Good week to you!
I hope you’re doing well. Me? I’m enjoying being immersed in words and people and editing. Last night, I was at the vigil for Paris in Halifax, interviewing people and recording sounds for a radio piece tomorrow.
In the middle of it, I thought: “You know what’s really thrilling about being a journalist? Having the agency to ask people whatever I want, and knowing that because of my job, there’s a good chance they’ll actually tell me.” That’s so cool!
Of course, if I’m interviewing someone about a vigil, I’m probably not going to ask what they had for dinner (who wants to hear that anyway?), but the pertinent questions I have: “What did you think? How does this change things? Why are you doing this?” They’ll actually tell me. If I was just a member of the public, there’s a chance they might talk to me, but more likely their response would be, “Who are you? Why would I tell you?”
Having people not only be willing to talk to me, but also sometimes actively seeking me out to tell me things, is just the best thing ever. Walking into a scene and being like, “Yeah, it’s my job to ask questions.” is the choicest thing an inquisitive young Mel could have ever hoped for.
Good job me, your younger-self approves.
Here’s what I’m checking out this week:
- I discovered GUTS, a Canadian Feminist Magazine with some good writing. Their pieces on foods we eat in secret and also this open letter to butter chicken are great (and made me hungry). Also, my secret food is raw cookie dough, in its many form and flavours.
- I learned Google has a Crisis Response program that’s pretty useful if you work with disaster.
- You should be watching Aziz Ansari’s Master of None.
- How Pantone became a pop culture icon.
- You probably saw the a peace sign modified to have the Eiffel Tower in the middle floating around the internet on Friday night in support of peace and solidarity for Paris. Here’s where it came from.
- Merchants of Doubt is a good documentary follow-up if you’ve been reading about Ed Bernays, or seen the satire Thank You for Smoking. It investigates front groups in the US. Turns out, money can buy a lot of things, including “science”. Without investigative journalism, a lot more of them would be getting away with it too.
- What happens if you die at an AirBnB?
- I’m always ready to hear more about how Daria shaped a generation of women. (Guys, I freaking love Daria).
- Also, Blaria! (Black Daria)
- This week I interviewed the guys from the Sickboy, a podcast that interviews people living with chronic illness. Through humour and conversation they normalize all the weird and funny stuff that happens with chronic illness. They’re from Halifax and are doing great work: go check them out!
- I’m always a sucker for these lists of the most beautiful sentences in literature.
- Anthony Bourdain’s Roads & Kingdoms is one of my favourite food and travel writing websites. They recently came out with a regional ramen map. If anyone wants to buy me one, I wouldn’t resist!
- Entrepreneurs don’t have risk genes… they come from families with money.
- A photographer who biked to the scene of the Paris attacks tells it from his perspective.
- This strange tale of a monkey’s copyright over their selfie.
- We may be able to climb Mt. Everest soon using virtual reality.
Thanks for sticking around! Let me know what you think of any of those pieces… I just want to re-watch all of Daria now.