Monday, July 9, 2012

Mr. Clarity is stumped, seeks help

For several years I’ve been trying to read articles by the historian and journalist Tom Engelhardt. I have begun reading more than 20 of his articles but have never gotten past the first three or four paragraphs. His writing bores me almost to sleep.

I fear that if Mr. Engelhardt were to see a fire in a crowded movie theatre and begin shouting, the other moviegoers would ignore him unless they saw the flames with their own eyes.

But I admit that I don’t know why Mr. Engelhardt’s writing is boring. His topics are not boring; indeed, he writes about elevated topics such as good and evil and life and death. But somehow, he makes these topics sound boring. Or maybe feel boring.

I can’t put my finger on what’s so boring about Tom Engelhardt’s writing.

The Takeaway: Will you help me? If you are willing to participate, please read any article by Tom Engelhardt (for example, from here) and analyze the writing. Send your analysis to joeroy(at)joeroy(dot)com. I will publish any analysis written in good English, whether or not I agree with the conclusion, even if the conclusion is that Tom Engelhardt is not boring. Thanks in advance.

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