“Yes, but starting tomorrow, we’re going to start searching your crotchal area" — this is the word he used, "crotchal" — and you’re not going to like it.”—The Atlantic on the new opt-out procedures for the TSA nudiescopes. Had my first experience with them last week and if I had even know I was being put INTO the back-scatter device I would have liked to opt out. And, of course, the very fact that you are given the option to decline means a) they’re inappropriate and b) ineffective.
One thing I can’t stand about traveling with others who are not on my schedule, is the insistence, far too often, to wake up in some ungodly hour of the morning to get an early start on the day. The way I figure, if you avoid any places with a long lineup (AS YOU SHOULD!)…
That’s a vacation! Sounds relaxing. Sounds like it’s a good way to see half the things you want. A good way to see more stuff: use more than six hours a day to do it. Or transfer those sleep hours into a nap at after lunch.
“(Maybe it’s generational, but I always assumed being hardcore is something you earn only after bloodying one’s own face with a microphone, jumping Snake River Canyon in a rocket car, or going “ass to ass.”)”—Parenthetical aside of the week!
Allow me to issue some corrections up in this here:
1. Ann Patchett’s title was tongue-in-cheek; Condé Nast killed Gourmet because Condé Nast knows how to spend money and that’s about it.
2. Ann Patchett did not steal proverbial travel writing bread from your mouth. You were not going to write for Gourmet. (Neither, for that matter, was I. Did you notice the part where she pitched over the phone and in person? There you go).
3. Gourmet paid for her travel. She was not on a press trip. Going somewhere nice does not mean it’s a press trip.
4. I haven’t read the articles that came out of her lazy pitches. Perhaps, dare I say, they might have been good? Let that possibility enter your mind. Just because the process of attaining an assignment was easy doesn’t mean the writing, editing or end result was bad.
5. In travel writing, people who don’t “deserve” to get assignments all the time; with features, even moreso. Get used to it.
6. This kind of travel writing is going away. Though there are plenty of publicists who want that “get” of a Gourmet-type mag, it’s much easier for them to channel their efforts to travel bloggers who are so eager to hustle/work hard/take seminars on how to get along with PR people to the point that they are uncritical of where they end up. I’d argue that Ann Patchett’s total lack of agenda in pitching a lot of these stories made her assessment more “true” because she didn’t have a dog in the hunt.
7. I don’t expect anyone to have read this far, so get this: I saw an ENTIRE HOUSE by Center City Philly, in a nice neighborhood, renovated, with a yard and a new kitchen, for $375K. God, New York is ridiculous. *weeps*
“Here’s a list of sports that are bigger in Texas: Pro football, college football, junior-college football, high-school football, junior-high-school football, pee-wee football, three-on-a-side pee-wee football, dog football, pig football, pig flag football, spring pig flag football, and rodeo.”—WSJ
“You have always tried to be different or funny for the sake of funny, to cover up your anger and discomforts about how we Asian are being perceived. It is not necessary to do that, your true talents will lead you above it all. You must know what you really are, and able to do well. Restaurant business is a very very tedious business, and requires on going detailed watching. Is this whole package of restaurant business really what you can do, and enjoy doing?”—Eddie Huang’s mom is considerably more entertaining than Eunice Park’s mom.
“I knew, going in, that I’d feel out of place. The glitz, the kitsch, the acid-trip architecture—Vegas isn’t me. I’m more a Vermont guy. (I’ve never actually lived in Vermont, but that doesn’t keep me from thinking of myself as a Vermont guy.) Writing a book, however, greatly increased my sense of alienation. Vegas doesn’t want you writing any more than it wants you reading. You can sit by the topless pool at the Wynn all day long, all year long, and you won’t see anyone crack open anything more challenging than a cold beer.”—Moehringer on Vegas. You should also read the Agassi book. RIGHT NOW.
So I ended up watching a lot of football as I drifted in and out of consciousness. The highlight for me was Jim Nantz, commending what the NFL had done in “promoting awareness…of breast cancer awareness.” They sure did, Jimmy Boy!
Thanks to everyone who came out last night to Brooklyn for Nerd Nite! I had a great time! Some people requested I post the videos we didn’t have time for. Here goes!
At one point, there was a Monopoly game show. The internet tells me it was in the 1980s and not around for very long.
Mary’s presentation on the scandalous history of Monopoly was the best of the evening at Nerd Nite, surpassing even that of noted Scrabulist Stefan Fatsis. For the WSJ version of the presentation, go here. And, for Robert Reid’s tour of AC using Monopoly as a guidebook, go here. I’m an only child, so board games don’t hold quite the same thrall for me. We did play Scrabble a fair amount, but my Mom made words up and refused to let me challenge, which saps the fun to some extent.
Hearst needs to “increase expectations" when it comes to digital pricing? They might first consider "increasing expectations" vis a vis content, which has been sliding towards that declined price the last ten years. No, another Tom Chiarella article about what it means to be a man (probably silence, shaving or some permutation thereof) does not count. Look at what GQ is doing, and they used to be the lightweights. No longer.
“I’m an accidental business person. I just love the medium. I love the Internet. If you looked at my résumé in the years leading up to Flickr, I worked in a dive shop in landlocked Arkansas, I was a starving artist.”—Caterina Fake, the best thing on the Internet.