Archive for the ‘O’Pinions’ Category

This week in writing history: The Catcher in the Rye

In O'Pinions, Off-Topic on July 16, 2014 at 11:22 pm


On July 16, 1951, J.D. Salinger published a book that just about everyone (in this country, at least) has had to read at one point or another: The Catcher in the Rye. Some people love it, and some people (maybe more people) love to hate it—but others, myself included, just shrug and say, “Yeah, it was alright.”

This is actually something of a source of contention in my house. My fiancée hates Holden Caulfield with a vigorous passion; after all, he’s whiney and spends 200+ pages doing, well, basically nothing. I, on the other hand, think the book actually has some merits (and if I ever want to lose my fiancée, all I have to do is expound upon some of those merits aloud).

So it’s at great risk to my personal life (and possibly my blog followership) that I expound upon them here, if only silently: Read the rest of this entry »


How Literacy Has Made the World a Better Place (And Can Again)

In O'Pinions, Off-Topic on June 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm


I was clicking through YouTube last week, procrastinating (that’s redundant, right?), when somehow my eye strayed from the cat videos long enough to be caught by some slightly more serious videos featuring John Cleese and Neil deGrasse Tyson. They weren’t in the videos together, mind you, but they were discussing some of the same things: how religion, when followed too rigidly and taken too literally, can become a danger to scientific progress and society as a whole.

Specifically, John (we’re on a first name basis, you know) had this to say:

“I think that the central problem of any religion is that the founders of religions are always extraordinarily intelligent people, and what you notice as you get older is extraordinarily intelligent people are not literal minded. And the great problem of religion is when what is said by the founder of the religion, which is supposed to be taken metaphorically, is taken literally.”

Read the rest of this entry »

‘The Newsroom’: Journalism, but better

In O'Pinions on June 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Ahh, inspiration…

It’s been a good while now since I’ve posted anything about journalism or politics (or for that matter, anything besides flash fiction), but this afternoon I finally got around to watching the first episode of HBO’s The Newsroom, and since I work in a newsroom myself (and since I still happen to believe journalism performs a crucial function in any true democracy), I couldn’t help but be inspired. Read the rest of this entry »

Rupert Murdoch, though ‘not fit,’ will not quit

In O'Pinions on May 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm
Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual M...

Rupert Murdoch – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

Bad boy, Rupert…

Today, a parliamentary committee in the UK came to the conclusion that billionaire mogul Rupert Murdoch is “not fit” to run a major international company. Read the rest of this entry »

Books will survive, even if publishers don’t

In O'Pinions on April 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm

A Picture of an eBookLast week an editorial by Mark Coker was posted on, ominously titled ‘A dark day for the future of books,’ about how the Department of Justice recently charged Apple and five large publishers* with conspiring to raise the price of eBooks – and how a ruling against these behemoths could have unintended consequences that hurt publishers and (as the title portends) cast a dark shadow over the future of books themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

The Trayvon Martin case: A problem of narrative

In O'Pinions on April 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm

If you’ve been following the news surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin — the Florida teen shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman — you’re bound to have noticed a change in coverage over the last few days: News outlets have started using different photos of Martin and Zimmerman than the ones they’ve used from the start.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hunger Games: Why the movie is better than the book

In O'Pinions on April 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm

It’s not something you’ll often hear readers say, and it’s not something you’ll often hear me say, but with the Hunger Games we find one of those rare cases where the film adaptation of a book is actually an improvement. Read the rest of this entry »