Welcome to Waxword!
We are now in the second phase of this blog, which has been live for about a year. Since the summer of 2008, I've begun reporting again on Hollywood, movies, popular and high culture. The aim is to bring high-level reporting and analysis about the entertainment industry and the media to the free-wheeling world of the web.
This site will eventually feed into a new news organization, based on the web, that is scheduled to launch in January 2009. It will be called The Wrap News, and will be found at www.thewrapnews.com. It will cover entertainment and media from a core of original and aggregated content. Those interested in receiving updates, or being registered for The Wrap's email newsletters, can sign up at that site.
In the fall of 2008, a site dedicated to my upcoming book, "Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World," will debut. It will be found at www.lootbook.com.
In the meantime, I hope readers will continue to read and enjoy Waxword, and join in the conversation by commenting.
Why indeed? It's been over a year now that friends have been urging me to enter the new millenium.
But I've been delaying. I think: I already write for The New York Times. I am working on a new book. How much more do people really want to read? And how much more do I really have to say?
These questions remain unresolved. Personally, I'm still divided on the topic. This much will not change: my very best, most concentrated thoughts -- about Hollywood, at least -- will be found in print in The New York Times, where more than 1 million people a day can read it. And my most profound, most intelligent thoughts about the world of museums and antiquities and where those antiquites belong, will be found in my new book, tentatively titled "Stealing From the Pharaohs," when I'm done writing it. (In about a year and a half.)
But here's my blog. Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to open a more fluid dialogue with my readers. I wanted to try this new mode of communication, which feels a bit like email that anybody can read. I thought a blog would be a good way to highlight the work that most engages me, while offering readers a chance to ask about stories that particularly interested them. Here I am: I'm listening.
Finally, I'm going to try to give readers a sense of the daily life of a working journalist is in this part of the world, covering the beat of Hollywood and the West Coast environs. And later, I will share the experiences of discovery that will make up my new book, which has already taken me to the august halls of the great museums of the world -- in London and Paris and New York -- and which will, this summer, take me to the places that disputed antiquities come from -- Egypt and Turkey and Greece.
So -- this is an experiment. I'm going to try this out. Share some of my daily life as a reporter, as a researcher and overall cultural observer. I'm all ears when it comes to my readers, with critiques, or comments or -- please note -- tips. For obvious reasons, I will not be talking about pieces that I am working on for the paper, so save yourself the trouble and don't ask me. But I'm happy to talk about most everything else.
As for the title: since I was a kid, there was always someone who called me Wax. There you have it.