Signed copies of Balochistan at a Crossroads, by Willem Marx and Marc Wattrelot, are available directly from the authors via Paypal. You can get plain old unsigned ones via Amazon in the U.S.
"I was supposed to fly to Afghanistan today but my body armor didn't arrive in time," was something Willem Marx said to me one of the first times we met. He says things like this on a not infrequent basis. Marx currently works at Bloomberg TV and has reported from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uzbekistan, the Arctic Circle, and other less trodden parts of the world.
In 2009, he spent time [...]
In late July, we ran a piece looking at a website called Elite Daily. Around the office, we'd been calling the story "Who Is Eddie Cuffin?" That's because one thing that had captivated our attention was the bylines of Elite Daily's writers, which, the more we looked, turned out not to be real people. So Eddie Cuffin is not "the most interesting man in the office," as per his Elite Daily bio, because he does not exist.
The more we looked, the more we disliked the site. We talked about this in the piece, and that whole fake writer thing, and that the site itself glamorized a grotesque version [...]
Los Angeles Times reporter Jasmine Elist interviewed the author known as "Marie Calloway." (That is a pen name; if you don't know her, you could start here.) The Times published the interview as a Q&A on Monday. Calloway's response? "I was misquoted a lot tbf." (Old people: "tbf" stands for "to be fair." I know, it's just so many letters, thank God.) "To be fair" is a weird construction there: to be fair to whom? I asked the reporter about it, baitingly.
@Choire :) No, I don't. But I do think she'll always have a bone to pick with the people who interview her
— Jasmine Elist [...]
I tried uniformly applying a variety of “systems” — note cards, wall-sized outlines, all kinds of things. Color-coding and cross-referencing may or may not have been involved. I may or may not own a triple hole-punch. Ultimately, though, I felt I was spending more time playing reporter/writer than being reporter/writer—the systems search, I realized, was a form of procrastination. Here’s what I do now, and it’s very basic: Bring the scraps back to the nest, arrange them chronologically, develop a timeline that shows everything more clearly, and then build out from there, hewing to that backbone yet following each thread to its known end. That’s just an organizing principle, [...]
Last week, the American Society of Magazine Editors released its list of nominees for the 2012 National Magazine Award. In the so-called "brass ring" long-form categories—reporting, feature writing, profile writing, essays and criticism and columns and commentary—all 25 of the writers nominated were men.
For an organization that usually gets talked about exactly twice a year—once when it announces the nominations, and again when it declares the winners—suddenly people had a lot to say about ASME.
"Women can’t write, says ASME," went the Daily News headline. David Carr called it a "sausage-fest." Disdain for the organization manifested in the Twitter hashtag #ASSME.
It's easy to imagine the [...]
Zuccotti Park is a well-manicured, block-long park in the heart of New York City’s financial district that, for the past two days, has been home to a few hundred squatters, anarchists, activists, students, a few drug addicts, several undercover cops and one lone man in a suit. Alternately calling themselves Occupy Wall Street or Take Wall Street or the 99%, they have set up camp, spending the night on rolls of cardboard, yoga mats and bare concrete, as a protest against the abuses carried out by various financial institutions and banks against the people of this country.
The protest, loosely organized by Adbusters and the internet activist group [...]
On the roofdeck at 230 Fifth Avenue last night, a man was taking pictures of La Toya Jackson with an iPad. "I saw Spike Lee take Obama's pic with that thing!" said a photographer. Apart from press, the crowd tended towards rejected Real Housewives. (One partygoer named Cheri aspired toward both a singing career and a gay sidekick.)
"Is this the closest you've ever been to a Jackson?" someone asked.
"Well, my brother was in a hot tub with Michael in 1983, so that's got to count for something," someone else said.
La Toya entered her book party—she is the author, as of today, of Starting Over, a memoir [...]