I Would Read it on a Plane, I Would Read it in the Rain

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While I suspect it would be difficult to write about Dr. Seuss in a way that would inspire fury and indignation, after the first week of class, it was nice to read a piece of newswriting that was neither shallow or sensationalistic.  Clark and Scanlan quickly dispel any preconceived notions about journalists acting solely as a white glove on the dust-ridden shelf of society.  "A cynical school of thought would have us believe that journalists are exploiters of their sources, that they ultimately violate their confidence for the sake of an interesting piece" (165).  However, it is through gaining the trust of the interviewee that the reporter catches candid truths that paint a reality; and it is through honoring that trust that the reporter gains new interviewees. 

I thought this profile read like an interesting piece of fiction, in contrast to the more rigid articles often found in the paper.  Writing a profile would be an interesting challenge in some cases; portraying someone famous as human, but not too human.  Their "normal" qualities would have to be brought out so others could relate to them, but there would still have to be a certain level of awe, so the readers know why they're reading about this person in the first place.  Often, if I'm reading a profile about a celebrity, and the celebrity seems too normal (snacking on some stale Doritos, and turning down that limo ride to the photo shoot), I find myself slightly suspicious.  I guess even though it's nice to know the rich and famous are like the rest of us, there has to be something outlandish about the way they live; otherwise, who would we alternatively mock and envy?

5 Comments

Jennifer Prex said:

I agree. It did seem more like an interesting piece of fiction in contrast. Also, you made a good point about balancing "normal" qualities with awe inspiring ones. If the person we're reading about is completely ordinary, why would we want to read about them? We do need some reminder that this person is special and out of the ordinary so that are interest remains piqued.

Jessie Krehlik said:

What was it Clark and Scanlan said in this chapter? "People like to read about people." I agree with you Josie that we tend to forget that celebrities are real people too. I think Gorney did an excellent job at balancing the "normal" side of Seuss with the "celebrity" side of his life as well. Regardless of that, I think you're right about everything you've said in this entry. Writing an effective profile about anyone would definitely be challenging, and I can't even imagine writing one about a famous person...

Jeanine O'Neal said:

I assume the wirters of celebrity pieces make the clebrities look normal becuase we already know the celebrity side. I remember working at a hotel last year when Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood from "Whose Line is it Anyway?" stayed becuase they were performing at the Palace Theater. Everyone was going crazy because these were "celebrities." That's when an older lady who I worked with spoke up and said, "They are so messy. And they sh** just like the rest of us." I think that pretty much somes it up.

Kaitlin Monier said:

It would be more interesting to hear of a celebrity turning down a limo ride. If you think about it, what celebrities would normally do is take the limo ride, so if they didn't, that would be unusual. But I enjoyed the way the writer of the article included that human side of Seuss.

Josie Rush said:

Kaitlin, you're right about the limo deal; bad example on my part. Though, the point I was trying to make is that, while we want to see the human side of celebrities, too, we still need to have a small sense of awe, so we know why we're reading about them in the first place.

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