Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Writer 1: “Here's the Henry Gates story.”

Editor: “Hm. 'Black Professor Arrested Breaking into Own Home.'
Nope. Get rid of everything after 'Arrested.' And build him up some.”

“Famous Black Professor Arrested. . . “

“Can't you do better than 'famous'?”

“Uh. Very Famous Black. . . “

“Jesus! Do I have to think for you!”

Writer 1: "Prominent?"

(Sounds of mixed approval.)

Writer 2, inspired: “Eminent!”

Writer 1: "Great! Eminent Black. . . “

Editor: “It's okay, but 'Eminent' doesn't sound much better than famous to me. Is there something stronger?”

(Writers consult thesaurus.) “Preeminent!”

“What does that mean?”

“More than eminent. The greatest of the eminent.”

(Reading) “Greatest in importance or degree or significance or achievement. With superiority or distinction above others.”

“Now that's more like it! Better than anybody else.”

Writer 2: “What makes him preeminent?”

“I have no idea. Jesus! Don't you know how things work? And spice up “Professor.”


“Yes! Preeminent Black Professor and Scholar Henry Gates. . . “
Keep it coming.”


“Good. Preeminent Black Professor and Distinguished Scholar Henry Gates. . ."

“Henry Louis Gates.”


“Okay: 'Preeminent Black Professor and Distinguished Scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Arrested Entering Own Home.'”

“Let's fly with that.”

(A few minutes later. . .)

Writer 2: "Chief, something doesn't make sense to me. Last week you told us to take 'Black' out of 'Black Youth Arrested on Seven Rape Charges' but today you told us to say 'Black Professor'. I don't get it. They both got arrested."

"Christ. Who let you in here?"

1 comment:

Yaseen P V said...

Yet, alas!, there is no moonlight
on the moon!

p e a c e !