The truth is, Washington is a very strange world. Before this campaign, I would always go home to Vermont on weekends. That's where we did town meetings, that's where I was with my family. And I would find when I would come back to Washington, I would suddenly feel myself a little bit depressed. It was the transition of coming from Vermont back to D.C.
There is a style here, a way of life here in D.C., which is significantly phony. In that everybody is nice to each other — "Oh, my good and honorable friend" — and then they're spending $18 million to try to destroy who you are. That's the nature of it. And you've got staffers who butter up their bosses and everything else. There is a very high level of phonyism and careerism. And you go back to Vermont — and I see it in Iowa and you see it all over the country — where people are people. That's all. And when you go home, you settle into a way of life where people are people.
Entries in rolling stone (9)
"A lot of people in Nashville think that the best song is the catchiest, or the one that sells the most copies. They're editing songs in a way that make them seem more consumable, I guess. I'm trying to edit them in a way that makes them more honest."
"Money means I can support my family and still do what I love. Not very many people can say that in this world, and not many writers can say that." Click.
From Chad Wright, via Atlantic Cities, Colossal and finally the Times' Drew Harwell: an art installation resembling suburban tract houses made of sand and picked apart by the rising tide, where the metaphor is in the eye of the beholder. By the way, have you read the piece about Miami in the current Rolling Stone?
Seventeen things I underlined in Jeff Goodell's distressing piece in the current Rolling Stone:
1. ... Miami embodies the central technological myth of our time – that nature can not only be tamed but made irrelevant.
2. ... "a citadel of fantastical consumption."
3. ... the unavoidable truth is that sea levels are rising and Miami is on its way to becoming an American Atlantis.
4. "Miami, as we know it today, is doomed," says Harold Wanless, the chairman of the department of geological sciences at the University of Miami. "It's not a question of if. It's a question of when."
5. ... South Florida is uniquely screwed ...
6. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development lists Miami as the number-one most vulnerable city worldwide in terms of property damage, with more than $416 billion in assets at risk to storm-related flooding and sea-level rise.
7. With just three feet of sea-level rise, more than a third of southern Florida will vanish; at six feet, more than half will be gone; if the seas rise 12 feet, South Florida will be little more than an isolated archipelago surrounded by abandoned buildings and crumbling overpasses. And the waters won't just come in from the east – because the region is so flat, rising seas will come in nearly as fast from the west too, through the Everglades.
8. "Imagine Swiss cheese, and you'll have a pretty good idea what the rock under southern Florida looks like."
9. "I mentioned sea-level rise, and I was treated to a 15-minute lecture on Genesis by one of the commissioners. He said, 'God destroyed the Earth with water the first time, and he promised he wouldn't do it again. So all of you who are pushing fears about sea-level rise, go back and read the Bible.'"
10. "If you live in South Florida and you're not building a boat, you're not facing reality."
11."New Orleans looks a lot like the Netherlands – it is below sea level, with a big dike around it," says Piet Dircke, program director for water management at ARCADIS in the Netherlands. "If you don't pump it out, the city drowns. It's a big bathtub. We know how to do that. Miami is different. It is also a low-lying city but far more complicated because of issues about water quality, the porousness of the limestone the city sits on, as well as water coming in from the west, through the Everglades."
12. Miami is the most connected city in America, a place where the entire economy is geared toward the next big banking deal, real-estate deal, drug deal. As Wayne Pathman, a land-use attorney in Miami, put it to me, "The biggest question for the future of Miami is how investors will react when they understand the risks of sea-level rise."
13. ... Stiltsville ...
14. "How do you build a floating city in this kind of environment?"
15. ... the city of Miami may well have time to transform itself into a modern Venice. But more likely, the ocean will seep slowly into the city, higher and higher every year, until a big storm comes along and devastates the place and people begin to question the wisdom of living in a world that is slowly drowning. The potential for chaos is self-evident as Miami becomes a place people flee from rather than flock toward. Liberty City, a black community downtown, is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Miami. It also happens to be on some of the highest ground.
16. Americans will also have to face up to the fact that Everglades National Park, home to one of the most remarkable ecosystems in the world, is a goner. More than half the park will be inundated with just three feet of sea-level rise, and the rest of it will vanish shortly thereafter. "We are going to have to change the name to Everglades National Marine Sanctuary," one scientist told me.
17. "The unpleasant truth is that it will be all too easy for the rest of the nation to just let South Florida go."
1. You basically have to be willing to devote your life to journalism if you want to break in. Treat it like it's medical school or law school.
2. When interviewing for a job, tell the editor how you love to report. How your passion is gathering information. Do not mention how you want to be a writer, use the word "prose," or that deep down you have a sinking suspicion you are the next Norman Mailer.
3. Be prepared to do a lot of things for free. This sucks, and it's unfair, and it gives rich kids an edge. But it's also the reality.
4. When writing for a mass audience, put a fact in every sentence.
5. Also, keep the stories simple and to the point, at least at first.
6. You should have a blog and be following journalists you like on Twitter.
7. If there's a publication you want to work for or write for, cold call the editors and/or email them. This can work.
8. By the second sentence of a pitch, the entirety of the story should be explained. (In other words, if you can't come up with a rough headline for your story idea, it's going to be a challenge to get it published.)
9. Mainly you really have to love writing and reporting. Like it's more important to you than anything else in your life -- family, friends, social life, whatever.
10. Learn to embrace rejection as part of the gig. Keep writing/pitching/reading.
Four things he said in the interview:
1. The worst thing happening to this generation is that they're taking discomfort away from themselves.
2. ... two things happen as you go along. The first thing that happens is your best gets better, but what really matters is when your worst gets better.
3. It's understandable for people to want all their favorite things to happen, but the crazy thing is to think that they can avoid all of the hard things. To want everything that you ever dreamed of, to the exclusion of anything hard, that feels common to me now in a way that is hurting people. They're ignoring how much good there is in being present for the hard parts of your life.
4. I don't mind feeling sad. Sadness is a lucky thing to feel. I have the same amount of happy and sad as anybody else. I just don't mind the sad part as much; it's amazing to have those feelings.