Not much today; I have to speak to some journalism students this morning (Flee, FLEE!!!) and sleep this afternoon, my rest last night having amounted to four (4) hours. If you call me between the hours of 2 and 4, you’re dead to me.
I’ll certainly be dead to you, anyway. I plan to turn off all the phones.
Anyway, I leave you with this sign o’ the times, via Romenesko.
A man dies in the Chicago Tribune circulation area, and his family takes out a paid obit with this as its last line: “In lieu of flowers, please vote Democratic.” The Chicago Tribune edited that sentence out. Reports the Reader:
Says a woman on the paper’s paid-death-notice desk, “If it’s considered discriminatory or offensive, they take the line out.”
Damn liberal media!
The Sun-Times ran the obit as ordered.
Please try not to shank one another until I get back.
brian stouder said on September 10, 2008 at 9:24 am
As Ms Lippman would say, ‘when your phone don’t ring, you’ll know it’s me’.
Speaking of her, and considering you’re in Teaching Mode today – her latest post triggers a writing question (or, a question for professional writers, such as inhabit your house):
She refers to a project of hers as being 112,000 words, which is (she informs us) “too much”, and she will write a second, and then a third draft, revising and reducing all the while. The question is – do you suppose she keeps the original (bloated) drafts? Afterall, Hollywood has siezed upon dvd movies to share with us deleted scenes (often great stuff) and alternate endings (I HATE those!)….why not 2nd edition novels, with revisions (or deleted scenes)? Just wonderin’
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 10, 2008 at 10:03 am
Yes, i fully expect the Buckeyes to regret crossing two time zones to play an early season game — [lowers voice] but i’m actually a Boilermaker, so it’s all good.
On scriptwriters, and God’s sense of humor, a marvelous article at WaPo today.
moe99 said on September 10, 2008 at 10:19 am
Welcome to Swiftboat 2008, only this comes direct from McCain campaign headquarters:
alex said on September 10, 2008 at 10:43 am
Re comprehensive sex ed for kindergarteners, it’s sad but people are likely to eat this shit up just like the Muslim stuff.
On the other hand, I remember how badly Keyes got trounced by Obama after using such tactics, not that he had a prayer in the first place. In all of Keyes’ public appearances he was talking such crazy shit it’s a wonder he didn’t get carted off to a padded cell.
moe99 said on September 10, 2008 at 11:09 am
The consequences where McCain wins playing this dirty. I actually think it would be a lot worse than Kevin Drum says.
brian stouder said on September 10, 2008 at 11:20 am
moe, honestly, if the public airwaves are really “public”, then -at least for some short period (say, beginning a month before the general election), public airwave bloviators ought to be reigned in.
For example, the dollar value of the airtime those rightwing shills fill with their shrill advocacy should be considered a campaign contribution by those individuals, and subject to the limitations therein.
Catherine said on September 10, 2008 at 11:43 am
I’ll see your four hours of sleep, and bid two and a half. Does anyone have a good technique for overcoming writer’s block, aka plain old procrastination? — Other than deadline pressure, that is.
MichaelG said on September 10, 2008 at 11:46 am
Old saying, Catherine: “If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.”
Jolene said on September 10, 2008 at 12:19 pm
Did y’alll hear Obama’s response to the latest phony outrage, i.e., his lipstick on a pig comment? (Actually, I probably shouldn’t assume everyone thought the outrage was phony. You can correct me if I’m wrong.) It was great to hear him be his best self for a few minutes–eloquent and serious. I hope he’ll take that steely approach more in the next few weeks.
My apologies to anyone who looked for him on Letterman last night based on my recommendation. Not sure how I got that wrong, but he’s going to be on tonight.
ellen said on September 10, 2008 at 12:29 pm
Writer’s block tip stolen from TV writer Ken Levine (I think) that has worked for me: Just start writing, about anything, even if it is crap (I have tried: “I hate topic X. I hate topic X because of these five things about it: ….. I hate topic X and can’t believe my stupid source said….. about it.”), and eventually the mental gears will get lubricated and the words will start to flow. Other advice that works for me: Turn off the TV.
beb said on September 10, 2008 at 12:39 pm
Did the Chicago Tribune rebate the portion of the man’s obituary they refused to publish? I mean, isn’t it fraud to take money for something then refuse to do it.
Brian Stouder wonders: “The question is – do you suppose she (Lippman) keeps the original (bloated) drafts? Afterall, Hollywood has siezed upon dvd movies to share with us deleted scenes (often great stuff) and alternate endings (I HATE those!)….why not 2nd edition novels, with revisions (or deleted scenes)? Just wonderin’ ”
As a practical matter I would keep all drafts until a final version is arrived at since one never knows when something cut from an earlier draft might not be a better version after all. As for second edition novels with revisions, that’s not uncommon. Novels with additional material… I’m thinking of Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows, easily the drearyist book in the series with 10% more material. God, what a horrible concept. What I’d like to see are editions of books with 10% less content.
Jolene said on September 10, 2008 at 12:39 pm
Another writer’s block tip: Say out loud what you are trying to write. Most of us are more fluent as speakers than as writers, so the words come more easily. They don’t all turn out to be the right words, but there’s generally a germ of what you want to say that can be developed and refined. This may work better for local blockages than for whole-project obstacles, but it can work at either level. Sometimes I lift my fingers off the keyboard and say out loud, “What I want to say here is . . . “, and something comes.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 10, 2008 at 1:14 pm
Never stop at the end of a page; always start a few words without hitting a period on the top of the next, so you have a phrase or line or para to pick up with that next grim, chill, morning.
Or, clip the next mortgage coupon atop the monitor as reminder . . . might work with just the gas bill (or cable, wherever your heart lies).
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 10, 2008 at 1:17 pm
On the other hand, a phrase for banning all across the polispectrum — “basically says that. . .”
What follows that phrase is always tendentious cr49, whichever “side” is using it.
Can i get a second for this motion on the floor, Madame Chairwoman?
alex said on September 10, 2008 at 1:30 pm
Jolene, amen on speaking it aloud. I found I was at my best as a writer when it was my job to write for the ear.
Catherine, one other writer’s tip, although it’s iffy — you may get totally absorbed in the task or you may end up procrastinating even more — smoke pot.
Jason T. said on September 10, 2008 at 1:38 pm
Alex, I can’t speak for grass, but I have been known to write after tippling a few licensed beverages.
What I read the next morning was rarely as clever as what I thought I wrote the night before.
So — I’d say writing under the influence is an iffy prospect at best.
Your mileage may vary. 😉
Catherine said on September 10, 2008 at 3:26 pm
Thank you, everyone, for the great tips. I will try them all… well, except maybe Alex’s… more for lack of access, but also the fear of becoming one of those writers who can only work under the influence. Not that I could even approach Hemingway on my best day. And maybe even prayer too. Joe Eszterhas seems to think it works, and that God probably still loves me even when I’m going to miss my deadline.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 10, 2008 at 4:41 pm
. . . but your editor will still hate you! (Put not your faith in kings or editors or Alaskan governors, but in . . .)
Cosmo Panzini said on September 11, 2008 at 7:08 pm
I’m taking any action out there on OSUvUSC. I like OSU with the 10.5 points. Any takers?