Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Shredder applies for gig as hack at Fax.

In most of the MSM, "there really ain't nothing like the real thing, baby".

“All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it”. H.L. Mencken.

Dear sports, 'shredding' is the art of advanced guitar techniques and this is one of my few vices. No, really. Now speaking of ridden with vice, Fairfax Media is so big, that the last thing they want is to be pestered by people with naïve and outmoded ideas about individuality, talent and journalistic standards. Er, in their perhaps provocative acronym of FCN, the 'F' and 'C' stands for Fairfax Community so they say, and the 'N' is for Network. The Fax has “over 240 publications”, some of them readable.

"Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach's 'St. Matthew's Passion' on a ukulele". Bagdikian's Observation.

And so it was, that I recently answered an add in 'The Age' newspaper under 'Classifieds', for a 'Senior Journalist' type thing. But hey, if I don’t get a better job soon, my wife is Japanese and she’s threatening to crash and explode on the deck of my aircraft carrier, so to speak. As difficult as it is to imagine, have you ever seen a Japanese of either sex when they lose their sense of humour? It’s the same as when they hear a joke, only worse.

The ad for "Senior Hack Wanted" says “you’re a wordsmith”. Ok, I’m a word, and stop calling me Smith. Boom tish. A wordsmith is someone who uses the word “wordsmith” almost never, unless drunk and pilled. Now “Flair” I can do. I have so much flair it hurts. “Insight” is my thing too and er, burden. Can’t help it, you see. “Must, analyse, continuously, must”.

Hey, I don’t want to be in a "Senior" position in anything unless it’s at home. While I do feel that I may not be small enough, I still want to start off at that cute journalist size and work up to maverick honcho.

“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure”.Samuel Johnson.

“Political nouse?” I got it baby!

I’m well aware that Malcolm Frazer has the geopolitical and economic understanding of a wash board that’s sat in on one too many 'Student Union Crisis Meetings'. Mal is so seemingly bereft, that he may be going through an ‘Autumn Adolescence’. Hey, do ya think he has a Che 'the child killer' Guevara T-shirt? I’ll get him one. Maybe a nice “Smash Capitalism!” badge too.

I can dig that Kevin ‘Watch me Mao!’ Rudd, has done an incredible job in his first 'hundred days' in office. He’s already moved the table and chairs, vacuumed the carpet and put the pens in a nice Ming Dynasty ceramic from the early 1950’s. The Leader of the Opposition came over for milk and cookies and I still have his name written down somewhere.

“Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers, is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock”. Ben Hecht.

“..and a sense of humour”. Sadly, I have no sense of humour whatsoever. Are they serious? Every time someone says they want something like that, it usually means their own understanding of humour is about as amusingly witty and cutting as your Alzheimer stricken Grandmother’s.

“Hey, when we said a sense of humour, we didn’t think you’d laugh at things!”

“One doesn't have a sense of humour. It has you”.
Larry Gelbart.

There’s hope though. They ask to make applications “minus the boring bits”. I’ll send a blank page then. Resume’s are ALL boring bits. That’s why they call them resume’s. Come on, who finds another person's life more interesting than their own, unless the other person is either actually somebody and preferably famous? Nobody, that's who!

“The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything”. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.

Ah, now here’s the entirely imaginary hurdle. “Experience”. Yep, most journalist and writer types will have it, apparently. I mean experience. Some have years and years of “experience”, and that’s entirely their problem.

The MSM in Australia is almost uniformly dull. The only people who don’t feel this way are either over thirty or are the Editor of ‘The Age’ . A lot of what you see in the news agent that’s allegedly ‘local’, is actually assembled from overseas sources by three people in a broom closet in Flinders Lane.

Mark Steyn said that this problem is due to the fact that journalists, were once more likely to be actual individuals and came from almost anywhere and well, were a damn sight more interesting because of it. And because journalists were “people whose lives had somehow gone terribly wrong”.

Now everyone comes out with three years of highly trained tedium under their entirely fashionable and predictable belts and then proceeds to spread the boredom, much like every new and swingin’ bar becomes new and swingin’ in the same identical new and swingin’ way. What can such folks write about? Hell, I’d read it everyday if I didn’t try to avoid it as much as possible.

The bit I really dig is “are you seeking a new and exciting challenge and have the drive and initiative to succeed?” Well, beyond the rhetorical flourishes, er, yes. Surprisingly, few people are “seeking stale, torpor inducing repetition and are keen on using inertia and conformity as a springboard to utter failure”.

I can clearly write not only my own name, but actually write what a lot of people might want to read. And I can tie my own shoe laces.

After er, skills and talent, you could confirm if I have the required traits to er, “succeed” in 'Today’s Demanding Media Environment!', by a simple medical examination. I obviously have the backbone, frontal cortex and the balls. So nope, I’m clearly no standard MSM journalist.

Well, the balls are in their court now. When do I start?

1 comment:

darrellepp said...

Yeah, in 2008, traditional methods like newspapers are generally a TERRIBLE way to find out what's going on. I've taken the route of taking a brain dead but good-paying day job, and in my free time writing what i want however I want. Having to take crap from an obviously idiotic editor doesn't sound fun. I put a piece about gaza at top of www.darrellepp.com hope you dig it.