@over35million

After what has apparently been over a two year absence (during which time I was busy writing all of the pieces with which I am now updating the navigation bar of this site), I’m pleased to post again. Hello, Tumblr universe! I have apparently linked my Twitter account to this page, and vice-versa, so hopefully my tweets will populate this page and keep off the virtual dust.

Cool Things:
•My piece for the Los Angeles Review of Books is currently the most viewed item over there, which makes me both happy and slightly nervous. Thanks again to LA Times National Reporter Matt Pearce for tweeting a link to his 30K+ followers, all of whom I do not know, but am increasingly coming to like.
•A new installment of my “Material Witness” column for Archinect should be up next week. In it, I take on Malcolm X, Lydia from Breaking Bad, and Richie Tenenbaum via signage. Thanks to everyone who shared links when I initially launched the column; it made all the difference, and I will be eternally grateful to you.
•I did two readings last week; one at Chiwan Choi’s groundbreaking DTLA lab 90 events in 90 days series as part of the relaunch of Radial Magazine, and another at The Hammer Museum as part of “Family Day.”
•I’m pitching some new pieces as we speak, and am hoping they connect with somebody, somewhere. Hang in for more announcements.

The mailbox is lit with streaks of filtered sunlight from the overarching canopy of street trees. The letter hops inside, relishing the moisture of the air, the playful currents of wind. For now, it undertakes a 7-day voyage of darkness, wherein it is buffeted by impersonal machinery, groped by sweaty-fingered, low-paid shuffle artists, and finally deposited into an airless metal tray.

At long last, exposed to light, the letter crinkles dazedly in faux relief; for here comes the giant horizontal guillotine of the Opener. But the letter has not given up; in the hour of its greatest peril, its corners stir; for it has remembered The Paper Cut.

The howls of the bleeding do not trouble the letter. Nay. To preserve its contents, the letter bears the scarlet banner  “Return to Sender” with an illegible address. From mailbox to mailbox, from postal code to zip code, from wind-swept prairie to rain-soaked British sea-town, the letter will never be opened. Is it a proud letter? Of course. Is it a foolish letter? Undoubtedly. Is it a letter of integrity? Of this, there is no doubt.

2

It is as if all the elements that make for a truly effective journalist—i.e., skepticism, depth of reportage, humor/style—have been divided up and segregated by publication. You can funny, you can be serious, you can be deep—but you can no longer be all three. So dies journalism.