By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
By Joe Eskenazi
By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
Me, Myself, and I
Last week's complaints and questions about our use of "we" have touched off ... more complaints and questions, as in this letter from Lorri Leon, who writes, "I, too, have often wondered if it was the royal 'we' that was being employed, or if you simply suffered from multiple personalities ... and whatever happened to Would? And what about our old pal Nestor?"
Well, we like to think it is the royal we, especially since frequent correspondent Carl Morfeld recently addressed us as "my queen."
As to your other questions: Nestor is apparently busy right now, but be assured that we'll likely be hearing from him soon. And see below for the return of Would.
But Does That Mean We Deserve the Chron?
At a soiree this past weekend (and we've been dying to start a sentence that way for some time now, so just deal with it), Dog Bites chatted up a disgruntled former Chron editor, who claimed, "This city neither demands nor deserves a great newspaper. I mean, people move here to get away from places where they have great newspapers."
Not to say the Chron isn't trying, though. The latest issue of Update '99, the "newsletter for the newsroom of the San Francisco Chronicle," is devoted to "an important topic: Getting information."
The newsletter goes on to explain how to use a search engine, how to use voter registration lists to find people, and how to search the Chron's own archives.
Finally, staff are berated for missing deadlines: "Remember: Meeting deadlines is an important part of our jobs. Great headlines, stories, photographs, illustrations and graphics are great only if they reach our readers. ... When we're late, every step downstream is late, and when readers don't get a paper." (Huh?)
Of course, the paper's lack of online savvy was no surprise to the ex-editor; the current crop of editors is stuck in a search-engineless past. "I think it's very telling that they keep the blinds drawn in the newsroom," he said. "There's a definite feeling there that the editors were much better pleased by yesterday than they are by today."
Still, he noted, working at the Chronicle does have its advantages: "It's the kind of place where a man can wear a bow tie and feel good about it."
Joining Us Late? Or, Would: The Return
Everyone runs out of material sooner or later. In fact, an entire writing tradition seems to have developed around the eventuality -- at least in television, where the flashback episode is a time-honored dodge.
Dog Bites has secretly wondered about the possibility of reprinting highlights of past columns, only being deterred by the realization that, no matter how we might justify this to ourselves, it would look suspiciously like work-avoidance to anyone else, and particularly to those who sign our paycheck.
But of course, we hadn't been counting on a big assist from reader Julian Gross, who writes:
Hi, Dogbites. You should know that the Jon Carroll thing was good while it lasted, but it has about run its course. Luckily, there is another Chronicle columnist even more worthy of your attention. His name is ... Ken Garcia.
Read a few of his columns (and eyeball that smarmy picture of him) and you won't be able to resist. He's too good a target. He's got an incredibly annoying and self-important "everyman" approach to coverage of city politics, and combines it with an utter absence of insight or thoughtfulness. Please mock him.
Now, Julian: If we were to select people for mockery based on their photos, don't you think we'd have taken off on the Examiner's Ray Ratto by now? Anyway, after we had an underling write back to Julian, explaining that we had already mocked Garcia extensively, he apologized:
My problem is that in front of my office there is a Guardian stand but no SF Weekly stand." (Indeed, that is a problem.)
Thus I sometimes have gone a long time without reading SF Weekly, despite the fact that I like SF Weekly better. Savage Love blows away Isadora; your music listings are better; your movie ('film') reviews are better; and of course there is Dog Bites."
After this transparent sucking-up we contacted Correspondent on Hiatus John Would, who replied:
Interesting to hear that you received a request for Garcia, as one of my most-cherished sources noticed a disturbance in the Garcia cycle as well. After making a few calls, I discovered that what took place was, in fact, a full-blown Garcia Eruption, which peaked with his "Pie tossers should rot in prison" column and nearly triggered an all-out Garcia War.
According to my sources, the bohemian community was up in arms over the column, and within hours offered a bounty of 1,000 veggie burritos for the first person to mark Ken's face with pastry, preferably with a brick baked into it. There was talk of forming a Garcia Eradication Project; even local Republicans considered releasing a statement, to distance themselves from their wayward friend. I shudder to think of the horrors that may be released on the reading public in the weeks ahead.