From the late, legendary newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin:
Trump… senses better than anyone the insecurity of people, that nobody knows whether anything is good or bad until they are told, and he is quite willing to tell them immediately.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Breslin wrote this in the year 1988, long before the idea of Donald Trump as president of these United States was anything more than an hallucinogenic nightmare. Breslin detested Trump from the very first moment the two met in 1982, after which Breslin wrote, “His civic responsibility in the past consisted of getting tax abatements.”
I happen to be reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan right now. Taleb argues that much of human history is punctuated by outlier events, unpredictable and often inconceivable prior to their occurrence. Taleb wrote the book in 2007 so he didn’t know what was to occur in the 2016 election.
Anyway, here’s a game I like to play while I’m washing dishes or standing under a hot shower. Who, living or dead, would be as ludicrous to imagine becoming The Leader of the Free World as Trump once was.
My latest list (feel free to toss in your own ideas):
- Tom Brady
- Bill Belichick
- Susan Boyle
- L’il Bub
- Ellen Degeneres
- H. Ross Perot
- Martin Shkreli
- That smirking Covington High School kid
- Yoko Ono
- Kanye West
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- The Sneezing Panda Baby
- The Gangnam Style guy
- Vladimir Putin
- Stormy Daniels
- Monica Lewinski
- James Comey
- Robert Mueller
- Jimmy Breslin (he’s dead)
What Do They Know?
Speaking of journalism, if you’re interested in the direction in which this particular pillar of a free society is heading, you might tune in to today’s Noon Edition on WFIU. Host Bob Zaltsberg, the outgoing editor of this town’s Herald-Times will host Stephen Key, exec. dir. and general counsel for the Hoosier State Press Assoc.; Elaine Monaghan, professor of practice at Indiana University’s Media School; and Jon Schwantes, who describes himself on LinkedIn as an “Experienced media executive, policy analyst and strategic communicator exploiting multiple platforms to effect change.”
Or, you could save yourself an hour and perhaps do something more personally rewarding by skipping the broadcast altogether since, for pity’s sake, none of Zaltsberg’s three guests is a reporter or anything like that.
I mean what would actual, working journalists know about the future of journalism?
The again, I figure all our local newspaper journalists are too busy polishing up their resumes or feeling out the managers of their local convenience stores for job openings, considering they’re all worried about being laid off by the H-T‘s new bosses. And that alone should tell you all you need to know about the direction journalism is heading.
The Big Link
Here’s the link to the podcast of yesterday’s Big Talk featuring Janae Cummings, board chair of Bloomington Pride. And, BTW, don’t forget the 2019 Bloomington Pride Film Festival main slate of short and full-length movies begins this evening at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.