word on journalism
May 12, 2009
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
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.
up! Comment on the WORD at
and suggestions --printable and otherwise
--always welcome. "There are
no false opinions."
officers seem overzealous in traffic citations -- and
I should know
Cache Valley residents are tired
of being pulled over and issued traffic citations. "I
have been pulled over so many times in Logan that I
drive the streets with a constant feeling of sheer paranoia,"
said Jake Dinsdale, a graduate of USU and current Cache
Valley resident. / By John Zeugschmidt
is finally here -- and none to soon
It's been a long time since we've been able to enjoy
the consistent sunshine and calm weather here in Cache
Valley, but is this Spring Fever going around campus
having a positive or negative effect on students? /
By Jennifer Easton
is supposed to be fun, right?
When I woke up on a recent Friday morning, I had no
idea what was ahead of me. My weekend wasn't planned
and I thought it was going to be another fall-asleep-to-a-movie-at-11:00
p.m. weekend. Little did I know that I was going to
become a True Aggie, crowd surf at the dance on the
Quad, have a mani-pedi-facial night with a gay guy and
not get a wink of sleep. / By Whitney Petersen
as an 'alien' in Germany is a humbling experience
We had to visit the Foreigner Office last month for
the millionth time since landing in Dresden, Germany,
this time for visa renewals for my husband, Jake, and
me and a first-time visa for our baby, Jethro. I think
the petite, poker-faced, bespectacled woman we always
get is warming up to us the longer we're here. /
By Jasmine Michaelson