Friday, August 31, 2007

Test Your Knowledge of Cleveland's Black Heritage

Okay Cleveland experts, here's a question for you: In a book about black heritage sites in the northern United States, only two such sites are listed for Cleveland. What are they? Okay, one is pretty easy: the famous Karamu House. But the other certainly isn't. Did you know Cleveland had an African-American Museum? I sure didn't. At first, I thought the listing was nothing more than a reference to the specialized African-American collection at the Western Reserve Historical Society. But it turns out there's an entirely stand-alone collection housed in an old Carnegie Library. It was conceived by one visionary Cleveland man, and later housed in the basement of the Hough branch of the Cleveland Public Library. I, for one, plan to visit soon.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Here's One Article About Himself
That Drudge Will Never Link To

The web gossip Matt Drudge is forever linking to articles about himself in various media. Naturally, they tend to be largely celebratory takes, and there have been plenty of those, given his ever-growing influence (not long ago, the editor of noted that as much as 40% of the site's traffic comes via links from the Drudge Report). But the man behind the site has managed to largely remain hidden behind his latter-day Walter Winchell schtick. Until now, that is. Though Vanity Fair and a couple other outlets have done good work peering behind the Drudge curtain, this profile in last week's New York Magazine is the best, most comprehensive and balanced rendering of the guy I've seen yet. Just don't expect to see Drudge calling attention to it, since the warts-and-all treatment, while not unsympathetic, discloses plenty of personal material that will make him wince, and in his myth. Its author is an interesting writer named Philip Weiss, who's perhaps best known for his work for the New York Observer. Four years ago, I explored the subject of Matt Drudge and his Drudge Report in two consecutive posts, here and here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taking Up the Torch for a Dead Colleague

There was a touching piece in today's New York Times about the late David Halberstam, and how his work is being continued even after his death. It seems that some of his more famous writing comrades (including Bob Woodward, Sy Hersh and Joan Didion) are going to pitch in and donate their time this autumn in helping to do a book tour for his new, posthumously published book, The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War. There's a pleasing symmetry to this story, the Times notes. Many years ago, after his friend, the writer Anthony Lukas, had died, Halberstam had arranged for some writing friends to represent Lukas's book at bookstores around Boston. Shortly after he died this spring in an auto accident, I wrote this tribute to Halberstam. The great one also spoke from beyond the grave in this powerful essay about the Bush White House's use and misuse of history, published in the August issue of Vanity Fair.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Coming Soon?:
The Elvis Chair
In Architecture

Did you know that the late Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes, whose career came to an end after he punched an opposing player on the sideline, has an academic chair named in his honor? Well, he does. Given his popularity (despite the punch and his general irascibility), that's not too surprising. But the subject is a tad surprising: the chair is in national security studies. We think this might just touch off a trend in academia. We can look forward to the Paris Hilton chair in molecular biology and the Donald Trump chair in particle physics.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kerouac's Obsessions

'The things I write are what an editor usually throws away and what a psychiatrist finds most interesting.'
-Jack Kerouac

'And that is how I remember Kerouac--as a writer talking about writers or sitting in a quiet corner with a notebook, writing in longhand...You feel that he was writing all the time; that writing was the only thing he thought about. He never wanted to do anything else.'
--William Burroughs, in Remembering Jack Kerouac.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Our Favorite Bumper Sticker of the Week

'God bless the whole world. No exceptions.'
Not long ago, I also noted this favorite bumper sticker expression.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Orwell Was Right About This Too

'The fight against bad English is not frivolous...the slovenliness of our language makes it easier to have foolish thoughts.'
--the late and visionary journalist and author George Orwell. Earlier, I mentioned the great one here, and linked to his celebrated essay Politics and the English Language. The latter is just as worthwhile to read today as it was on the day it was first published.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In a Speech to Journalism Educators, Bill Moyers
Calls Journalism 'Passport Into the World of Ideas'

'Journalism's been a good life for me. A continuing course in adult education – my own. It enabled me to cover the summits of world leaders and the lives of poor people in Newark. I was paid richly as a CBS news analyst to put in my two cents’ worth on just about anything that had happened that day. I produced documentaries on issues and subjects that fascinate me – from money in politics to the Chinese experience in America, the history of the Hudson River, the power of myth, and the making of a poem. With journalism came a passport into the world of ideas, my favorite beat. I’ve enjoyed the sometimes intimidating privilege of talking to some of the wisest and sanest people around – scientists, historians, scholars, philosophers, artists and writers – to ask them important questions: Why is there something instead of nothing? What do we mean by a moral life? Can we learn to be creative?'
--Bill Moyers, the thinking person's omnijournalist, addressing a conference of journalism educators last week. Earlier, I mentioned Moyers here and here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Learning (and Lots of It) Comes Before Writing

'Who are you indeed who would talk or sing to America? Have you studied out the land, its idioms and men?
--Walt Whitman, in By Blue Ontario's Shore. Earlier, I linked to an online archive of Whitman's writing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Paul Krugman
On How to Get
A Bad Society;
Plus: Personal
Rite of Passage

'Q: Well, what happens if we let the income gap remain?
A: It's bad for democracy. The ugliness of our policy is closely tied to the inequality of income. You start to get a society in which the elite is just not living in the same material universe as the rest of the population. The people who have the most influence are not interested in having good public services because they don't use them. You just get a bad society.'
--from an interview with economist and columnist Paul Krugman, in the September issue of GQ Magazine. We'll be quiet today, however, while we spend the day in a true rite of passage moment: taking our eldest child to college for the beginning of his freshman year. A couple of years ago, I wrote about an early foreshadowing of the experience. Now, it's the real deal.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Worst Lead of the Month

'I would like to get through this entire review without quoting Fitzgerald about the rich being different, though that line kept running through my head while I read “The House the Rockefellers Built: A Tale of Money, Taste, and Power in Twentieth-Century America.” Edith Wharton, with her mordant wit about the moneyed class to which she belonged, also waltzed through my mind. As it happens, in 1897, shortly before the Rockefellers began to plan their house, Kykuit, Wharton and her equally snobby architect friend, Ogden Codman Jr. — she called him Coddy, he called her Pus, and together they referred to themselves as Puscod ... yes, yuck — published a treatise on taste called “The Decoration of Houses.” (It has, by the way, recently been reissued to do yet another dutiful round for a generation of new money, insecure about how to spend it all.)'
--from a review in this week's New York Times book review of an interesting new book on the Rockefeller family's estate. We had one immediate question after reading this: was her editor on vacation? Perhaps the author of the review, the editor in chief of House and Garden, got a tad overexcited by the chance to write for a serious publication and forgot how to begin an article in a way that might cause someone to continue reading. The bar for good writing is apparently lower at the so-called "shelter magazines." But we found this lead paragraph simply awful on a number of levels--all tangled up in parentheticals and other non-essential information. We ordinarily like to call attention to the best leads, but after seeing this dreadful bit of writing, figured there are also some lessons to be learned from studying bad examples. Stay tuned for future Worst Leads. We're now on the lookout for them, thanks to Dominique, the doyenne of shelter magazines.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

This Made Me Chuckle Today

The whole endless debate over Wikipedia and the so-called democratization of information has seemed more than a bit tiresome to me over the years. The extreme edges of both camps seem about equally clueless to me--both the critics who seize on every Wikipedia shortcoming to make a larger (brainless) critique that nothing found anywhere online can be trusted, and the hard-core Wikipedia defenders who try to argue that a mob can somehow cobble together information that's every bit as dependable as that which is compiled by rigorous, learned and professional editors and subject specialists. I think the truth lies somewhere in between.

Yet another log got thrown on that endless raging debate with the publication of this front-page piece in today's Sunday New York Times. Stop the presses: companies and institutions with an interest in various bits of information have themselves gone in and changed many entries. That this should even be news speaks to the Wikipedia community's wishful naivete: how shocking that corporate and other moneyed interests, when given the chance, would try to look after their interests in this way, just like they do everywhere else.

But in addition to those weighty issues, there were a couple of details embedded in the story that really made me chuckle. "Last year, someone using a computer at the Washington Post Company changed the name of the owner of a free local paper, The Washington Examiner, from Philip Anschutz to Charles Manson...And The New York Times Company is among those whose employees have made, among hundreds of innocuous changes, a handful of questionable edits. A change to the page on President Bush, for instance, repeated the word 'jerk' 12 times. And in the entry for Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, the word 'pianist' was changed to 'penis.'”

Who says old-fashioned newspaper hijinx died along with the migration from hot type?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Don't Forget the Feast In Little Italy Tonight

You have one more night--tonight--to enjoy the annual Feast of the Assumption in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood. For Clevelanders, it's the one chance each year to experience Manhattan-like human density without leaving home. We spent the entire night there last night, and the nice weather may have drawn the most people ever. You could barely walk in most places. But the food was great as always (I'd especially recommend the lemon ice from Corbo's and the gnocci from Gusto's), and the music even better. Last year, I wrote this about my dad's Italian band, which has been the featured musical attraction for the last several years. They're on hand again this year. Dad is the guy wearing the funny hat and playing the mandolin.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Why We Love
Steve Martin

Amid the dreary cattle call of late-night TV interview shows, few famous names stand out. No matter how famous, how attractive or how articulate they might be, they mostly all say the same thing, trying their best to manufacture some new blend of hipster freshness or "rehearsed spontaneity," in a ringing phrase I recently came across. But beneath it all, they're all selling their latest movie or TV show or whatever.

And yet, more than 30 years after he first blasted onto the national scene with his hilarious stand-up routines (a kind of neo-Buster Keaton with a '70s twist) and stomach-splitting Saturday Night Live character sketch brilliance, Steve Martin finds a way to remain as fresh as ever, at least for me. He's done that in part by engineering his own improbable mid-career make-over: he's now at least equal parts writer and comedian. He's written several well-received books, and has followed Woody Allen's earlier lead by writing several comic sketches for the New Yorker. However much fame he may have accumulated from movies and live appearances over the years--which is not inconsiderable--if you take his recent appearances at face value, he now sees himself primarily as a writer. And yet in his signature brilliant fashion, he finds a way to make it all work together, these twin veins of writing and comedy.

His appearance last week on David Letterman is the latest case in point. He talked mostly about writing, and then, in a roast of the ritual film clips other actors bring along to these shows, it cut to a clip of him...writing. The clip consisted of him sitting silently in front of a Mac laptop, staring into the screen without moving or saying a word. That was funny enough. But the punchline (when the clip was finished, and the camera returned to him and Letterman) was much funnier: "I wish they had cleared that with me, because that was actually a clip of me editing."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

'The World Increasingly Offers Us Mysteries'

'There's a reason millions of people try to solve crossword puzzles each day. Amid the well-ordered combat between a puzzler's mind and the blank boxes waiting to be filled, there is satisfaction along with frustration. Even when you can't find the right answer, you know it exists. Puzzles can be solved; they have answers. But a mystery offers no such comfort. It poses a question that has no definitive answer because the answer is contingent; it depends on a future interaction of many factors, known and unknown. A mystery cannot be answered; it can only be framed, by identifying the critical factors and applying some sense of how they have interacted in the past and might interact in the future. A mystery is an attempt to define ambiguities. Puzzles may be more satisfying, but the world increasingly offers us mysteries. Treating them as puzzles is like trying to solve the unsolvable—an impossible challenge. But approaching them as mysteries may make us more comfortable with the uncertainties of our age.'
--from a brilliant piece of writing and thinking in the June issue of Smithsonian magazine, written by a former U.S intelligence officer. He crisply explains the vast differences between how spy agencies must crack the intelligence codes of Al Qaeda (a mystery) and the former Soviet Union (a puzzle). This is an often-overlooked publication, but one of a handful that continue to regularly publish sparkling long-form narrative journalism.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What Every Good Mentor & Teacher Knows

'And then learn to be more compassionate company, as if you were somebody you are fond of and wish to encourage. I doubt that you would read a close friend's early efforts and, in his or her presence, roll your eyes and snicker.'
--author Anne Lamott. To review my earlier mentions of this sublime word sculptor (some brief, others substantial), go here, here, here, here, here, here and here. And for the record, I fully agree with my friend Jeff Hess's assessment that her fiction doesn't begin to hold a candle to her essays and memoirs. But then, perhaps that's only because we're guys. And you know how clueless they can sometimes be.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ten Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
(Hint: It's More About Perspiration Than Inspiration)

1). Write.
2). Write more.
3). Write even more.
4). Write even more than that.
5). Write when you don’t want to.
6). Write when you do.
7). Write when you have something to say.
8). Write when you don’t.
9). Write every day.
10). Keep writing.
(this list comes courtesy of the Copyblogger blog, which makes a persuasive case that good copywriting and good blogging have much in common. "Good blogging and good copy share many of the same attributes — plain spoken words designed to focus on the needs of the reader by using stories, education and a clear demonstration of benefit and value. In an overly-crowded marketplace, copywriting allows you to catch people’s attention, and smart blogging allows you to capitalize on that attention by building trust, sales and profits."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Okay, So He Wasn't "Frog-Marched" Out of
The White House, As Joe Wilson Had Hoped....

...We're just glad to see the thuggish schemer, Karl Rove, leaving. We'll take it any way we can get it. But a note to Congress: don't go any easier on him in trying to get to the bottom of his part in the Bush White House's manifold desecrations of the Constitution. The target on his back should remain as large as ever. Meanwhile, in the interview with the Wall Street Journal in which he broke the news of his impending resignation, you can read the scariest five words imaginable: "He'd like to teach eventually."

How the NYT & Other Pubs Ply Readers
With 'Pluto-Porn' in the New Gilded Age

'Was I alone a few Sundays ago in thinking that the photograph of Sanford Weill on the front page of The New York Times was much too small? I mean, it took up only about a third of the page, though it was nicely centered, above and below the fold, so that the news of all the other kinds of people in the world that week, the worried and the hurting kinds, could revolve condignly around the image of the money man smiling in self-congratulation beneath the beatifying halo of the ceiling lights at Carnegie Hall. If ever there was an emblem of the Manhattan cosmology, this page was it. And there is more to come: The page announced that this glorification of the grotesquely rich was only the first installment in a series excitingly called "Age of Riches: The .01 Percent." No doubt this latest bath of pluto-porn at the Times will be partly justified as an interest in the philanthropic consequences of the new fortunes; and while it is true that the generosity of some of the new rich is extraordinary, it is also true that charity is not economic justice. (It is the absence of economic justice that makes charity necessary)...I know that the rich will always be with us, but they can be unbelievably tedious.'
--New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier, writing in the magazine recently about "our tacky gilded age" celebration of extreme wealth.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sorry To Break it To You, Married Guys,
But This is What Awaits You Eventually

'But as Sylvia hit menopause, the filters came off, her irritability increased, and her anger wasn't headed for that extra 'stomach' anymore, to be chewed over before it came out. Her ratio of testosterone to estrogen was shifting, and her anger pathways were becoming more like a man's. The calming effects of progesterone and oxytocin weren't there to cool off the anger either. The couple never learned to process and resolve their disagreements. Now Sylvia confronted Robert with regularity, venting decades of pent-up rage.'
--From The Female Brain, by neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bill Maher Puts His Finger On It

Good comedians have a way of finding just the right words to put a name to otherwise vague feelings. HBO's Bill Maher did it again with a phrase he's been using lately about the electorate's feelings of being fed up with George Bush's incompetence. He says Americans have "fuck-up fatigue." I second the motion.

Friday, August 10, 2007

You Couldn't Invent a Quote This Good

'My house is like an old lady who speaks to me of all the people who loved her.'
--a woman explains why she refuses all offers to sell her house, in an article in the current Vanity Fair on the booming popularity of Italy's Lake Como region ever since actor George Clooney became a resident.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Obnoxious Business Jargon, Part Two

Conde Nast's Portfolio Magazine is about to unveil its second print issue, and some readers (including me) are waiting with interest. We're wondering if the second will be nearly as bad as the debut issue, which was roundly (and rightly) panned. Its editor, Joanne Lipman, earlier presided over puffing up the Wall Street Journal with soft lifestyle coverage, but she has thus far turned out to be an unqualified disaster as a magazine editor. Working with all the advantages of the deep pockets of Conde Nast (publisher of the New Yorker, among many other well-known titles), she produced a whole lot of nothing special. So the sharp knives will be out for this next issue.

Anyway, the magazine's companion website, which still considers itself a work in progress (it labels itself "beta"), just published a list of what it considers the most obnoxious examples of business jargon. Like the magazine to which it's married, it's disappointing. The editors seem to have spent about 11 minutes thinking about this one. But they did make a start. How about yours? Any favorite awful business jargon you'd like to add to the list, via comments?

Last year, I posted some outtakes from a much better book-length effort on this subject. The book was entitled: Why Business People Speak Like Idiots--A Bullfighter's Guide.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bill Gunlocke: Back in Saddle, Where He Belongs

Not long ago, I noted a couple of important events in the life of my friend and mentor Bill Gunlocke: his 60th birthday and his new blog. I'm happy to report now that he has even much grander news: he's the new executive editor of New York Press. I learned the good news from him in an email flash a couple days before the news broke, but now that it's out there publicly, I hope you'll join me in wishing him well. Clevelanders who remember him from his years as founder, editor and publisher of the Cleveland Edition can drop him a note of congratulations, at Though he's lived in NYC for a few years, he has been following things in Cleveland, via a close reading of the Cool Cleveland e-letter.

There are a couple of especially interesting details about this deal. The Press's new owner says he'll refuse explicit X-rated ads (the NYTimes' excellent City Room blog noted that the decision was applauded by the National Organization for Woman, which estimates it could mean as much as $12,000 of lost revenue each week). Bill's decision to do the same with the Edition (he refused alcohol ads too) was to his credit, but it no doubt helped spur the paper's demise. (I recall Mike Roberts shamefully gloating about this at the time in Cleveland Magazine). And the NYPress, long positioned as the alternative to the dominant Village Voice, will now be going head-to-head with a paper which the Phoenix-based New Times chain--owner of the Cleveland Scene--has all but gutted. An additional irony: while Rupert Murdoch owned the Voice for several years and mostly left it alone, the working-class-hero libertarian tough guys at New Times have basically ruined the paper in just two years of ownership. They had the gall to rename the chain for the Voice even as they were eviscertating it and weeding out all the strong editorial voices that have helped it achieve its famous name. But therein lies an opportunity for Gunlocke and Co.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Why Getting the Little Things Right
Really Matters In Newspaper Stories

One of the reasons the Wall Street Journal has come to be so beloved and trusted among serious readers and serious writers everywhere is the paper's uncanny habit of getting its facts straight--at least in the news pages. Over a century, it built a unique newsroom culture that was probably the purest expression anywhere of the group pursuit of factual accuracy. It's a culture that seems unlikely to survive its new owner, Rupert Murdoch.

But factual accuracy isn't simply about getting things right. It's equally important not to miss important facts, the kind of facts whose absence can render the point of a story all but moot.

I thought about all this when I read a story in the Plain Dealer last Wednesday about a plan to merge the Cuyahoga and Cleveland bar associations. Written by Alison Grant, it was a workmanlike late-summer piece that wouldn't ordinarily attract much attention. At least until I read her summary of why this region happens to have two bar associations: ancient cronyism and ethnic bigotry. Actually, as anyone who has spent any time at all around the Cleveland legal world should know, the older Cleveland Bar has historically been comprised of defense firms and their lawyers, while the Cuyahoga Bar has been mostly home to plaintiff's lawyers. If you know anything at all about the law, you should know that division represents a giant cultural chasm and a real divergence in their outlooks and interests.

Okay, so it would have been one thing if she was merely one of those college students on a summer internship that I wrote about recently. In that case, you'd mostly lay the blame at the feet of her editors. But that's hardly the case: Ms. Grant is a veteran reporter who was a Pulitzer finalist in 1996, for her devastating series of investigative reports on city hall corruption in Beachwood. Let's be generous, shall we, and chalk it up to a case of the summer blahs.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Odds & Ends

Here are a few things I've come across recently that I thought worth sharing.

Money & Flattery Will Always Do It. Washington Post media critic Howie Kurtz shows how The Atlantic's owner David Bradley lands top journalistic talent: through a mix of "smart-bomb flattery" (sometimes playing out over several years) and paying salaries as high as $350,000. That's a pretty powerful combination. On the other hand, Slate's Jack Shafer last year documented the other side of Bradley's niceness. He called him "a narcissistic and needy bore."

I Spoke Too Soon About Cindy Sheehan. Only last week, I wrote about antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan's decision to retire from public life. But in a newly published Q&A with Sheehan, Radar Magazine breaks the story that she's rethought her retirement. Why? It seems she was outraged by Bush's decision to commute Scooter Libby's sentence, which she calls "another act of treason." Unfortunately, she still seems haunted by some of the tone-deafness I mentioned. In the interview, she brags about getting backstage passes to Rage Against the Machine concerts because she's friends with someone in the band, and suggests she's just as qualified for leadership as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "She's speaker of the House and I'm a nationally known figure," she says (cue the rolling of eyes). She also describes how she's positioned to the political left of Congressman John Conyers, which is not easily done.

An Ingenious Circulation Device. Longtime NYT columnist Russell Baker may be retired from daily newspapering. But he shows in this interesting essay/book review in the New York Review of Books that he's still closely watching and thinking about the changes buffetting his profession. And he seems to understand the power of the web better than many of those still working in newsrooms. He writes: "At present the Internet is basically an electronic version of the ten-year-old boy on a bicycle who used to toss the newspaper on the front porch: an ingenious circulation device."

Sometimes You Find Great Writing in the Most Unlikely Places. And finally, I came across this nearly perfect sentence in an article in the trade pub Media Week, of all places. "Advertising is the intersection of Eros and Mammon, a dimly lit crossing where manufactured desire is sated by consumption, and it works best when it makes anyone who comes into contact with it crave something they don't really need." Hats off to writer Anthony Crupi. He proves once again that no assignment is too unimportant, and no audience too narrow, that it can't benefit from good, vivid writing.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I Couldn't Have Said it Better

'The Internet may be eating the lunch of most newspapers, but it also turns journalism into a moveable feast.'
--San Francisco Chronicle columnist David Lazarus, in his final column, before moving on to another, unnamed, paper.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Best Lead(s) of the Month

We have a tie this month, folks. These two favorite opening paragraphs come from a pair of female columnists on opposite sides of the political spectrum. But both write exceedingly well.

'Most high-profile politicans acquire weird little bits of biography that you just cannot shake out of your mind. A reporter once told me that he sat next to a member of Congress on a trip, while said lawmaker kept eating mayonnaise out of those little packets they give you at fast-food restaurants. Even if this guy someday single-handedly resurrects the Equal Rights Amendment and shepards it through 37 state legislatures, when I look at him, a corner of my brain will always think condiments.'
--former New York Times editorial page editor Gail Colllins, writing today on the NYT op-ed page. I'd link to it, but the column is locked behind the Times Select pay wall.

'It's gotten catty out there. Jeri Thompson is a trophy wife, as is Cindy McCain. Michelle Obama is too offhand and irreverent when speaking of her husband, and Judith Giuliani is a puppy-stapling princess. Even Hillary Clinton was a focus, for wearing an outfit that suggested, however faintly, that underneath her clothing she may be naked, and have breasts.'
--Peggy Noonan, in a column published in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.

You can review past Best Lead of the Months here.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hello Billable Hours, So Long Iambic Pentameter

'Inside every lawyer is the wreck of a poet.'
--Clarence Darrow

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wall Street Journal: Rest in Peace

We're in mourning here today about the imminent demise of a great American institution, now to be under the ownership of an unscrupulous, rampaging Australian billionaire. Our flags will hereby fly at half mast for at least the rest of the year. Today is a travel day, so no time to go into any detail (even if we could summon the mental energy to fight through our waves of nausea at the prospect of the onetime diary of the American dream being controlled by this person). But we'll take up the subject at length sometime soon.