Archive | August, 2010

Top ten reasons to work in journalism

19 Aug

10. The Swearing

Only in a newsroom does one get congratulated by one’s boss for using the word “fuck” during a meeting.

9. The Drinking

Newsies can drink average humans under a mesa, and newsrooms have lots of good places to nurse a hangover: Decommissioned darkrooms, for one, are cool, dark and private, and often have couches for reasons that will remain unexplored here.

8. The Sarcasm

The Fake AP Stylebook. Overheard in the Newsroom. This stuff doesn’t write itself, people. We started the whole sarcasm/irony trend before those hipsters co-opted it, and journalists remain sarcastic, lovable assholes to this day.

7. The Liberals

There’s something sweetly safe in knowing that most of your coworkers are, like you, bleeding-heart liberals.*

6. The Misanthropy

Newsroom humor, like emergency room humor, is dark. It comes from a place of finely tuned cynicism, and grants its practitioners the permission to wield dry, cutting wit at the expense of the rabble with nary a thought to the politically correct.

5. Sportswriting

I don’t like sports (except boxing, ‘course), but I love sportswriting. Oh, the action verbs! The wordplay! The ability to experiment with nigh-obscenity due to the sports’ section placement deeep inside the paper!

4. Sportswriters

For some inexplicable reason, I get along famously with sportswriters. I don’t understand their interests, but you have to love a person who can conduct an interview with a high school softball star, hammer out a lead story, and design a front page all while drinking a 40 of 211 out of a MegaGulp cup and keeping an eye on “Striptease,” streaming on the laptop brought from home.

3.The camaraderie

There’s nothing like being on a sinking ship to bring on that tingly “sense of brotherhood” feeling.

2. Schadenfreude

As a journalist, you get to be secretly, or not-so-secretly pleased when disaster strikes other people’s lives. All the better if it strikes on your news cycle. You get to say things like, “Way to die on deadline, Reagan,” or “I need to see the carnage! Find me a shot of the carnage.”

1. Grammar jokes

If this isn’t good enough reason for you, you’re probably a business analyst anyway.

* Yep, it’s true, we media types really are damn dirty pinko Jesus-hating fags. Or rather, journalists tend to have more education than the general population, and therefore wind up more liberal than the majority. Take unsubstantiated theory any way you want.

For your viewing perturbation

16 Aug

Start the week off in the right frame of mind by watching a little something that’s short enough to squeeze into your lunch break, extensively quotable, kinda hilarious, and just a tad disturbing:

How to be Alone

13 Aug

This little poem-video thing is so sweet. It reminded me of a number of people in my life who’ve been inspirational in their independence, freethinking, and above all, kind, ways. It made my whole day:

The performer’s name is Tanya Davis, and she is from Halifax. The filmmaker’s name is Andrea Dorfman. I found it here originally, but I think it’s been floating around for a while.

Five ways to save time. For realsies.

11 Aug

I have a confession: I subscribe to Real Simple. There are several reasons I should not do so, the most readily apparent of which is that the very title of the publication flies in the face of one of my raison d’etres, namely, defending the integrity of the English language. Seriously, Real Simple? You couldn’t call it “Real. Simple.” instead? Just two little periods, or even one of those funny lookin’ pipe | thingies could do your rag a world of good. But no, you had to abuse an adverb, just like the “Eat Local” army. Fine. Whatever. I’ll eat delicious food that grows locally while you sit down to a four course meal of intangible adjective.

Along with syrupy prose contributed by its college-educated female readership who’ve chosen to stay home with the bratlings and wax poetic about cheese sandwiches or whatever, one of the magazine’s regular features is lists upon lists of time-saving tips. The tips are often pitched with a Pollyanna-esque, “If you can do your makeup in only 30 minutes, you’ll have more time for YOU!” What, pray tell, would a woman who spends more than 30 minutes on hair every day do with that extra time? Spend more time on lipliner? My advice to them would be: Stop doing your hair. Voila! 100 percent more time for you!

So in the spirit of mean-spiritedness, and since Real Simple won’t be informing its readership how to actually get more time for themselves anytime soon, leastwise without plugging a $40 bottle of face cream and reinforcing some serious heteronormativity and serving as capitalism’s and classism’s little glossy handmaiden, I came up with some more realistic time-saving tips for the less credulous among us. Written for the typical Real Simple reader, who, I imagine, is female, at least 30, white, upper-middle, with a husband, 2.5 kids, a dog and a picket fence:

1. Ditch the Hubbie
Ever get snippy with your doting spouse? It may not be the stress of planning all those complex dinner parties and thoughtful holiday gifts — he’s probably just using up nearly half of your special you time! He always wants to talk, wants to cuddle, wants to put it in your butt. Those things take time, my friend — get rid of the geezer and you’ll automatically gain plus-10 you-time points!

2. Don’t have kids.
Seriously, ladies, did you know it’s actually illegal for you to leave these little time-sucks alone for up to TWELVE YEARS? You don’t want to spend the best years of your adulthood in drudgery, watching insipid childrens’ television, cleaning up excrement and/or Cheerios, and trying not to shake your offspring to death, do you? If you’re unfortunate enough to already have one of these, take heart: In Nebraska, you can abandon your children no matter how old they get!

3. Live in a van.
Garden got you down? Lawn putting you to shame? Garage organization projects keeping you up at night? How much time do you really spend weeding, whitewashing, mopping and coming up with innovative storage solutions for all your crap? Sell it all and move into your suburban assault vehicle. Cleaning a small space is a snap, and entertaining’s out without an outdoor dining set.

4. Quit your job.
Forget the Pomodoro Technique. It doesn’t matter how much you prioritize, how many 100-calorie snack packs you stash in your desk drawer or how many green tea breaks you take, you will never, ever be caught up at work. Instead, quit. Live off all that money you’re making by contributing syrupy prose to milquetoast organizing magazines.


5. Get ugly.
Without a husband or a job, why bother spending even that measly 30 minutes blow-drying and heat setting your hair? Come to think of it, you probably can’t afford that $40 face cream, and there’s no outlet for a blow dryer in a van. But, now that you’re ugly, poor, unmarried and childless, you probably finally have enough time to sit down and read Real Simple cover to cover, and realize it actually only takes 10 minutes to blow through the whole thing, ads included.

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