Politics Archive for November, 2010

The Journo vs Blogger Battle Infects Even Kiddie TV


So I’m sitting here getting some editing done while I wait for my kids’ dad to pick them up for their Thanksgiving time with him, and the boys are watching some Yu-Gi-Oh TV show. I wasn’t really paying attention to the show until I heard two of the characters arguing, and one of them says to the other in a snooty tone that she is a “real” journalist because she writes for a print paper, while her rival is “only” a blogger.


Seems like the “real journalist” vs blogger battle has filtered down even to kiddie TV, but what most interested me about this is how out of date it sounded to have these characters talking about blogs and page views and print vs online, and the poor downtrodden blogger character all angsty over how she’s “just” a blogger and how if she can just cover this big Yu-Gi-Oh tournament instead of covering street battles, maybe she can get a story on the FRONT PAGE of the print paper and then she’ll know she’s really made it.

Thing is, this is the newest incarnation of the Yu-Gi-Oh series, not one of the older ones showing on repeat. And it seems to me the writers, with this print vs online side story, are behind the times when it comes to both how people get their news, and the perceived value and validity of print vs online outlets. The gap is narrowing, and while there are a handful of print outlets that still carry a certain degree of prestige, for the most part, many of my colleagues who write for newspapers are now also (or even primarily) writing or blogging for the online editions.

Times change. 25 years ago, when I was a journalism major, I never could have imagined the way things are now. I wonder what it will look like 25 years hence, when I’m 67 and really yelling at the kids to get off my damn lawn.

Who Would Make Fun of a Little Kid in a Halloween Costume?

Apparently some people would.

I just read this post from this mom whose five-year-old son loves Scooby-Doo and wanted to dress like Daphne for Halloween. And he looks adorable and rocks the hell out of that orange wig, am I right? Go check it out and read her story, I’ll wait for you ….
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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon