Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Journalism Piss up

When I was a little ringlet-haired thing riding in our faux wood-trimmed Ford station wagon, I got very upset as we passed a cemetery.

When asked what was wrong, it was with bitter jealousy that I remarked, "Dead people always get the best flowers. It's not fair!"

Yeah, I would've forgotten that if not for the fact that each time my family drove by a graveyard they seemed to slow down as they recounted the hilarity of that moment for eveyone's pleasure but mine.

I'm happy to report that at this great age I am not jealous of dead people's flowers...

I'm insanely jealous of the glowing and extended obits that always seem to be reserved for journalists.

Still, this one in The Washionton Post was very cool.

Yes, it's another long-winded eulogy to a journalist, but I truly liked this one for long, long time Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory.

Since the Post requires annoying yet free registration, I've excerpted my favorite part here, for you:

"Gailey talked of the heyday of the Star, when a bottle of booze might one day pop up in the newsroom and lead to an inevitable song-filled gathering outside McGrory's office. She never could get accustomed to The Post's sober newsroom events centered around a ceremonial cake, Gailey said. Even when the paper won three Pulitzers, everyone just ate cake. She thought of retiring, but couldn't. "She simply could not bring herself to face the cake."

Yes, please bring back the booze and the flasks in the drawers of the hardened old newsmen, the green glass-shaded desk lamps, the smoke-filled newsrooms, the little leather visors and all the other things that would make me run, not walk, to go work at a newspaper.