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The Exorcist, Adam-12, Twitter game, Chicken Fingers, replacement-level writing and additional qualifier

Thursday 12/28/23

The Exorcist premiered on December 26, 1973, and for a while I've had a note about perhaps writing about it, but I couldn't bring myself to do it because it's risible shlock to me.


I just think it's terrible. Not as bad as The Shining, which is one of the worst horror films I've ever seen--I mean honestly, it might as well be a cartoon it's so ridiculous and childish, and I'd be mortified if my name was on something like that--but pretty bad. The book is as well. As I've said before, try and untangle what's going on with that first page. Was the editor like, "Whatever, I don't feel like working today"?


I like to watch Adam-12 because it gives me ideas for crimes and the kind I have a better chance of getting away with if I turn to a life of criminality which I don't think I'd be well-suited for.


I play this game now on Twitter where I see the umpteenth post regarding Connor Bedard, and I try and guess--before I click on the profile--if the person who posted it is some meathead in his man cave--you know, the kind of guy whose friends have a nickname for him like Chicken Fingers because he's always eating them (or Dijon, because of his go-to dip)--or someone who works for The Athletic or some such, and I swear, it can be really hard to tell.


I'll have like a seven-person losing streak. The level of the prose, the level of knowledge, it's often the same. I honestly don't know whether it's going to be some tub in his cheese-stained sweatpants with a foam finger behind him, or a professional writer with 800K followers.


"Professional writer." Doesn't mean much as an indicator of quality, does it?


You know what I'd say the main difference is between the two examples above? Simple grammar. Not ability, not knowledge, not insight, not perspective, not ways with a phrase. Certainly not depth, substance, brilliance. The answer: Punctuation. Quotation marks. Which the professional author has some familiarity with, but which you could just learn in a day if you're the tub with the foam finger.


That's really the only separator when there's any actual separation. Which is mind-blowing. Or should be. I'm just so used to it now.


Again: replacement-level writing by replacement-level writers. What I should have said, perhaps, in the entry initially discussing those terms, is that the player who comes up from Triple A to man the third base position after someone goes down, is still good at baseball. Otherwise, they would never come close to the Majors.


One replacement-level something can have exponentially more ability than a replacement-level something else. Replacement-level writers have no more ability than non-writers, but a replacement-level baseball player obviously has a ridiculous amount of ability more than a non-baseball player for the playing of baseball.


I'll give a nice example of this in a little bit with an editor and a writer at Vulture with a Shane MacGowan thing. Do we have a prose off upcoming? Could be.





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