An American Editor

September 8, 2017

On Politics: A Great Song Made Greater

One of the classics in pop music is Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence.” A future classic in the satire hall of fame political collection is this lyric-updated, politically astute version of that classic (here’s the link in case it disappears again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxCjvEabN70):

Some of you might prefer the original untainted, nonsatirical, but not nonpolitical version by Simon and Garfunkel, so here it is:

Additional parodies worth viewing include these:

Perhaps this is the best thing, so far, about the Trump presidency: a never ending resource for comedy.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

September 4, 2017

The Lesson of Bohemian Rhapsody

Sometimes an editor can learn a lesson from another discipline. Here are different performances of the same song (except for the Colbert parody). It reminds me of the differences between editors — some are competent, some are incompetent; some are professional, some are unprofessional; some are ethical, some are unethical; some are good, some are great.

But most importantly, it illustrates an important lesson that too many editors have either forgotten or failed to absorb: Often the original is best.

First up are the Muppets:

Pentatonix does an excellent job, and certainly one that is praiseworthy, but is it really an improvement — in contrast to simply being different — of the original?

These children also do a fine job performing on the Colombia version of The Voice, but is this an improvement over the original?

In this tribute performance to Freddie Mercury, who had died, Elton John, the remaining members of Queen, and Axl Rose perform Bohemian Rhapsody. Although it is clear that the performance is professional, I don’t think it rises to the same level as the original. Modifications were needed to accommodate the voices of the singers, thereby, I think, providing a good, but not great, performance.

Finally, before we get to the original, here are two parodies based on Bohemian Rhapsody. The first is Stephen Colbert:

The second is a Star Wars parody:

At long last, here is the standard against which all other versions are judged — the original Queen version as written and performed by Freddie Mercury:

Although all the versions of Bohemian Rhapsody have their merits (and demerits), in the final analysis the original Queen version rises to the top. This illustrates that sometimes the original is best, a lesson a lot of editors need to learn. Probably the single, most often made complaint by authors against editors is that the editor changed what didn’t need to be changed, that the editor made it worse.

Every editor needs to remember that change for change’s sake (or because the editor thinks he/she can say it better) is not the best approach to editing.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

June 12, 2017

Introducing From the Archives

With more than 5 years of essays, An American Editor has become a resource for both experienced and new (or wannabe) editors. But the more essays that are written, the harder it becomes to identify new topics.

There have been move than 1,000 essays published on An American Editor. Combine that with my desire to work less and be even more selective about the projects I will undertake and for whom I will work, along with my increasing curmudgeonness as I approach my ancient days, and the result is the introduction of a new category of essays: From the Archives.

From the Archives will reprint selected past essays, ones that I think are most important to editors. My current thinking is that this series will begin on Wednesday and run through August, possibly early September, when I hope to be back with new essays after regenerating myself.

Writing AAE essays is time-consuming. I and all of the contributors to AAE have striven to write interesting and informative essays that would help our colleagues be better editors and better businesspersons. Unlike many blogs, AAE has asked contributors for lengthy, thought-stimulating essays. All contributors have been told that an essay must be at least 1,000 words, that every contribution would be peer-reviewed, and that the contributor would be required to address any issues or suggestions raised by the reviewer. Sometimes an essay went through several revisions before being published.

The point is that writing an essay for AAE was not just a matter of putting words and thoughts on paper and calling it a day. Contributors to AAE received no compensation for their efforts other than their byline and bio information. AAE has been and continues to be for you, but now we need a vacation to recharge our batteries.

A Request

AAE has discussed many topics over the course of its more than 5 years and 1,000+ essays. What we would like are suggestions from you regarding topics you would like us to discuss for the first time or again. Please make your suggestions by submitting a comment or by writing us.

The From the Archives series will begin with a reprint of the “What to Charge” essays. It seems that this is a topic that keeps reappearing in editorial discussion forums. So, until we start again with original essays in September, all of us at AAE hope you have a wonderful summer (or winter, for those south of the equator).

Richard Adin, An American Editor

May 29, 2017

It’s a Holiday & We’re On Vacation

Filed under: A Musical Interlude,A Video Interlude — americaneditor @ 4:00 am
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Today is Memorial Day and the beginning of another vacation (meaning a week away from work) for An American Editor. AAE will return next week. Here are some videos to help pass the time —

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

Richard Adin, An American Editor

 

March 13, 2017

Worth Watching: Great Song, Great Message, Great Rendition

Filed under: A Musical Interlude,A Video Interlude — americaneditor @ 3:22 am
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Occasionally I come across a video that is worth sharing and this rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” by Pentatonix is one. Take a moment, sit back, and enjoy. The message of the song and of the signs the singers display later in the video are, in my view, well worth noting and sharing, especially in these uncertain times.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

December 19, 2016

Happy Holidays 2016

Filed under: A Musical Interlude,A Video Interlude,Uncategorized — americaneditor @ 4:00 am
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It’s that time of year and An American Editor is taking a break. We will return on Monday, January 9, 2017 (possibly sooner). We hope you enjoy these holiday videos and that 2017 gives life to all of your hopes and dreams. Have a happy holiday season and a happy new year.

Let there be joy in the world —

What would be a holiday without sugar plum fairies…

…and Hallelujah?

Best wishes for a happy new year from all of us
at An American Editor to all of you!

Happy Holidays!

Richard Adin, An American Editor

November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving – 2016

An American Editor is taking a break for the American Thanksgiving holiday. Although this year has had its ups and downs, it is still worth celebrating and Thanksgiving is the day to do so.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! We will be back on November 28. Here are some videos to brighten your holiday, beginning with taste testing by the true food critics:

 

In case of politics at the table, here is a solution:

and some more political Thanksgiving humor from Saturday Night Live:

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

Richard Adin, An American Editor

August 29, 2016

See You in September!

Filed under: A Musical Interlude,Uncategorized — americaneditor @ 4:00 am
Tags:

An American Editor  will be on vacation thru September 11. The next scheduled AAE essay will appear on Monday, September 12. In the mean time, if you haven’t done so already, please peruse the 941 essays already published on AAE.

Also in the works is an AAE group on LinkedIn. It is hoped that it will be up and running sometime in the next two weeks. It is planned to be a place where editors can ask questions and get answers about the business of editing and other editorial concerns, as well as provide a place for more broad-ranging topics.

The AAE Group will also be a place to ask questions and exchange information about EditTools and Editor’s Toolkit Plus 2014.

See you in September!

Richard Adin, An American Editor

May 30, 2016

Sita Sings the Blues on Copyright

 

About 7 years ago, I stumbled on a great music video, Sita Sings the Blues. If you haven’t seen/heard the video, I urge you to do so. It is available free online or for download from Nina Paley’s website. She is its creator.

Regardless of whether you view the movie, you should listen to Nina Paley’s TED talk “Copyright is Brain Damage.” It is a different perspective on copyright by an artist whose work is copyrightable.

Do you agree with Ms. Paley? If yes, why; if no, why not.

Thanks to The Digital Reader for bringing Ms. Paley’s TED talk to my attention.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year again — time seems to pass very quickly at my age — when the family and neighbors come to our house and celebrate (and be thankful for) all the good things that came to us since our last gathering. Each of us has something for which we are grateful; my list is headed by my granddaughters, my children, and my wife.

To celebrate another wonderful year, and to have time to prepare (cooking the turkey is my job :)), An American Editor is taking a break. We’ll be back on Monday, November 30.

All of us at An American Editor — Ruth Thaler-Carter, Jack Lyon, Louise Harnby, Carolyn Haley, and myself — wish you a happy Thanksgiving. We hope you enjoy the following:

A great Johnny Cash moment:

What is Thanksgiving without Charlie Brown?

For the young children:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Richard Adin, An American Editor

 

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