Sorry for the late entry today. It was another evening out, although I had the distinct pleasure of driving home into the rising full moon, which registered not as a crisp round disk of light but rather roundish, with a smeary side. For days, I’ve been fretting about my upcoming eye surgery, wondering if I really, truly needed it. What’s a little smudge in one’s central vision? It’s only on one side, etc. Last night settled it. I want to see a rising full moon in sharp focus. Also, I’m seeing way more typos in my work these days, and I can’t handle that.
One more week. Then I will suffer for my sight.
But as I’m getting a late start here and really should be working, I’ll keep this brief:
We’ve had a bit of a dust-up here the last couple of weeks, right here in Grosse Pointe. A brand-new student club at one of the high schools, the Young Americans for Freedom — called that to distinguish them from the Young Americans for Slavery, I guess — announced they wanted to bring Rick Santorum in to speak. The national chapter had fronted them his $18,000 fee, and he was going to address the student body on “leadership.” This was originally scheduled for during school hours. Some parties objected to this, and it was abruptly cancelled. Then it was uncancelled, with an opt-in permission slip attached. It was, in other words, from beginning to end, an administrative fumble and a giant win for the Young Americans for Freedom, which lurves this sort of thing.
So then the day for the visit arrives, which was Wednesday. The speech was live-streamed. I didn’t see it all, but I saw enough. “A nothingburger,” went one description. And as you might expect, it went off without a hitch, but there was one hitch-ette: One of the kids at the school tweeted “Hey Mr. Santorum, would you sign this bomb for me?” I gather the kid is known as a joker, and he’s a kid, and while the tweet was thoughtless, you’d have to live in a police state to see this as a credible threat. Even the local police seemed more irritated than alarmed. But it couldn’t end there with a stern talking-to, a grounding and the suspension of the Twitter account.
OK, off to the mangle. The best email I got yesterday follows. For you non-journos, a style guide is the collection of individual style quirks of a particular publication; whether you capitalize The in The New York Times, say, or if Road should be spelled out or abbreviated. Sometimes they get really baroque, and the one from Penthouse magazine is a minor classic of the form. Anyway:
I’m working on our in-house style guide. It’s one of those projects that could turn into one’s life’s work, if one were so inclined. Really, there is no end to the crap that has to be explained. To maintain my sanity, I’m having some fun. I thought you’d appreciate this excerpt:
penultimate: Means next to last. Example of how not to use this word: “We were called the Rock Bottom Remainders, and when they write the penultimate history of rock ’n’ roll, we will not be in it.” Now you know something Mitch Albom doesn’t.
And you know what? She’s right.
Good day, all. Good weekend, all. See you Monday.
On edit: A good read on the Boston carjacking victim. Tasty morsel within:
The story of that night unfolds like a Tarantino movie, bursts of harrowing action laced with dark humor and dialogue absurd for its ordinariness, reminders of just how young the men in the car were. Girls, credit limits for students, the marvels of the Mercedes ML 350 and the iPhone 5, whether anyone still listens to CDs — all were discussed by the two 26-year-olds and the 19-year-old driving around on a Thursday night.