On the Shelf
Rahm Emanuel to Jump in Lake If Kids Read, and Other News
July 8, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
“This ‘immortal’ pilferer of other men’s stories and ideas, with his monstrous rhetorical fustian, his unbearable platitudes, his pretentious reduction of the subtlest problems of life to commonplaces against which a Polytechnic debating club would revolt, his incredible unsuggestiveness, his sententious combination of ready reflection with complete intellectual sterility, and his consequent incapacity for getting out of the depth of even the most ignorant audience, except when he solemnly says something so transcendentally platitudinous that his more humble-minded hearers cannot bring themselves to believe that so great a man really meant to talk like their grandmothers.” And other literary takedowns.
Playing on children’s eternal desire to see authority figures drenched in cold water, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Chicago Bear Israel Idonije have sworn to jump in wintry Lake Michigan if local kids read two million books this summer.
Think the fun is over now that you’re back at work? Not so fast: here’s an idioms and formulaic language quiz!
Plus: (more) dirty jokes from Shakespeare.
When James Joyce, Jeanette Winterson, and Salman Rushdie wrote for children.