Pardon me while I vent on the state of the publishing industry…

I graduated from college with a journalism degree over a decade ago. (Wow, I just made myself feel old.) Admittedly, I ended up with a journalism degree because I couldn’t do an English degree and graduate in 4-years with a double major in International Relations. Now, years later, I realize that the English degree would have been better suited for me. But at the time, I was more focused on having a writing background in general, and having loved writing for my high school newspaper I thought a journalism degree would be a good fit. About a year before graduation, I realized I didn’t want a career in journalism, but I still completed my journalism degree. I chose to let my International Relations degree lead me down a different path, and for a while that path worked.

In recent years, I’ve found myself relying more on my Journalism degree to carve out a life and career that I enjoy. It turns out it was the better fit for me than the IR degree ever was. Now, I am incredibly thankful that I have it because I know it gave me a great foundation, even if it is a little rusty, for the work I am pursuing.

One of the realities of career in journalism, or writing in general, is that it is incredibly difficult field to break into or to even stay in these days. Yes, freelance gigs can be found, but a full-time staff position at a newspaper is a much bleaker prospect. Today, posted an AP article on a recent survey of newspaper editors which only served to reiterate the grim picture in the newspaper industry these days: (more…)

I know I promised not to do this again, but I must. So I’ll give you fair warning. If you don’t want to hear my thoughts on the Palin choice again, tune out now. I’ll return to my normally scheduled broadcasting in my next post.

And now…

Last night I watched Palin’s speech at the Republic National Convention. I actually had to watch a repeat of it well after midnight since I was out when it aired live. But I wanted to watch it, because, well, I’ve become fascinated by her. Not in a “wow, she’s really amazing. It’s an honor to have her as a woman running as VP.” No, my fascination is more of the “Seriously? They picked her?” But, I feel I must be informed if I’m going to critique.

In the last six days I have developed a new found interest in Alaskan politics and even election politics as a whole. I hate to admit, but, domestic election politics have always tended to bore me. So, I guess I can give credit to this whole debacle for getting me informed.

But anyways, back to the speech. Watching it I had some thoughts. These are completely random, but I feel the need to share my thoughts.

  • The first fourth of her speech was an introduction to her family, where each of them awkwardly stood up to receive their applause in turn. And there was her 4-month old son. Now, I don’t have kids and I’m no baby expert. My friends with and without children can attest to that. In all honesty, they kind of freak me out until they can walk & I only really find them entertaining once they can talk. But, I’m guessing that taking a 4-month old baby (regardless of its special needs status) into a large, loud crowd with bright, flashing lights & loud music is not a good thing. Am I right? Would you take your 4-month old into that situation? At least give the kid those baby headphones to block out the noise. I hate to say it, but I feel like the baby is being trotted out like a prop.
  • In the 48-hours before Palin’s speech, aides to McCain & Republican pundits have been all over the press saying that the press & non-Palin supporting pundits are scrutinizing her unfairly because she’s a woman and that it’s “sexist.” You know what I find sexist & demeaning as a woman? The buttons on some in the crowd. Indiana delegates were sporting ones that read: Hoosiers for the hot chick. And the Alaska delegation: From the coldest state comes the hottest vice president. When the McCain campaign and the GOP apologize for that, then I might buy into the “sexist” criticism. (Ok, really I won’t because I don’t find it at all “sexist” to ask questions about her experience and qualifications.)
  • Let’s see, she managed to mention Iraq, Russia, the Caucasus, Europe, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela in her speech. (Yes, I kept score). Now, I’ll give her credit for saying them correctly; she’s one up on the current President.) But I’d have been more impressed if she could have pointed them out on a map–one without the names of the countries listed. I’m sorry, but her lack of foreign policy experience is a credible issue to scrutinize her on if she’s going to be (god-forbid) our next VP. Despite what the McCain aides & Cindy McCain herself like to say, living in a state near Russia and being the head of the Alaska National Guard as governor does not equal foreign or national security policy experience. Hell, I have more foreign policy experience than she does. NO, seriously, I do. Back in my previous life, I interned here and here before going on to work here (and no, it was nothing like this!) and I even worked at one of these. Let’s see, I’ve also had a passport since 1995; visited more than 2 foreign countries in that time, even living in a few; and I live in a state near a foreign country (California-Mexico). Now, as for Palin. She’s only had a passport since 2007; has only been to 2 foreign countries (Germany & Kuwait); and she lives in a state near a foreign country (Alaska-Russia). Yeah, I’m still going to say I have more foreign policy experience than she does. Does that mean I’m more than qualified for the VP job? I joke about this, but if you want one issue I do pay close attention to in an election, it’s foreign policy experience. Now, while Obama’s experience has been criticized, I’m going to say even he has more. Before this whole election thing started, he’d already spent significant time in two foreign countries–Kenya and Indonesia–in his younger days. And I’m guessing he’s had a passport for more than a few years. And, Illinois is near Canada and Hawaii is near Japan, and those are foreign countries. So, that totally gives him more foreign policy experience than Palin.

Ok. That’s all I’ve got. Thank you for letting me vent. Feel free to share your thoughts, but only if their well thought out & well-informed.

I’ll now get back on topic.