Detroitblogger John, aka John Carlisle, spoke to my feature-writing class today. A joy. He talked about starting his blog as a way to keep his writing skills sharp, which morphed into his Metro Times column (down on the DL), which morphed into being named Detroit’s Journalist of the Year, and a reconciliation of sorts with his current employer, a suburban chain where he doesn’t write anything other than headlines.
I was struck, once again, by how far we’ve fallen as a business and how much we’ve changed as a craft, that a writer as talented as he is has to literally hide it away, and this in a town where the newspapers once stood in national company as places where a writer could really flex. I wanted to work at the Detroit Free Press once, and no, it wasn’t the Gannett sale that wrecked the place. Some great writers passed through that newsroom, a tiny few might still be there, but when I look for good examples of the craft to share with my students, I almost always go to the big four or five — WSJ, NYT, WashPost, St. Petersburg Times, et al.
And that’s a crime.
I should be out riding my bike or something, but I’m not. I skipped lunch today, and just broke the fast with some pasta with cannellini beans, rosemary and onions. It made me feel so warm and happy I just want to enjoy the feeling for a while. How do people who live forever on zero-carb diets do it? How can one feel warm and happy without beans and pasta? No wonder they’re so nasty all the time.
I wonder if anyone has done that research before — correlating one’s diet with their politics. I follow a few blogs not listed on the sidebar, and it’s so strange how often a switch to paleo eating is followed by aggressive assertion of right-wing political views. They eat a few steaks and start thinking they actually went out and slaughtered the beef themselves, using only their stone-tipped spears that they sharpened themselves. No government program for them, no sir!
Maybe it’s the growth hormones talking.
Not that I have ever turned down a nice steak. But then, I’m a moderate.
My head has been immersed in politics and policy all day, and I’m craving a palate-cleanser. When I do, I pop in on T&L and see who they’re taking apart (or not). I’m totally with them on Jennifer Lawrence and Beyonce, ditto Emma Stone and Shelley O. I LOVE that dress, hate the brooch. Maybe it’s part of her security equipment.
And when I’m done palate-cleansin’, I may take us out to see “The Hunger Games” this weekend, but only if I have two signed affidavits that it doesn’t suck. I just sampled some pages from the book online, and I’m not sure if I’m up for two hours of dystopia, but on the upside? Jennifer Lawrence. She seems to be playing the same character she did in “Winter’s Bone,” only with more sci-fi and Elizabeth Banks, and no meth. And she looks so cute in that black dress, right T&L?
Is this book any good? Anyone?
Late afternoon brought a phone call: Lance Mannion, telling me that Mrs. Mannion was the college classmate of the Romney aide who made the Etch-a-Sketch faux pas today. For the record, I loved it. Romney, and his staff, have such a tin ear for this sort of thing that it will make for a truly entertaining campaign season. One step forward, two gaffes back. If nothing else, it will be more entertaining than the escalating spiral of the-world-is-ending campaign speechifying, which Eric Zorn has been dutifully cataloging.
What else? Here’s a Gawker rant on fabrications by This American Life contributors who aren’t named Mike Daisey.
And with that, I’m off to Lansing. Happy Thursday, all.