Self-described “aging Celtic scribe” Pete Hamill is, in the argot of our time, an old-school journalist and writer. Born in Brooklyn during the 20th century’s Great Depression, he was a high school dropout whose first interests were in the visual arts.
Tag Archives: Journalists
The Blind Side is an incredibly moving story about the remarkable reversal of fortune Michael Oher, a 6’5″, 350-pound, feral sixteen-year-old black boy from inner-city Memphis, encounters as he is adopted by a wealthy white Evangelical family.
“I love the continuous action of New York. The same way I love being in a dark theater space, a film, a casino, a newsroom. Nothing stops, nothing ends, nothing dies. I love the celebration of artificial life that is implicit in cities, all human-made.”
“The American middle-ground culture, particularly on the coasts, is alive and well in a way that has disintegrated in England. We have academic dried seriousness. Desiccated seriousness. Or a kind of tabloid vulgarity, and we don’t have these middle-ground writers.”
“It is young white men who heard Bob Dylan’s songs who went back and tried to get black people off Death Row.”
“The West is a very problem-solving culture. And one of the problems of Afghanistan is that it doesn’t lend itself readily to being sorted out on the West’s terms.”
“Every other story in America is a murder story, a true crime story. When I was doing the book, that was one of the things that I looked long and hard at—how do I treat this differently?”
“Researchers who work with cadavers aren’t often eager to talk to writers. They prefer to stay out of the spotlight, and I don’t blame them. That was by far the hardest part of doing this book.”
“Ego drives a lot of writers, and it drives me. I can be pretty modest with you, but I have to admit when I am by myself I have goals and I want my stories to be read. And I think there is some art in them.”
“I asked myself the question, ‘What are my intentions?’ I realized my intentions were perfection. I wanted to write a perfect 750-word column. I’m judging what I produced against the ideal possibility of what would have been perfect.”
“Latinos are marginal, politically, intellectually. Jennifer Lopez might be at the absolute center of the mainstream of pop culture in commercial terms. But in terms of political discourse or economic strength for that matter, Latinos are clearly on the margins.”
“Punish the guilty. Do justice to the victims. It’s not to ask very much. This is a rich society that won the Cold War. It has nothing to fear from this inquiry. That’s what justice would look like.”
“What always has interested me is the way that books are different from the writers. When I write a book I always look for that moment where the book abandons me and starts to express a view of its own.”
“I like the mental puzzle involved with dealing with a real situation rather than one that you can just arbitrarily choose to change. And frankly I like the social mission of writing non-fiction.”