Archive for the 'Writing' Category

MANUFACTURING CONSENT FOR THE CONSENTING…

November 17th, 2017

I first read Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media when I was a magazine editor working for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in the late ’80s. I was only five years out of journalism school and the book reminded me of why I had become a journalist. I didn’t […]

THE LEGACY OF SF&F GREAT OCTAVIA BUTLER…

November 14th, 2017

I remember discovering Octavia Butler back in 1976 at The Amber Unicorn, a fantasy and science fiction bookstore then doing business in San Diego, California (the store has since moved to Las Vegas). My habit was to spend no more than $20 per payday on new paperback books. In 1976 that would buy six to […]

ON THE 11TH MONTH, 11TH DAY, 11TH HOUR…

November 11th, 2017

In Flanders Fields In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now […]

THE PLAIN DEALER CAN HAS TRANSPARENCY…?

October 30th, 2017

[Update @ 1626 on 31 October—The following comment exchange took place between the anonymous Starvin Marvin and Roldo this morning: Posted by Starvin Marvin on 10/31/2017 at 7:28 AM To Roldo and the other naysayers on downtown development. What would the city look like if we followed your advice and disinvested in downtown Cleveland? Posted […]

NOW DON’T TAKE THIS THE WRONG WAY…

October 17th, 2017

When anyone begins a conversation with some form of “Now, don’t take this the wrong way,” or “Don’t be offended,” we all know that we’re about to take whatever artless words that follow in precisely the way the speaker is certain to blame us for misunderstanding. Here’s a clue, if you think what you’re about […]

OBAMA, TRUMP & TA-NEHISI COATES’ EVOLUTION…

October 9th, 2017

Ta-Nehisi Coates is tired. Really, really tired, and the mantles dropped on his shoulders by the likes of Toni Morrison, The New York Times and the MacArthur Foundation are not making his life easier. The man just wants to write, damn it! After publishing yet another insightful essay in The Atlantic and a third book […]

THE PEE DEE EDITORS SHOULD BE TAKING NOTES…

October 1st, 2017

There are plenty of newspaper journalists out there who do understand the dictum of Finley Peter Dunne’s Mr. Dooley: Th’ newspaper does ivrything f’r us. It runs th’ polis foorce an’ th’ banks, commands th’ milishy, controls th’ ligislachure, baptizes th’ young, marries th’ foolish, comforts th’ afflicted, afflicts th’ comfortable, buries th’ dead an’ […]

JOURNALISTS MUST REPORT, NOT REPEAT, NEWS…

September 21st, 2017

Nader, in The Censorious Vortex of the “Flash News” Barons, writes: For decades, the factors that decided what noteworthy stories would not find their way into print or on the air came down to the media’s ignorance, laziness or from advertising restraints. How else can one explain the many years that passed before the tobacco, […]

WE LABOR IN THE DARK…

September 10th, 2017

I finished Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power Of Passion And Perseverance yesterday and for the first time in many years, perhaps decades, I truly came across a new, for me, way to look at planning and goal setting. For most of my life I have relied on the wisdom of Charles Hobbs as recorded in […]

MEDITATION ON KURT VONNEGUT: XVI…

September 6th, 2017

There is, I think, a desire among all writers, regardless of their experience, to discover some secret. I have found this to be true in my conversations, my readings of a library of books on How To Write and, most recently, in The Guardian’s My writing day series. No such secret, of course, exists. Kurt […]

REAL WORDS—PEEVE OR NOT—REALLY DO MATTER…

September 3rd, 2017

I have lots of personal peeves—partially destroyed and very unique jump to mind, thank you Dr. Evarts—regarding correct word usages, but I could do much worse than deferring to Harold Evans’ glossary. Evans, in The 35 words you’re (probably) getting wrong, writes: I freely acknowledge that, in a list of this sort, “glossary” is a […]

WHAT HAPPENED WHILE I WAS GONE THINKING…

September 1st, 2017

So, two weeks ago I went thinking to prepare for the beginning of the school year. My major challenge is that I’ve got an early start this year and I don’t have a lot of time in the mornings—even rising at 0330 which is my routine—to get all the work done that I like. The […]

RE: REPORTERS ARE NOT SOCIAL WORKERS; AND
WHAT PEOPLE POWER, WITH SOME HELP, CAN DO

August 28th, 2017

MEMO TO: Chris Quinn & “A Greater Cleveland.” FR: Roldo Bartimole RE: Slowly building empathy in Northeast Ohio Your program to use reporters as uneducated social workers has some problems, I think. First, you are dishonoring hundreds—thousand over the years—of social workers who have been working daily with families in need. It’s their job. You […]

ANNDDD, I’M BACK…

August 28th, 2017

A most fruitful week. Look for details tomorrow.

CONSERVATIVES CAN HAVES POETRY…?

August 10th, 2017

So, this morning I discovered that the conservatives read poetry. I ought not to be surprised, of course, there’s nothing progressive or liberal about poetry. I can only point to my own ignorance (or perhaps better put, my own indifference) on the subject and say that I’m happy to have corrected my error. This is […]

WELCOME TO MY WRITING SPACE…

August 1st, 2017

I recently purchased Gavin Aung Than’s In The Mood For Work to add to the walls above my typewriter. When I placed the order, Gav asked me to share a photo that he could post on his Instagram page. While I’m certainly far from the company of those that The Guardian has chosen to feature […]

EMBRACING BOREDOM IS A CREATIVE TOOL…

July 31st, 2017

One of my favorite authors—one I think of as a kind of mentor—plays solitaire (with real cards, not on the computer) when he’s stuck. I like that idea, but I can see the advantage of simply putting your head down. Louise Welsh, writing in I work best when I reach a mild degree of boredom […]

COUNTING COUP: KEEP, TRACK WHAT YOU DELETE…

July 29th, 2017

Writing is never like a beeline. Well almost never, Isaac Asimov claimed to write single drafts, and there may be other unicorns out there; but for the rest of us, writing is a meandering journey marked by innumerable dead ends and lost paths. We meander like Billy on a mission. (My own pre-dawn excursions with […]

TAIBBI CHECKS TWITTER, AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN…

July 28th, 2017

Matt Taibbi, writing in Anthony Scaramucci Era Will Be Freakish, Embarrassing, Short for Rolling Stone… Oh, of fuck trying to excerpt and comment on Taibbi. Just read the whole fucking thing. (I have to say, however, that the last three paragraphs are particularly tasty.)

BEST DESCRIPTION OF PROCRASTINATION EVER

July 25th, 2017

Oliver Burkeman, writing in On being tempted by the call of the perverse for The Guardian, quotes a bit of Edgar Allan Poe on productivity’s hoariest demon: procrastination. Burkeman pulls only a few words from Poe but I was motivated to read the entire work—an essay-cum-short story titled The Imp of the Perverse. There Poe […]

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