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Dept. of Fresh Faces: The Intern Speaketh

Filed under: The Catbird Seat: Friends & Guests   Tagged: , , , ,

You may remember that a little while back, I sought an intern. John Bucher, the one I found—or vice versa—is splendid, he already writes intelligently about The New Yorker, and he’s Canadian, too. There will be a logo for such posts, by the way, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Rome.com. (There is now; thanks, Pretty!) Read on.

Hello from Vancouver—John the Intern here. I’m the journalism student from the University of British Columbia who’s won the right to toil in the Emdashes archives for the summer. It’s a step up; the bulk of my year went into learning the unhappy art of newswriting, and also something called “multiplatform” journalism—technical training for a mixed-up future in TV, print, and online. Anyway, I’m supposed to return to school in September, but, with a few good bounces, this interstitial summer will run deep into my forties.

My relationship with The New Yorker began a decade ago, when I was twenty, with a raft of back issues borrowed from my Aunt Susan and consumed in a basement in Esquimalt, B.C. I got a subscription for my next birthday, and I’ve been a steady reader since. The magazine, while always a reason to look forward to the mail, became an intellectual lifeline during my three years as an editor in Taiwan, where my only contact with proper English was Starbucks menus and The Taipei Times.

New Yorker Comment, my blog about the magazine, began as a class assignment in January of this year. We were supposed to write about a “beat,” and so, having promiscuous interests, I chose one with no practical limits. The site has done okay—several thousand people seem to have read it—although I just made the dispiriting discovery that 60 percent of my visitors leave after ten or so seconds. Perhaps I’ll pick up a bit of snap by osmosis here at Emdashes.

For cadence and pitch I like Hendrik Hertzberg, and E. B. White’s quietly moral “An Approach to Style” is the neatest summary of my writerly aspirations. The next step for me is getting a job and paying down my student debt, and I’m on the lookout for prospects, at home and elsewhere.

You’ll hear from me again, and in the meantime, if you see anything particularly inspiring or functioning especially well on Emdashes, you may give me all the credit. [I wrote that last bit. Welcome, John! We’re so glad to have you. —Ed.]


A new intern who’s Canadian to boot!!! From one Canadian to another, let me officially say Welcome!

Interns are wonderful—(note use of em dash) pep! verve! pizazz! fresh faces and ideas! energy! I see already that John is the Archetypal Intern.

Also, Canadians seem so sensible. What a combo!

Welcome, John!

Gertrude StrongMay 11, 2007

Welcome, John! Glad to have you aboard!

I think three people officially makes us a “media empire.”

Welcome, Johnny! (I can’t think of anything clever or snappy to say, since I’m so overwhelmed without an intern here myself! I could use either an intern, or a cook. One or the other would let me get some work done!) Lucky Emdashes! You’ll be a boon to her!

Thanks, guys—happy to be here!

Ah-ha! I see you’ve scooped up one of my most favorite people. John’s work always sparks a twinkle in my eyes. I love him—and I’m sure your readers will too. Congratulations, Emdashes—you’ve just scored one of B.C.’s finest. Enjoy!

By the way, if anyone wants to score some of B.C.’s finest, my friend knows a guy.

Nice work, JJB. You’re on your way!

Welcome, JJB! “Letters from Vancouver” would be most welcome!

Hmmm, something like Our Not-Too-Far-Flung Correspondents? I like it!

Welcome, John!

And hi, Emily!

Hey Bucher,

You’d have more people reading your blog if you’d actually told us about it.


He’s already living up to his stellar reputation. Keep him well fortified with snacks and commendations!

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