The New Yorker recently had a profile of Henry Luce and Time and Harold Ross and The New Yorker’s opinion of them. Balloon Juice highlighted a couple of the good parts. This is the type of cattiness we could use a little more of.
[A] brutal parody of Timestyle, called â€œTime . . . Fortune . . . Life . . . Luceâ€: â€œBackward ran sentences until reeled the mind.â€ He skewered the contents of Fortune (â€œbranch banking, hogs, glassblowing, how to live in Chicago on $25,000 a yearâ€) and of Life (â€œRussian peasants in the nude, the love life of the Black Widow spiderâ€). He made Luce ridiculous (â€œambitious, gimlet-eyed, Baby Tycoon Henry Robinson Luceâ€), not sparing his childhood (â€œVery unlike the novels of Pearl Buck were his early daysâ€), his fabulous wealth (â€œDescribed too modestly by him to Newyorkereporter as â€˜smallest apartment in River House,â€™ Luce duplex at 435 East 52nd Street contains 15 rooms, 5 baths, a lavatoryâ€), or his self-regard: â€œBefore some important body he makes now at least one speech a year.â€ He announced the net profits of Time Inc., purported to have calculated to five decimal places the â€œaverage weekly recompense for informing fellowman,â€ and took a swipe at Ingersoll, â€œformer Fortuneditor, now general manager of all Timenterprises . . . salary: $30,000; income from stock: $40,000.â€ In sum, â€œSitting pretty are the boys.â€
â€œThereâ€™s not a single kind word about me in the whole Profile,â€ Luce said. â€œThatâ€™s what you get for being a baby tycoon,â€ Ross said. â€œGoddamn it, Ross, this whole goddamned piece is malicious, and you know it!â€ Ross paused. â€œYouâ€™ve put your finger on it, Luce. I believe in malice.â€
I BELIEVE IN MALICE!