Eric D. Snider

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Archive for July 8th, 2007

‘Snide Remarks’ 10th Anniversary Feature: A Timeline of Important Columns (Part 3)

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

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[Part 1]
[Part 2]

July 24, 2006, “I Was a Junket Whore”: Fifteen minutes of Internet fame — oh, and it cost me a job, too.

This one earned me 15 minutes of Internet fame, but it had far more lasting repercussions than that: If it weren’t for this column, there is a very good chance that right now I would be the full-time film critic at a major weekly newspaper. Yep, this column cost me a job.

I had been freelancing movie reviews for Portland’s Willamette Week for several months when the paper’s full-time film critic, D., called to see if I wanted to go on this junket. It seemed like it would be fun to do once, just so I could say I did it, and I made the arrangements with Paramount Pictures.

My understanding was that I was going as a freelance writer, not as an official Willamette Week representative, and that WW would buy my story when I got back. The story would be your basic interview feature, incorporating the conversations I’d had with Oliver Stone and his actors.

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Meanwhile, D. had announced that he was leaving WW, and the paper was seeking his replacement. The other writer who had been freelancing for them wasn’t applying for the job, which meant I was the only applicant who already had a foot in the door. D. indicated that if it were up to him, I’d be his replacement. He put me in touch with K., the features editor, and I went in for a job interview. It went well, K. liked me, I liked her, she was less interested in my past (I’d been fired from a newspaper a few years earlier) than in my ideas for the future, and things looked good.

Later that same day, July 19, I flew to Seattle for the junket.

Continue reading…

‘Snide Remarks’ 10th Anniversary Feature: A Timeline of Important Columns (Part 2)

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

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[Part 1]

Jan. 23 & 25, 2002, “Towed You So” and “Gus Mileage”: A two-part series on tow-truck drivers earns the wrath of an entire profession.

My editors and I fielded many angry phone calls and letters when the first of these, about a bad experience with a towing company, was published. Naturally, the column to elicit the most wrath we’d had in years would be a two-parter, and my bosses were not exactly thrilled at the prospect of getting more angry calls and letters after part two was published. So we had to tone part two down quite a bit, more or less ruining it but successfully staving off the torch-wielding mobs.

These were published in January. In September of that year, I bought a new car at Provo’s Kia dealership, trading in my old Hyundai. (You thought there was nothing lower than a Hyundai, but that’s only because you had forgotten about Kia.) Unfortunately, I accidentally locked my keys in the Hyundai there at the dealership, right at the end of the business day. I had to leave in a hurry to get to Salt Lake City for something, so I didn’t have time to wait for someone to show up with a slim jim and unlock the car. Technically, the car now belonged to Kia anyway and was their problem, not mine, and they were friends with a local towing company that they figured could come over and unlock the car for them. They sent me on my way in my new Kia and said they’d deal with the Hyundai. Just come back tomorrow to get your personal belongings out of it, they said.

Continue reading…

‘Snide Remarks’ 10th Anniversary Feature: A Timeline of Important Columns (Part 1)

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

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“Important” is a relative term, of course. Not one of these columns had any impact on the world outside of my life, and many of them didn’t even go that far. But they’re “important” in the sense that, if you were writing a history of “Snide Remarks” — and heaven knows why you would be doing that — these are the ones you’d have to include as key points in the timeline.

As I read over them, I see a lot of entries that involved my getting in trouble. This might give the reader the false impression that I love causing controversy and trouble, or that I am reckless and irresponsible.

There are 15 columns listed here, a few of which involved trouble. In my defense, those few aftershock-producing columns represent, what, 1 percent of all the columns I’ve written? Usually when I write something, nothing happens at all. Usually people don’t even read them, much less get angry about them.

But here are the ones that played a key part, for good or bad, in the history of “Snide Remarks.”

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No ‘Snide Remarks’ today, but: other things!

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

I do not have a new “Snide Remarks” for you this week, but to stave off the unfathomable sadness that announcement would otherwise bring, I have something else instead: a special “Snide Remarks” 10th anniversary feature highlighting the “important” entries in the column’s history. Some never-before-told behind-the-scenes stories are part of this feature, including one about how a particular column prevented me from getting a particular job. Intriguing, no?!

I’m going to post it as a separate entry right after I post this. I do hope you enjoy it, and please watch for a new “Snide Remarks” next Monday.

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