Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Insidious Beast


“The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little.” 

—Ray Bradbury (1920-2012), author, The Golden Apples of the Sun, 1953. (Thanks to alert WORDster Tony Seton)



Editorial Comment: Medusa and the Insidious Beast would be a good name for a band.



peezpix by Ted Pease

Echium on the March













FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Monday, April 23, 2018

It’s About Time




“I am not a unicorn and I should not be a sorority of one. There are lots of women and people of color who can perform at high levels, not just in this industry, but in industries across the country.”

—Dana Canedy, New York Times journalist, on being the first woman and first person of color selected as administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, “Q&A: Dana Canedy on the future of the Pulitzer Prizes,” Columbia Journalism Review, July 2017.



Editorial Comment: More unicorns needed.



peezpix by Ted Pease

Dewy









FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Friday, April 20, 2018

Smart Talk


“Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.” 

—Muhammed Ali (1942-2016), boxer, who almost always had an answer.














Editorial Comment: Good advice, rarely taken.




peezpix by Ted Pease

Arcata Marsh










FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Pity the Nation




“Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
 and whose shepherds mislead them.

“Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
 and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.

“Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
 except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
 and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.

“Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
 and no other culture but its own.

“Pity the nation whose breath is money
 and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.

“Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
 and their freedoms to be washed away.

“My country, tears of thee, Sweet land of liberty.”

―Lawrence Ferlinghetti, activist poet and playwright, “Pity the Nation” (After Khalil Gibran), 2007. View reading by the poet. (Thanks to alert WORDster Kathleen Franklin)



Editorial Comment: As another current thinker might put it: Sad.


peezpix by Ted Pease

Peony Weeps










FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Pulitzers


Note: The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes for Excellence in Journalism, founded 1917, were announced Monday. Click for full list of winners.

“For an entire century the Pulitzer Prizes . . . have had a wonderful impact not just on journalism and arts and letters, but, I would argue, on our democracy. [T]his is a moment where journalism is under attack. The very concepts of fact and truth are under assault . . . by a concerted and constant and very serious attempt to discredit and disqualify the voices of the news media.”

—Eugene Robinson, Washington Post columnist and Pulitzer Board chairman, “The Pulitzers celebrate next 100 years with cocktails and a case for the free press,” Columbia Journalism Review, March 28, 2018.



Editorial Comment: Here’s to another century of free and independent journalism. It makes a difference.

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peezpix by Ted Pease

Snag Sky










FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What’s To Be Done?



“What is to be done? First, defend the truth. A free press, for example, is not the enemy of the American people; it is the protector of the American people. Second, we must reinforce the principle that no one, not even the president, is above the law. Third, we should each do our part to energize the democratic process by registering new voters, listening respectfully to those with whom we disagree, knocking on doors for favored candidates, and ignoring the cynical counsel: ‘There’s nothing to be done.’ 

“I’m 80 years old, but I can still be inspired when I see young people coming together to demand the right to study without having to wear a flak jacket.” 

—Madeleine Albright, politician, professor, author of “Fascism: A Warning,” and former U.S. secretary of State, “Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late?” The New York Times, April 6, 2018.



Editorial Comment: Thank you, Madam Secretary. That seems pretty straightforward.



peezpix by Ted Pease

Otter Feet














FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Monday, April 16, 2018

Doomed Writers


“A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story. He will never forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood and the belief that, if he succeeds in not letting anyone discover his lack of talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a roof over his head, a hot meal at the end of the day, and what he covets the most: his name printed on a miserable piece of paper that surely will outlive him. A writer is condemned to remember that moment, because from then on he is doomed and his soul has a price.” 

—Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Spanish author, “The Angel’s Game,” 2010.



Editorial Comment: My first paid gig: 8¢/word. But the paper accepted 1,000-word feature stories.




peezpix by Ted Pease

Jr. Activists Rock!








FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Friday, April 13, 2018

Insanity-Inducing Headlines



“It’s a rare week, these days, that you don’t encounter some new, extreme plan for staying sane in a world of insanity-inducing headlines. 

“People used to recommend one device-free day a week, or the occasional ‘digital detox’ retreat. But in recent months we’ve heard from the journalist who switched to a print-only news diet; the writer who’s lived tech-free since 2016 (his handwritten article for this paper was typed in by an editor) — and Erik Hagerman, an Ohio man profiled in the New York Times, who lives on a pig farm with no access to news, and who pumps white noise into his ears when he visits his local cafe, so he can’t overhear stray updates. 

“One day, . . . such schemes may go too far, leaving Hagerman and his ilk in the position of those Japanese soldiers who fought the second world war until the 1970s. When Trump gets impeached or defeated, or dies of a Doritos overdose, how will they ever find out?” 

—Oliver Burkeman, columnist, “Headlines making you anxious? Delay reading them,” The Guardian, April 6, 2018.




Editorial Comment: Weekly World News, of course. So much easier to swallow.



peezpix by Ted Pease

Buddy








FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Oh, Be Quiet



“[William] Safire, a master of the form, was fond of likening column writing to standing under a windmill: No sooner did you feel relief that you had ducked a blade than you looked up and saw a new one coming down.

“He thrived on this, but after 17 years I didn’t like what the relentless production of a newspaper column was doing to my writing. That routine can push you to have stronger opinions than you actually have, or contrived opinions about subjects you may not care deeply about, or to run roughshod over nuance to reach an unambiguous conclusion. 

“Believe it or not, an opinion writer can sometimes get sick of his own voice.”

—Frank Rich, columnist, “Confessions of an Op-Ed Columnist,” The New York Times, March 13, 2011. (Thanks to alert WORDsters Richard Prince & Dick Hughes)



Editorial Comment: Hey, believe us, we can believe it.



peezpix by Ted Pease

Calla Dew Closeup








FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Priorities



“I read the three books in less than two weeks; friends ask how that was possible. The trick is to avoid not only Facebook and Twitter but also: celebrity news, cable news, Oprah, Jerry Springer, American Idol, The Swan, other reality-TV shows, professional wrestling, violent pornography, positive psychology and right-wing Christian fundamentalism.” 

—Kirk Nielsen, reviewer, “Can We Rescue the Republic Before the Dark Politics Take Over?” Alternet.org., 2009. (Thanks to alert WORDster Phil Meyer)





Editorial Comment: Good general advice for a healthy life: avoid that dreck and read as many books as you can.


peezpix by Ted Pease

Octopus












FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A New List



[T]he United States government, traditionally one of the bastions of press freedom, is about to compile a list of professional journalists and ‘top media influencers,’ which would seem to include bloggers and podcasters, and monitor what they’re putting out to the public. What could possibly go wrong?” 

—Michelle Fabio, columnist, “Department Of Homeland Security Compiling Database Of Journalists And ‘Media Influencers’,” Forbes.com, April 6, 2018.



Editorial Comment: Sounds strangely familiar.



peezpix by Ted Pease

“Ohhh, Nooo!” Plateface #62












FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. 
(Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard