Posts Tagged ‘media’
November 30, 2011 | Reviews
Journalism Rebecca West once said, “Journalism is the ability to meet the challenge of filling space.” But looking at what was published here by Toronto’s Metro, a free sheet handy for sopping up illicit liquids smuggled on to public transport, Dame Rebecca would likely have suggested that the space could have been better filled with a haiku, or perhaps by being blacked out entirely.
Here is the story of a Canada Post worker spotted making an unscheduled delivery. Had the postman forced someone to watch him do this before he would agree to deliver a long overdue set of food stamps to a family depending on them, then perhaps we would have had a story here.
Even if this story had been something that said all the tongues in the berg of Toronto wagging, one has to question the way it was written up. First, we’re not sure what to make of bold, uppercase TRUCK. That looks like a dateline. Was this story filed from the back of one? Or is this a creative lead in? “TRUCK. It’s what a toddler screams for when he’s sick of playing with cars, and it’s what Joe Bruno was starting up when he saw something that changed his life.”.
We’re not sure what was intended here, but we do know 25 Ways to Save Newspapers.
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February 7, 2011 | Lists
Personality questionnaires like the Proust Questionnaire are mostly popular online – giving people the false illusion of depth and complexity of character when, really, all most of us want is an absence of creditors and a bare minimum of really challenging-to-eat food served to us in upscale restaurants.
Questionnaires are more common in fields where it is really important that one is not a closet trenchcoat mental case, such as the military (or, the questionnaire might be looking for a mental case, but the right kind, like a homicidal maniac who can nonetheless still take orders to strangle sheep in the New Zealand countryside). They are also popular among criminals seeking the storied insanity defence, who, if movies have taught us anything (as said before: they most certainly have), hope that picking the wackiest answers on the multiple choice and thinking up some Rob Zombie stuff for the ink blots will get them sent to a cuckoo’s nest instead of the local pen.
And then of course there are those emailed to celebrities by magazines that don’t want to go to the trouble of doing a proper interview, or who maybe reckon that the usual 10-word answers provided by the celebs is about as much as their audience needs to hear. Of course, the best known of these is Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire, which Marcel did not devise, but which he did provide delightful answers to on two occasions. (This a posthumous spit in the face to the poor sap who did devise the question but will remain forever forgotten thanks to one Frenchman’s clever answers).
We have taken the liberty of saving Vanity Fair the trouble of emailing us the Proust questionnaire, by supplying our answers below:
What are you thinking of right now?
If it wasn’t this question, the answer would probably be unintelligible to readers.
What makes you laugh?
Signals sent to the cranial nerves to activate muscles in the face.
A blast of icy wind or pepper spray, either administered directly or blown by a blast of icy wind.
What do you consider to be the greatest invention?
The flush toilet. Without that no other invention would ultimately matter.
Do you have a mentor or inspirational figure that has guided or influenced you?
Where do you feel most at home?
In a country without prohibitions on life’s basics, like competitive eating competitions and the airing of sex scandals involving the private lives of professional basketball players.
Where are you right now?
A fixed point in space.
What is your proudest achievement in work?
Filling out this questionnaire on company time
What is your proudest achievement in life?
Being able to juggle electric pruners.
What do you most dislike about contemporary culture?
References to childhood hairdos in movie flashbacks.
What do you most like about the age we live in?
The 18-35 demographic is popular enough that it’s not too hard to find someone who’ll buy you a beer.
At what points do life and work intersect?
If your life’s work is some sort of work— there.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Never fist-fight in flip-flops. The bigger they are, the slower they run but the more fearsome they are in prison.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
This is currently the subject of court proceedings.
Recommend a book or poem that has changed your perspective on life?
Can’t recall the name, but it featured a gentleman from the Nantucket region.
What is your earliest childhood memory?
Mama getting frustrated as she unsuccessfully tried to rehearse answers to the Bernard Pivot questionnaire for an eventual appearance on Inside the Actor’s Studio. My least favorite sound, by the way, is a barn door opening, because I participated in an empathy game once in therapy and took on the role of a dairy cow. Milking is an invasion.
What’s the most important relationship in your life?
The one between planetary bodies and gravitational fields.
What’s the most romantic action you’ve taken?
Every action, except some romantic ones, has an equal and opposition reaction.
What’s the most spiritual action you’ve taken?
Hurling a copy of The Secret into the hotel pool.
If you could wish for one change in the world, what would it be?
It depends on whether the wish would come true…if not, more clearly defined questions.
If you could add one question to this project questionnaire, what would it be?
Not sure, but it had better not be rhetorical.