Jonesing For My Paper.

horst p. horst 1943

Only three weeks into the renewal of my Sunday New York Times home delivery subscription, and there’s no paper outside. I cancelled the NYT and Chicago Tribune Sunday home deliveries back around the holidays, frustrated with only getting the paper three out of four weeks…if that. Visitors and followers here have all seen their share of old B&W movies where folks plunked down some coins for a paper. Home delivery of the Sunday NYT goes for ten buck a week now. Mind you, I’m not blaming either paper. God bless ‘em both for persevering through calamitous times for print media while combatting the crafty onslaught of ‘fake news’ accusations by those who’d love to see a free press crumble and fade.

No, it’s not the newspapers’ fault, just some schmoe driving around with bundles of papers in the back of their SUV that’s the problem. Customer service operators for both papers conceded as much about this particular area when I cancelled, and assured me it had been rectified when I renewed.

Now that I’m officially hunkered down at home, I need that damn paper. Sure, the Trib’s a pale shadow of what it once had been, with entire sections gone and others reduced in size. But the Sunday NYT is like a big fat book’s worth of reading, and both are doubly valuable in times like these. Yeah, yeah, I know: Go online. And I do, during the week. But Sunday routines demand a fresh pot of coffee, suitable morning edibles and newspapers. I don’t care if news is transmitted via implanted bio-chips by the time I’m being spoon-fed gruel in a nursing home, I’ll still want to sniff the tell-tale ink-on-newsprint aroma.

I’ll keep checking (though it’s late afternoon as I write this) but methinks I’ll have to do without my Sunday NYT this week…and the ten bucks.

Photo: Horst P. Horst, 1943

The N-Word In The Writers’ Room.

Walter Mosley

I’ve been away for a few days, a mix of offsite day job chores, personal work and routine R&R, but feeling disconnected and nearly off the grid in a spot where broadband is a foreign word. On the plus side, I was insulated from the daily tweetstorm from Pennsylvania Avenue, though it was a ten-mile trek just to buy a Sunday newspaper.

You may not be able to link to Walter Mosley’s Sunday 9.8.19 New York Times editorial section piece, “Why I Quit The Writer’s Room” (link below) since the NYT, like most newspapers, needs to encourage you to subscribe, so sometimes articles don’t open, and I get that. So, if you have any problem linking, you can also get to it via Crime Reads (crimereads.com). But do get to it, however you like, because Mosley’s piece is well worth the effort.

If you visit or follow here, then there’s no way you could be unfamiliar with Edgar Award winner and Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Walter Mosley, the prolific novelist who’s made up for lost time (he started writing in his mid-thirties) with over 40 novels, plus non-fiction books, plays and screenwriting credits. Mosley’s perhaps best known for his magnificent Easy Rawlins series, which includes his first published novel, Devil In A Blue Dress from 1990, later made into the 1995 film by the same name starring Denzel Washington and Jennifer Beals. His latest non-fiction writer’s book, Elements of Fiction just came out last week.

Mosley’s op-ed piece held the top space of the NYT’s Op-Ed section back page, and finds him at work in his current show’s writers’ room when he received a call from the network’s Human Resources Department. “Mr. Mosley, it’s been reported that you used the N-Word in the writers’ room,” the H.R. staffer said. Incredulous, I assume, Mosley replied, “I am the N-Word in the writers’ room.” And then he quit. There’s much more to it than this shorthand description, of course, but why read about it from me when you ought to get it firsthand from Walter Mosley himself? It’s a thought-provoking piece, crafted as only Mosley could.

As for me, I’ll be looking forward to seeing what I can learn in Mosley’s Elements of Fiction, my copy due in the local bookstore Tuesday.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/06/opinion/sunday/walter-mosley.html

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