Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I Love the Way This Man Writes

 

This is completely out of thin air, and I haven’t even finished reading The Tuesday newsletter yet, but this phrase utterly destroyed me and I have to share it.

The range of expression in the typical American newspaper’s op-ed pages is like paint-by-numbers for people who can’t count past four.

Kevin D. Williamson and I share a love for the English language and its versatility as a tool and a toy. His use of it is a continual delight, whether I happen to agree with his point or not. Which is as it should be. If you haven’t subscribed to The Tuesday via NRO, please do so, you won’t regret it.

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  1. Arvo Coolidge

    One of the sharpest minds out there, and a skilled linguist.

    • #1
    • July 7, 2020, at 7:12 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. danok1 Member

    Yes, KDW is a wonderful writer. I sometimes agree with him, sometimes not, but I always marvel at his use of the language.

    He is the Mencken of our time.

    • #2
    • July 7, 2020, at 7:13 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  3. Songwriter Member
    Songwriter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I remember reading one his shaper-tongued essays, which absolutely destroyed an opposing writer, and thinking to myself, “Never ever give Kevin Williamson cause to write poorly of me.”

    • #3
    • July 7, 2020, at 7:39 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    His prose is excellent. Sometimes his thinking is a little murky.

    “Move to where the jobs are.” Thanks, Kevster. I’ve lived in six states in six years. The gig economy sucks.

    • #4
    • July 7, 2020, at 8:20 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  5. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival: “Move to where the jobs are.”

    It’s pure Shakespeare when read in Sam Kinnison’s voice.

    • #5
    • July 7, 2020, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  6. Suspira Member

    Douglas Pratt:

    This is completely out of thin air, and I haven’t even finished reading The Tuesday newsletter yet, but this phrase utterly destroyed me and I have to share it.

    “The range of expression in the typical American newspaper’s op-ed pages is like paint-by-numbers for people who can’t count past four.”

    Kevin D. Williamson and I share a love for the English language and its versatility as a tool and a toy. His use of it is a continual delight, whether I happen to agree with his point or not. Which is as it should be. If you haven’t subscribed to The Tuesday via NRO, please do so, you won’t regret it.

    KDW is a national treasure. I sent a language grump to him for his consideration for The Tuesday. He replied that he agreed with me and would write about it. I’m inordinately, irrationally thrilled by that. Hey! It’s Tuesday. I need to find today’s edition.

    • #6
    • July 7, 2020, at 8:26 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    His prose is excellent. Sometimes his thinking is a little murky.

    “Move to where the jobs are.” Thanks, Kevster. I’ve lived in six states in six years. The gig economy sucks.

    I don’t expect to agree with anyone all the time.

    I’m with you on the gig economy, I hate it. Also, there are sometimes reasons to stay in a place and fight, rather than being pushed out by bullies. See VDH: Love of central California. Or me, here in western New York.

    • #7
    • July 7, 2020, at 8:59 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  8. Goldgeller Member

    I didn’t know he had a newsletter out. He is a really great writer and a sharp thinker. Thank you for bringing the newsletter to my attention. I’ll probably subscribe. 

    I find that I have to use my reading time carefully, so I’m not able to keep up with people that I’d like to, whether it be on twitter, or podcasts or what not. Another writer who I thought was just an absolute treasure was Mark Steyn. But its weird, its been ages since I’ve “checked in” to see what he was writing or talking about. I just had other things to do I guess.

    • #8
    • July 7, 2020, at 10:05 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. danok1 Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Percival: “Move to where the jobs are.”

    It’s pure Shakespeare when read in Sam Kinnison’s voice.

    Even Homer nods.

    • #9
    • July 7, 2020, at 10:50 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Richard Fulmer Member

    Here are a few of my favorite KDW lines:

    All politics is force… If you are not willing to put a gun to your neighbor’s head over the issue, then you should not be willing to vote to have somebody else put a gun to your neighbor’s head over the issue.

    Our so-called “war on poverty” has been a bonfire of capital that might have been put to productive uses and actually improved the lives of both the poor and the well-off. We don’t lack resources. What we lack is a model of engaging with the question of poverty that is liberated from the crude and destructive politics of transfer from a to b through programs administered by c, in which the benefits predictably accrue most heavily to c.

    The world has to be ending, the country has to be failing, the system has to be corrupt, etc., because the alternative — that we are mainly responsible for our own failures and our own unhappiness — is unbearable to many people.

    Adam Smith’s formula for prosperity — “peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice” — is the very modest ambition that conservatives aim for. Limited government is the tool by which government can be made to do good without necessarily being good, or being composed of good men.

    [Socialism:] The flat-earth, Jesus-rode-a-brontosaurus, turtles-all-the-way-down school of economics.

    For the conservative, people are an asset — in the coldest economic terms, a potentially productive unit of labor. For the progressive, people are a liability — a mouth to be fed, a problem in need of a solution. Understanding that difference of perspective renders understandable the sometimes wildly different views that conservatives and progressives have about things like employment policy. For the conservative, the value of a job is what the worker produces; for the progressive, the value of a job is what the worker is paid.

    Tinkering with the organic, spontaneous orders of human society is a tricky business. In the 1960s, the Western world got it into its collective head that traditional social arrangements, especially family arrangements, were an instrument of oppression that needed to be torn down. And we set about tearing them down, without giving any thought to what would replace them. We were confident that whatever came next inevitably would be better, and about 80 percent of our current domestic-policy initiatives are in one way or another aimed at dealing with the fact that what came after wasn’t better – that it was brutish and frequently cruel – without ever being so gauche as to notice that that’s the case.

    Progressives say that they want inclusive social decision-making, but the most radically inclusive process we have for social decision-making is the thing that they generally distrust and often hate: capitalism

    • #10
    • July 7, 2020, at 10:58 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  11. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    Yes! I thought that quote was a gem, too.

    • #11
    • July 7, 2020, at 2:13 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. The Reticulator Member

    Douglas Pratt: If you haven’t subscribed to The Tuesday via NRO, please do so

    OK.

    • #12
    • July 7, 2020, at 7:12 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. James Lileks Contributor

    While I will never, ever, unto the end of time when the stars gutter out and the lonely atoms of the universe spread out in a dark silent infinite realm of eternal darkness, forgive KW for stepping on a bit I was doing on the 2018 NR Cruise, he is one of the best writers we have, an iconoclastic thinker, and a model for not giving in to the whims of the crowd. His byline is a guarantee I’ve a good read in store. Also, I am plotting my revenge. 

    • #13
    • July 8, 2020, at 11:28 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  14. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    While I will never, ever, unto the end of time when the stars gutter out and the lonely atoms of the universe spread out in a dark silent infinite realm of eternal darkness, forgive KW for stepping on a bit I was doing on the 2018 NR Cruise, he is one of the best writers we have, an iconoclastic thinker, and a model for not giving in to the whims of the crowd. His byline is a guarantee I’ve a good read in store. Also, I am plotting my revenge.

    I was on that cruise. Please, forces of karma, allow me to witness the act that restores balance to the universe.

    • #14
    • July 9, 2020, at 3:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. The Reticulator Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    While I will never, ever, unto the end of time when the stars gutter out and the lonely atoms of the universe spread out in a dark silent infinite realm of eternal darkness, forgive KW for stepping on a bit I was doing on the 2018 NR Cruise, he is one of the best writers we have, an iconoclastic thinker, and a model for not giving in to the whims of the crowd. His byline is a guarantee I’ve a good read in store. Also, I am plotting my revenge.

    If you have any leftover ideas you don’t use on KW, maybe you could share them with us? 

    • #15
    • July 9, 2020, at 6:58 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Richard Fulmer Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    His byline is a guarantee I’ve a good read in store.

    Absolutely. I can’t count the times that I saw a KDW article, thought that it was on a subject on which I wasn’t interested, and yet was fascinated when I read it.

    • #16
    • July 9, 2020, at 8:18 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Richard Fulmer Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    While I will never, ever, unto the end of time when the stars gutter out and the lonely atoms of the universe spread out in a dark silent infinite realm of eternal darkness,…

    As a would-be writer, I read lines like this and despair. 

    • #17
    • July 9, 2020, at 8:19 AM PDT
    • 1 like