Saturday, March 31, 2012

You Wore Our Expectations Like An Armored Suit

I was brain-dead
Locked out
Not up to speed...

- REM, "What's The Frequency Kenneth?" (1994)

A week ago I took The Economist to task for publishing an article of questionable merit.

It was with some trepidation, therefore, that I two days ago clicked on a Banyan essay entitled:

"Japan a year later: The view from the north"

However, I was amazed, engrossed, enthralled. The writing was clear, concise, yet evocative. The examples were apt; the arguments balanced; the conclusions firmly rooted in fact.

"Well, now," I thought, "Perhaps I was a little hasty and haughty. It seems everything is going to be all right."

Then I checked back at the beginning of the essay -- and my heart went into a steep dive.

"by K. N. C." the byline said.

"Oh no. It's Kenneth!" I wailed.

The one Japan lost to London.

Can't blame The Economist. Where one wants an employee with a talent for rendering complex concepts into succinct sentences, a head for figures and a work ethic "asiduous" fails to capture is back home at the mothership.

Damn this blessed land will miss him.

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