The Daily Urinal Journal: Who knew?

urinals PLAY

Exploiting a new niche market: A veritable pee palace!

So what ELSE has been going on in men’s restrooms all these years I’m not privy to?!

It has come to my attention that at my favorite Mexican restaurant in Reston the current edition of USA TODAY is displayed in a colorful array above the urinals.

This poses many interesting questions: What did you THINK men were busy looking at while they went? Do they fight for the urinal beneath the sports section? Is that sexist of me? How do they turn the pages? Will the papered walls one day be replaced by iPad screens, or will men’s rooms be the final (edition) bastion of print journalism?

I’m ever intrigued how the world plays out differently for men vs. women, but it blows my mind I’ve never been let in on this boys’ club secret. And in downtown D.C., my husband informs me, The Washington Post has dibs at every self-respecting Irish pub washroom. After several Harps or Guinnesses, I’d imagine, men could consume a lot of news in relief. Women, at best, get advertisements, crisis-center hotlines or lovesick graffiti inside their stalls, while men are soaking up a FREE news stream?!

It’s a wonder there aren’t longer lines to get in.

Anyone who has ever lived with a man knows that a newspaper and the john go hand in hand. We even refer to the “men’s room” at home as the “library.” Moreso now, since laptops and smartphones have made access within the facilities more facile.

Still, I can’t help but think media companies, fighting to keep from going down the drain, haven’t somehow capitalized on this fecund opportunity — the last-standing outpost to the newsstand. Could prove a gold(en) mine. All those averted eyeballs, looking for something respectful to do.

I’ll humbly volunteer to do more market research.

urinals

‘Improper borrowing’? Call it what it is: Plagiarism

An illustrative example of plagiarism. Modifie...

Ol' Will could have used not only a copy editor but a fact-checker. How'd he ever amount to anything? Image via Wikipedia

Why are writers so protective of their ideas and the way they string words like beaded rocks of crack? Beats me, given the biblical observation:

      What has been will be again,
   what has been done will be done again;
   there is nothing new under the sun.

 (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

… an idea Shakespeare borrowed, without attribution, for his 59th sonnet, “Nothing New.” If it was true way back whenever, it must be glaringly true today. Yet those classic writers couldn’t foresee our modern, tangled Web.

When I ventured two months ago into e-writing, I worried a bit about people stealing my stuff: How does one copyright the Internet?

Not to worry. Thanks to powerful search engines, it’s easier than ever to discover people ripping you off. Take the latest story about Politico reporter Kendra Marr “improperly borrowing” material from The New York Times, the Associated Press and NJ.com. Yet another lazy, sloppy journalist making us all look bad. Excuse me, a “go-go” journalist, as The Washington Post’s media blogger Erik Wemple deftly defines the phenom.

Having worked among journalists all my adulthood, especially in the role of correcting others’ errors, I recognize the character trait of being unable to accept blame. Scoop-addicted Politico did a decent job owning up to it after the fact, in its verbose editor’s note, here. Still, why all the political correctness and warm-fuzzies over this ertswhile staffer, Politico? These are SEVEN examples of plagiarism. She doesn’t belong in the business, bah-bye. I’m thinking Politico‘s “journalistic standards” need to grow a pair.

And I credit Betty White for the observation: “Why do people say, ‘Grow some balls!’? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna really get tough, grow a vagina. Those things take a pounding!”

Something else I wish I’d written