Armen Chakmakjian

A turn of a word…

In Literature, politics on October 3, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Sometimes Peggy Noonan can draw a picture that is so pillowy and soft about the Reagan years I feel like I’m moving lightly amongst the clouds when I am reading it.  I don’t remember the time with those same ethereal feelings, but somehow her words float by like billowing cumulus clouds with wispy cirrus tails…

On the other hand, she can be brutal with that same skill.  I really enjoy writing that has irony and a wry descriptions of things.  A good simile or metaphor just captures the essence of the problem being studied.  Here’s an example of that in a recent editorial she wrote about the VP debate:

We saw this week, too, a turn in the McCain campaign’s response to criticisms of Mrs. Palin. I find obnoxious the political game in which if you expressed doubts about the vice presidential nominee, or criticized her, you were treated as if you were knocking the real America—small towns, sound values. “It’s time that normal Joe Six-Pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency,” Mrs. Palin told talk-show host Hugh Hewitt. This left me trying to imagine Abe Lincoln saying he represents “backwoods types,” or FDR announcing that the fading New York aristocracy deserves another moment in the sun.

Forget which side you are on.  It’s the writing and placement of the words and ideas.  I’ve been laughing for 10 minutes now.  I wish I could write like this.  Placing “Six-Pack”, “Backwoods types” and “Fading Aristocracy” in one distilled concept…beautiful…


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