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Sure, you can get a column at the Washington Post simply by marrying Ben Bradlee–but apparently you can’t keep it forever. At least not if it’s as awful as Sally Quinn’s weekly pile of drivel known as “The Party.” Word has now come that the Post, mercifully, has euthanized the column after a few brief months of life.
Quinn described “The Party” as being about “getting everyone together to have a memorable time.” Your guests would leave feeling “uplifted, affirmed and embraced.” I described it as the worst column in the history of humanity. Among the issues covered by Quinn were whether a husband and wife should be seated together at dinner parties and the “spirit of entertaining.”
The decision to kill “The Party” seems to have been taken after Quinn’s column last Friday. “I’m going to discuss a drama unfolding in our family, and I’m discussing it only because others have made it public and messy,” she wrote. “It’s a conflict that I hope readers can understand — and avoid in their own lives.”
And what was the high drama tormenting her family? Quinn continued:
Our son Quinn Bradlee is marrying Pary Williamson in Washington on April 10. My husband’s granddaughter Greta Bradlee is getting married the same day in California.
In the past few days there have been a spate of negative stories, both online and in print, about the “dueling weddings.” It’s been hurtful to all four of these wonderful young people. This “dueling” characterization couldn’t be further from the truth.
The unfortunate result of the dates being the same was an inadvertent mistake on my part.
Quinn went on to explain in great detail her mistake and her anguish — believe me, you don’t care to know — and so readers of her column will now be sure in the future to double check dates before scheduling weddings for their children. That’s what they call “public service” journalism.
The wedding column apparently was too much even for Post management, and the decision was made to kill “The Party” before the newspaper suffered further embarrassment.
So, so long Sally. You will not be missed.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”