Flashbacks

For the week of January 13
By  |  October 27, 2008

DESPERATE MEASURES | 5 years ago

January 12, 2001 | Chris Wright came to grips with his gambling addiction. | "It’s not easy to say these words. I — am — an — addict. A screw-up. A sucker. A sicko. I cannot be trusted. I need help. I cannot help myself. These were a few of the topics kicked around recently when my wife and my father came at me with a sort of mini-intervention — like a surprise party, but with self-help books instead of balloons. There were cups of tea involved, a lot of whys and how could yous. There was talk of ‘healing’ and ‘support.’ It would have been laughable if it weren’t so final. See, I didn’t want to stop. Didn’t even want to think about it. But I didn’t have much choice in the matter. I’m an addict, and addicts don’t choose."

JOHN Q. COLUMNIST | 10 years ago | January 12, 1996 | Dan Kennedy discussed the "People’s Voice," the civic-journalism project being run by the Globe, public radio station WBUR, and WABU-TV. | "Certainly the ‘People’s Voice’ series has produced much of value. For instance, Globe columnist David Nyhan says the project crystallized for him the sense that people feel their ‘fingernails are slipping down the blackboard of the American economy. You never go wrong listening to that kind of stuff.’ Adds Don MacGillis, who’s coordinating the Globe’s part in the project: ‘The idea is to do a much more bottom-up approach to things.’

"But too often ‘The People’s Voice’ is instructive in a pedantic, take-your-medicine sort of way. And when the views of citizens who are misinformed or just plain whining are presented for public consumption, the result is something like talk radio, only duller.

" ‘I won’t be snide, but essentially I think the Globe hasn’t yet learned how to make these potentially important kinds of pieces readable,’ says Herald columnist Wayne Woodlief. Adds Channel 56’s Jon Keller, who writes an every-other-Monday column for the Globe. ‘I don’t give a good goddamn about what the citizens of Derry have to say. I care about what they do. Hopefully, if I’m doing my job right, I’m covering issues that will matter to them.’ "

GROSS INDECENCY | 15 years ago | January 11, 1991 | Caroline Knapp composed an open letter to Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho. | "You really are something, Bret. I mean, not everyone can imagine what it’s like to skin someone alive. And not everyone has the guts to actually sit down and write about it, thereby illuminating the rest of us to the potential uses of kitchen implements. Truly inspiring prose!

"Which is why I feel so badly about the response your book is getting. I mean, this whole hue and cry (people are saying that the book is ‘disgusting,’ that the violence is ‘gratuitous’) obviously comes from people who are beneath you, intelligence-wise, and who don’t understand the fact that you, Bret Easton Ellis, have an inordinately long and pretentious name — oops! What I meant to say was, they obviously don’t understand that you have the right to say as many vile, disgusting, morally reprehensible things as you want because you are obviously superior and more talented than the rest of us, even though you’re only 26."

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