Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nail in the coffin

I read an article in the New York Times yesterday that quite nearly, almost entirely, very near completely dissuaded me from seeking a career in journalism. The article is about burnout among young journalists in the world of online media, and you can read it here

Let me pull an illustrating quote: "Young journalists who once dreamed of trotting the globe in pursuit of a story are instead shackled to their computers, where they try to eke out a fresh thought or be first to report even the smallest nugget of news--anything that will impress Google algorithms and draw readers their way."

And now that the internet is able to quantify interest by page views of a particular writer's story, some papers and magazines are paying their staff on that basis. Testifying to the stress, my friend and fellow journalism classmate Jean Spencer, who interned at the Wall Street Journal last spring, said that for the first few weeks she had a cathartic cry after each grueling day.

The article quotes a journalism teacher who says, "When my students come back to visit, they carry the exhaustion of a person who's been working for a decade, nor a couple of years."

This topic is on the high stress of internet media specifically, but almost all media is on the web now, so the exceptions are probably few. I still want to write, so my education wasn't for naught, but do I want a job like the ones in this article? Hell No.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Sometimes it's hard reconciling past versions of myself with my current self. It happened the other day when I tried to express an opinion I once strongly held. I was at a loss of words, and while trying to express myself I realized I hadn't even thought about that particular topic in years. I figured the opinion just needed to be dusted off and re-articulated, but not so. Numerous changes big and small in my worldview had rendered it totally null and void. I no longer had the ideas and convictions to even remember exactly what my past point of view was. I was pretty confused for a minute or two, until I figured out what had happened, and then I dropped the conversation.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Is the world made up of binaries? Does everything have its counterpart?

Up, down. Hot, cold. Chaos, unity. Reverence, disdain. Gumption, naïveté.

If so, what's the opposite of irony?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Just Sleeping

I found a trove of poems that I wrote several years ago. Here one is:

Last night I slept with a girl,
but we didn’t “sleep” together –
we just slept.
Both lying and dreaming, but not touching.
Thinking of touching, but just lying.
Tossing and turning with thoughts running,
but not acting for fearing of ruining
all that’s been long in creating.
Cold sweating and goose bumping,
but just resting for everything that’s coming:
the talking and joking which can be so taxing.
Deep breathing and hearts beating,
but simply sleeping and sweet dreaming.
Then eventually waking to day breaking,
and me leaving –
leaving with just having slept with a girl.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crestone Needle

Approach to Crestone Needle

Miles, Chad, Erin, Arman, and I hiked Crestone Needle (14,197 feet above sea level) on Saturday. The Needle is a little sister to Crestone peak, but it's still ranked as one of the harder fourteeners in Colorado. The difficulty comes in at the final hour-long push to the summit. It's an unwaveringly steep crawl up coarse conglomerate rock that has an unfinished look, as though it were forced from the depths of the earth too soon. The view from the summit was obscured by clouds for all but 5 seconds when the skies opened up and gave a glimpse of the world below. High mountain tops are always barren places, and I feel like I'm defying nature just by living and breathing atop them. Being the highest thing around is exhilarating, but it's nice to descend back to where birds chirp, flowers bloom, and oxygen pervades.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Will to Produce

Lately I've been feeling this feeling. It's a vague but persistent feeling, and this is it: I feel like creating. I want to be making something, whether it be as simple as ideas or something more. My life is filled with duties and activities, but I feel like I have little output. The world can get along fine without whatever it is that I can produce, but I want to make it anyway--whatever "it" is. Since I don't have something to create, I get meta on this impulse and ask why do I feel like creating. It could be to help the world, but I don't think so. I think it's to change the world. We want to exert ourselves on our surroundings and make differences that we recognize as our own like drawings in wet cement. "TEAGUE WAS HERE." I think it's a silly impulse, but I don't know if I'm powerful enough to overcome it, so I'll have to find something to create just like all the other little egos bumping into each other on this planet.

Red winged blackbird up at my gramps's place