My “Freshly Pressed” Posts
NOVEMBER 2012: Awards? Bah! We don’t need them to know we’re good, right?
True. All that is good is not recognized, and all that is recognized is not good. And yet … we’re human. It’s nice to be praised.
So when I learned that the Wordpress editors had selected my post “Conformity’s Critical Eye” to be “Freshly Pressed,” it felt good. Really good.
And not just for the obvious reason. It was a special triumph because 1) it was a post about my favorite episode of The Twilight Zone, “Eye of the Beholder,” and 2) it was my first collaboration with my friend Wendy Brydge. She supplied me with dozens of high-quality pics for the piece, read early drafts and provided invaluable advice. Without her help, I’m convinced it would have been just another blog post.
It was subsequently named as an Editors’ Pick for November 2012, with this commentary attached:
We read a variety of entertainment reviews and analyses — for books, movies, TV shows, and the like. Paul’s focus on “The Eye of the Beholder,” an episode of The Twilight Zone, has it all: a recap with just the right amount of detail, and his own commentary seamlessly weaved in. The tightly focused post comments on something larger and universal: the desire to fit in, “to live a life in which you are merely an interchangeable cog in a vast wheel.” In short, this Shadow & Substance post is smart pop culture commentary.
What a nice honor. Thank you, WP editors. Thank you, Wendy. Most of all … thank you, Rod.
APRIL 2014: When I heard that Mickey Rooney had died, I couldn’t help but feel like a piece of the Serling-verse had died, too. I mean, here was a man who was not only a colossal talent, but someone with connections to all three phases of Serling’s career.
So it was bittersweet to create a blog post to honor Rooney … and then have that post be Freshly Pressed.
I titled it “Last Night of a Legend” to play off of Rooney’s Twilight Zone episode, “Last Night of a Jockey.” But I also wanted to spotlight his work in the 1957 live teleplay “The Comedian” (which earned Serling his third Emmy) and his role as a mafia crime boss in the Night Gallery episode “Rare Objects.”
My hope was to bring something new to the avalanche of tributes being paid to Rooney. Judging from the flood of views, likes and comments that ensued, I think it worked. As a fan of the work he did for Serling and others, I couldn’t be more pleased.