Wandering Eye: 'The hidden faces of Baltimore,' a digital media employees union, and more

"Just think about that, everybody else. To be black in America is to feel like you've had a death in your family every hour of every day," says local writer Stacia L. Brown. In a blog post on her website, Brown talks about her excitement of being part of a conference at Yale, which was tempered once she caught up on the news, where she read about the McKinney incident and that Kalief Browder died. Brown writes about how double consciousness for black Americans has turned into a prism, partially due to "this 24-hour access to every horrible, three-dimensional detail of black trauma, requires constant, multiplicitous division." And that is hard. "I can anticipate occasional euphoria," she writes, "but I will always do so with the understanding that injustice will disrupt my joy. That is its own kind of violence, a forced splintering of identity, intellect, and emotion." While she reflects on her short time at Yale, which exists, like many schools, in a bubble, she thinks about those outside of its gates. "Could this ever be a place where all my splintered pieces, all these race-bent beams of light and looming shadows, could ever be fully known?" (Rebekah Kirkman)

 

With Gawker workers having joined the National Writers Union, attention now turns to the One Big Union for digital media employees—or so says this Capital New York post describing a Kentucky confab for labor-oriented scribes. Some of the quotes seem unintentionally hilarious, as in this from Mike Elk, a respected labor reporter who is organizing the event: "There will be a lot of talk about mental health and how as reporters overwork and fatigue leads to serious mental health issues. It will also just be a good time." But he's serious, and the problem is serious as story-count and hour demands continue to increase even as pay stagnates across the media industry. A freelance graphics guy, Matt Frodsham, dropped another perspective on his own blog, describing his burnout and hinting, ever so tantilizingly, at his own recovery. "I want to mention at this point that I have never really felt overworked by other people, least of all Zeitguised," he writes. Still, an open-ended drive to succeed took him down a path toward resentment—and guilt for feeling resentment when he was, in fact, one of the lucky ones: "In work I tried to cover things up with humour, which as a British dude is often dry and sarcastic; a toxic mix when accompanied by a stormy and reactionary attitude." Media people see this but so do teachers, cops, salespeople . . .  Everything's amazing, but almost nobody gets to work a 40-hour week anymore for a homeowner's wage. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

We don't often highlight photo galleries here in the Wandering Eye, but this one from The Sun's Darkroom was too cool to pass up. Photographer Kim Hairston went around town shooting "The hidden faces of Baltimore," carved stone architectural embellishments featuring a range of visages, from bespectacled men to devil-like creatures. The captions have addresses in them, so you can go seek out the faces yourself. (Brandon Weigel)

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