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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."

What bugs you? Brigham City arts center gives awards to artists for telling

By Rebecca Hansen

March 31, 2009 | BRIGHAM CITY -- A meager crowd didn't hinder lively performances by local storytellers at the Brigham City Fine Arts Center's second annual Art-Tell Saturday.

The Art-Tell is an art show and storytelling event with all art entries needing to be tied into the show's theme. This year's theme was "What Bugs Me." The art show and storytelling happen simultaneously with storytellers upstairs and the art show downstairs.

The Art-Tell featured 16 storytellers from Brigham City and across Utah, including professional storytellers Karl Behling and Rachel Hedman.

Amber Rust, chair of the Fine Arts Center Board, announced the winners of the art show, with Best of Show going to Coleen Bradford for her mixed-media piece titled Hopeless. Susan Neidert, director at the Fine Arts Center, said Bradford had paintings on display at Idle Isle Café and she always does scenery, "so this is a little different."

"I just let my true self come out," Bradford said.

Next year's theme for the Art-Tell will be "Up a Tree," Rust said. She said this year the art show's entries were down "by about half of what we had last year."

"Get your friends to enter," Rust said. "I want to see three times this (next year)."



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