This a photo from before it
started. There were 14 of them, all lazing back in the comfy leather
chairs usually filled by State Board of Education asses. You can see
the vote-board in the back, and on each of our desks sat an
aye/nay/abstain button-box. When my turn came up, I went with what I
thought were the most important bits; how the alt-newsweekly cycle
works, that you need to get calendar items to Nicole (email
weeks in advance, and so forth. After that, I talked about using
Myspace to contact
the families and friends of death-row
inmates, and that would've been what stuck with them -- Wow!
Journalists use Myspace too? -- but then the big indie rock
kid with the glasses raised his hand. He was one of the stragglers, so
he's not in this picture. He was sitting in that first empty chair on
He asked what kind of control/freedom I have over my work?
My response ... I didn't talke about about ethics, or responsibility,
or free speech, or the wall between editorial advertising. The first
thing that came to mind and out my mouth: "This last week, the words
vagina, twat, cunt and bald pussy made it into our copy."
As soon as I said it, I heard the sucking in of air. That's when I
remembered a few of them were high-school students. Completely
inappropriate? Nah ... they're anti-death penalty kids.
They'll need to learn how not to flinch
Next, I called on the dreadlocked girl in the front row (also not in
the picture), who asked politely, if I could explain how they were
used. I explained that I described Colin Farrell as "that fucking irish
cunt" in the crossword
(that was a giveaway). And then I quoted the Queque's vocabulary as
evidenced by this
week's tired rant
on 210SA's euphemism, "in between down
And that's probably what they'll remember ... well, some of them at
least. I think I convinced two San Antonio high schoolers to start
writing letters to the editor. I'll settle for comments on the blog.
Hooman took a copy of the Bocharski decision that I'd brought. All in
all, it went OK, and I'll do better at my upcoming lecture at Texas
Intercollegiate Press Association convention
. At least I'll
know what not to bring up.
It was also successful on the newsgathering front: I got some
background on the two
anti-death-penalty artworks removed by Rep. Borris Miles
I think I'll sit on that for a bit.