Category Archives: In the News

Her One-Night Stand of a Writing Career

Wurtzel image_with bagWhat the world does not need is another blog response to Elizabeth Wurtzel’s angsty personal essay in New York Magazine, “Elizabeth Wurtzel Confronts Her One-Night Stand of a Life.” But as a woman writer, I cannot resist. Because everybody else already has, I won’t get into the most obvious complaints. (The New Yorker offered my favorite critique; Slate’s was great, too.) I will focus on the two things that bother me:

1. She relates marriage to prostitution.

“I am committed to feminism and don’t understand why anyone would agree to be party to a relationship that is not absolutely equal. I believe women who are supported by men are prostitutes”

To which I say, what’s so wrong with prostitution (if it’s between two consenting adults)? Certainly that’s not my life choice, but I don’t begrudge the choices of others. Why would such a self-advertised feminist free spirit who is so proud of sleeping around be so into judging other women’s choices? It just seems so un-feminist and so un-free spirited!

2. Her self-imposed trainwreck of a life makes for some great rubbernecking. But all this self-indulgent self-destruction seems so dated. Her writing is like the literary equivalent of wearing Doc Marten’s and a flannel shirt. In a national climate where everybody is just trying to recover from the Great Recession, how can readers tolerate her gleeful boast of being poor because she chose a designer purse over a savings account?

“But I never saved or invested, because I believe if you take care of the luxuries, the necessities will take care of themselves. When I got a huge advance for Bitch, my second book, I bought a Birkin bag…”

Somebody introduce Wurtzel to Suze Orman’s Women & Money. This Huffington Post critique says it best, but it bears repeating: An independent woman has gotta be responsible for her own finances. How else do you keep from being a prostitute?

My First 15 Minutes…if you can call it that

A couple weeks ago, I happened to appear in the background of two photos in Las Vegas Weekly online articles.

Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage

Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage

In the first photo, I serve as an illustration of the awful craziness that is the celeb-media shark fest (which is only a little funny because everybody looks so happy). I suggest reading the fascinating article by Greg Beato yourself because I am too tired to give an accurate account of it. (Sorry Greg, if I didn’t do your awesome article justice.)

Weeky reporter C. Moon Reed gets an unexpected lick from Monotonix. Never wash that cheek again. by Aaron Thompson

"Weeky reporter C. Moon Reed gets an unexpected lick from Monotonix. Never wash that cheek again." by Aaron Thompson

In the second photo, my good friend and photographer Aaron Thompson captured me when he was shooting the Monotonix show.  It was quite the exciting suprise to find the photo published online the next morning. My editor Spencer Patterson even mentioned me in his writeup of the show. Spencer wrote an awesome review, which you really must read. On behalf of him, I’ll also mention that the Monotonix are the best live band ever.

Cheesecake and Crime, soon only on the Web

Perhaps I shouldn’t be talking because I’ve never shopped there. Still, it always hurts to see a bookstore shutter its doors.  But not all is lost. This yummy mystery bookstore will move from 10545 S. Eastern Avenue, Henderson, Nevada to the Internet February 28. Until then, check out their mega going out of business sale.

Frankie’s Tiki Room, now with oxygen

Frankie's Tiki Room

Frankie's Tiki Room (photo by me!)

I wrote about the opening of Frankie’s Tiki Room a few months ago for the Las Vegas Weekly. It’s a neat hipster place that is nice instead of purposefully junky. However, it’s always been a little too smoky for my tastes. Imagine my joy when I got this email from owner P Moss:

P Moss sent a message to the members of Frankie’s Tiki Room.

Subject: CLEARING THE AIR AT FRANKIE’S

“A smoke eater has been installed at Frankie’s Tiki Room, which should clear the air and make the escape just a little closer to paradise.  Mahalo”

Protect Journalists, Support the Shield Law!

Here is a letter from the president of the society of professional journalists. Because I probably won’t get around to contacting my congressman, I thought the least I could do was ask you to do so! Yes, I feel like a jerk for passing the buck. But at least I’m doing something, right? right?

Dear SPJ Member:

We’re delighted to announce that the Free Flow of Information Act, more commonly referred to as the Federal Shield Law, was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today as H.R. 985.

You’re probably aware that the Society of Professional Journalists has been actively urging Congress and President Obama to pass and sign into law a bill that will protect journalists who refuse to reveal their confidential sources. Because you are a member of the largest journalism association in the country, your voice and opinion matter in this extremely important process.

Today, we are asking you to join the fight to improve and protect journalism. Please contact your representative and voice your support for this measure that is essential to upholding a free and independent press. A list of current contact information for U.S. Representatives can be found here.

When you contact your representative, please tell him or her about your SPJ membership – and that our organization (some 9,000 strong) supports this vital piece of legislation.

In closing, thank you for all that you do for SPJ and for making this organization an industry leader in fighting for the First Amendment rights of journalists.

Yours in the profession,

Dave Aeikens,
SPJ President

The Death of Journalism?

I don’t know if you heard the news, but Playboy is combining it’s web and print efforts and moving most its staff to Chicago.  This is just one in cough in the long, slow death rattle of journalism as we know it. And it’s really getting me down. How am I supposed to climb a mountain that’s crumbling? I feel like I’m in the movie the Neverending Story and the Great Nothingness is attacking my profession. It’s not fair, Hunter S. Thompson didn’t have to deal with this crap.

Publishing & the Profit Motive

I just read a justifiably indignant NY Times article criticizing the wrongdoings of the publishing industry. The quote below summarizes author Timothy Egan’s complaint:

Most of the writers I know work every day, in obscurity and close to poverty, trying to say one thing well and true. Day in, day out, they labor to find their voice, to learn their trade, to understand nuance and pace. And then, facing a sea of rejections, they hear about something like Barbara Bush’s dog getting a book deal.

As an impoverished, struggling writer, I more than empathize with his point. However, the one thing that Egan is forgetting is that book publishing is a for-profit industry. If Barbara Bush’s dog will sell more books than a struggling artist’s poetry, then a publisher is wise to favor the former, even if it hurts our personal sensibilities. Or look at it the other way, that dog book just bankrolled 10 garrulous memoirs. Without the best-selling fluff, the publishing house couldn’t afford to take a loss on you.

In these tough economic times, it’s very important to remember the profit motive. Though it’s not romantic, I highly advise considering potential readership before launching into 10 years of toil. But that’s only if you want to get published.