The increasingly inaccurately-named blog of journalist and futurist Chris Taylor. Either the most sporadically brilliant amateur blog, the most brilliantly amateur sporadic blog, or the most amateur sporadic brilliance on the Web since 2001.
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Daily Blah FAQ
Who are you?
I'm the newly-appointed Future editor at Business 2.0 and the former San Francisco correspondent for Time Magazine.
Wow, so does this mean everything you write reflects Time Inc's opinion? Or do you perhaps have some sort of standard disclaimer to the effect that it doesn't?
Naturally, the opinions contained in this blog are not those of my employers. In fact, some opinions may be the polar opposite of my employers. Some may be the same, for all I know. Hey, it's not like I ask my employers their opinions about everything in the news, okay? Let's just say that if this were a Venn diagram with one circle marked "my opinions" and the other one marked "my employers' opinions", there would doubtless be some overlap. But neither I nor my employers are able to pinpoint exactly where that overlap is.
What is this Daily Blah thing?
An experiment for a column I wrote about blogging back in December 2001. All these years later, I haven't been able to kick the habit.
Do you write any other blogs, by chance? Could that have something to do with the fact that Daily Blah isn't always Daily?
Yes -- the Future Boy blog for Business 2.0. And yes. If you want true, editorially-mandated daily coverage from me, that's probably the best place to look.
Mister, you talk funny. Are you one of them furrners?
Why yes I am, as it happens. I was born, raised and educated in Great Britain. I've been living in the U.S. since 1996 and identify as British.
I say, old chap, you forgot the "u" in "colour."
No I didn't. I may identify as British, but I am also an American journalist writing for an American audience about mostly American issues. These two different sides of me are a constant source of tension. Nevertheless, Daily Blah will adhere to American English grammar and spelling.
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Daily Blah for... Wednesday, November 13, 2002
The Tale of Bill's Toys
It's starting to feel like one of my very good friends is being persecuted by the New York tabloid establishment for the crime of having an alternative lifestyle. His name is Bill, he's a reporter for the Daily News, and some time ago he made a video personal for a New York cable show that practically no one watches. He did not identify himself in the ad, and said only that he worked for "a major metropolitan daily." But somehow, we're still not quite sure how, that video was seen and recognized by someone at the rival New York Post, and Bill was promptly made sport of in that paper's infamous Page Six gossip column. Why? Because the personal featured Bill showing off his sex toys -- furry handcuffs, a remote-control vibrating egg, and the like. Which would, to me, seem to make sense: if you're into activities that aren't exactly mainstream, it's as well to display them up front when you're seeking a partner.
Now I've written a gossip column in the past. I'm under no illusions about what is and isn't fair game. I think the Post went a bit far in emphasizing the fact that Bill described himself as agnostic (translation: our rival is a newspaper staffed by godless perverts), and I'm surprised that such relatively mild behavior still causes a stir (it's the 21st century, for crying out loud). But at the end of the day, gossip is gossip. Even Bill recognized it wasn't really about him: the whole business merely offered the Post a chance to poke fun at, and possibly steal circulation from, the News.
No, the real persecution came today, when Ed Kosner -- editor of the News -- decided to suspend Bill for two weeks without pay. He charged that Bill had brought the paper into disrepute, which is a little strange considering Bill hadn't used his or the newspaper's name. And as Bill pointed out, if the problem is with his private life, it's a little ironic that they've given him more time for it. Kosner's diktat was, of course, a monumental mistake. It allowed the Post to print a second-day story, poking more fun at the News. And it got the News' staffers so riled that they started a collection to make up for Bill's lost salary. I told Bill he ought to move out west, to San Francisco, where employers are a little more respectful of private lives and alternative ways of living them. Hell, the Chronicle would probably give him a medal.
That's in the long run. First, he should sue the bejesus out of the News. It's a clear-cut case of workplace discrimination.