Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Why Paint?

Words v. Art 

 

“If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.”

 

—Edward Hopper (1882-1967), artist. Image: Early Sunday Morning, 1930.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editorial Comment: Worth a few 1,000 words, I’d say.

 

 

 

PeezPIX 

Got Squash?



 
 
 
 
 
 

FREE! TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM 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.)
 
“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
 
_____________
Edward C. Pease
, Ph.D.
Professor & Department Head Emeritus
Department of Journalism & Communication
Utah State University
Today's WORD on Journalism

Monday, September 20, 2021

Community Scrapbook

 

The Local Rag 


“We are the scrapbooks of our community, we are the keeper of milestones. . . . Even something as simple as publishing the school district’s honor roll plays a part in why the community looks to their local paper.” 

 

—Carol Wyatt, editor of two local papers in Florida, the Holmes County Times-Advertiser and the Washington County News, part of a trend of Gannett selling off some of its smaller papers to local owners, “Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter,” CNN, Sept. 8, 2021.

 




Editorial Comment: School lunch menu, page B14.

 

 

 

PeezPIX
 
Fishsticks


 
 
 
 
 
 

FREE! TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM 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.)
 
“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
 
_____________
Edward C. Pease
, Ph.D.
Professor & Department Head Emeritus
Department of Journalism & Communication
Utah State University
Today's WORD on Journalism

SEASON 27! Who *Is* That Masked WORD?

Today’s WORD on Journalism

Year 27 Begins — Afflicting the comfortable since 1995
Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 

Veteran WORDsters will recognize this for what it is — the annual return, like cicada noise, of a plague on the world community's peace and quiet.

That’s right. We have been notified by a relieved staff at the world-famous St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose (Motto: “Please Shut Up!”) that the WORD arose from his hammock this morning, unrecognizable behind several multicolored N95 masks, and boarded the sanitarium shuttle.

"I couldn't really understand him, what with all those masks," said retired copy editor (aren't they all?) Juan "Les" Comma, "but I think he said, 'Well, crap. Somebody's got to do it.'"

It's the latest start of a WORD season ever, which had prompted rumors that the WORD had shriveled up and died in his luxury padded cell rather than return to face an increasingly cognitively impaired planet. "Nope," the WORD mumbled, "it's no time for the fainthearted. Monster storms, drought, MAGAs, wildfires, that wingnut congresswoman from Georgia, Delta, Tucker Carlson and other pestilences . . . the place is a wreck. My peeps need me."

Besides, today is Constitution Day. "Right-minded folk have to step up and reclaim their Constitution and participatory democracy," he said, evidence that St. Mumbles treatments had done little to reduce his verbosity. "Nope. I still gots my words."

Whoo boy. Brace yourselves.

~ • ~ • ~ • ~

TODAY’S WORD ON JOURNALISM: The Perennial Season Opener. Again.


“I thank God we have no free schools or printing, and I hope that we shall not have these for a hundred years. For learning has brought disobediences and heresy and sects into the world; and printing has divulged them and libels against the government. God keep us from both.”


      —Sir William Berkeley (1605-1677), Governor, Virginia Colony, 1671

~ • ~ • ~ •

 

 

 

 

The WORD’s Back-story: The WORD was originally concocted (“conceived” is, I think we all agree, altogether too biological) as a way to get beginning journalism students to pay attention to their email. Strange as it may sound, email was only a new and unpleasant disturbance of the general peace back in 1995, and many students did not then spend 16 hours a day online.
 
As a professor hoping to get and keep their attention while also instructing them, my object with the WORD was to give them something to think about before class. Hope, like the WORD, springs eternal.

I think it’s fair to say that this strategy was a dismal failure. Most of my students ignored their daily WORDs and gaily accepted point reductions on their quizzes for not knowing that day’s wordish wisdom from philosophers ranging from Soren Kierkegaard to Lisa Simpson to David Carr.
 
But the WORD has become rather frighteningly popular with non-students — purported grown-ups, mostly, who actually ask to be afflicted or who send email addresses of unsuspecting friends/enemies/colleagues/parents/bosses, so that they might be victims as well.
 
When the WORD was trundled by those nice white-jacketed men into St. Mumbles last spring, its thousands of victims, voluntarily or involuntarily subscribing to the direct email WORD, sighed wth relief. Many more seek out the WORD by checking the website (tedsword.blogspot.com/), whence it is linked and Tweeted and forwarded like a pox to many more unsuspecting folk by so-called “friends.”

  

Editorial Comment: Fasten your seatbelts, kids. It’s going to be another bumpy ride.

~ • ~ • ~ • ~

FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent weekdays to misguided 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: Don’t shoot the messenger. I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em.)  


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

_____________
Edward C. Pease
, Ph.D.
Professor & Department Head Emeritus
Department of Journalism & Communication
Utah State University
Today's WORD on Journalism


Friday, May 21, 2021

Season 26: Done, 30, Hasta la Vista, Baby

Today’s WORD on Journalism
Year 26 — Afflicting the comfortable since 1995
Friday, May 21, 2021

 

Did you hear that loud whooooshing sound? Like a sudden leak from a massive bag of hot air? That was the WORD running out of gas.

Thus endeth a difficult 2020-2021 season, the WORD’s 26th. The poor guy just collapsed this week. His MedicAlert gizmo went off and the men in white coats responded like Shriner clowns, loading the WORD up in a padded van and carting him off to St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

You loyal WORD regulars know how this works. When the WORD just can’t hack it anymore and the world’s woes overwhelm him, he retreats to St. Mumbles for some intense hammock time, soothing soup and serious omphaloskepsis (there’s a $64 word for ya!). 

After this year of COVID fear and political insanity, the docs have prescribed several weeks of sensory deprivation and a complete ban on news — any electronic input, really (because what’s more disturbing than “Gilligan’s Island” reruns?). 

For those of us left behind (no — St. Mumbles is not accepting new patients. Sorry.), we are left with muddling through without the WORD’s daily élan, panache and joie de vivre. How will we cope?

John Muir offered this good advice: “I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.”

Personally, I was thinking of a solo sailing voyage due west from here, but then I remembered the massive gyre of plastic trash out in the middle of the Pacific. I do not want to experience that! But may I suggest that (if you haven’t already), we all shoot our TVs and disable all but the phone and camera functions of our cell phones?

We also might stroll through the WORD’s offerings of the past year for random bits of reassurance and wisdom. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s suggestion from last September is encouraging: “We live in an age in which the fundamental principles to which we subscribe — liberty, equality and justice for all — are encountering extraordinary challenges . . . . 

“But it is also an age in which we can join hands with others who hold to those principles and face similar challenges.” Holding hands with sympathetic friends is a good prescription.

Helen Exley, a British author and book publisher, urges a lot of summer escape in books: “Books can be dangerous,” she warned. “The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life.’”

Whatever you decide, dear friends, please be good to yourselves. Breathe deep, find joy and play with a dog if you can. 

I’ll let you know if/when the WORD recovers and feels up to returning to the fray.

Good thoughts. Write if you find work.

~ ~ ~


FREE! TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM 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.)
 
“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, May 18, 2021

More from the Minow


"Ours has been called the jet age, the atomic age, the space age. It is also, I submit, the television age. And just as history will decide whether the leaders of today's world employed the atom to destroy the world or rebuild it for mankind's benefit, so will history decide whether today's broadcasters employed their powerful voice to enrich the people or to debase them."


—Newton Minow, in his famed “vast wasteland” speech as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to the National Association of Broadcasters, “Television and the Public Interest,” May 9, 1961.  





Editorial Comment: Hmm, what do you think, history?

 

 

 

 
Calla


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The May issue of Senior News is out: After a Long Year, Silver Linings. Read all about it.

FREE! TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM 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.)
 
“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
 
_____________
Edward C. Pease
, Ph.D.
Professor & Department Head Emeritus
Department of Journalism & Communication
Utah State University
Today's WORD on Journalism

Monday, May 17, 2021