August 7 – 18, 2015

Spent some time this morning getting angry about how the local “progressive” newspaper just fired its editor, without warning, and without any explanation beyond “the decision was made to make a change.” Which is some mealy-mouthed bullshit, the kind that corporate TV newsrooms use to fire anchors once they reach a certain age. Or football teams use to fire their coaches, although in those cases there’s generally a losing record that everyone is well aware of.

I don’t really know Lisa Sorg — it’s a small town, so we’ve met once or twice, and we have plenty of mutual friends, but that’s about it — and I have probably spent more time over the past couple of years arguing with her on Twitter than praising her work. But under her direction the Indy has been vibrant & opinionated & full of a range of different voices. Including her own — her byline has appeared on more stories than that of any other editor that I can recall.

And maybe that was part of the problem — maybe she was a little distracted by her passion for writing & reporting. If that was the case, though, then why not negotiate a leadership change and move her to a staff writer position? Or at least tell her what the deal is.

I’m sure there are a dozen sides to this story that I don’t know, and at least 8 of them I’ll never know. But I’m trying to imagine a scenario in which the formerly locally-owned Independent Weekly would have fired an editor with no warning, and no stated reason. I can’t imagine it, because that was never how owner Steve Schewel & publisher Sioux Watson operated. Their progressive politics including being human to one another.

Another big gap in blog posts, obviously — work in mid-August is peak busy & peak stress. Took 16 interns to corporate headquarters in Armonk, NY for the big end-of-summer expo, and then spent a couple of days with M in Manhattan over the weekend.

On Saturday we saw Penn and Teller *and* Fun Home, *and* ate dinner with our old friend M. This after a sleepless Friday night thanks to the bastards at the Jane Hotel, who would apparently rather run a dance club than provide quiet rooms for their guests to sleep in.

I’m glad I saw Penn & Teller. It was about what you’d expect it to be, but live and in person. I’m fond enough of Penn — you pretty much know what you’re going to get with him, but it’s neat to see him do a 90-minute show with very few breaks, and to realize that he’s a real showman, an actor & a raconteur.

But Teller is the star (which Penn is at great pains to emphasize throughout) and it was honestly pretty magical to see him do his thing from 25 feet away.

Fun Home was beautiful. Although I have never been particularly resistant to musical theater, I’d hardly call myself an aficionado. And honestly, although the musical numbers were hugely entertaining, it was the acting by the three Alisons that really got me, so much so that I was about to wonder whether the show will be the same with other actors in those roles.

But I think the answer is yes. I look forward to seeing a high school production of it somewhere, sometime. That’ll be amazing.

I have one more day of interns in the lab, and then my summer is over. Expect more writing here shortly.

August 7 – 18, 2015