Practical Advice for a Writer Going Shutdown-Insane

By James Fallows


A Guangzhou-based reader who has seen into my mind sends these thoughts:

You seem, to me, to be in desperate need of a way to reconcile two conflicting necessities, namely, your professional obligation to cover the present government shitstorm, and your clearly obvious desire to write about topics less depressing and about which you actually have a reasonable chance to  persuade a reader or two.  

(I don't presume to know how you reacted, but the "Shame on Democratic Bullies" response you posted would have caused me to seriously doubt the efficacy of any single person in a time of increasingly disconnected political realities.) 

So, may I suggest: China!  Continue your coverage of the Shutdown/ Default crisis from a perspective that may: interest readers, provide international context, not cause you to go insane.

Post titles include: 
    1. This Would Never Happen in China
    2. How Modern Media Guarantees the Abuse of the 1st Amendment (freedom of the press edition.)
    3. What the U.S. Can Learn from the Chinese Concept of 'Face'
    4. Why America Needs a Zhou Enlai (fight privately, present a united front)
    5. D.C. Shows Just How Implausible Chinese Democracy Is (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love CCP Autocracy)
    6. American Expats in China are Frequently Shamed by their Friends Because of Shutdown.

Sorry, that last one was for me.

Watch for these post titles soon.

On the other hand, I am about to go to a little brewpub in San Diego, so ... 

[Zhou-Nixon photo from here.]

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/10/practical-advice-for-a-writer-going-shutdown-insane/280497/