The Women of SNL

Only if you avoided all social media and NBC (which is an actual possibility these days), would you have missed that this weekend was the 40th Anniversary of SNL. Glamour did a photoshoot/interview with the women who have been such a core part of the show. The pictures are amazing, but it’s worth reading the article for the embedded videos, even with the 15 second Geico commercials in front, especially for the last one where Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman talk about how Gilda Radner and Billy Murray used to crack them up. Who knew he went by Billy?? And boy does Radner’s absence feel palpable. She was such a presence that every time Curtin or Newman says her name, you can feel how much they still miss her. Hat tip to Ann-Gee for the link.

Periodical Confessions

Jennie Batchelor has written a wonderfully confessional account of what it means to be a periodical scholar in conjunction with her work on the Lady’s Magazine. Key paragraph here:

I like working with periodicals because they are so infuriating. I like them because every time I think I may be starting to understand what they are about they wrong-foot me and suggestion other, equally plausible, possibilities.

Absolutely true about the work and part of what makes that work utterly rewarding.

The week in journalism

To say it’s been a bad week in the business of journalism would be something of an understatement. Brian Williams has been suspended for lying about his experiences reporting from Katrina and the Iraq War. Jon Stewart is stepping down from the Daily Show desk, which is going to be a painful end of an era for many people. And just in the last day, two stalwarts of the industry have died suddenly: Bob Simon in a car crash and David Carr, who collapsed yesterday in the New York Times offices. Carr I remember most for this excerpt from his memoir, a harrowing look at his time as a junkie. But, because much of this time is lost in his memory, he reported on his own life, going back and talking to the people who knew him during this period. It’s a long piece, but so worth the read.

Commonplace: Ogden Nash, “To My Valentine”

“More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That’s how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That’s how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.

I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
That’s how you’re love by me.

~ Ogden Nash, “To My Valentine”

Yep, the boyfriend is in town today 😉

Finnish Babies Sleep in a Cardboard Box, or the Anatomy of Article Dissemination in the Internet Age

In June 2013, the BBC Magazine published an article about the cardboard box Finnish parents receive from the government with useful things for a newborn baby, including the box, which apparently many parents use for their babies’ first sleeps. Since then, it has moved in waves through internet traffic. According to an article discussing the article–can we get more meta here–. the story has had three waves of popularity, now exceeding one million shares. This kind of movement is called a long tail; yep, it has a name even if that name is borrowed from statistics.