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Still Not Sleeping

Joe Fitzgerald
Things I've written and things I'm going to write. Because a story is like a living thing, except that it doesn't need food, drink, shelter, or air. It only needs to be told.
Created 02 Feb 2021
  • Calculus and Jury Duty
    25 Apr 2021 • 4 min read • 2 0
    Calculus is like jury duty. Everyone agrees that it’s essential, and any sensible human being will try to get out of it if they can. But panicked right-wingers are currently cluttering the internet wi...
  • Talkin' 'bout their generation
    22 Apr 2021 • 3 min read • 5 0
    I keep reading political pap about the next political generation being the one that saves us. I don’t believe it for the reasons the people saying it do; I used to believe it for a different reason; I...
  • "We want information"
    21 Apr 2021 • 3 min read
    Nobody in “the City” has the responsibility to give us complete and accurate information about anything, including HHS2. What do we mean by “the City” in this instance? It’s kind of like the definitio...
  • First Pandemic, part 4
    01 Apr 2021 • 10 min read • 2 1
    The Breeze was always the “award-winning student newspaper” in JMU public relations until the paper began filing Freedom of Information requests with the administration. The battle became public when ...
  • First Pandemic, part 3
    31 Mar 2021 • 11 min read • 1 1
    Except for the occasional late-night Facebook message, JMU has rarely responded to anything I’ve written. And those messages are like drunk dials from an ex; I appreciate the attention, but I wish the...
  • First Pandemic, part 2
    30 Mar 2021 • 8 min read • 4 0
    JMU was a first choice for many of its students, but has a perennial reputation as Virginia’s safety school. The joke is that JMU stands for “Just Missed UVA”. The acceptance rate has been rising sinc...
  • First Pandemic, part 1
    29 Mar 2021 • 5 min read • 2 1
    A downtown block party for first-year students in less restrictive times. THE FRANCHISE When the next friendly history of JMU is written, the booster writing it may include a chapter about the two vis...
  • The logistics of execution
    25 Mar 2021 • 2 min read • 1 0
    It was my first execution, so I didn’t know I was supposed to have photographer Steve Frost drive me to the DMV parking lot. If I’d done that, and parked my pickup near the prison on Spring Street, we...
  • It wasn't about toilet paper
    16 Mar 2021 • 3 min read • 1 0
    From March 2020 There are probably two reasons sold-out toilet paper gets a lot of attention. First, a four-pack is about two tenths of a cubic foot, so it takes up more space in the store. When the s...
  • Remembering a reporter
    08 Mar 2021 • 2 min read • 1 0
    We had this page of fake notes at the Progress-Index, and prospective reporters had to write a story from the notes. So the first time I saw Rob Hiaasen, he was hunched over a manual typewriter in the...
  • Absence of Motion, a story that's not about Paul Newman
    07 Mar 2021 • 4 min read • 1 0
    One of the best movies ever made about American newspaper journalism was a potboiler called “Absence of Malice.” And it had one major thing in common with “All the President’s Men.” It had somebody ru...
  • Sola Fide at the demonstration
    22 Feb 2021 • 1 min read • 1 0
    My first demonstration was in 8th grade, in 1970. Do the math. At a rally in June 2018 (when this post was originally written) I spoke briefly with someone whose first rallies were in the ‘60s. I spok...
  • The Ballad of Jeremiah Curley
    22 Feb 2021 • 6 min read • 1 0
    Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer” starts off with a preacher before a battle asking that “an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and e...
  • Awful Knaufll in a Georgia backyard
    12 Feb 2021 • 3 min read • 1 0
    There’s a football drill where the players run across the field and, when the coach blows the whistle, hit the ground, roll over, and come back to their feet running forward. Maybe it only exists in m...
  • 1985: Late precincts, karma, and my worst election
    11 Feb 2021 • 6 min read • 1 0
    The worst election I ever dealt with was probably the one where everybody got sick. Or maybe it was the one where Sid thought he’d won. There are so many different layers and types of worst that it’s ...
  • Looking at the edge in a newsroom
    09 Feb 2021 • 7 min read • 1 0
    The managing editor had a strange request. He wanted me to come and stand outside his office. I don’t remember if he asked me to lean on the closest reporter’s desk, or if I just did. It was a long ti...
  • Remembering the Briley Breakout
    07 Feb 2021 • 7 min read • 2 0
    The photographer and I were at the Virginia War Memorial to get a picture of the place at night for a photo essay in the Petersburg paper. It would have been peaceful if not for the talkative Capitol ...
  • Things I've written and, later, things I'm going to write.
    02 Feb 2021 • < 1 min read • 1 0
    Welcome to Still Not Sleeping by me, Joe Fitzgerald. "Saying various jobs, you give out the Rosetta Stone, so to speak, of my entire career." -- Augie March. Sign up now so you don’t miss the first is...
  • Tumblr then, Substack now
    13 Dec 2018 • 4 min read • 2 1
    Had you heard Tumblr is shutting down? OK, not tumblr, but the XX percent of it that’s “adult content.” Or porn, as some lazy headline writers have put it. Or, in the words of its official announcemen...
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