Showing posts with label City Weekly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label City Weekly. Show all posts

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thanks for sharing

Among all of the tributes to John Hughes -- and his films -- after the director's death, last week's in Omaha's City Weekly just might be . . . uh . . . unique.

In the piece, editor Jim Minge shares his teen-age angst -- and some other stuff we really didn't need to know:
Did I masturbate to Molly Ringwald? You bet I did. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Blame John Hughes. Actually, I should thank him. Sadly, though, there’s no chance of me being able to do that in person anymore. The once-in-a-lifetime filmmaker who led Generation X through a glorious ’80s romp of teen coming-of-age comedies died last week at the age of 59.

“Sixteen Candles” (1984), “The Breakfast Club” (1985), “Pretty in Pink” (1986) – Hughes’ Ringwald hat trick. Puberty would not have been the same without ginger-haired Molly.

Of course, there were other ’80s films from Hughes: “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983), “European Vacation” (1985), “Weird Science” (1985), “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986), “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987), “She’s Having A Baby” (1988), “The Great Outdoors” (1988), “Uncle Buck” (1989) and “Christmas Vacation” (1989).

Anyone else seeing flashes of girls with big hair and guys wearing bright-colored polo shirts with popped collars?

Hughes, a writer, director and producer, kicked off the ’90s with “Home Alone” (1990). But it’s Hughes’ ’80s films that I, and most everyone else in my Gen X troop, so passionately adore, and so often quote:

“Good talk, Russ.”

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it.”

“No more yankie my wankie. The Donger needs food.”
SOMETIMES it can be difficult to navigate that line dividing edgy and ewww. Sometimes, it's even tougher than steering away from what would have been a too-obvious pun in that last sentence.

Minge, however, apparently lacks the mental filter that keeps normal people from putting their byline on shlock-and-awe ledes that grossly overshare about "yankie my wankie." Emphasis on "gross."

It seems to be an alternative-press thang in these postmodern times.

Pity. What could be a smart, edgy and truly "alternative" voice in the increasingly hoarse world of newspapering insists instead on convincing the reading public that it's just another bunch of wankers.

Monday, December 01, 2008

More 'idiodic' stuff from the alternative press

Control Alt Delete is no defense from the dead-tree version of the Omaha City Weekly.

Nor from some of the "idiodic" things therein.

DO WE REALLY need to learn about some staffer's idiod (the root of "idiodic," one presumes?) friend "Jorge" who ran out of gas returning home from an overnight "booty call"? Really?

If the City Weekly's editors think so, what's more frightening? That that's what the alternative rag's poobahs think of their readers, or that they might be absolutely correct in gauging the readership's fascination with "booty calls" gone wrong?

Apparently, we have drifted into the realm of "anticulture," which is defined as a society collectively thinking with organs other than the brain. I believe Rene Descartes first described this when he famously said, "I climax, therefore I am."

Or something like that.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Flunking News Writing 101 in Omaha

I look at the above crime brief from the Omaha City Weekly, and I wonder what Bob Sheldon would have done if I had turned that in for Journalism 2151, Beginning Newswriting.

I mean, apart from giving me an "F" for the assignment and strongly suggesting I find a new field of interest. And apart from suggesting, perhaps, that I find something else to do with my time than hang out on the LSU campus -- or that of any other college or university.

SHELDON WAS an old-time newspaperman. Did some time at the National Enquirer. Loved snappy ledes and colorful headlines.

Didn't think much of calling homicide suspects "dumb f***s" in your copy. He was funny that way. Made a friend of mine cry once in class over far less of a journalistic sin.

God knows what might have happened had I been stupid enough to hand in something like this:
It's no surprise that the one-night shooting spree that took place on Nov. 12 in the midtown Omaha Dundee area was the work of three mentally disabled dumb f***s with ties to local gangs.
OR . . . AS PERRY WHITE might have said, "Great Caesar's ghost! Get me a libel lawyer . . . now!"

It could be, though, that our Nov. 26 item from one of Omaha's "alternative" weeklies just might have rendered my old professor speechless. Back in the day, journalism schools expected more of teen-age reporter wannabes than some publications demand of alleged adult "professionals" in 2008.

Also, it seems to me that in far too many cases -- especially in cities the size of Omaha -- arrested-development types manage to grab hold of the green eyeshades, leading the "alternative press" into a high-school hell concocted by Jeff Spicoli, just emerged through a cloud of smoke from a VW microbus. What you end up with is gratuitous sludge like the
City Weekly story above, where rank incompetence conflates itself with simple-minded notions of "narrative" and Anglo-Saxon expletives sprinkled through ill-written copy passes for "edgy."

EVERY PARAGRAPH of crap contained in half-baked rags, whether they be "mainstream" or "alternative," is a compounding tragedy for an industry with one foot in the grave already, as well as for the society that industry purports to inform.

And on a smaller scale, these journalistic Jeff Spicolis -- pretentious, poseur rubes turning out their "tasty" stories in their "gnarly" mags -- make it look like their brand of half-baked, foul-mouthed, faux-edgy dreck is about the best one might expect out of somewhere like Omaha.

Maybe it is, but I sure could have taken this city for a far smarter place than that.