I’m writing this on Friday, after a good week at work: I’ve been working on improving the articles I write and realized I’d made some progress! Now just to maintain that progress… but in the meantime, here’s some intriguing links from the week:
How rich are you? Really? This data is why I have never, ever been able to take the Occupy movement seriously.
Is it racism? Tell the story of Reconstruction-era blacks through the experience of one woman (Beloved). Is it capitalism? Sketch the sweep of the Russian revolution through the tempestuous relationship of a single couple (Reds). Multiculturalism? Show one of the most brutal battles of World War II from the perspective of two soldiers—on the other side (Letters from Iwo Jima). This is a valid approach: the inductive method of starting from a single example and drawing larger conclusions from it. But the problem with a lot of contemporary inductive storytelling is that there may be no larger conclusion to draw.
I hadn’t thought of stories that started with the personal and never got around to drawing the larger conclusion. The good stories are the ones that combine the personal and the universal, after all. It hadn’t entered my mind that a story could be personal without having universal conclusions in it. (And for what it’s worth, I see a lot of news articles that begin with a vignette, the personal story of someone who’s caused or been affected by whatever newsworthy phenomenon is the subject.)
Matt @ The Church of No People described the two elements that make the Perfect Romantic Comedy: a man that acts like a woman and a woman that acts like a man, at least in some respects. Figures. The sarcastic tone highlights the dangerous absurdity of a lot of modern chick flicks. (And he highlights one of my favorite older chick flicks, It Happened One Night. He’s right—Gregory Peck is the ultimate chick flick hero!)
One thing I’ve discovered in my new adult life is that there just isn’t nearly enough time to read! Not as much as I’d like, anyway. (At least there’s more time now for reading than I had in college.) So I’m not sure I’ll be able to take this guy’s advice to diversify my reading. I’ll be doing good to read what I need to improve my writing and grow more spiritually. But he’s right that a varied reading habit is healthier than a predictable one.
Robert Niles at the Online Journalism Review (one of my preferred journalism thought websites) lists five more ways we might be able to get journalism right in a convergent media world. I sent this to my editor and she said “yes! yes! LOCAL is what I’ve been saying!” On another journalism note, bloggers aren’t covered by journalists’ shield laws, or at least not yet. I’m extremely curious how the court is going to differentiate between the “mere” citizen-blogger and the established journalist… it’s a different world now. And thirdly, I totally want to do this program to go reporting in Latin America (or the Caribbean). (English version here.) Since applications are received until the end of January I just might apply this year…
Indiana’s trying to foster a good business climate, and that goes beyond one-time tax breaks. Russ Pulliam at WORLD describes the latest reforms and draws conclusions based on the data in the Rich States, Poor States index. I might have to ask somebody in my little town what they think.
Let’s compare the TV tastes of Democrats and Republicans! I find this stuff fascinating. But my favorite show—Doctor Who—didn’t make any of the lists. Sigh. (Via Gene Veith.)
Is mediated communication just catering to self-centeredness and the innate desire for control? Maybe it is. Maybe that’s why half the people I know have engaged in some form of The Facebook Fast more often than “real” fasting. Maybe that’s why I’m not getting internet at my apartment. (Via Challies.)
Just found this today (Friday): There’s a difference between iconography and art, as Joi Weaver at the Evangelical Outpost explains. Wow, that makes a lot of sense:
Ms. Fernandez is welcome to her opinions, and to like or dislike the work as she pleases. However, she has made a very significant error: art is not iconography. The two fields are informed and influenced by each other, but they are distinct. Iconography is created to invite contemplation of spiritual truths, to guide meditation and prayer. Art is, in Fernandez’ own words, “to convey meaning and express beauty.”
And it just might be important to remember the distinction.
LOL: I love Jon Acuff’s “Leg dropping elves” Christmas classic. Sooo hilarious.
Since I used up the one video I actually found this week… here’s one from my favorite YouTube channel, WhatYouOughtToKnow: