* Welcome to The Big Jewel, your number one news source in this oh-so-post-news era. This week's wonderful new piece is by our star reporter Stacey Resnikoff.

Sleep-Deprived Journalists Divvy Up The News Deluge

By:
stacey@resnikoff.com

Let’s face it, Washington journalists, we’re wiped out. We’re just 104 days in and it’s impossible to keep up. We spend all day researching one story and we’ve missed three new ones. So we’ve developed a plan for covering politics in the age of Trump:

First, you, FOX News. You will be on one beat and one beat only: the debate over whether Trump is “crazy like a fox” or if there’s no fox there. Please get to the bottom of this one, FOX. It’s perhaps the most crucial conjecture of all the conjectures.

Next, you, CNN: you’ll cover only breaking news — those urgent stories that provoke the highest anxiety and most intense degree of in-the-moment speculation. In other words, no change.

You, Washington Post: you’ve been doing a great job on the Russia thing. Keep focus on that and you’ll not only win a Pulitzer, but also get your seat back in the briefing room in the Pence White House. Or will it be the Paul Ryan White House? Hatch? Sessions? Ben Carson? I don’t know: you’ll have to see how far this thing goes.

TMZ, we wanted to put you on the where-Ivanka-is-eating-lunch-in-DC beat, but it turns out you have much better presidential access than the Post, so please partner up with them on Kremlin ties. We’ll give you two a celeb-like portmanteau. How about WaZo? Too Swahili?

For the really out-there stuff like Ben Carson’s stream-of-consciousness speeches, fresh conspiracy theories about former President Obama, and confusing ISIS with IKEA in Sweden, we’ll create a new 24-hour news network: Repository of Unsubstantiated and Insane News, or RUIN. Any interest, Breitbart? RUIN will be found on channel 666 on most cable systems. No reason.

Food Network, you’ll cover all international diplomacy negotiated over dinner at Mar-a-Lago. You won’t need press credentials, just a reservation. And please investigate the Trump-Grill-has-the-best-taco-bowls claim.

Bloomberg, two words: tax returns. Two more words: sniffer canine.

PBSKids, you can bring the youngest news consumers into the conversation by animating the president’s Twitter stream based on beloved children’s books. Since your demographic watches TV in the early morning, it times out perfectly. Here are a couple ideas to help kick you off. “I do not like that bad (sick) man. I do not like him, Sam I Am.” and “The very angry president scorned immigrants, intelligence officials, federal judges, The New York Times, Saturday Night Live, CNN, network news, the word ‘fence,’ Arnold Schwarzenegger, Muslims, Mexico, the 44th President of the United States, and the cast and producers of Hamilton, and he was STILL angry.”

PBS, your NewsHour is very informative on a wide range of issues. We’re going to have to scale that back. We’re putting you on one topic only: the defunding of everything college graduates hold dear. Cover this for as long as you can, okay? And, you know, sorry.

Finally, Charlie Rose, we’d like you to explore one question: How is this happening?

Thank you, journalists, for working together to cover this breakneck news cycle. Oh, that reminds me: if any of you freelance reporters suffer an actual broken neck or any kind of fracture, attack or disease, try to get that in before Trumpcare goes into effect. We’ve heard some things.

Okay, Fourth Estate: let’s do this!

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where nothing says "Happy New Year!" like a French existentialist. Stacey Resnikoff is on the scene in a cute little black beret.

Jean-Paul Sartre’s Cousin Writes A Wellness Bestseller

By:
stacey@resnikoff.com

When your name is Jean-Luc Sartre and your first-cousin-twice-removed is French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, you’re supposed to have reverence. You’re expected to nod when your headmaster says your writing belies the heart-aching brilliance of your forebears, or your OKCupid date talks nonstop about her existential torment. But, hey, I’m a Virgo, Aries rising with moon in Pisces, so I’ve got to speak my mind: I think my cousin had a stale baguette up his derriere.

That’s why I wrote “Existenchillism: The Anti-Angst Solution.” In the 21st century, we really need to quash this whole Sartrian “man is forlorn” idea. I mean, before we had hot yoga, karaoke and gluten-free cookies, there may have been “nothing to cling to.” But today? If you can’t find a way to snap out of your existential funk nowadays, you really are responsible for your own anguish. Go on a mandala coloring retreat. Zipline the Alps. Get Netflix.

My story is the same as many celebrity relatives. I attended boarding school in Paris, where I was teased mercilessly. We’d play boules and kids would shout, “If you lose, you can blame no one but yourself!” and “When Jean-Paul Sartre said ‘there are no accidents in life,’ it was way before you were born!” Not original material to a Sartre, believe me. And, by the way: duh.

Lycée was no easier, where I was expected to chain-smoke, wear black and get As in classes like “Philosophical Turmoil and the Pain of Daily Living” and “The Great French Writers Our Students are Related To.” No one wants a Sartre to be cheery or, quite paradoxically, his own man.

Yet everything changed when I wrote my book. Finally I have my own “authentic project,” as Sartre called it — in my case, a takedown of Sartre. It’s gratifying to steer readers away from downer Sartre-isms like “I carry the weight of the world by myself alone without anything or any person being able to lighten it” and toward life’s simple pleasures, such as brewing your own orange soda or decorating Crocs with shoe charms. Just read the headlines! It’s no time for doom and gloom. We’re all in this merde together and deserve to be distracted.

Hitting the best-seller list created some super-hot opportunities for me. Celebrity Angst Management is a network reality show, where I’ll help stars like Alec Baldwin and Shia LaBeouf find their happy place. There’s my hammock-themed health club chain PowerNap. And, of course, my Existenchillax line of beverages made with kava kava, L-tryptophan-enriched rainwater, and Chillaxia(TM), a proprietary ingredient made from Colorado-grown cannabis.

I’m so grateful to my publisher Grove/Atlantic Enlightenment for recognizing the need to diversify their catalog beyond literature into literature-triggered self-help. Sure, some say Jean-Paul must be rolling in his grave over my “Sartre Say Relax” T-shirts sold everywhere, including at his grave. But, in the words of Pharrell (who will perform at the opening of Existenchilland theme park in Boulder next summer, pending our Open Toking License), “Can’t nothing bring me down, my level’s too high.” Clap along, Existenchillists!

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where every candidate gets a fair shake, even those who don't really deserve it. Our political correspondent Stacey Resnikoff is on hand with all the late-breaking news about the newsworthy and the newsworthless.

I’m Running For Office For Pete’s Sake: Political Candidates Make Some Key Decisions

By:
stacey@resnikoff.com

I assure you I had no idea illegals were doing my landscaping. Or my housecleaning, cooking, dog walking, pool maintenance, tennis court resurfacing, exotic flower arranging, wine cellar bottle-turning or koi pond breeding. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Wowza, son-o-mine, your new babysitter is a real looker. But neither of us can have relations with her. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Could you Occupy a street that isn’t on my resume? I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

People are suggesting my flat tax plan came from SimCity. So we need to tweak my “Sonic the Hedgehog” energy policy. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Sweetie, you and your sister can’t tell your little friends how “unfair” or “mean” you think I am. Remember your nondisclosure agreements. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Paper or plastic? How about a dozen flag-emblazoned PVC coolers. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

A leveraged buyout of the American Girl stores would be sweet. But I’m no longer stripping beloved toy companies of their assets. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

I can’t steal a speech from the valedictorian at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School? Buy the rights. Quietly. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Thank you, no, I don’t eat baby seal. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Your documentary about me is so off-message, Mr. Moore. Could we go over my talking points one more time? I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

A company called Corzine & Sons wants to donate $100 million to my campaign? I’m SUPER surprised and PACked with misgivings. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

If God didn’t tell Pat Robertson that I’m going to be the next President, He’s just not that into him. Who do you think told me to run for office, for Pete’s sake?

How many Muslims does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Oh, wait. I can’t tell that one. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

Any comments or actions that you found offensive, arrogant, drunken, extremist, clueless, heartless, socially awkward or just painfully sad were taken out of context. The context is: I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we think of the Winklevoss twins as the unsung heroes of "The Social Network." In the same way, we think of the word "face" as the unsung hero of Facebook, which is trying to trademark said word. But here, let Stacey Resnikoff explain it all to you in her first piece for us...

Face Reflects On Its Trademarking By Facebook

By:

[11/24/10 — AP headline: Facebook moves closer to trademarking “face”]

[12/15/10 — Mark Zuckerberg named Time Magazine Person of the Year]

[Any day now — “Face” will be officially registered as a TM of Facebook by the USPTO]

I’m FACE. You know, the word. And I’m officially peeved. No: pissed. Yeah, you heard me: pissed. I’m going urban dictionary on you, Facebook — you frenemy. Because now that this whole trademarking me thing is actually a go, I’ve got a few choice words. And let me warn you: some of my best, most offensive friends begin with “F.”

But will I rant and rave and let the expletives fly? No. Could I unleash the wrath of social media on your smug face? Fo sho. You know the drill: a FACE Facebook page unfurling a Wall of fan fury. A parody Twitter feed forking out 140 characters of well-worded hurt on a daily in-your-face basis: “I woke up this morning with a huge, puss-filled TM on my Face.” Oh, my buddy FARCE was really egging me on. I could get the whole lexicon behind me, no problem. But frankly, you aren’t worth my time.

TIME is a great word: we go way back. In fact, he dropped me a quick email on Zuckerberg being named 2010 Person of the Year: “Hey FACE, You know the magazine doesn’t give me the time of day on this. My vote was Jobs: a true lover of language — a risk taker. Just look what he did for PAD! From feminine hygiene to techno-chic in one year. Outstanding. Hang in there. We’ll always have FaceTime. Gotta run — TIME.”

Yeah, back in the day, when Apple wanted to trademark us together, TIME and I realized this Internet thing was more than just a bubble. It was becoming a raison d’etre. A whole new vernacular. People were virtually interfacing their faces off. I loved it. I wanted it.

And then I met BOOK.

BOOK was always a favorite of mine. Truth be told, all words love her. And when we came together, it just worked. The “Facebook” trademark gave me confidence. I was glowing.

Sure, I’d been trademarked with plenty of other words before, but this felt different. BOOK was shy, yet I could tell that my pending Honda motorcycle trademark made me seem cooler than some other words she’d been with: SCRAP, YEAR. And more worldly — the focus of artists, photographers, poets, plastic surgeons, mountain climbers, recognition software developers, robot scientists, makeup conglomerates from Stockholm. Everyone loves FACE, baby. Everyone.

Then you had to ruin everything, you dumbfaces. Trademarking me by myself in my biggest growth area. I couldn’t even oppose the action, because I’m not using “face,” I am FACE. So now you own me in the “telecommunication services…chat rooms…electronic bulletin boards…computer users” space, do you? So now you decide when and how I’m used with your little legal actions against my admirers? I once loved your freckled-faced CEO as if he were my own reflection. Et tu, Zucke?

Just how did you do it? How? Your company isn’t even called “Face,” it’s “Facebook.” I mean, I get the idea of one word to one company in one market. Like APPLE — one word: first it was the Beatles’ record label, then the computer thing, then Gwyneth Paltrow’s kid. There’s a nice arc there. But seriously, stealing “Face”? Now? You shroud me in my prime. Frankly, I’m shocked that FaceCancer isn’t already a Web site or app. So now I suppose Facebook will be the only place online where people can officially “face” challenges. I had some truly money social media opportunities with charities and diseases ahead of me. You took it all away. All of it.

FRIEND called me the other day. He said I should be glad: it was a good run. He’s sure he’s next and he’s resigned to it. I’ve still got other categories, he tells me: The North Face, Kiss My Face, Face The Nation. And I’m still right at the top of the Trademarked-Human-Body-Parts List. I know he’s just trying to be supportive.

But to me, it just looks like an endless stretch of courtrooms and abandonment, while EYE gets all the ladies. High-tech was my playground. And now I’ll be lucky to score a wrinkle cream. I can’t face it. Yours is a faceless enterprise, Facebook. Why would you think twice about the feeble feelings of one four-letter word?

The only thing I have left now is my dignity. If you need me, I’ll be at the bar totally faced off my face. No social network required.

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