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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Postsecret author visits USU campus

March 18, 2009 | LOGAN—The author of the popular PostSecret books, Frank Warren, will be visiting the USU Wednesday, April 1. The performance starts at 7 p.m. in the Taggart Student Center Ballroom, and will be followed by a book signing.

"It is an honor to have Frank visiting our campus," said Coy Whittier, ASUSU Arts and Lectures director, and a senior at USU. "Frank's PostSecret project is inspiring for people from all walks of life."

Warren, who lives in Germantown, Md., started as a community art project. People of all backgrounds and nationalities sent him creatively decorated, personalized postcards bearing secrets they had never before exposed. His efforts have raised awareness and funds for suicide prevention.

Stephanie Baldwin, assistant director of student involvement and leadership, said PostSecret has a cult-like following.

"PostSecret hasn't become popular because of the media or flashy marketing, it has become popular because it's an amazing idea," Baldwin said. "This is an opportunity for our community to interact with this unique concept."

Tickets are available in the Taggart Student Center Ticket Office, Room 212, and at the USU Ticket Office located on the west side of the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum (850 East 900 North). Tickets are $5 for the public and free for students with ID. Doors open at 6 p.m., with no reserved seating. Due to the popularity of PostSecret, we recommend attendees plan accordingly.

For more information about PostSecret, visit



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