“There is no question that some regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly. In fact, I’ve approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his. I’ve ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that don’t make sense. We’ve already announced over 500 reforms, and just a fraction of them will save business and citizens more than $10 billion over the next five years. We got rid of one rule from 40 years ago that could have forced some dairy farmers to spend $10,000 a year proving that they could contain a spill – because milk was somehow classified as an oil. With a rule like that, I guess it was worth crying over spilled milk.
I’m confident a farmer can contain a milk spill without a federal agency looking over his shoulder.”—Obama (via kateoplis)
“The joy of bourbon drinking is not the pharmacological effect of the C2H5OH on the cortex but rather the instant of the whiskey being knocked back and the little explosion of Kentucky U.S.A. sunshine in the cavity of the nasopharynx and the hot bosky bite of Tennessee summertime —aesthetic considerations to which the effect of the alcohol is, if not dispensable, at least secondary.”—
For some time, I supposed —stupidly— that Percy had simply invented the word “bosky” in an effort to capture the way bourbon tastes and feels: two syllables, because it is a matter-of-fact sort of flavor, concise even when complex. But of course “bosky” is a real word, with a definition: “Having abundant bushes, shrubs, or trees.”
Good God! If you’ve ever been in a hot Southern state in the summer, out away from the roads and houses, in fields or little glades surrounded by plain, unprepossessing woods, and if you’ve tasted bourbon, you must recognize that this is inspired, precise lyricism; it is the result of brilliant observation and masterful, unaffected diction. The flatness of bland blue skies which cling close to buzzing, sun-bleached, lush yet crackling lands, the simultaneity of heat and verdancy: this is the best metaphor I know for the flavor of bourbon, which, I regret, is irreplaceable if one gives up drinking.
Note also the two forms of prose: the specialized vocabulary of the scientist as a foil to the poetics of the the real point, the evocation of place and season and atmosphere. The sort of lexical pyrotechnics for which many esteem David Foster Wallace predates him, of course, although in “Oblivion” I believe he brought it to an apotheosis of sorts (an anti-apotheosis: the dull triumph of inhumanly technical language). But it is worth noting because Wallace’s real gifts, like Percy’s, have nothing to do with the niftiness of his interdisciplinary sentences; that is a matter of style, a style which either supports higher artistic aims or is lazy mannerism, as most writing in fact is.