Author: Greg Perreault

  • Ann Arbor loses the News

    On July 24, the Chicago Tribune printed a mournful column, lamenting the death of the Ann Arbor News. Unlike many other cities, the death of the Ann Arbor News is the death of the only major news source in the area.

    The News was not just a hometown paper for the 114,000 residents of this university town about 45 miles west of Detroit, it was the hometown paper. Ann Arbor has become the first American city of any size to lose its only full-time daily.

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    But perhaps understandably(less so for the many journalists sitting in the seats), they are starting from the ground up. The editors are trying a business model that has been semi-successful for other digital news outlets: small staff, small circulation, niche advertising (see AnnArbor.com--oh and the top story this morning is dead swans).

  • The Unvampire-like Vampires of True Blood

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    So I just finished reading the book Dead Until Dark, by Charlene Harris. As a fantasy fiction writer, I try to keep up with the hot trends in books, movies, television etc. and True Blood (which is based on Dead Until Dark) has been getting quite a bit of press. If you've watched an episode, it's easy to see why. You've got sex, you've got murder and you've got...well, more sex.

    But I have to admit, I've always liked a good vampire story. I'm the kid that grew up reading Stephen King and Anne Rice (I was actually forbidden to read Anne Rice, so I would sneak the books out of my mothers bedroom or read chapters at a time at the local bookstore). I plowed through Salem's Lot while in grade school and then Dracula while on a family trip one heart-racing summer not long after. Dead Until Dark itself isn't brilliant. It's basic pop fiction fare: lots of dialog, little description, a fast-paced plot that ends in about 300 pages. What is brilliant is the world she creates. Because Harris departs from the traditional vampire lore in some very interesting ways:

  • Arlington: The Rap

    It would not seem appropriate to have a blog based in Washington without drawing attention this brilliant video. This video has taken Washington by storm with this appearing on the local NBC, FOX and ABC stations (they do some pretty hard-hitting reporting here in the district).

    This is an ode to Arlington, the side of the river where alot of Georgetown students live. Of course, there are also alot of students who live in the district. Do they live in the district for th reasons mentioned in this video? I can't say for sure. But yes, probably.

  • Why Sony wins the video game wars

    Yes. I think Sony wins thevideo game wars. You will either find this statement (a) entirely credulous since I already sunk $600 into a 60GB Playstation 3 (personal bias revealed) or (b) entirely incredulous, because the Wii is clearly the fastest-selling system, and the XBox 360 has the most marketshare of next-generation games.

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    Let me start by saying that there is nothing wrong with either of the other two systems. But here are my reasons for this statement.

  • 'Chuck' and the Future of Television

    It's no secret that I'm a TV geek. (Evidence: here, here, here, here and here.) But even those who aren't narrative nerds who love to watch serials in expectation of the next big plot twist have plenty of reason to love Chuck.

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    For those who don't know Chuck, Chuck is the only quirky hour-long comedy about a Stanford flunky who works at a Geek Squad-style entity while solving top secret CIA investigations. Chuck is also unabashedly for the children of the '80s. Guest stars include Scott Bakula of Quantum Leap and Chevy Chase of the SNL and the Vacation franchise.

  • Putting a face to the Journalistic Crisis

    610xWhen I think of what is happening to the journalism industry, I think of Tim Pallesen. We worked in the same newsroom and represented opposite ends of spectrum. I was a year out of college after a short stint at a community newspaper; he was a weathered, longtime reporter in our area. He'd covered my area of South Florida for an excess of 30 years. He had a column that took a different location in our city each week and told us the history of it. He'd been there long enough to know it.

  • Our Generation, Unimaginative?

    In a recent article in the Atlantic, P.J. O'Rourke discusses the difficulty Disney's had in renovating the House of the Future attraction in Tomorrowland. The problem is of course that when it came out, folks apparently were willing to accept that the 1950s was the golden age of Americana (an ideology most recently and perhaps effectively argued against in AMC's "Mad Men.")