We are guilty by association of imprisoning blogger Raif Badawi. We bear responsibility for each of the 50 lashes he received on 9 January of this year. We will take on further shame if Badawi’s beatings continue tomorrow. To do nothing is to agree to the barbarism of the House of Saud. A Saudi Arabian […]
Archive for the 'Writing' Category
My current project is a novel set a century ago in Charleston, South Carolina. I’ve only been to Charleston once, and that for only a single afternoon more than a dozen years ago. I remember the high bridge driving south into the city. I remember lunch and a bookstore. I remember park and battery at […]
I was in the break room, filling my coffee mug, when one of the Language Arts, what we used to call English, teachers announced her entrance to no one in particular with “god I hate grammar.” Setting aside the irony of that moment, consider that I, and the other teachers in the room, felt for […]
Creativity is hard. Really, really hard. If you’re writing/painting/sculpting/drawing/scoring ideas faster than your fingers can move, here’s a clue: you’re producing drek. Some writer—just who is a matter of debate—observed that writing was easy, you just opened a view and bled onto the paper. I think I like Derf’s graphic version better.
I added my name this morning to a petition post by Reporters Without Borders after reading “Raif Badawi’s detention is an insult to intelligence and freedom” this morning on the group’s website. I generally ignore such online pleas, but I signed the petition because I could clearly read the language and fully support the intent […]
Writing in Anonymous Fearmongering About the Patriot Act from the White House and NYT Glenn Greenwald says: Several of the most extremist provisions of the 2001 Patriot Act are going to expire on June 1 unless Congress reauthorizes them in some form. Obama officials such as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and new Attorney […]
Did television change politics or simply maKe what had always been the case easier and so plain that we could no longer see the forest for the trees? Writing in The Book That Changed Campaigns Forever for Politico Scott Porch writes: Before Richard Ben Cramer and What It Takes, before John Heilemann and Mark Halperin […]
There are two reasons to work smarter, not harder: you either want more time for leisure (or at least to do non-work related tasks) or you want time to do more work. The former is obvious. The latter, however, depends upon who you’re doing the work for: yourself or someone else. What stagnant wages since […]
Seymour Hersh, by shining light on lazy journalism of what passes for a Free Press in America has earned the wrath of the bought and paid for media. Seymour Hersh has done the public a great service by breathing life into questions surrounding the official narrative of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Yet […]
When a government, or a corporation, speaks to you, the default position must be that you are being lied to. That was the credo of proto-blogger and journalist icon I.F. Stone. Any thinking human—like Seymour Hersh—ought to adopt the position as their own. Remember the crowing about how America, standing against the world, used CIA […]
I didn’t get an answer to the April 15 letter below. Not unusual. The following e-mail was written to Chris Quinn, vice president of content for the Northeast Ohio Media Group. We can expect more content-less content in the next few weeks as news retreats to make way for sports, the GOP convention and rock […]
Every year the American Library Association published a list of the most-challenged books, i.e. books people want to ban from libraries and, by extension, the view of those they wish to control. This year Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian came in at No. 1. I met Alexie briefly at Oberlin […]
In my moldy and decayed collection of eight-track tapes there was (I tossed them all two moves ago, but kept a list of what I had) was the two-tape collection of George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh, the mother of all benefit concerts. George and all the musicians who came together would not be happy with […]
On 19 November of last year, Ursula K. Le Guin received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation, which administers the National Book Awards. I still have my much-read copies of her Earth Sea Trilogy, which I first read in high school. Those books lead me to The Left […]
BILL MOYERS: Welcome. In this broadcast you will meet an effervescent man who still believes we can make democracy work. Later we’ll talk about those people in Washington who refuse to let it work, but first Wendell Berry. A master of the written word, he rarely appears on television. For one thing, when he’s not […]
Blogging can feel more than a little David-and-Goliathish most of the time, so reading about Oliver Hotham’s small victory has made my Tuesday. (My blogs—Have Coffee Will Write and The Writing On The Wal use WordPress software but are hosted independently.) After a two-year legal battle, journalist Oliver Hotham and Automattic, owners of blogging service […]
I came late to reading Bernard Cornwell’s books. Only when I was once laid up with a bad cold and was able to watch the Sharpe videos did I discover Cornwell’s work. I have since read all his historical novels (for some reason I cannot quite name, I’ve felt no desire to read his thrillers) […]
250 YEARS OF SLAVERY. 90 YEARS OF JIM CROW.
March 1st, 2015
60 YEARS OF SEPARATE BUT EQUAL.
35 YEARS OF STATE SANCTIONED REDLINING…
As I noted earlier, I come to this story late. I am also finding the brilliant writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates daunting, dense and deceptively easy to read. Any young, or old journalist, might aspire to this level of mastery and be gratified in the attempt. Coates follows the punch line of his stories head—The Case […]