Monday, December 10, 2007
The Best Post on Sarah Vowell, Marketing, Christmas, and The Golden Compass to be Published This Morning:
In The Partly Cloudy Patriot, Sarah Vowell taught me that the best way to sell anything is by letting people know that it is the best thing - of its kind. And the best way of doing that is to mix broad superlative claims (and never underestimate the power of the word 'best') with some very detailed couching. For example, I could say that Vowell's The Partly Cloudy Patriot is simply the best book to be penned by a New York City dwelling Okie during the early part of the 21st century! Or that Second Innocence is absolutely the best, most thought-provoking feminist blog to to be published out of of northeastern Atlanta by University of Virginia graduates!
This skill is particularly important during the holiday season, since it always feels a bit yucky to lie to your grandma. Now, though, when she give you a hideous sweater on Christmas day you can truthfully say, "Grams, this is simply the loveliest orange sweater that anyone has ever purchased from Target for me!" This superlative clause + detail clause structure is also useful in grant writing.
This new knowledge of spin craft has saved me, for I was thinking that, after months of promoting The Golden Compass, I was not going to be able to review it for SI readers. But now I can tell you that a group of us went to see it this weekend, and I am happy to inform you that it is simply the most wonderful fantasy film set in a parallel universe which stars Nicole Kidman to be released this December!
Sarah Vowell's The Partly Cloudy Patriot really should be read by everyone though, no couching required.