Meat Grinder / Chicken Feed

a young person in t-shirt and jeans, carrying a backpack, stands in reverie before the decaying remains of a factory
An abandoned factory in Brisbane / image: darkday. [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons)

This issue concludes our first week of FLAMING HYDRA. Thank you for visiting, for reading, and for your support. Have a swell weekend, see you Monday.

Today: Tommy Craggs, late of "Game Theory" on HBO, and writer and editor at Mother Jones, HuffPost, Slate, Gawker Media, and Deadspin; and Laurie Woolever, author of Appetites, World Travel, and Bourdain: the Definitive Oral Biography.

Issue No. 4

Media Proles
Tommy Craggs

Chicken of the Corn
Laurie Woolever

heavy old gears ruined by rust, wear, and concrete stuck in the teeth
Image: Diacritica [CC BY 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Media proles

by Tommy Craggs

Jeff Pearlman is a successful author who recently managed the impressive feat of writing an uninteresting book about Bo Jackson. Ruminating in an interview last month with Awful Announcing on what advice he'd give young journalists, Pearlman said, “The number one thing is, you have to make yourself indispensable; you just do." He went on

[I]f you’re covering a team—let’s say you’re covering Wichita State basketball for some newspaper. Ask your bosses if it’s OK if you start a podcast too—a Wichita State sports podcast. Build up an amazing Instagram following, and start doing TikTok videos about Wichita State sports to the point where you’re known as the guy on TikTok for all things Wichita State. Find a million different ways; build up your Twitter following.

Pearlman was at least aware he was describing a lamentable reality ("I know it sucks," he said. "It’s hard. It’s brutal."), but the hell he caught for it was because he persisted in the jolly delusion that indispensability could be had in an industry getting stripped for parts. No one much liked that bit of "pull yourself up by the podcasts" respectability stuff, either. 

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