By Roy Peter ClarkI am not a psychotherapist or a forensic linguist capable of detecting clues in the rambling text of a suicidal man intent on murder.
"If you're reading this, you're no doubt asking yourself, 'Why did this have to happen?' The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn't enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless ... especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that I'm not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures."
If you are reading this
Why did this have to happen
The simple truth
it is complicated
has been coming for a long time
in the face of
the looming realization
there isn't enough ... in the world that can fix what is really broken
needless to say
could fill volumes
in the light of
the storm raging in my head
desperate times call for desperate measures
we in this country have been brainwashed
a handful of thugs and plunderers
can commit unthinkable atrocities
time for their gravy train to crash
like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church
the monsters of organized religion
the incredible stupidity of the American public
they buy hook line and sinker the crap about their "freedom"
no one gave a shit about all the young families
street after street of boarded up houses
abandoned by wealthy loan companies
left me to rot and die
bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies
I imagine that there is a diagnostic literature out there somewhere of the language and content of suicide notes. I came across one recently in a photo of the handwritten manuscript of the lyrics to "Heartbreak Hotel." In the lower left-hand corner, it notes that the song was inspired by the suicide of a well-dressed man who left behind this message: "I walk a lonely street." I guess it is possible to use language with power, even in such a note.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs was named "mobile industry personality of the year" during ceremonies at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona Tuesday. As noted in nearly every report of the award, neither Jobs nor any Apple representatives were in attendance at the annual event to collect the award. According to MacWorld UK, the award was given to commemorate the 15th year of the World Mobile Awards and "reflects the contributions of individuals, established names, new thinkers, and rising starts, across the global industry and leaders of other industries that have contributed to the growth and convergence of mobile during the last year."
>Steve Jobs: Apple is a Mobile Device Company (CircleID)
Televised confessions and apologies have become the modern equivalent of the pillories in the public squares of Puritan America. The sinner is exposed. Jeers and insults are hurled. He becomes not just an object of derision, but a cautionary tale for others who might be tempted by the sins of the flesh.
Friday morning will be Tiger's turn to stick his head into the stocks. Woods will, no doubt, apologize to those he has hurt or disappointed. He will promise to become a better person. He will say how much his family means to him. He will pledge to work as hard as he can to regain everyone's trust. I will be surprised if he cries. Then he will answer no questions.
This pseudo-event offers an opportunity to reflect on the coverage of Tiger's fall from grace. That coverage has come in many different forms, responsible and irresponsible. As you'll see, it's not necessary to choose between sensationalism and abstinence. There is a third way.
With social networks and blogs sending their alerts, with supermarket tabloids shining a spotlight, and with cable news programs hungry for extended soap opera narratives, the traditional press often feels pressured into a level and style of coverage in disproportion to a story's true significance. Such stories, like Tiger's, are always interesting, but are they important?
Editors at traditional news organizations may feel as if they face an impossible choice:
Any act of reporting or analysis that attempts to take a current story and frame it to view its higher social, political or cultural significance.
By Al Tompkins
Athletic apparel companies count on the Olympics as a platform to launch new high-tech products. The SciFi Scanner put together a list of some of the newest products: "There has been no such outcry over the Descente suits. But unlike in 2008, when swimmers like the American Michael Phelps wore the LZR Racer in competitions leading up to the Olympics, the Canadian skaters have yet to race in their new suits. They have been wearing them in practices this month, but will not unveil them to the world until the Olympic speedskating competition begins Saturday."
"They bring to mind the Speedo LZR Racer that roiled the waters at the 2008 Beijing Games, where swimmers not clad in the cutting-edge suit complained of being at a competitive disadvantage.
Athletic apparel companies count on the Olympics as a platform to launch new high-tech products. The SciFi Scanner put together a list of some of the newest products:
"There has been no such outcry over the Descente suits. But unlike in 2008, when swimmers like the American Michael Phelps wore the LZR Racer in competitions leading up to the Olympics, the Canadian skaters have yet to race in their new suits. They have been wearing them in practices this month, but will not unveil them to the world until the Olympic speedskating competition begins Saturday."
By Bill Mitchell
As industry leaders and innovators converge on the Times Center in Manhattan for what paidContent is billing as its "first namesake conference," I'll be on the lookout for answers to several key questions:
The New York Times, which announced last month that it will begin charging for online news in 2011, conducted user research last summer on possible price points. As the prospects for charging grow more real, I'm anxious to see how the Times and other news organizations are pursuing such questions with users.