Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Rory Sutherland - 3 columns in one

It's the Spectator Christmas special, which explains his munificence.

First, we get a little bit on how to get into copywriting (question: 'Describe, using no more than 50 words, a piece of toast to a Martian.' Model answer: ‘Floop, floop! Gribble pt├íng chiz’nit greep floopiwop.’)

Second, a little bit of alternative thinking about political issues: e.g. "the people whose economic position suffers most from immigration are recent immigrants. Are periodic moratoriums the answer? No one would think this suggestion strange in a debate about overfishing. So why reject it here?" (This, I think, is the historical solution in fact adopted by the US, with periodic loosenings and tightenings of immigration policy.)

Finally, a tour de force on why it is much harder to be middle class in England than either being middle class in Wales or a successful rapper "If you make £5 million as a musician, you get to sit in a hot tub full of women, drinking vintage Krug from the bottle. Make £5 million as a professional man and you’re forced to buy the Old Rectory, Minchinhampton (Knight, Frank & Rutley, £3.24 million), before spending an additional £5,000 a year on Farrow & Ball paint. And on kitting out your splashback with those elongated white kitchen tiles which are now inexplicably fashionable, even though 15 years ago they were found only in prisons or behind Victorian urinals." And don't get him started on Machu Picchu ...

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