupid

With tens of thousands of new books published each year in the United States alone (not to mention other sources of information--but let's concentrate on books for this example), the information encountered by each of us dwindles towards insignificance when measured against the whole.  Even if we could read and understand one book a day, … Continue reading Growing Stupid

If It Walks Like a Duck, It’s No Maverick

This is getting to be depressing. Maybe it's time to go back to Mali, to Tombouctou—for the next month, at least, until after election day. After all, it's not too hot there right now, and the Niger River is still high enough for the riverboat to make its way from Mopti to Gao, a leisurely … Continue reading If It Walks Like a Duck, It’s No Maverick

"A Star Is Born"?

One small pleasure of mine is careless language. “A canary in a minefield,” “a hard road to hoe,” and “to all intensive purposes” can always make me chuckle, no matter how often I hear them. In addition, I love the dying metaphor, described by George Orwell in “Politics and the English Language”:A newly invented metaphor … Continue reading "A Star Is Born"?