Sunday, August 26, 2007

Odessey? Wasn't she a minor character in an early Faulkner novel?


Out of the desert: Coming home from the war; Odessey begins

The story of the American experience in Iraq is evolving, from how the war should be fought to how it should end....
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel head and lead, 8/27/2007


For decades, now, copy editing has been one of the most persistent of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's many (since we're talking classics) fatal flaws. An Odyssey, by definition, can be a tragic tale (right so far) but it must be recounted from the moment of going out from one's home, to the return to that very place.

Crocker Stephenson--the author of today's piece-- is, perhaps, one of the MJS's better journalists. (Makes you wonder why he hasn't moved on.) Damn shame that putting his work in the hands of a summer intern on the copy desk makes it look banal.

Any genuine Iraq odyssey, as presented by the Journal Sentinel, would involve the beginnings, and that would mean dredging up the sludge produced by embedded scribbler, Kathy Skiba, in early 2003 when she donned desert camo and tripped lightheartedly off to war. And she sent back the vile crap that she later turned into a book...and a book tour. She should've been made to lend her fetid blend of bogus solemnity and banality to this "Home from the [porkchop] Hill" feature.

The stacks of that worthless, actively jingo, stinker of a book on remainder tables were monumental. When it continued to not sell, it made an "odessey" to the incinerator, where it just smoldered and gave off green fumes.

It hurts me to do this, but, here I am, actively happy to hear about book burning.

Just this once.

Just her book.

1 comment:

Michael Shay said...

Nice catch on the headline mistake. Maybe we should burn the copy editor at the "steak." Looks like you love words as I do, and despise those who twist or misuse them. That reporter's book sounds like a stinker and I'll avoid it so I don't have to burn it. On the other end of the scale, I will dearly miss Grace Paley, a writer who cared about words and ideas and people. I wrote a farewell to Ms. Paley on my blog, hummingbirdminds.slogspot.com.

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Of the biblical allotment of three score and ten I have lived only three of them more than a bicycle ride from one of the Great Lakes. I grew up ten blocks from Lake Erie in the (once Irish/Italian ghetto, now newly-hip) "Near West Side" of Cleveland. I can still cycle to the Milwaukee lakefront in an hour and a half; but, a round-trip has always been more than I would (noror ever did) attempt. -0- I'm a "...somewhat combative pacifist and fairly cooperative anarchist," after the example of Grace Paley (1922-2007). -0- I'm always cheerful when I pay my taxes (having refused--when necessary--to pay that portion of them dedicated to war). -0- And I always, always vote.