This is the WORDmeister stepping in with a bulletin: Shortly after midnight (is that Thursday night or Friday morning?), the WORD simply evaporated.
I know the poor guy is tired — this year, he’s passed along 172 messages on the state of journalism in the world today since emerging from St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose last August. But I wish the bugger had stuck around for this one Final WORD before hitting the road.
He didn’t even wait for the knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers in the padded St. Mumbles van. They found him with his suitcase, walking north in the southbound lanes of Highway 101, heading for his hammock at the sanitarium.
With the help of the Fake President, that dangerous wingnut, and his slathering sidekicks, the 2018-2019 season of the WORD has been both the best of times, and the worst for the WORD. 24 years, he’s been doing this, and this one has got to have been the toughest. It’s hard to know whether anyone gives a damn, really, about the press and free expression and all that other dreamy stuff that used to get students’ blood pumping.
Sure, as Ed Abbey said, “I write to entertain my friends and to exasperate our enemies.” The WORD still thinks this is as good a raison d’etre as any. Back in November, fancypants lawyer Ted Olson made an appearance, this time on the side of the good guys: “We can’t have a president acting like dictators do all over the world.”
And remember Jimmy Kimmel in March? “You stop being terrible, we’ll stop pointing it out, OK?” Or the late, great cartoonist Tony Auth on truth; the latest NYTimes Sulzberger, pushing back against “enemy of the people,” or good old Molly Ivins and her pledge to protect free expression.
OK, so it hasn’t been all bad, this year. Friends seem to lose heart, and the enemies are gaining ground, but there will always be a WORD. For now, though, he’ll be prepping for his 25th Season from the deck at St. Mumbles. Don’t despair. He’ll be back. If you need a fix, check the summer reruns of the WORD. There are thousands there, all the way back to 2007.
Meantime, summer well, friends.
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