Plagiarizing W.P. Kinsella by Ken Gigliotti
Plagiarizing W.P. Kinsella's magic realist novel, Shoeless Joe. One can not help but think the world needs another really good metaphor. Even though ball players still get caught cheating , it is still considered bad form to flip a bat or celebrate too much while rounding the bases after a home run.
Even though Sarah Palin could not see Russia from her house in Alaska ,Tina Fey could. Was it just a precursor to false news or pathetic foreboding.
Toronto's Rob Ford and New York's Donald J. both proclaimed they could shoot a person on a crowded downtown street and still get elected.
When Senator Anthony Weiner was asked about how he embarased New Yorkers, he said the answer should be left up to the voters. He was elected seven times with no less than 59% of the vote.
Did Joe (Justin)Trudeau's pivot to a hardy hand shake and manly shoulder grab with D. Trump, trading his dad's pirouette with the queen,and just missing its iconic mark? Was it a calculated move or just the right amount of political magic?
In four years time could we potentially see Donald J. emerge through theatrical fog at the Cadillac Ranch. The Donald glowing ,radiant, could possibly wearing one of Hillary's angellic white priestess pant suits. The disgraced rusting hulks of tin seemingly shot back down to earth from the heavens like arrows by the archangels in 1974. As the sun's glow breaks through, it reveals the ten iconic caddies restored now with their gleaming grills facing skyward as he triumphantly proclaims America is now,“good again.”
One word,one phrase creates bias or challenges the reader. Magic realism or novelized journalism? When the reader expects to be challenged and knows the bias before hand ,it creates honest dialogue. Any story that evokes “potential” invites extreme speculation . “Potential” and “optics” are the magic realism of journalism. Journalists need to understand that readers are smarter than they think.
As the news industry embraced the entertainment industry ,did it all turn into magic realism and theater? Subjective, consumable and disposable, then repackaged and distributed at the speed of light on the web. Add disruptive.
Has journalism and it's beaten down second cousin the newspaper business had enough yet? Has it been so preoccupied that it has forgot it's place? Kinsella wrote about the crowd being disappointed at this “seventh rate carnival”...
“This is a carnival. People pay to be disappointed.”
How can authoritative information with verifiable words and verifiable images compete, speed dating with an added unverifiable twitter, state sponsored hacking, regular political party shenanigans and streaming internet content. This is two plus one. A new formula with no history. Photo shop for narratives. The “one” has wormed it's way into a verifiable formula making the whole thing unverifiable and speculative to the public. The “one” competes because it has permission.
Kinsella writes “success is getting what you want, but happiness is wanting what you get.” Just what does the whole newspaper business really want? Old Readers stayed, the new will fallow, if you build it. Just look at the book page.
It seems that the new York Times has recognized that it's customer is the reader. Does the rest of the newspaper business know who it's real customer is?
Kinsella writes, “I don't have to tell you that the one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has been erased like a blackboard only to be rebuilt and then erased again.” He described those who have always come to the game with the line, “But mostly the arrivals will be couples who have withered and sickened of the contrived urgency of their lives.”
“Contrived urgency.” is what our readers get,it is not what they expect.
Journalism is being erased inside the architecture of this new media and it can be rebuilt.
Do we know the readers? On election night 2016, it was proved we did not.
Like the thirteen year old runaway character Gypsy ,now grown, she“discarded layers of her identity in secret places all across the face of America,in the process becoming very wise.”
Unlike her ,we in the newspaper business have left parts of our better selves hidden in secret places to be found later so reconstruction can be started, to be wise again. It is all in the wreckage of journalism past.
Again,The pieces of our downsized business are left hidden in places all over our country, still there waiting to be found again. Ken Gigliotti Feb 2017