Posts Tagged ‘Huffington Post’


Be Careful with This One

April 6, 2015

Tomi Ungerer, in undated, uncredited photograph.

So … Tomi Ungerer:

Tomi Ungerer was, for a brief reign, the king of children’s illustration. After moving to New York in 1956, the French artist and writer published a succession of unusual yet wildly successful children’s books, including “The Three Robbers,” about a trio of winsome burglars, and “Crictor,” about a rather unlikely protagonist―a lovable snake. From the start, Ungerer held a special place in his heart for the outsider, the underdog, the weirdo, the trickster. This unusual vantage point, along a ravenous imagination and wicked dark side, set Ungerer apart from the traditional “happily ever after” children’s book originator.


Illustration by Tomi Ungerer.This is hardly a mysterious phenomenon; Shel Silverstein is well known for his daring subversion, including massive drug use, venereal disease, and romancing the furniture. But Uncle Shelby is gone, now, and it is hard to know quite what to think about an eighty-three year-old man who sits down for an interview and explains, “I’m in France and I’m absolutely the youngest person here, you can’t imagine. It’s absolutely hilarious. A lady told me ‘I lost my husband in the war.’ I asked her which war and she couldn’t remember!”

Yeah, you know that’s gonna be a something-something interview, eh?

Which is the other thing: Content Warning! It is, after all, Tomi Ungerer; what seems hilarious to me might be shocking to others, but I can promise there are at least a couple of illustrations you don’t want your coworkers or kids to see. (Don’t ask about the frog, unless you can manage to get hold of Mr. Ungerer himself.)



Frank, Priscilla. “Inside the Mind of the World’s Naughtiest Children’s Book Illustrator”. The Huffington Post. 6 April 2015.


Something about bad writing ….

April 23, 2010

Okay, okay, I know it involves politics, but who and what Solicitor General Elena Kagan actually does is beyond my purpose here.

Rather, grab your red pencil. No, don’t actually write on your monitor, but you know what I mean, right?

The Huffington Post explains:

In a post for CBS written by Ben Domenech, who is also editor of The New Ledger, Kagan is described as President Barack Obama’s most likely choice. She’s also described as potentially the “first openly gay justice.”

Domenech later added an addendum stating, “I have to correct my text here to say that Kagan is apparently still closeted—odd, because her female partner is rather well known in Harvard circles.”

Bob Englehart - Hartford Courant - April 13, 2010Anyone? Anyone?

I’m not surprised that the post is unsigned.

Anyway, I had a composition teacher in high school who forbade us the phrase, “due to”. I still have a hard time writing it. She wasn’t the worst, either. Apparently, my friend’s teacher would not let her students start two sentences in the same paper with the same word. Not consecutive. Throughout. I think it was her way of making sure nobody got the perfect mark for a paper.

The late Jack Cady once explained that he told his writing students at Pacific Lutheran University to ignore everything their writing teachers ever taught them. Yes, there’s a paradox in there, but, nothing can destroy a good young writer like an ambitious writing teacher. I had a band teacher once who pretty much did that for me and music. Not that I don’t like music. I do. Just, not performing it. Then again, I’m a coward, anyway, so we cannot actually convict the bald guy with the ugly mustache and the breath that reeked of coffee and menthol cigarettes. Nor can I say he was particularly ambitious. At least he didn’t seem that way. And in later years, a friend described him as a “bad” teacher, which made a certain amount of sense.

Oh, right. Where as I? Sorry.

Yeah, I don’t think you need to be a fascist composition teacher to forbid certain basic, obvious notions in writing. One should be able to show their own internal restraint. Speak nothing of the editing at Huffington Post.

I’m just sayin’ ….

Alright, so … as long as we’re at it, can we strike the word “robust”, unless we’re referring to a quality of food? And banish forever the use of “transition” as a verb? I’m pretty sure I’ve complained about it before, but everyone has certain peeves. I will not “transition” that box to the other office. I will transfer it. I will send it. I will even transport it if I must. But I will not “transition” the bleepin’, blankety-blank, (expletive) box!

Right. Sorry.


Cartoon by Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant, April 13, 2010.

(Are you afraid of bad writing? That is, are you afraid of your own … er … damn it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know where this goes. Newport Beach, September 26, SCWC LA 8 … all that. Register before June 1, and save $75 as we help you to suck less. Oh, God! Did I just …. Oh, no, not like that. I didn’t mean to imply you actually suck, or anything. Damn it. I’m sorry. Really. Please. I’m sorry. It’s … I don’t know, it’s just something about this thing MSG says from time to time. About sucking less. It’s supposed to be funny, I guess. I’m not sure; I don’t remember. I mean … yeah. Er … or maybe it’s Wes. Ffff— …. That’s what I get for ignoring them. How freakin’ embarrassing.)