What Were They Thinking?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Anyone know what went on in editors' minds when they ran this off the front page of the style section? What does it mean? Is it some sort of code? How does this at all belong in a newspaper?

Honestly, the fade to black graphic, the use of spot color, and the lack of jump (or reporting for that matter) in this, makes me think it was desperate space filler.

Allen seems to have written only one other thing recently, (he is an editor, but writes every once and a while), the text to a wonderful photo essay in the Post Magazine. The text too was wonderful, but I have no idea what happened here, in Sector D.

Does he maybe need photos to narrate? Maybe the letter D was too abstract, too much like a grown-up, depressing, Sesame Street. Maybe it's because Henry Allen IS the Style editor. This only goes to show that editors need editors too.

For those of you who are too lazy to click on links, here are some choice grafs:

"There's something about the word "disembowel." Or "depravity," or "disfigurement" -- about so many words that begin with the letter "d." Divorce, destitution, doubt, drugs, dirt, dwindle. So many of them are on our lips just now -- though not "disembowel," and we should be thankful for that much. Once more, as a nation, we have entered Sector D.

As in: debacle, depression, debt and debauchery....

People watch their houses plummet in value and say: "We'll just have to make do."

Do. D. Do as in doom, which is mood spelled backward, as in the national mood that dotes on rising global temperatures, falling test scores, and death from diseases such as mutant tuberculosis strewn across the continent by defiant airplane passengers.

Dyslexia. Dementia. Dysfunction.

Our leaders have a new motto: Defeat is not an option. If it isn't, why do they keep saying it all the time? Distraught Democrats dread demagoguery and decline....

Sector D in our schools: passing, but just barely. The next grade down is F. We will not discuss Sector F.

Day of Judgment, deadlock, drunk driving, default. But thankfully, not disembowelment."

Please enlighten me if you can.

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Written Pyramids is a blog written by a journalist living and working in Washington D.C.

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