The Fourth Estate

“Yes, I’ll admit it, your photograph paints a lucid picture of the shit storm we find ourselves in,” the editor said. “Unfortunately we can’t use it, as it shows a violent confrontation between the police and the people that makes it look like we live in a police state.”

“But that’s the point. Over the past four years our country has been transformed from a beacon of democracy into an fascist autocracy,” the photographer said. “If your newspaper’s mission is to show the truth to your readers, you have to publish this image. It’s your duty as part of the fourth estate.

“In normal times, I would agree with everything you’re saying, but these are not normal times,” the editor said. “These are extraordinarily abnormal times, and the fourth estate is dead. We can’t publish this photo if we don’t want the government to shut us down. We have no choice but to pacify the demands of those in power.”

“Then I have no option,” the photographer said, “but to post this photo myself on Twitter and Instagram. It will probably get more views than it would if you published it in your newspaper. This is the problem in our country. People like you cower and do that madman’s bidding instead of revealing to the world what is really going on.”

Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (photograph), Ragtag Daily Prompt (lucid), Word of the Day Challenge (storm), Your Daily Word Prompt (choice), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (pacify). Also for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Photo credit: Corey Agopian at Unsplash.

I Have Been Recognized

Sadje, who blogs over at Keep It Alive, was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award. So congratulations, Sadje. Well deserved. Sadje was kind enough to nominate me, among others, for that award, so thank you for recognizing me and my blog, Sadje.

Naturally, like everything else in life, there are some rules. I will follow four of the the six rules. I will:

Thank the blogger that nominated you and give a link to their site. (Done)
Do a post to show your award. (This is that post)
Give a summary of how your blog started. (See below)
Give two pieces of advice for any new bloggers. (See below)

But I will not follow these two rules:

Select at least 15 other bloggers for this award.
Let each nominee know you’ve nominated them and give a link to your post.

So, here goes.

A summary of how my blog started.

“This, That, and the Other” is actually my fifth blog (which explains why its URL is “”). I started my first blog in 2005 because I like to write. I like to express myself. And I write better than I speak. And unlike speaking, where my words often come out unfiltered, and once spoken, cannot be edited or taken back, I can edit my posts before I publish them.

I really didn’t know much about blogging until a friend of mine said that he blogged and I read some of his posts. I thought to myself, I could do that. So I started my first blog. And when I saw that someone I didn’t already know had read my post and even commented on it, I was through the roof. I was hooked.

Since 2005, I’ve had four other iterations of my blog. My first two blogs were on Blogger, then my third blog was on a platform called TypePad. And before “This, That, and the Other,” I had a different blog on WordPress. I keep blogging because I’m retired and I still have things that I want to say and blogging helps keep my mind sharp and my creativity flowing. And I have also found a wonderful community of other bloggers that I love to interact with.

Two pieces of advice for new bloggers.

My first bit of advice is to be you. Write about things you want to write about. If you have a niche, great. If not, don’t worry about it. I don’t have a particular niche. I write about, well, this, that, and the other. You should write about whatever comes to mind and interests you. You might also consider picking a few prompts (e.g., word prompts, photo prompts) that other bloggers post and responding to them. And, at the same time, make an effort to proofread your posts before you publish them. You probably won’t catch every spelling error or grammatical faux pas, but do your best.

My second bit of advice is to ignore advice from other bloggers and just do your thing. Just try to be genuine.

As I mentioned, I’m not tagging at least 15 other bloggers for this award. But if you wish to share the story of how your blog started or pass on your advice to new bloggers, please feel free to do so. But also link back to Sadje’s award blog. (And to this one.)

Share Your World — Taste, Admiration, and Regret

Share Your WorldMelanie’s Share Your World prompt this week asks a few relatively simple, non-controversial questions, which is just the ticket for the day before election day in the United States. Here goes:

Which meal is your favorite: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

As those of you who read my blog know, I lost my sense of taste early this year (another reason to despise 2020) as a result of surgery in my middle ear. One of the nerves that apparently enables you to have a sense of taste in your mouth was severed and now almost everything I eat is rather tasteless. So rather than depending upon taste to get any sensation from my food, I depend upon texture. For breakfast, I have cold cereal with raisins, bananas, and, of course, milk. While that might not sound like much to get excited about, breakfast is now my favorite meal because of the crunchy nature of the cereal flakes, and the texture of the raisins and bananas. And I can taste the coldness of the milk. Unfortunately, everything I eat tastes bland. My dear wife tries really hard to make meals that tickle my taste buds, but my taste buds are no longer ticklish.

Who do you admire most in the world?

These days, there aren’t very many admirable people left. That said, with Barrack Obama coming out over the past few weeks to support Joe Biden, I was reminded of what a smart, articulate, intelligent, sane, and normal president can be. And while Obama was far from perfect, when compared with the current madman we have in the Oval Office at the moment (and hopefully for not too many more moments), I have to say that I truly do admire Barrack Obama.

With the obvious restrictions in place, what do you regret not doing in the last year?

I regret not being able to spend more time face-to-face with my grown children, and, particularly not being able to spend more time with my five month old grandchild.

Melanie also asks us to share something we are grateful for.

I am grateful that tomorrow is election day and that we shall soon (probably not by the end of the day tomorrow, though) know who won the election. And I’m grateful that, if Biden wins, on January 20, 2021, Inauguration Day, our country can begin to recover from this madness we have been living with for the past four years.

Blogging Insights — Tips Off the New Block

Blogging insightsDr. Tanya’s Blogging Insights question this morning, which was inspired by Jennifer at Paperkutzs, is simply this:

Can you share some tips and tricks for using the new Gutenberg (aka block) editor on WordPress?

Yes, my tip or trick for using the new block editor is to avoid it like the plague (or like COVID-19). I use my iPhone for my blog and in the WordPress app for iOS, the iPhone’s operating system, there is an option in the settings to NOT use the block editor. This allows me to craft my posts using what I call “classic lite,” a version of the classic editor that has fewer formatting features than the former classic editor I used to be able to use when I went to on my iPhone to compose my posts.

So, since WordPress imposed its block editor upon us, I have been able to avoid using it for my blog…so far, anyway. I’m fully expecting that, at some point, WordPress will also remove the classic editor option on its iOS app. And when that point comes, I suppose I’ll have to shit or get off the pot. Meaning, I’ll either have to reluctantly figure out how to “embrace” the block editor on my iPhone, or to just stop blogging on WordPress.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #90

Welcome to “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.” Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenge bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

The image below is from Corey Agopian at Unsplash.For the visually challenged writer, the photo is of a street confrontation between police and demonstrators.

If this week’s image inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post. I hope it will generate some great posts.

Thanks to all of you who have participated in these challenges. Your posts have been very creative. Please take a few minutes to read the other responses to this photo challenge.

Please create a pingback to this post or manually add your link in the comments.