Shiny Objects and Hot Takes

When I re-read my EthicalDative posts at a later date they often seem overly arch or frivolous — less trenchant and cleansing than they felt at the moment of posting. “Stale” is the word to describe them, I suppose, with its meaning of “horse urine.”

Elizabeth Kolbert, who writes cogently about the environment, says:

Being a journalist is a bit like being a magpie. You’re always on the lookout for something shiny — a phrase, a fact, an insight — and you never know where you’re going to find it.
(“Please Don’t Ask Elizabeth Kolbert How She Organizes Her Books,” NYTimes, 2-4-21)

In Kolbert’s statement, substitute “journalist” with “blogger who asserts an interest in language” and I swim into view.

I resonated likewise to columnist Farhad Manjoo’s recent confession to being left in the viral dust:

… I was far from alone in finding the GameStop saga compelling. By the time I was set to write my column this week, the story had already gone supernova, lighting up seemingly every corner of digital media… I was chagrined to find that every hot take I could think of had already been heatedly taken.
(Farhad Manjoo, “Can We Please Stop Talking About Stocks, Please?” NYTimes, 2-3-21)

Manjoo’s viewpoints are often congruent with mine or easily adoptable. They’re lent force by a perspicacious echoing of trendy lingo.

My burden is to hang ten on the passing shiny-and-hot with a semblance of nervy verve that doesn’t pall by end of day.

(c) 2021 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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