Well, Martin Amis week here on The Bell is nearly over and what have we learned?
• Don’t start theme weeks if you haven’t quite got round to finishing/starting the novel that you were planning to talk about.
• Probably better to use no deodorant at all rather than persisting with the high-pitched spray at the end of a bottle and hoping you get a few specks of something other than propellant. The self-consciousness about your ineffective deodorant makes you sweatier.
• John Lanchester is a distractingly good writer. Whoops! is maybe not essential if you’ve been following his journalism, but was still v involving this weekend. I enjoy how casual funny he is. Look at this from his latest LRB piece:
Bank bonuses are a moral and political problem at the best of times. This year, the levels of bonuses across the industry are unconscionable. There are three reasons for that. First, thanks to the special measures currently in place the banks can borrow from their governments at, effectively, 0 per cent rates of interest. They can then invest the money at higher rates of interest, 5 to 7 per cent, say. This is a direct transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to the banks, and the only difference between it and an actual, physical licence to print money is that the banks don’t have a piece of paper with the words ‘Official Licence to Print Money’ written across the top. Second, the banks’ balance sheets are still clogged with the famous toxic assets. Last year, these assets could not be sold, so they were worth nothing; thanks to the accountancy practice[… u.s.w]
Ysee I think that that ‘Licence to print money’ line is nice, and also suspect 99/100 journalists would be so pleased with it that it would sit at the end of a paragraph, telling you how funny it is. Not Lanchester! He distracts us by explaining something well, does the funny, then carries on explaining. I want to listen to you tell me about some important boring stuff Mr L! Good work.
• Don’t really like the cover of The Preg Wid. Am I sure I want to read it? It’s not going to be as good as Money, is it?
• Well, I’ve paid for it now.