Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Graffiti of War on Boing Boing

I am very happy to announce my first feature for Boing Boing is online: "The Graffiti of War."
The project is collecting images of what we're calling unconventional military art or the graffiti of war. Unconventional being that it's not on a traditional canvas that you would think of as art. It's not a drawing that someone made in their sketchbook. It's not a painting on canvas. It's spray paint and Sharpie markers on blast walls, inside of the Porta Potties, on the backs of vehicles, graffiti that are tagged everywhere, on enemy vehicles, memorials that people have put together to remember the guys that didn't come back. It's all that, kind of created in the heat of the moment - of pride, or anger, or sadness. All the emotions that you experienced while you're there. Some are elaborate, and some are pretty simple. But it was created by someone who had some strong emotion at that time. It's a way of, when they were there, saying, "Here I am. We were here. After we're gone, this will still be here." It's a side of combat that a lot of people back home never see, never hear about, so they don't understand it. That is part of the experience, too.
[Read it]

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Make that sausage

I've posted part four of my "How Your Journalism Sausage Gets Made" series. People are really enjoying it. Which is nice. They came for the strip club, they stayed for the philosophical banner.
The strip club owner spots me sitting at the bar, where I am waiting for him. I wonder if he knows it’s me because of my camera bag on the bar stool next to me, or because the door girl pointed me out to him.

I stand up and shake his hand. I’m 6′1″. He is considerably shorter than me. I wonder if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
[Read it] (Video via Tits and Sass)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Katie Couric is my BFF

Today, Katie Couric tweeted about what my editor refers to as my "sausage series" on Forbes. Thanks, Katie. Let's be friends.

Read it here:

"How Your Journalism Sausage Gets Made, Part One"

"How Your Journalism Sausage Gets Made, Part Two"

"How Your Journalism Sausage Gets Made, Part Three"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I get email

Dear Susannah,

My name is [redacted] from the Netherlands and I have a question to ask. you have presented the progamme [redacted] a few years ago if I`m right..?? in one of the shows you were wearing a red pvc raincoat that looked really stunning on you, do you have perhaps some pictures wearing this coat..??

I know that it is a silly question but I love raincoats and you are a beautiful woman, writer and presenter.

So I hope that you will help me if you can..??

Thanks Susannah.

Kind regards,

The Netherlands.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How your journalism sausage gets made, part one

I'm doing a series on my Forbes blog PINK SLIPPED in which I chronicle the making of a story on the strip club economy.
Next, I began to formulate a series of questions in my mind. How is the gentleman’s club business? Is business good, or is business bad? Are dancers making what they were before 2008, or are they struggling? How do managers who have been in the business for a long time see the business as doing, comparatively-speaking? Are more customers coming in these days or fewer? What are the customers looking for — escape, fantasy, excitement? Are dancers paying their mortgages with the money they make, and what’s it like to be a businesswoman when your business is your body? The tech industry is a big player in this region. What can we learn about the tech industry from the way its employees are spending their money at strip clubs?
[Read it]

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's coming down the pipeline

Tomorrow, I'll be heading over to a gentleman's club for some original reporting on the state of the strip club economy.

I'll be publishing that and related data on my Forbes blog, PINK SLIPPED.

Keep an eye out for it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

How to choke like LeBron James

In my latest post on my Forbes blog PINK SLIPPED, I take career advice from LeBron James.
TIP #3: Sell yourself to the highest bidder.

I get an email from a friend in a similar position. She has landed a full-time job. She is excited. I am excited for her. What was the trick? I want to know. Call me, she responds, it’s easier to explain that way.

"What did you do?" I ask her.

"I dated them," she says.
[Read it]

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The sausage factory

I wrote a piece for YourTango on how tough the adult movie industry is on those who work in it.
The porn industry has succeeded in selling a new story about itself – that it's a business like any other. But, especially for those who perform in it, it is back-breaking, emotionally exhausting, deeply challenging work. Of course, you don't know that unless you're around when it's being made, and most outsiders don't know what it's really like inside the porn machine.
[Read it]

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Confessions of a former link bait hustler

My latest post at my Forbes blog PINK SLIPPED is called "How to Make Money and Not Be Ashamed," which is sort of what it's about, but it's also about how to get more readers for your blog, and how if you never do anything, how can you ever expect anyone to care about what you're doing?

Sometimes, I sort of work myself into a lather when I write a post, and this was one of those posts. I have strong feelings about blogs, not fully understood. I think because for me blogging is sort of the virtual embodiment of an uncensored existence, and I am a huge fan of living an uncensored life.
Today, particularly on the web, few care about facts. More care about opinions. Some see this as the demise of everything that is great and true in this country and in journalism. Personally, I don’t. I’ve always found the idea that news could be objective an absurd fantasy, one that, at best, could be aspired to but never manifested. The brain is not subjective. Neither is anything that comes forth from it. “Serious journalists” can delude themselves they are engaged in acts of objective journalism. They are not. Every piece of journalism is a propaganda piece. The only difference is between those who admit it and those who don’t.
[Read it]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Reality TV's strange new twist

Over at Salon, Tracy Clark-Flory interviewed me about the strange new world of reality TV porn.
"It's the perfect marriage," Susannah Breslin, a journalist who has covered the porn industry for several years, tells me. "I've always seen reality TV as being a lot like porn -- it's emotional porn." She says both can provide a way "of getting off on other people's desires or failings" -- not to mention their desperation and humiliation. Both thrive on its stars' self-exposure, which is driven by audiences' insatiable voyeurism. "The only thing that surprises me is that it took so long," she says. "This is the beginning of something that I think will be common in just five years. Eventually, the idea of a reality TV show that doesn't have graphic sex in it will seem antiquated and prudish."
[Read it]

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ben Bernanke is my new BFF

One thing I like about writing for Minyanville is that I always learn something when I write for them. This time, I uncovered "Five Things You Didn't Know About Ben Bernanke." Here's my favorite Bernanke trivia:
May I Take Your Order, Please?
If you’ve ever crossed the border between North Carolina and South Carolina along Interstate 95 and seen a giant Sombrero Tower, you’ve spotted where Young Bernanke worked as a waiter. During the summers between semesters at Harvard, the Fed-in-Chief returned to his hometown and slaved at “tourist mecca” South of the Border to pay his way through college. At the Mexican-themed roadside attraction, which features an amusement park and a mascot named Pedro, Bernanke served diners at the Sombrero Restaurant and wore a poncho. In a 60 Minutes interview, Bernanke revealed that his summer jobs taught him that “work is hard.”
[Read it]

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I get email

Ms. Breslin,

I did a meta-analysis of your latest post that Instapundit linked. I noticed that one of your coping strategies was to compare this painful event (job loss) with another painful event. This is very wise. Then you compared your unhappy condition (unemployment) with anothers’ unhappier condition and expressed sympathy and thankfulness that things weren’t worse. Also wise. (In particular, the unhappy girl's guilt and desire for redemption touched my heart. I prayed for her.)

While you were having your breakdown, I was being slowly poisoned to death. Chemotherapy is played by killing as many cells as possible in the hopes that all the cancer cells are poisoned, but enough non-cancer cells survive. It was unpleasant. I’d do it again rather than go through your breakdown, because I managed to keep a positive mental attitude. (At least I faked it well enough to fool everyone.) I learned that a chemotherapy room is a good place to learn to count one’s blessings.

I think you write well and I hope your novel sells. Please let me know where/when I can buy it.



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How to be a professional blogger

Dream of becoming an overnight billionaire? Know you've got what it takes to become a professional blogger? Willing to never get dressed and never leave the house so you can blog all the time? Here's how I realized my childhood dream. I became a Forbes blogger.
In this situation, the blogger is a horse. The horse has a rider. The rider is Forbes. The rider is holding a stick with a string attached to the end of it. At the end of the string, there is a carrot. The carrot is money. The carrot is dangled in front of the horse, and the horse keeps stepping forward in order to get the carrot.
[Read it]

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to lose your job, but not your mind

I've got a new post up over on my Forbes blog PINK SLIPPED. This one is about what to do if you lose your job, and you don't want to have a mental breakdown. Print and cut for a handy guide that you can put in your wallet or purse for when you really need it.
Six years ago, I had what amounted to a nervous breakdown. For several months, I was suicidal. Eventually, I emerged from the fog.

Several years later, when I secured a full-time job as an editor, I wondered occasionally what would happen if I was let go. Would I have another nervous breakdown?

Employed, it was hard to say. Unemployed, I got my answer.
[Read it]

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Great Recession

The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal was kind enough to give a shout-out to "They Shoot Porn Stars, Don't They?" as guest editor of today.
Breslin’s unflinching and devastating investigation of the porn industry in Los Angeles would be at home in many an excellent magazine. But Breslin didn’t go that route. Instead, she built a custom site that presents the story with her photographs and design.
NB: The TSPSDT site was illustrated, designed, and built by Chris Bishop.

[Read it]

Sunday, April 3, 2011

They Shoot Porn Stars, Don't They?

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.