Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Unacceptable Ideas

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Free Speech

“It’s based on a faith that we’re all going to be better off when there’s more ideas expressed than having the government pick and choose which ideas are acceptable and which are unacceptable. Maybe that faith is misplaced. But the alternative, to me, is much more frightening.” 

—Erwin Chemerinsky, First Amendment scholar and dean of the UC Berkeley Law School, “What Students Don't Understand About Free Speech,” Truthdig.com, Oct. 27, 2017.


Editorial Comment: Nah. Just tell us what to think.



PeezPix by Ted Pease

No Drumsticks



















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 21, 2017

Spavins

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A Fairy Tale Life


A reporter’s life “is like the plot of ‘Black Beauty.’ Sometimes he finds a kind master who gives him a dry stall and an occasional bran mash in the form of a Christmas bonus, sometimes he falls into the hands of a mean owner who drives him in spite of spavins and expects him to live on potato peelings.” 

A. J. Liebling (1904-1963), press critic, quoted in David Remnick’sSamuel I. Newhouse, Jr., the Longtime Owner of The New Yorker and Chairman of Condé Nast, Has Died at Eighty-nine,” The New Yorker, Oct. 16, 2017. (Thanks to alert WORDster Mark Larson)


Editorial Comment: Bran mash will always beat potato peelings in any newsroom I know.



PeezPix by Ted Pease

View From Old Home Beach












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 20, 2017

A Nice Thank You

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‘The Enemy of the People’

“I really came here tonight to thank you. That's all. Just to thank you, all of you. 

“Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you, the fourth estate, our first line of defense against tyranny and the establishment of state-sanctioned news. 

“Thank you, you intrepid, underpaid, overextended, trolled and un-extolled, young and old, battered and bold, bought and sold, hyper-alert, crack caffeine fiends. You gorgeous, ambitious, contrarian, fiery, dogged and determined bullshit detectives. You persevering, cool, objective, indefatigable, chronically fatigued, pharmaceutically soothed, chocolate-comforted twitter clickers! You, the Enemy of the People. (Yeah, but just the Bad People!) 

“May I, on behalf of a grateful nation, thank you?”

—Meryl Streep, actress, the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual press freedom dinner, Nov. 15, 2017. Full remarks and video here.



Editorial Comment: Well, I must say, that’s pretty damn nice.



PeezPix by Ted Pease

The Big Finish, 11/18/17












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 17, 2017

I Miss Kurt Vonnegut

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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

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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