More from the trenches in the land of TWT. To the horror of many of us who used to work there, the paper has brought back John Solomon as a top editor. John was the subject of this devastating piece in the Columbia Journalism Review and believe me, the writer only got a portion of many of the antics he pulled. At first, he was wonderful to work with, but things went sour quickly and the stuff I endured under him at the Times was pretty nasty (he did his best to fire me, for instance) and it seemed poetic justice that he was canned well before I was laid off. (And the editor responsible for forcing me out was himself dumped several months later). But now John is back, probably getting paid some stupendous salary. During his reign, he brought in some very high-priced editors to give TWT a better reputation around town. This caused a ton of resentment among us serfs who were getting about one-third of what these editors were reputedly getting but toiling just as hard if not harder. I confronted John once about where he was getting the money to pay these folks while regular reporters and editors were told there wasn’t the funds to give us raises and he said he had some kind of special fund with which to pay his new hires. I seem to remember those folks were laid off soon after John left. So much for importing talent.
Also, I have now become a filmmaker! My very amateurish video touting the coming-out of my re-done “Quitting Church” book is done and can be viewed on YouTube. It’s about two minutes long. Note: the B roll with the film is strictly that and does not reflect on the actual thoughts of the recognizable people in this video. There are some hazards to working with a camera; I was filming in front of one church when a state trooper approached me to demand what I was doing. It was just after the Newtown shootings so he was understandably nervous but it was pretty weird trying to explain I was a local professor who needed shots of people exiting churches.
Other news: Very little. Am spending Jan term trying to put together four new syllabi plus attend more new faculty orientation meetings.