I've been recapping Smallville for eight seasons and toward the end, I tend to get a little giddy and enjoy it more because I can see the light at the end of the cold, dark tunnel.
There's four recaps left including the one I just finished and then it's summer vacation for me. Anyway, here's the one for this week. I'm pretty pleased the headline I wrote made it to the TWOP home page. Pretty awesome.
Maybe We Could Call Her 'The Tit' -- Lois decides to cure her journalistic rut not by rutting this time but by making up a pleather-clad superhero named Stiletto and then going out and being that pseudo-hero. Against all odds, the effort fails.
It's been a busy week. Things are back on track with "All Tech Considered" after I was off last week. This week's segment was about financial Web sites like Mint and Rudder. I did a whole lot of research over the weekend since I'd never used them before and I think the segment came out more relaxed and flowed better than usual. The more prepared I am, the better it turns out, it seems. Who knew?
And I was not lying: I still use "Microsoft Money 2002."
The other big thing is our new episode of Trailers Without Pity, about Disney's G-Force. We'd gotten into a rut of reviewing trailers that actually looked really good. This was the time to go in the opposite direction. Making jokes about a movie that features jive-talking, gyrating, government-employed guinea pigs was much easier than breaking down a Michael Mann or Spike Jonze movie, I can assure you.
I can't tell you how many times and for how long I've cried about Maddie since it happened, but I can tell you it's been a lot.
Like a lot of parents, like a lot of bloggers, like a lot of people who didn't know the story and suddenly got up to speed, I was hit hard by the story of the Spohr family, who lost a daughter earlier this month.
I first heard about it from a co-worker who was home sick. He messaged me about it and I misunderstood what he was telling me, but he told me he was a complete wreck about what had happened the night before.
It wasn't until late that night, right before bed, that I followed the breadcrumb trail back from Twitter to the blog and realized what happened. I cried for the first, but not the last time and was puffy-eyed and congested when I went to bed.
What happened formed the basis for a story that ran in the Sunday paper about how Twitter is becoming not only a medium for trivial stuff and for fast-breaking news, but also for genuine real-time emotion and the expression of tragedy, the kind that isn't filtered through the time and effort it takes to post a blog entry. (Remember when blogs were thought to be quick, mindless posts compared to the literary value of an online journal? How times have changed.)
We were calling the story "Twitter Trauma" for a while, but I think it expanded a bit from the original idea which was to be a very short essay. I had time to do a little more reporting and the focus of the piece changed a bit.
There are a lot of parents in my newsroom with kids around the same age, from a little over a year old to just past two. We've all been thinking about Maddie these last weeks and watching our own children with a little more fear and a lot more love. It hurts, and I hope that our concern and our love for this little girl we've never met translates into something useful. That's all I can really hope for right now.
I write about a lot of goofy shit sometimes, but this was a story I wanted to tell right and I worked very hard to try not to make a single mistake, in content or in tone.
Before the article appeared in the paper, I let Heather Spohr know, via Twitter, it would be published. I didn't want her to be surprised or blindsided by it should someone send her the link to the online version. It turns out she had already read it and liked it. Turns out she's a long-time, old-school Television Without Pity reader. It was great to make that contact and it put my mind at ease that I didn't put something out into the universe that might hurt the family I was being most careful not to injure with the article.
Beyond writing about something like this and letting people know that these things are happening, there's always a sense that there's not much else I can do when it comes time to put an article like this behind me.
In this case, there's a little more that can be done. The March of Dimes/March for Maddie has raised quite a bit of money already, but there's much more we can do. We can remember Maddie, keep Heather and Mike and the rest of their family in our hearts, and be a community that helps its own.