the express (now with more omitted words!)

You know, I feel kinda crummy for having to write this post.

But here’s the truth: the Express needs new editors. Badly.

Yes, yes, I know that the paper is free. And it’s fantastic the way that you can get it pretty much anywhere. And I do like the guys that hand out the papers so kindly at my metro stop.

But the Express is not some upstart, hip publication that is squeaking by on the skin of their teeth. The Express is owned and operated by the Washington Post. So there’s no excuse for the types of egregious errors that pretty much plague every story in the daily that isn’t an AP wire feed (which fortunately comprises about 80% of the paper).

The unfortunate issue with these errors is that the area of the paper that suffers is the arts and entertainment section. A couple of grammar and spelling errors I can probably forgive, since I’m sure that the current editors get paid jack – so, fine, whatever. It starts getting worse when you begin to omit words from important things – like interviews. In Scott Rosenberg’s interview with noted comic author Mike Carey, there are fortune-cookie level sentences like,

We ended up find a very good modus operanti.

Still, this is borderline forgivable. Often because I’m reading it on the bus with nothing else to bide the time besides looking out the window. 

But the worst sin of all for a newspaper’s editor is an article that doesn’t get the facts straight. In the review butcher-job “Cars, Cabins and Malls,” Glenn Dixon (is he Express’ movie critic? There’s no byline, so, who knows!) takes a shot at previewing the AFI Silver Theatre’s “Totally Awesome: Films of the 1980s” festival.1 Luckily, pretty much everyone has seen the films that AFI is showing. Some misgivings that Mr. Dixon tries to force on the reader:

  • Apparently, Fast Times at Ridgemont High is an “exploitation” flick!
  • No, really, he actually called it that.
  • Speaking of Fast Times, the film is “hardly the pinnacle of the filmmaker’s art…but is endlessly rewatchable…a perfect way” to kick off the festival. Yeah, that makes sense.
  • The only film that could even be stretched to be called an exploitation flick (read: not even close to an exploitation flick) is Evil Dead 2 – a film who’s iconic character Ash is pictured, but not mentioned in the article. I guess it couldn’t compare to the brutality of Amy Heckerling films. I hear Clueless is about raping pigs or something, right? Don’t even get me started on Look Who’s Talking.
  • Any reviewer who calls Blue Velvet a “kinky thriller” should probably be shot.

Sigh.

But hey, they managed to spell the Belly Fat ad right. So kudos, Express. Get some new editors.

(By the way, I’d be happy to take the position.)


1 I’ll be attempting to go to many of these movies. Especially Evil Dead 2. I can’t wait for that one. If there is anything impressive about DC, it’s that there are some serious movie lovers here. There’s never a lack of a great place to see a film here – from the Silver Theatre, to the Uptown, to the American City Diner, there’s always a good venue for a flick.

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