Monday, September 11, 2006

Scoop Manifesto

Scoop has a manifesto. Of course he does.

Every radical needs a manifesto, and, because Scoop sees himself as a journalistic radical (everyone else sees him as a lazy journalistic lightweight, but that's beside the point) he's published his own manifesto.

I'm not sure about this, but I believe that the Scoop Manifesto was actually Scoop's first column for ESPN.com. I sure hope it was, because I couldn't imagine a better introduction to his Scoopness. It's so good, in fact, that you only need to read the first four lines to understand the literary train-wreck that is Scoop Jackson. Actually, train-wreck doesn't do Scoop's mangled idiom justice. And four lines is all you're going to get, because the rest is hidden behind the ESPN Insider firewall. For which we can all be grateful.

Without further ado, Scoop, in his own words:

They asked me to intro self. To take 900 words to explain I.

Well, first off – I is not that important. I am just a writer from Slam, XXL, NBA and Nike who found his way into ESPN's backdoor. Lucked up. Spit a few verbs, convinced 'em that Stephen A. wasn't the only one.

Oh sweet heaven! You can't parody this. It's not even slang, because nobody talks like this. And it's cringe-inducingly self-conscious, because you don't get a masters degree in journalism (which Scoop is quick to remind everyone he has) by "spit[ting] a few verbs" at the professors. At least I sincerely hope you don't. So we can assume that Scoop has consciously chosen to write the way he does. The question, then, is why? Posing? Yes. Marketing? Certainly (it did land him the ESPN gig). Laziness? Let's charitably assume so.

Whatever the reason, the results are priceless. All hail Scoop and his manifesto. The silliest since Charlie Marx and Freddie Engels released their dangerous nonsense on an unsuspecting world.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scoop Jackson and other writers you deem as not having the ability produce sentences with adequate clarity aside, do you ever get a feel for a writer's tone when you read?

If so, do you ever get the feel for those who write with a false sense of profoundness through the words they choose?

I disagree with the respective takes of Jason Whitlock and yourself on Scoop Jackson's writing.

My take is that he's writing in a style he's developed to reach a particular audience. To me he comes across as someone who does speak using slang and improper grammar, who writes with others in mind who do as well, and who also writes with a false sense of profoundness.

I typically hate writing that seems to include a false sense of profoundness by writers who attempt to use high style in word choice and structure. It comes off as too arrogant for my taste.

Scoop seems more more reachable than most of those types because of his fake profundity includes slang and improper grammar. But he also seems like someone who's just reaching and has become wrapped up in his style.

By no means am I a regular Scoop reader. I know I'm not a part of his desired audience. I'll only read if one of his columns pertains to an interest of mine. However, I go in knowing what to expect when it comes to his style and I can look past it while reading. As far as the content, I may not learn anything new, but I'll at least get a new perspective on the given topic.

You're obviously not his audience, either. If you can't look past his content or his style, there's nothing forcing you to read his columns. Furthermore, your jealousy or insecurity aside, there's no need to copy and paste parts of his columns into this blog and nit-pick them to death.

If you're so concerned about the reputation of ESPN's online content, send them a resume. You can obviously write. And you can obviously edit. If that doesn't work out, there are bigger things than Scoop Jackson you might try to take on.

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Scoopwatch said...

Dear anon:

You obviously understand part of my objection to Scoop, but perhaps miss the bigger point. I'm quite prepared to believe that Scoop could write properly if he chose to do so and consciously writes "badly." That in itself, hoever, is a problem. By perpetuating a pseudo-"ghetto" style of speech and - much, much worse - implicitly approving that style not only in everyday speech but in formal, published writing, he is doing a grave disservice to himself and his target audience. Most black writers can and do write well. Why not Scoop?

SW

P.S. "[J]ealousy or insecurity aside," this site is a lark, a joke, a jape, a [insert your favorite synonym for humorous waste of time here]. I write all day about serious and important issues. Can't a guy moonlight with a little frivolity?

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read Arthur Rimbaud's "Letters Known As The Visionary" Then reread Scoops introduction. "I" in this case is not Scoop the man. "I" in this case is the worker, "I" is Scoop the writer.

4:48 PM  

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