Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Memo For File XVII
I keep forgetting to link The Jawa Report. It’s not a deliberate slight, it’s just pure, ongoing neglect. I’m even remiss in visiting it, let alone linking to it, even though I keep hearing about it over and over again. And everything I hear about it is good. Time to correct the oversight.
Good Lieutenant, no doubt flush with the victory he shared with me over that liberal half-wit — who finds this blog to be incredibly boring but keeps visiting it anyway — makes some observations about the print media.
One of the things I learned in early newswriting classes was to “write so that even a sixth-grader can understand the story.” If this meme has held true, then papers are already doing this. That is precisely the problem with papers – most are written in a patronizing, pseudo-juvenile manner that emphasizes style over substance.
I was always told that too, and it never made much sense to me, either. In fact, what I was told was that if you write for the twelfth-grade level, that’s good writing, but if you write for the eighth-grade level, that is even better. The best writing of all was crafted for consumption by a fifth- or sixth-grader.
It’s advice out of time, I’m afraid. The sensibility behind it, is that promulgation is a paramount concern; verity is an afterthought. People read your stuff, and for whatever reason have to pull out a dictionary before they can read further — HORRORS! — they might stop reading. And this, somehow, makes your writing bad-to-mediocre…even though you were already writing for the eighth-grade level, and the reader dislayed seventh-grade skills. Your problem, not his.
You know, I don’t begrudge people for indulging in twentieth-century fickle fashion. What I begrudge them for, is indulging in such a fickle fashion, and calling it a “style,” and then treating it like a science, or a study, or a discipline…something that will be unshakable until the end of the human race, something like, when you mix blue dye and yellow dye you get green, or when you put hydrogen and oxygen together you get water. People should have been able to see, it’s just not so — not everlastingly. You get fixated with the science and style of promulgating messages as quickly and as universally as possible, and everybody else perfects this science-and-style as well…change must come. The inevitable has to happen. We’re going to get fed up with rapidly- and widely-broadcast messages, that turn out to be bullshit. And then like a little kid losing his interest in Puff the Magic Dragon, and becoming enamored with pretty girls, we’ll be interested in something else: Veracity.
This is just a natural progression of events. Unavoidable. Were artificial ecosystems to be constructed, and the human experiment repeated a dozen times therein, perhaps in parallel…it would happen, again, a dozen times. We’d be interested in mass communication, for a little while — and then we’d lose our interest in it, and shift our fascination to how to verify what’s true, and refute what isn’t.
One person wrote to me through the e-mail, chastising me for failing to reach as many people as I could, since not everybody knows what “opprobrious” means. Commodiously large words betray an obsequious predilection on the part of the person writing, and may be deleterious to the mission of delivery, teasingly didactic though they may be. Another person (with a different IP address and a different time zone) wrote several months later, similarly chastising me, for using too many, far too many, commas, in, my sentences.
I don’t mean to contest the truth of what these critics are saying. They’re right. But with what audiences have in mind when they choose to read something, and the mission to be undertaken by them when they do the reading, to say nothing of by the author when he writes to them — “ease” has slipped mostly off the radar. “Ease,” after all, is an objective realized best by sitting down with the Play Station III for another hour or two, instead of reading stuff.
Write for the sixth grade? Why should I?
My stuff is on the “innernets.” Whoever reads it, has an online dictionary one click away.
Regarding the original subject at hand. Jawa Report has linked to me. I shall link to them.
And regarding my original subject: Newspapers. Under this particular post, Commenter #1 has an observation sufficiently concise, and delicious, that this Memo For File would be incomplete if said nugget were not highlighted.
What readers want are the facts presented fairly without bias, especially political bias.
What journalists want is to “change the world” thru specious editing, omissions, mis-statements, and outright lies. i.e., by ‘altering’ truth
There ya go. The newsprint forum may not be futile quite yet, but it’s sliding down in that direction, for manufacturer and consumer are after two different things.
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