"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The Globe's Word columnist – in the etymological, not def hip-hop, sense – takes up the origins of the term "lantern-jawed," which has been applied to Democratic front-runner John Kerry:
Some say he looks like the mean trees in "The Wizard of Oz," or the friendlier ones in "Lord of the Rings." TV host Dennis Miller's Kerry quip, "an Easter Island statue in a power tie," was echoed in The Weekly Standard ("Easter Island mask") and the New York Observer ("Easter Island head"). And Philip Gourevitch's Feb. 9 campaign report in The New Yorker opened with an elegant variation: "John Kerry's long, angular face has something of the abstraction of a tribal mask."
Herman Munster has been invoked, too, by fans of the `60s sitcom, and when New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain crumbled last spring, the Globe likened Kerry's craggy visage to the beloved granite profile. But when it comes to dogs, Kerry is usually seen as a sad-eyed basset hound -- about as far as you can get, in canine terms, from the yappy little mutt that defines feisty.
If feisty was the Dean tag, though, jaw is Kerry's keyword -- usually lantern jaw, meaning a large, prominent jaw, usually long and thin. It's a common description -- so common you may never have wondered (as I hadn't) where exactly the "lantern" comes in.
The original Lantern Jaw in Massachusetts politics, Leverett Saltonstall, described by Mayor Curley as having a "Harvard accent and a South Boston face," is paid tribute here.
Another great Time cover, of Gov. Christian Herter in 1953, recalls a time when Massachusetts still had a viable GOP. We don't see nearly enough renderings of the Sacred Cod in national newsmagazines.