A Course in Anti Shock
Introduction to Anti Shock
Anti Shock is the cure to the Shock Doctrine, as detailed by Naomi Klein, in her book of the same name. She describes a strategy of coarse attrition against public institutions. The radical right argue that deconstruction of fixed public services makes society more efficient. They say it reduces dependency on costly government.
They claim the private sector is under economic pressure to provide cheap services. If people like products, the economic pressure is on competing vendors. If people need products, the economic pressure is on the consumer. Companies have a million legal and effective ways to avoid competition and prevent innovation.
Left or right wing, charismatic elitists and idealists are not interested in the future. They destroy public power and wealth for the sake of their world view. People lose their sense of direction trying to pick up the pieces, not knowing what problems need to be solved first. This disorientation is what causes apathy, not laziness, or boredom, as it makes it impossible for people to prioritize their goals.
The Anti Shock model helps us get moving, by mapping where we’re going. We don’t ask, “What can we do?”, as it feeds an echo chamber of helplessness. Instead, Anti Shock asks four questions for every problem. We ask, “Why do we want to take action?”, “What resources do we have?”, “Who can help?”, and “How can we do this?” We cover every angle, by combining all our useful ideas, experiences, values, and skills.” —start [Anti Shock]
Okay, here’s my advice to you (and young journalists in general):
1.) You basically have to be willing to devote your life to journalism if you want to break in. Treat it like it’s medical school or law school.
2.) When interviewing for a job, tell the editor how you love to report. How your passion is gathering information. Do not mention how you want to be a writer, use the word “prose,” or that deep down you have a sinking suspicion you are the next Norman Mailer.
3.) Be prepared to do a lot of things for free. This sucks, and it’s unfair, and it gives rich kids an edge. But it’s also the reality.
4.) When writing for a mass audience, put a fact in every sentence.
5.) Also, keep the stories simple and to the point, at least at first.
6.) You should have a blog and be following journalists you like on Twitter.
7.) If there’s a publication you want to work for or write for, cold call the editors and/or email them. This can work.
8.) By the second sentence of a pitch, the entirety of the story should be explained. (In other words, if you can’t come up with a rough headline for your story idea, it’s going to be a challenge to get it published.)
9.) Mainly you really have to love writing and reporting. Like it’s more important to you than anything else in your life—family, friends, social life, whatever.
10.) Learn to embrace rejection as part of the gig. Keep writing/pitching/reading.” —RIP Michael Hastings. Here’s His Advice to Young Journalists. | Mother Jones
I met a man who makes meals at a restaurant
where there’s no menu
but everything’s on it
but I met a man who makes meals at a restaurant
called death row
I met a man who makes the last meals
and I know way too many people
who would attack him asking him how it feels
to be part of something like that
so instead we just chew the fat
and I listen
he tells me about a 31-year-old boy
a 31-year-old boy
who was sentenced at the age of 22
waited nine years on death row
and last week was his turn
so he asked for sourdough french toast
and a side of magic beans
because a boy would rather face down a giant
take his chances with a beanstalk
than walk down that hall
where every footfall echoes into that oblivion
where every experience never had congregates
to create a world never lived in
a boy could find himself asking for things like magic beans
and a cook find himself understanding what it means
to be desperate
Shane Koyczan was killing time in a bar at 11am, a huge bar, 200 chairs, and totally empty. This guy comes in, sits down at the bar right beside him, and orders four whiskies. Shane figures the guy must have a story, and this is the story he told.