Friday, November 17, 2017

I Miss Kurt Vonnegut

.
Wait. They’re What?

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

―Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), writer, A Man Without a Country, 2005.










Editorial Comment: Normal humans don’t give a damn about semicolons; that’s all there is to it.



PeezPix by Ted Pease

Moxon House












Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. 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. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
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, November 16, 2017

Deadlines

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Write Fast


“[Novelist] Russell Banks keeps part of an old gravestone in his office, inscribed with the epitaph ‘Remember Death.’ There’s nothing more inspiring than the awareness that time is short, and that the ultimate deadline is soon approaching.” 

—Joe Fassler, writer, “I talked to 150 writers and here’s the best advice they had,” LitHub, Oct. 26, 2017



Editorial Comment: Editors don’t finish editing; they just run out of time.


Related:


On a grave from the 1880s on Nantucket, Massachusetts:
Under the sod and under the trees
Lies the body of Edward Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod:
Pease shelled out and went to God.


PeezPix by Ted Pease

Writer’s Cubicle








Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. 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. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
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, November 15, 2017

Yup, Something Smells

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Putin Wins


“Paul Reynolds, the Republican National Committeeman from Alabama, told The Hill that something about the timing of the accusation and the Post’s role breaking the story ‘doesn’t smell right.’ 

“‘My gosh, it’s The Washington Post. If I’ve got a choice of putting my welfare into the hands of Putin or The Washington Post, Putin wins every time,’ he said.” 

—Ben Kamisar and Lisa Hagen, GOP scrambles to respond to Moore allegations,” The Hill, Nov. 9, 2017. 



Editorial Comment: Roy Moore and the Sex Clams is a good name for a band. With Putin on drums.


PeezPix by Ted Pease

Outhouse












Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. 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. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
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, November 14, 2017

Pentagon Papers

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Presidential ‘Infallibility


“All Americans should know the story of the Pentagon Papers and what it instructs about the value of whistle-blowers and a free press willing to challenge a government when it goes astray — and the folly in believing the ‘implicit infallibility’ of any president of the United States.” 

—John Diaz, editorial page editor, The San Francisco Chronicle, “‘The Post’: A film that could not be more timely,” Nov. 10, 2017.


Editorial Comment: Thank you, watchdogs.


PeezPix by Ted Pease

Birches









Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. 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. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
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, November 13, 2017

Hear the Gossip?

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RIP, Liz Smith

“Her brand of gossip is the old-fashioned kind, not the embarrassing or repulsive stuff dug up by so many of her journalistic colleagues. When she escorts us into the private lives of popular culture’s gods and monsters, it’s with a spirit of wonder, not meanness.” 

—Jane and Michael Stern, reviewers, in Robert D. McFadden, “Liz Smith, Longtime Queen of Tabloid Gossip Columns, Dies at 94,” The New York Times, Nov. 12, 2017.

Editorial Comment: “Old-fashioned gossip.” You know, nothing sleazy.

Liz Smith interview, NYTimes  



PeezPix by Ted Pease

Bolete Shroom












Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. 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. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
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, November 10, 2017

Warped

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Facebook’s Weird Ways


“It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains. . . . [Facebook] literally changes your relationship with society, with each other.”
 
“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, . . . was all about, ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’” 
 
—Sean Parker, founding president of Facebook, on what the social media site does to us, Daily Beast, Nov. 9, 2017.


Editorial Comment: More like, “How can we ruin the human experience?”




PeezPix by Ted Pease

An Option to Facebook












Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. 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. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
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, November 9, 2017

88 Keys

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Tickle Those Ivories


“There are 88 keys on the piano. Do you ever run out of music?” 

—Nora Roberts, who has had 198 novels on the NYT best-seller list, was asked on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” if she ever runs out of ideas, 2017.




Editorial Comment: “Chopsticks” is eternal.




PeezPix by Ted Pease

Squarsh












Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. 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. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
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, November 8, 2017

Adventures in Bicycling

.
As One Naturally Would . . .

“He was passing by and my blood just started to boil,” she told the Huffington Post. “I’m thinking, Daca recipients are getting kicked out. He pulled ads for open enrollment in Obamacare. Only one-third of Puerto Rico has power. I’m thinking, he’s at the damn golf course again. 

“I flipped off the motorcade a number of times.” 

—Juli Briskman, 50, a Virginia bicyclist who was fired from her job for her constitutionally protected greeting to a passing Trump motorcade, “Woman who gave Trump the middle finger fired from her job,” The Guardian, Nov. 7, 2017. Image: Shot from a press vehicle in the motorcade,
Brendan Smialowski’s photo went viral.


Editorial Comment: Why does everyone hate golf?




PeezPix by Ted Pease

Shroom ’Toon












Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. 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. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
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, November 7, 2017

E.B. White on Prejudice

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Saving Time


“Prejudice is a great time-saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” 

—E.B. White (1899-1985), writer









Editorial Comment: I think that’s a crock.







PeezPix by Ted Pease

Autumn Leaves












Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. 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. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
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, November 6, 2017

GIGO

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Self-Inflicted

“For the past three weeks, against my better judgment, I have been watching Fox News non-stop. I have come away from the experience with a persistent headache, an irrational fondness for The Five, and a keen sense of the many ways in which we all are screwed. Though you might not watch Fox News on a regular basis, lots and lots of people do, including President Donald Trump. The results illuminate the wisdom of the phrase ‘garbage in, garbage out.’” 

—Justin Peters, blogger, “What I Learned From Three Weeks Watching Fox News Nonstop,” Slate, Nov. 3, 2017.





Editorial Comment: U.S. politics and Faux News have become a closed, self-perpetuating echo chamber system. We’re doomed.



PeezPix by Ted Pease

May I Suggest an Alternative?





Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. 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. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
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, November 3, 2017

Academic Freedom

.
. . . and Intellectual Growth . . .


“Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.” 

—Jay Ellison, dean of students, University of Chicago, in letter to incoming freshmen in 2016, cited in Bret Stephens, op-ed columnist, “Our Best University President,” The New York Times, Oct. 20, 2017.



Editorial Comment: . . . mean having to make sense of difficult ideas.



PeezPix by Ted Pease

The Crosley, “A Fine Car”










Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet, to infinity and beyond. 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. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
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