"We'll be fine."
October 13, 2011 10:06 AM   Subscribe

GQ: The Man Who Sailed His House. On the third day after the Japanese tsunami, after the waves had left their destruction, as rescue workers searched the ruins, news came of an almost surreal survival: Nine miles out at sea, a man had been found alone, riding on nothing but the roof of his house.

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Via GQ's "Newsmakers" tag rss feed.
posted by zarq (19 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You read the article and feel bewildered as you realize it's written in the second person.
posted by mullingitover at 10:08 AM on October 13, 2011 [11 favorites]

News reports on the rescue, from March: CNN / AP / BBC
posted by zarq at 10:18 AM on October 13, 2011

written in the second person

Why would he do that?! An incredible story expressed incredibly awkwardly.
posted by codswallop at 10:28 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

You copy and paste the document into Word, preparing to find and replace all variations of the second person until the article no longer reads like Jay McInerney's extended late entry for the Bad Hemingway Contest.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:51 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Haters gonna hate. I found the story incredibly compelling and didn't mind the second-person narration at all. Great post, zarq.
posted by saladin at 11:16 AM on October 13, 2011

Great story despite the horrible presentation.
posted by Sternmeyer at 11:26 AM on October 13, 2011

What an insufferable piece of writing.

Here's an article in the Guardian that will not make your brain hemorrhage.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 11:42 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Because I have a family whose structure is very similar to that man's, I found this powerful and--even in the most insufferable, help-he's-beating-me-over-the-head-with-his-psychology-divining-rod, parts--mostly quite insightful and correct.

Hmph. //crosses arms//
posted by resurrexit at 11:49 AM on October 13, 2011

Isn't this exactly how the castaways got rescued from Gilligan's Island?
posted by bondcliff at 11:56 AM on October 13, 2011

It wasn't my village, it wasn't my roof, and man... that was so definitely not my article.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 12:13 PM on October 13, 2011

I was hoping it would be choose your own adventure. Very disappointing.
posted by snofoam at 12:28 PM on October 13, 2011

Fantastic writing...
posted by iamck at 1:00 PM on October 13, 2011

Thanks qxntpqbbbqxl for the Guardian link. I was really interested to read how the man survived - obviously an amazing story, but how the article was written made it very difficult to read and comprehend.
posted by homeless Visigoth at 1:02 PM on October 13, 2011

This is very good. Thanks, zarq.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:06 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Are there actually readers who plow through this miasma of fictional tableaux and made-up details? Not more than a smattering of this has even the distant ring of truth. What's most galling is that the writer insists on referring to his subject by his first name, even going so far as to write "from outside you can hear your wife's voice calling your name. Hiromitsu." If you're going to incorporate the name of your protagonist into your piece, at least refer to him as "Mr. Shinkawa" or "Shinkawa-san," as would his friends, neighbors and coworkers. The artifice of the first name is jarring from a Japanese perspective. Sheesh.
posted by Gordion Knott at 1:13 PM on October 13, 2011

Must be a sleeper cell for the Crimson Permanent Insurance. I didn't realize they were in Japan.
posted by mannequito at 1:31 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Zarq - please in the future put Single Page links above the fold. I read the whole article (like a good kid) before clicking through to the comment page here and ARGH! a single page link right there!
posted by chimaera at 1:57 PM on October 13, 2011

chimaera: "Zarq - please in the future put Single Page links above the fold."

OK. I can do that in the future, no problem. Just be forewarned that if it's a link-heavy post above the fold I may choose not to, just because I don't want to clutter the landscape too much.

Shakespeherian and saladin, thanks.
posted by zarq at 2:43 PM on October 13, 2011

zarq ignore the people hating. great link. not the best writing but definitely an amazing story.
posted by Addiction at 5:59 PM on October 13, 2011

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