Tag Archives: New York Times

Gay Talese on all the news that’s fit to drink

Gay Talese on how there used to be a “celebration of alcoholism” in journalism. “One time this man was so drunk, his head just fell on this typewriter. This was the center of the New York Times.”

Talese says the folks of Mad Men have nothing on journalists: “Hell, the drinking that went on in journalism was beyond that. Drunken people all over. It’s a wonder the paper could even get out.”

Via Vol. 1 Brooklyn. Yeah, so here’s the thing with blogging: no one notices when you are too drunk and fall asleep on your laptop at your bedroom desk, except maybe for your roommate’s cat. And she stopped expecting me to hit deadlines a long time ago.

Greetings from Laptopistan

Every now and then a topic comes along that you’re just helpless but to weblog about. Particularly, in this case, as I was sitting warming myself at The Gate over a free stout dark beer (Brokelyn Beer Book coupon represent!) reading this particular story in Sunday Times Metro section, when the kindly Southern woman I was sharing a table with interrupted me (apologetically) and asked me what my thoughts were on that article, since it had been getting so much buzz online all day long.

“Well,” I said, folding the paper over to remember my place, ” It’s kind of fascinating, because I guess I’m one of these people.”

The story was the section front Sunday lede: “Destination: LAPTOPISTAN,” ostensibly an effort by the Times’ David Sax to immerse himself gonzo style in what has become a much-written about culture of youngins who have colonized coffee shops across Brooklyn, New York and America, hogging power outlets, sucking up broadband and nursing a single cup of coffee all for the sake of (as the trope goes) checking Facebook endlessly and Gchatting how the daylong outage of Tumblr stunted their output for the day without the ability to check the latest Bread Person.  It’s even led to the coining of a particular repellent term —”coffice” — it hurts just to type it — to describe the establishments that are part coffee shop, part shared work space.  Continue reading

Face it, Sulzberger: You just hit the jackpot

I have to say, though I don’t read Maureen Dowd as much as I used to, I can’t help but be a huge fan of this:

Yes: that’s Maureen Dowd, the comic book hero, in The Incredibly Fantastic Adventures of Maureen Dowd ( A Work of Satire and Fiction), by Benjamin Marra, available through Traditional Comics, which follows the exploits of the Pulitzer-Prize winning Times opinion columnist as she comes “in possession of information that could topple the American government, destroy the White House and bring the Free World to its knees.” She goes on to face Hezbollah commandos while still trying to meet her deadline and be on time for a date with George Clooney.

Real-life MoDo delves a lot into pop culture inspired political snark these with her columns, but throughout it all I think she’s stayed a knife-sharp writer.

Hey, I’ve heard worse ideas for comics. And the last comic I read based on a famous journalist was pretty damn good (and eerily prescient).

Explanation on this post’s title, for the ungeeks

This Week in Great Sentences

Theme this week: determination
________________

Mr. White:
If you get that story done, I’ll take steps to get you a new cushion for your chair.
H. W. Ross

For our readers we will do no less.

-New Yorker founder Harold Ross writing to encourage E.B. White to finish an essay, as quoted in “A Note to Our Readers,” about the release of the magazine’s iPad app, Oct. 4
_______________________

I’ve taken some writing courses from Columbia in my spare time, learned a hell of a lot about the newspaper business, and developed a healthy contempt for journalism as a profession. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. If this is what you’re trying to get The Sun away from, then I think I’d like to work for you.

-Hunter S. Thompson, Oct. 1, 1958, in a cover letter to the Vancouver Sun made public this week, via BoingBoing. Continue reading

Freelance whages

In honor of my first full year feeling the burn of April taxes from freelance writing, please enjoy this tax day lulz from the New York Times Op Art:

Only if these were real deductions:

“That/which deduction: deduct $1 for every grammatical error in a sign or poster that you pointed out to someone else.”

“Sherlock Holmes deduction: Deduct 100 percent of the cost of blockbuster movies you didn’t really want to see”

And glad that these aren’t real:

That whole twitter tax formula, and:

“Delayed Adulthood Penalty: Multiply the number of years since your 25th birthday by the number of roommates you currently have and multiply the results by $-10.”

So I would have owed another $200 just from that alone.

[PS--the head of this post references the band Freelance Whales, who, as of last update, were neither whales nor employed on a freelance basis. Try the song "Hannah" because it's fun and happy and will make your delayed adulthood seem worthwhile.]

Team Brokelyn in The New York Times

Yeah, totally made the New York Times today. Not for any work per se, but at least for being hard at work.

From the Times feature today, where they sent reporters out to do a “flash census” of the five bureaus. As they describe it:

While the official census delves into people’s private worlds, The New York Times took a census of a different sort, one that captures New Yorkers in their everyday glory. Taking a page from the venerable Harper’s Index, and a few from “A Day in the Life of America,” this flash census took a snapshot of gathering points in each of the five boroughs on Thursday morning.

That's (L to R) Jonathan Berk, Beth Hoyt and me, just stunned we were able to get a whole table to ourselves on census day at the Tea Lounge

The pic and info is from Team Brokelyn (or what remained a bit into the meeting) Thursday morning, busy hacking away at our efforts to make brokeness seem cool again.

The reporter, Kareem Fahim, a Brooklyn-based Times staffer, asked us what we were working on to get a measure of how much we were producing on census day (luckily, we had actually put some things together that morning in addition to brainstorming for world domination to come). The photog was also friendly, said she was tired because she usually gets the night shift, just came back from riding in a cocktail car on a MetroNorth train or something.

We clicked on and went about our meeting, somehow representative of the current mood and output level of all of Brooklyn on the day we’re meant to be counted. Then later I ran into Fahim at Trader Joe’s, where I was working and he was shopping. It was an awkward moment, but it somehow canceled out the awkwardness a reporter always feels when they are on the other side of the line of questioning in an interview.

UPDATE: An elegant news feed for a more frustrating age

More on the previous post about the free New York Times iPhone app. So, it’s free, right? Good for those of us riding the broke-but-informed train. But what about ads? From the FAQ:

Does it cost anything to use the NYTimes iPhone application?

No. The NYTimes iPhone application is free to download and use. Please note that in the absence of a Wi-Fi connection, the NYTimes iPhone application uses your iPhone’s cellular network connection to access and download content. Please check with your carrier to see if you will be charged for usage, especially while traveling.

Does the NYTimes iPhone application include advertisements?

Yes. The NYTimes iPhone application has display ads in fixed positions on article pages and summary pages. On article pages in landscape mode, no ads appear.

So what are these ads? They’re house ads offering 50 percent off HOME DELIVERY. ReallY??!?!?what that faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaakldjfa;lkjflkhal;f dlkfljesajfw;o4qtqtutuut4t8u96yt4804qgh8[hg[kdjfoi9r3ur9u2 m9c 323;lkmvrfm4j;qjqwwiufjnvmvkdfgk;df;jfa.d3904;lkj;fjdka;fknvnm,ccvnnnvmvcnmcnm,vcnmnosaehijwqoipiejqifja;d;asjfjadlk kdjl;dkslajfkl;dsjflk;jsaklf;fk;jsdf;9ewq93afd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[breathe.]

Seriously, NYT, demographically target me. Probe into my usage data and sell me something I’m powerless to resist. Zoey Deschanel’s cotton wardrobe. Indie-soundtracked youthful revivals. Hell, even try to get me to buy more of the product I already have. I’ll take it.