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   editorial skill endemic in local newspapers
Wednesday, August 6 2003
This morning, after diagnosing a blown panel lightbulb in John's Golf, he and I went for brunch to the Broadway Diner in Kingston. It's that retro stainless steel place out on Broadway, the place with the good veggie burgers and fries. Both of us ordered lunch-type food. People are far more respectful of my egg aversion than I need them to be.
Gretchen had been out walking the dogs, but I'd left her a note telling her where we'd gone, and so before too long she showed up. We were reading the New York Post and the local Kingston paper, the Daily Freeman. John drew our attention to an ill-conceived headline in the Kingston paper, evidence of deficiencies in editorial skill endemic in local news departments. The headline read "Children of the Corn (Rows)" and was about local Kingston kids who get their hair done up in corn rows. Gretchen, who has a strong editorial sense, was appalled. "Do they not know that words have meanings?" she asked aloud.
Eventually John fixed his dashboard light, reilluminating all the places pseudo-fibreoptically-lit by a single blown lightbulb. Then he headed back to Vermont, skipping out on a meeting with Toni he'd arranged last night. John is like that. When he has an urge to hit the road, almost no obligation ties him down. It's a kind of freedom that my own blood still reminisces about.

This evening Gretchen and I watched a DVD of Six Degrees of Separation, the movie about the crazy action-packed hijinx of an impersonator of Sidney Poitier's supposed son. My favorite parts of the movie concerned the fussy entitlement of the New York's WASPy elite. The snotty daughter in college calling her distracted mother and wasting her brat energy telling her "I'm getting married, then I'm going to Afghanistan!" is a delightful theatrical experience. The acting in Six Degrees of Separation is playlike and comes across as a vintage style, with artificial rhythms similar to those of fights depicted in Kung Fu movies. Once I was tuned in to this idiosyncrasy, I realized how essential it was to the rapid pacing of the events depicted.

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