Bioethics Blogs

Celebrating Colorful Language

I realize that I do not have the most focused blog in the world. Some people blog about nothing other than, say, capital punishment or new developments in whiskey. I write about psychology, behavioral economics, ethics, the doctor-patient relationship, health policy, political partisanship… a relatively wide range of things, but topics often linked by the connections I make between them and the weird way we humans make judgments and decisions. On occasion, however, I go even further afield to celebrate great writing. And I just finished reading a fun, new novel called Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, by David Shafer. And I felt compelled to share some tidbits to give you a flavor for his writing style.

For starters, he can’t help himself from commenting on the name of the country one of his characters is working in at the beginning of the novel:

“Myanmar, which sounded like a name cats would give their country .”

And then, for anyone who’s ever traveled to a country in Southeast Asia, there is his wonderful description of a ceiling fan:

“There was a ceiling fan in her two-room flat; it was on now. But it whorled and kerchonked around at such an unstable and idiotic rate that what it gave in breeze it took back in worry.”

Or this wonderful description of one of the characters in his book:

“He drove an old Saab. He read and read and read. It was like being a professor but with no students, which he understood from professor acquaintances was pretty much the way you wanted it.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.