Not a good night for the shows I watch: Girls, Real Time With Bill Maher, Doc Martin. I watched VEEP once and thought it so implausibly unrealistic that I was sure it wouldn't last a season. Modern Family is not so politically correct that it doesn't stoop to the hoary stereotype of Latinas. (You would think it was made in Fargo, not Los Angeles.) Jimmy Kimmel was funnier in his five minutes as a presenter than Seth Myers was in three hours as host. Though perhaps I just got tired of being shouted at.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized

The question the New York Times Book Review posed to its dueling essayists yesterday was: "Can writing be taught?" The question was assumed to be about creative writing - in an age of proliferating MFA programs - but Zoe Heller aptly pointed out that, long before post-grad work, schools fail to teach structure and style, i.e., those aspects of writing that can be taught. (Not to mention, in some schools' cases, grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.) As a result (my conclusion, not hers) we have become a nation that teaches to become writers people who have not been taught how to write properly.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized
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room writer

08/21/14 11:08

I'm off to South Beach to be the writer-in-residence at The Betsy hotel. I wonder how many hotels in Paris have writer-in-residence programs.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized
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abroad and home

08/20/14 08:08

The restaurant I went to for lunch yesterday had its TV tuned to CNN. I looked at the billowing smoke on the screen and thought: Ukraine? Gaza? Missouri?

It was Missouri.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized
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florida sounds

08/19/14 07:18

South Florida is not known for the richness of its radio, but driving around on Sunday afternoon I have a hard time deciding what to listen to: Michael Stock's "Folk and Acoustic Music" on WLRN, Dick Robinson's "Standards by the Sea" on WPBI, or WDNA's "Indian Vibes."

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized

Yesterday the Miami Herald ran three essays taking Pamela Druckerman to task for her essay in last Sunday's New York Times that found Miami intellectually lacking. One of the three was missing an apostrophe in the first sentence and had a dangling participle in the second.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized