I’m headed to Phoenix to attend a NASCAR event (the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil) and a conference on eco-conscious design (the 2009 Greenbuild Expo), which are taking place simultaneously. I’ve never been to a NASCAR race. I picture a bunch of rednecks dousing themselves with beer and slapping their wives on the ass. I’m more familiar with the environmental crowd, and expect to have zero fun at the expo learning a lot of depressing facts about the future that I’ll feel helpless to do anything about. But I figure if I ask the folks at NASCAR what they do to recycle, and get the green-buddies to admit they still dream in Rodney Dangerfield Technicolor, then maybe I can convince our fractious society that we have more in common than we think.
Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, an Atlantic senior editor, began her association with the magazine in 2002, shortly after graduating from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. An early highlight of her Atlantic career was a visit with Harold Bloom, during which the renowned literary critic addressed her as "my little bear."
In January 2006, Jennie joined the Atlantic staff full time. She currently oversees a number of different areas -- producing the online edition of the magazine and its special features, editing TheAtlantic.com's National channel, and creating original videos for the website.
Before coming to The Atlantic, Jennie was senior editor of Moment, a national magazine founded by Elie Wiesel, where she remains a contributing editor. Her writing has also appeared in The Chicago Tribune and in the book The Kindness of Strangers, a Lonely Planet travel writing anthology.