He had a forestland denuded so that the Times could provide us with his saga relating to his having gone hunting for mayflies. And we never even find out if he captured any. Or why he, or anyone, would want to travel to Montana to find the disgusting little creatures.
Having lived in Detroit, I could have directed Mr. Klinkenborg to springtime along Lake St. Clair or Lake Erie, when the mayflies swarm ... by the millions, landing - and dying - on your car, your windows, your aluminum siding, in your mouth if you leave it open too long, in numbers literally making some streets so slick with mayfly carcasses that it is hazardous to drive.
But rather than travel to Detroit to witness clouds of mayflies - so many, he'd have been picking them out of his underwear - Verlyn instead traveled (flew, drove, trekked) to the wilds of Montana to witness one. One.
I dredge up old Verlyn for a reason. There is a flipside to bad writing.
The following is a snippet from a column written by Joseph Epstein entitled, "Meany," that appears this morning in The Wall Street Journal. It has to do with the nominating process playing out in a senate committee, John Bolton's reputation for being a tough boss, and Senator Joe Biden's antics in the process. If you're not aware of it, Mr. Biden is trying to hold back the unrelenting march of time; he'd be as bald as a cue ball if it weren't for the work of a team of hair transplant specialists.
In the indelicate phrasing of Sen. Joseph Biden, Mr. Bolton's penchant, when confronting a subordinate, is alleged to have been that of "reaming him a new one," and is "just not acceptable." I myself always find Sen. Biden least acceptable when, as in these hearings, he shifts into high moral dudgeon.Perfect.
Following Sen. Biden's career over the years, I have always found him one of those politicians who has the precious gift of easily persuading himself, as Tocqueville once put it, that his "advantage and the general weal conformed." Whenever I hear the Senator from Delaware in his accusatory mode, I always think of something Tocqueville never got around to saying: that one may have hair plugs or a high moral tone, but surely one ought not to be permitted both. [my emphasis] (link requires subscription)
At the risk of reading more drivel now overwhelmed with nouns, may I suggest to Verlyn that he could stand to learn a new word. Brevity.