What happened today

March 19, 2004

Banquet still to come this evening, then a possible excursion to a downtown bar to see Southern Culture on the Skids.

All this activity is wearing me out… it’s way more than 7.5 hours a day I put in at the Merc. I’ll be glad to get back to work; I need the rest.

Today’s hightlight was a seminar on morale given by copy desk honchos at the New York Times and the L.A. Times. The two women who do this have a pretty good comedy routine worked up: the L.A. gal, Melissa McCoy, is practical and sensible but a bit touchy-feely. The New York gal, Arlene Schneider, is a hard-nosed realist with a cut-to-the-core wit. (Both are from Ohio, mind you.)

The topic’s dear to their hearts — ask ’em a question and they answer, and answer, and answer, and answer. It’s a sure sign they’ve got their show down cold, though, that they get away with it. They’re running on without being repetitive. Just like story in either of the Times. Impressive. Nutgraf: be humane to others, but also be humane to yourself.

Then there’s Hank on Heads. Hank Glamman is this big guy with a drawling, stentorian Texas brougue. He’s all theatrics and well-timed pauses. His headline selections — 200 in all — are funny, instructive, disastrous. Classic case of show, don’t tell. The guy’s a legend. Nutgraf: Be true to your story, and yourself. And pay attention to what the hell you’re doing.

One Response to What happened today

  1. Bill on March 20, 2004 at 12:02 am

    I don’t know how many of these banquet speeches you’ve had to sit through, but this one was easily the best I’ve seen in six (I think) conferences.