Replacing Journalists with Authors

11 years ago Haaretz experimented with replacing journalists with authors.

Among those articles were gems like the stock market summary, by author Avri Herling. It went like this: “Everything’s okay. Everything’s like usual. Yesterday trading ended. Everything’s okay. The economists went to their homes, the laundry is drying on the lines, dinners are waiting in place… Dow Jones traded steadily and closed with 8,761 points, Nasdaq added 0.9% to a level of 1,860 points…. The guy from the *shakshuka *[an Israeli egg-and-tomato dish] shop raised his prices again….” The TV review by Eshkol Nevo opened with these words: “I didn’t watch TV yesterday.” And the weather report was a poem by Roni Somek, titled “Summer Sonnet.” (“Summer is the pencil/that is least sharp/in the seasons’ pencil case.”) News junkies might call this a postmodern farce, but considering that the stock market won’t be soaring anytime soon, and that “hot” is really the only weather forecast there is during Israeli summers, who’s to say these articles aren’t factual?

Alongside these cute reports were gripping journalistic accounts. David Grossman, one of Israel’s most famed novelists, spent a night at a children’s drug rehabilitation center in Jerusalem and wrote a cover page story about the tender exchanges between the patients, ending the article in the style of a celebrated author who’s treated like a prophet: “I lay in bed and thought wondrously how, amid the alienation and indifference of the harsh Israeli reality, such islands — stubborn little bubbles of care, tenderness and humanity — still exist.” Grossman’s pen transformed a run-of-the-mill feature into something epic.

“Thirty-one writers decided, what are the real events of the day?” he mused. “What is really important in their eyes? They wrote about it, and our priorities as journalists were suddenly shaken by this.”

Coronavirus: Day 80

80 days. We’re in the 12th week of everyone being home. That’ll all change by the end of June with work places reopening and phases and such.


At some point in the past the the 5 year old picked up the chorus to REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You.” I’m very OK with that.


The 2 year old’s new thing is to react to smells by holding his nose and stating “What’s that pee-ew?” I’m very OK with that.

On Recent History

There have been multiple days of demonstrations and riots throughout the United States in response to the death of George Floyd. There’s a lot to be said, but it’s tough to approach the right way. Noting it here, maybe for posterity, maybe to come back to with clearer thoughts in the near future.

What I can say now is that I do understand that my place as a white male who grew up in the suburbs gives me a very limited, very different, very sheltered perspective. I can tell myself it’s an objective view, but it’s tainted by my experiences that, while not invalid, are significantly less relevant than so many others impacted and involved.

Just stay safe, everyone. And respect each other.

Coronavirus: Day 75

The 5 year old had a Google Hangout for school today with some classmates and the guidance counselor. They spoke about feelings and read “Worry Says What?” and I think I got more out of the session than he did.

After the reading and a few activities, the counselor wrapped with three takeaways for when you’re feeling worried or down:

  1. Think about things you’re thankful for
  2. Get some energy out by exercising
  3. Do something fun

Noted, guidance counselor. Noted.


Blogged a couple times today.


Welp, this happened: