Thin Line

By Christopher Johnson

For the Record, Again: It's worth noting that Ari Brown, who works at Weekly Alibi, has her own tale to tell about our local "paper of record." Brown, who is one of the two staff members with any sort of degree in journalism (the other is Associate Editor Jessica English), mentioned that one of the exercises she performed in J-school was the lost art of writing obituaries. I say "lost" because Brown was forced to write and pay for her grandmother-in-law's obituary. With the cost more than $100, the advertising representative at the time suggested she could save a little money by cutting out "all those names" of family members.

An End to the Lies: Locally produced Lies Magazine has put out its final edition. The magazine, which first appeared in nascent form in October 1994, has called it quits with issue number 17 according to head guy and Editor Matt Worley. Worley, who produces Lies with his brother Aaron Worley--listed as "Damn Nice Editor"--told Weekly Alibi that part of the impetus for starting his own publication was "frustration at not being able to write for anybody." Worley did write for The Daily Lobo from 1992 to 1993 but then graduated and needed a new outlet. Worley currently does design and layout for The Albuquerque Tribune and occasionally writes for the daily as well. For the most part these days, Worley is sating his love of writing by shopping plays and theatrical scripts around Los Angeles.

He told Weekly Alibi that the main reason for putting Lies to rest was "money and time," as well as the closure in January of one of the larger companies responsible for the national distribution of smaller publications like Lies. As for future plans Worley stated: "At the moment I'm going to stay out of the publishing business for awhile. I learned a lot of lessons, but I don't think I want to jump back into it too soon."

Editor's Note: The Sunday Journal contained a book review of prolific Albuquerque freelancer Brendan Doherty's new guidebook to Albuquerque. And though the Journal's veteran book editor, David Steinberg, provided some constructive criticism, there were some curious aspects to his article. Most interesting was the "Editor's note" concluding Steinberg's review.

This type of note usually serves to clarify necessary facts that don't readily flow into an article. The weird note, reproduced here in stunning shadowed glory, was particularly odd given that the first half is so incredibly subjective--and hence out of character--("I like Brendan ... "), leaving the much more appropriate second part ("Doherty used to free-lance for the Journal") looking rather awkward.

Perhaps the note was simply the result of Steinberg's massive Journal writing duties. Two frequent Journal freelancers have reported that Steinberg has written more than 40 articles in a single week! I asked Steinberg if he knew the number of pieces he contributed in a busy week, "I don't know, I don't count. ... I don't have the time." Perhaps with that much writing to do, Steinberg neither wrote nor saw the "Editor's note."

Being more prone to petty and bitter thoughts myself, I thought it more likely that the comment was merely incidence of sour grapes. Steinberg was not included in the roster of local writers and experts who wrote introductions for the book, one of which Steinberg described as "someone named Norma Jean, a local syndicated love-advice columnist." Maybe the review's headline reveals his true motivation, "Duke City guidebook could use an editor."

It's true that headlines are often changed later by someone other than the writer. In this case, because Steinberg is the Journal book editor--plus a regular writer of music and art--he probably approves all the final section galleys. If Doherty had just asked Steinberg to contribute some writing or helped with editing, all this awkwardness could have been avoided, and everything would be better for everyone.

Then, I would have been free to have written my investigative exposé on typefaces instead of this column.

--Christopher Johnson

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