Tuesday, October 02, 2007

BBLPC / George Clooney vs the Hawk / Sk00L iz Kul

The BBC bought Lonely Planet! Here are some excerpts (not made up, I swear) from what our boss fella told those of us scattered about in Lonely Authorland:

"It's a highly astute and exciting move that will unleash transformational opportunities ... the very beginning of a whole new journey for all of us ... we are keen to engage with you directly in as many ways as possible."

Oooh - that sounds dirty! But maybe fun, too - especially if everyone in the company suddenly starts affecting a posh accent.

In other news: One recent night I spotted a little red Honda Hawk parked on the street outside my apartment building, and I realized - with something like horror - that it gave me a much more visceral thrill than I would've felt if I'd merely seen George Clooney or Brad Pitt. Today on the walk back from school I saw another one, gray, and I waded through a band of Chinatown moppets leaving kindergarten to get a better look at it. Every time a bike of any kind goes by, I practically break my neck to check it out. Can you say addiction? I knew you could.

Misc updates: I guess I never wrote about my grad-school orientation. I won't now, either - it's old news. David Carr from The New York Times came to speak, and he was very weird and hilarious. Advised us to abandon sleep and do everything, even if it means doing most of it poorly. Hmm. Well, it is NYC...

Some of you probably don't even know what I'm doing in New York in the first place. Well, half the time neither do I. But I'm out here temporarily, getting a master's in journalism at NYU, in a program called Cultural Reporting & Criticism. (Sorry if I'm repeating myself here. Feel free to skip ahead to the juicy parts. Oh, wait...sigh.) It's all about writing cultural commentary, New Yorker-style essays, better and meatier reviews of books/films/etc, and articles about things happening in life that aren't "hard news." My aim is, basically, to write the same kind of stuff I was writing before, only better, and more often, and for more than ten cents a word.

So far there's been more reading than writing, as we're supposed to get a feel for how we fit into the ancient hallowed tradition of criticizing other people for a living. The first few things we read were from the 1840s (Margaret Fuller). Since then it's been people like Dwight MacDonald, George Orwell, Randall Jarrell (famous for his poems, but I like his essays better), Pauline Kael, Norman Mailer (my neighbor, by the way, here in Brooklyn Heights - how's that for posh?), Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, Greil Marcus etc.

We got our first writing assignment back on Friday. Disastrous, to a man. The whole class was scolded with almost comical severity. (Meaning that it was so harsh it would've been funny, except that The Controversial Katie Roiphe can actually be kind of scary.) Yep, we suck. All of us (that's the only good part). Overall, Results were Very Disappointing. Rewrites are due this Friday, and I think it's safe to say that everyone is terrified.

But hey, at least someone's reading our essays. Nobody reads essays anymore.

Anyway. Here is a picture of the sign on my apartment building, where I sleep and type and in front of which I can usually be found sitting on park benches reading ancient literary critics:

It's an old hotel, almost certainly haunted (see? it says SPIRITS right there on the building!).

And here are some trembly nighttime shots (no tripod, sorry) from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, two blocks away:

Doesn't it look fake?

The benches on the Promenade are usually full of people making out. Gross.


  1. Anonymous8:23 PM

    bloody Hell Becks...(can you tell I am a Chemical dependent individual)...this should be Skewl is krewl. Where is the classroom love? I think the teacher is a very angry and is not looking at the glass being half full. OOPS...gotta go, I'm knicking WIFI from the bloke next door and I hear him heading out. Honda Hawks still rock...as do the GEN1 FZ1's I might add :)
    Take care and write big words to impress me.
    Long live the Queen...

  2. Brad pitt is probably the most adventurous hollywood actor alive. reminds me alittle of Steve McQueen with all the bikes and cars. Must be nice to be able to spend £50,000 pounds on motorcycle and not have to worry about the cost. one thing is for sure, I bet the motorcycle insurance will be pretty hefty on his new machine. not that brad has to worry about that I he must be obsessed with bikes, I think he already owns more than a dozen of them.