One of the most fascinating and awful intern jobs in all of journalism is transcribing interviews. A few people still manage to do interviews with recording devices while not simultaneously writing down what's being said (I try to do both) and make interns grab every word and pause and "uh" committed to tape or other media. This typically involves sitting at a desk and using foot pedals to scan back-and-forth. It's tedious and annoying but, if the interview subject is interesting, can make for an edifying experience. This activity is doubly rewarding if the reporter is skilled and you're trying to learn their questioning technique (this is a skill). The best part, though, is writing down something to see just how far someone goes off topic if they're prone to communicating in tangents. Octomac essentialy does this in Justin Hyde's great piece on Hot Rod mags and their fear-mongering.
Eh, I've all but relegated Hot Rod and their spinoffs to "meditative" reading, anyway. The problem I have with them is that about half of their content — or more — is pretty much irrelevant to the casual hobbyist with a few grand to spend.
I keep seeing this trend repeated:
"Check out this awesome Mustang! Built from scratch by regular guy Dink Winkerman! We talk with the owner and show you how he did it!"
Oh, awesome, I think, I have a Mustang. Maybe I can get some good ideas from this guy!
"Yearp, well, I spent $25,000 on the engine, had Emory's Performance build it from a crate block, and then they swapped in a Tremec six-speed, aluminum driveshaft, and prepped 9-inch rear end, only ran me about $12,000. Took it to Oglethorpe's Paint Shop, and $16,000 later, I had this sweet custom paint job. The wheels are custom built for this car, one-offs, you know, and the upholstery is woven unicorn mane from the Forest of Enchantment, harvested by a Welsh virgin specifically for this project."
Huh... Well, all of that is a little outside my budget... I wonder what the next article is.
"Add a cold air kit and exhaust to YOUR car for MORE POWER NOW!"
I mean, I get that, to sell magazines, you have to showcase projects that are out-of-the-ordinary, but I'd still love to see a publication that mandates that, in order to get a car in their pages, you had to turn at least a few of your own wrenches. These rags only have extreme, one-off, hyper-expensive custom projects, or simple, do-it-in-a-day installs of sponsored parts. There's a big ol' sweet spot right in the middle that they're just missing, it seems like.
...Wow, I just realized that I've veered wildly off-topic. Um, fearmongering is bad, and these guys are being, well, more dishonest than usual. Continue your discussions!
Guessing "meditative" means "on the toilet."