07 May 2006

Jeff Waugh downed for having a real opinion

This kind of reads like punishment for daring to speak. I would almost put real money on ZD having never seen Jeff even approach mood-level “explode”.

As I say in my feedback comment on ZDnet (thanks for putting that up, ZDudes), while Jeff and I often see things differently, and we (or recently my part-craniectomy means that the emphasis is more Jeff-ish) is rational, so we can chat about and settle any differences without a percieved risk of explosions, back-blasts, fallout... in fact, from a journalistic perspective, it must be quite mundane and boring. I would expect that this does not match the expected profile of IT industry journalism work.

Handily, the writers will know of many career morons who are more or less sitting around in various places dreaming up one-liners which an IT writer would almost admire (sans emetica, one hopes) as they quoted. Gartner and the "Do not tie your future too close" quote should be a topical ripper.

So here is an ongoing dilemma to solve: how do people have Jeff- or Leon-like points to politely (without sensationalising — or, it appears, involuntarily suffering dramatica like explosions) make, arrange to be really heard?

5 comments:

Renai LeMay said...

Hi Leon,

thanks for your comments! Always happy to take criticism.

Certainly we appreciate that Jeff is not an antagonistic type :) He's actually one of the nicest guys in the Australian IT community.

I have to say headline-writing is one of the harder arts known to man - certainly I wouldn't claim to be an expert :) I'm sorry if you feel we've misrepresented the situation.

Cheers,

Renai LeMay
News Journalist
ZDNet Australia

M said...

I never even considered the "pun" Jeff
pointed out on the mail list today (though I still hold a bitter resentment to the media in general :-P) :
Jeff Waugh
to sounder
More options 1:16 pm (5 minutes ago)
"quote who="Senectus ."

> Yeah but you can see how Zdnet have tried to sensationalize it, to turn it
> into something newsworthy.
> The headline :
> "Waugh erupts over AU Ubuntu proposal"
> Is pure Hyperbole for instance.

Not really, it's just a badly fumbled pun. "War erupts" -> "Waugh erupts". I
get it all the time, appropriate or not. :-) The article itself was fine. In
fact, it rocks that a discussion about the structure of the Ubuntu LoCo team
in Australia would merit mention in the press, *particularly* because it was
about the earlier, constructive part of the discussion (instead of the silly
stuff over the weekend).

I'm going to change my last name to "Wii". No one will come up with a stupid
joke about that name. Not in a million years.

- Jeff

Leon Brooks said...

Jeff! I hate to, er, dampen your spirits or anything... but the new choice of name was kind of obvious... (-:

For reference, I went to high-school with a dude named Wayne Kerr (uncertain of the exact spelling, but the pronounciation was... um, reinforced quite often and vociferously by his schoolmates until the Day He Had Heard It Once Too Often and then clearly demonstrated on a few of the taunters that relative size is not a reliable indicator for physical safety) and was even socially worn down by a few morons on my schoolbus who found the surname "Head" a depressingly amusing annotation to be worn by one of the drivers.

Renai, thanks for your words, too. Glad to see that Jeff picked up on the pun, but from person experience a writer will earn a lot more social and intellectual points from taking the time to make the wordplay new, unique and with depth.

Having said that: in my eyes you already rate very much ahead of so many writers who are much too witless to even bother trying genuine wordplay of any sort.

You are also correct in that a gem headline is hard (not to mention painfully rare from writers in general, especially me :-), so I look forward to the next Jeffism from you being an utterly award-winning trophy.

(-: At least Jeff and Pia plus a score of others whose names flit across my literally dented cranium would bait serious people with it worldwide (and often in person), so good work has potential career-building potential here too :-)

Leon Brooks said...

Jeff and Pia — to y’all who disbelieve what I wrote about Pia’s opinions, please let me recount an experience with Daniel and Carol for you.

For reasons unrelated to technology and only marginally related to sociality, I found myself in a discussion of marriage; Daniel and Carol (married, as are the Waughs) were both present, and I knew that although she dresses impeccably neatly and speaks very well, Carol has a strong and abiding sense of humour, so I asked her:

Question from Leon: Carol, have you ever asked Daniel if he loves you?

Serious Answer from Carol: I have never, never needed to.

Jeff and Pia are different people, so I suspect that the words of the detail will differ if the question is ever puy, but I strongly suspect that the intent will be justly the same.

The big reason, I suspect, that so many people trust Pia (even when she is bearing her extended razor with intent) is that she is endowed with a truly special (earthshaking) sense of honesty, and it takes a serious reason to force her to hold back on it — even slightly.

Jeff also has a very special integrity of his own (for an obvious example, Pia trusts him deeply), although of course it is a different incarnation of integrity to Pia’s, and people who identify too strongly with their own opinions (including my fine self on bad days) may occasionally use up a little time coming to terms with the serious truths lurking so often in what he says.

Said fine self has thought Jeffisms through several times, and while I don’t clone his views or anything like that, I do see that even when I (in summary) disagree with a genuine view (as opposed to outright and generally obvious humour), Jeff always has a valid point in there, one worth pausing at and thinking carefully about. For someone as spoiled (used to getting his own way) as me, that is a significant and encouraging lesson, one I have begun taking to heart.

Leon Brooks said...

Also, still eagerly awaiting constructive suggestions answering ’blog entry’s main question.