I'm Martha, a writer. I used to be terrified of dogs, then I adopted Faith, a pitbull mix we rescued from a shelter. We lost her in February, 2013. She changed my life. Now we have Mavis, a chocolate swirl delight. My life keeps changing.
All opinions expressed here are those of me or my dog.
If you don't know who George Plimpton is, you will get a wonderful glimpse of his amazing life and career from this song by Jonathan Coulton. If you do, and you are feeling downhearted, this song will lift you up. Make sure you listen to the end, because Jonathan Coulton does something pretty subtly amazing with the percussion machine.
Let me be perfectly clear: The only thing that's different now from 20/50/100/1000 years ago is speed and scale. There have always been mobs, and rumors, and reporters so hungry for the scoop they don't check the source or confirm the facts with anyone. Technology just allows us to be irresponsible jerks quicker.
We need to be better than this. We are not. I have no anwers.
When Luke Russert, who is the child of two famous journalists, can't get it through his head not to do this, I am not hopeful. That used to be the upside of staying in the family business. You were supposed to pick up the craft.
When the political editor of Buzzfeed pretends that he is part of some avant-garde bit of the Internet which is why he posted the (unsubstantiated) Weiner story, I am not hopeful--but I am laughing.
And when CNN can't apologize for being a chief agent in ruining a woman's life--even when she tried to correct them over and over again--well, people, we are kind of screwed.
These are links to longer stories by On the Media or the New York Times, with summaries taken from the first part of the stories.
Sorry about the paywall, kids. As people are too fond of telling us, we are in a New Age of New Media.
This week, the gossip website The Dirty posted screenshots of explicit chats between an anonymous woman and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. Even though the legitimacy of the screenshots could not be confirmed, other news outlets ran the information, and within hours Buzzfeed had identified and named the woman in the chats. Brooke talks to McKay Coppins, Buzzfeed's political editor, about reporting, transparency, and veracity.
On an overcast day in early May, I traveled to suburban Philadelphia to visit the family of Sunil Tripathi, the deceased 22-year-old Brown University student who, for about four hours on the morning of April 19, was mistakenly identified as Suspect No. 2 in the Boston Marathon bombings. The Tripathis had just arrived home after nearly two months spent in Providence, R.I., where they went to organize the search for Sunil, who disappeared on March 16. When I entered the house, Judy Tripathi, Sunil’s mother, asked me for a hug. In a shattered voice, she said, “I need hugs these days.” We sat at the kitchen table and talked, and at one point Judy handed me a photo of a young, smiling Sunil, caught in the motion of throwing a ball. “Look how happy he looks,” she said. For the next two hours, she and her husband, Akhil, and their daughter, Sangeeta, described what happened to them in the early-morning hours of April 19, and how the false identification of their son derailed their ongoing search for him and further traumatized their lives.
In the summer of 2009, Neda Agha-Soltan became the face of the Iranian Green Revolution after her tragic death by gunshot was caught on cell phone camera and uploaded online for the whole world to see. The international media rushed to put a face to the victim--but the face they used was that of another Iranian woman by the name of Neda Soltani, who was still very much alive. Brooke speaks to Neda Soltani, author of
My sister Charl scanned and sent this picture to me because a) it is AWESOME. And b) because I work at an ad agency and sometimes, when they are working on pitches, they send out a blanket email asking for pictures of five fly young ladies in badass bathing suits hanging with their Mets-loving, donut-making grandmother.
Actually, the pitch was a little different from that, but you get the IDEA.
I used to be wildly embarrassed by this picture. I'm the girl with the arm fat and the boobs and the glasses that are sort of wrong for my face and check it--BLOW DRIED hair even though I am going in the water soon. In a month or a year, I will read Mario Puzo's book THE GODFATHER, which will blow my mind for a bunch of reasons, including the fact that it is, kind of, yay! Women's sexuality. Francis Ford Coppola did not include that part, and he will have to take that up with his therapist.
I'm not embarrassed now. Here we are, all my sisters and me, at one of the most beautiful places in the world. We're about to go swimming, and so far, so good. Here's my grandmother, who dropped out of high school when her father died, got a job at a bank, taught dancing, met my grandfather when she rented out his family's parlor, married him, loved the Mets from the moment they were created, worked until she was 70, and NEVER complained when we and our cousins borrowed her record player to listen to The Who's TOMMY over and over again.