Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ready to Roll

In ten days we'll be off to Istanbul and then after two nights there, recovering from the flight, we'll fly to Tehran at 11:30 PM, arriving at 3:50 AM.  Making arrangements with the professor in Iran who is taking care of various matters has taken around eighty emails so far...I finally met my match when it comes to sending emails.  But we needed all those emails to take care of everything from our hotel in Tehran, trips to Isfahan and Shiraz, meetings I'll be having with various individuals and groups...and
so the emails mount up, until we're around eighty (if not more) emails.

I was looking through my files and came across a very nice review of my book An Anatomy of Humor.  I'm attaching a paragraph from the review, which makes very strong claims for the model of humor I elaborated in the book...and other books, as well.

I am having trouble uploading it...for some reason.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Visit to Iran


Our trip to Iran is just a couple of weeks away.  And suddenly, something that seemed in the
distant future, is upon us.  I have spent weeks creating and revising nine or ten PowerPoint presentations on topics I'll be lecturing on/conducting workshops/learning games on...and now am done with my preparations.  Until tomorrow, that is...though now I'm tired of working on the
presentations.  So far, when I think I'm done with working on a lecture, something else
comes to mind and so the next day I'm back revising the presentation.

I have a little red bag and am bringing eighteen of my books to Iran as gifts to the
university there.  Eighteen different books.  I know it is difficult to get books
in foreign countries and, by chance, we are flying on Turkish airlines which allows
passengers two suitcases free.  So one of my bags is the red one with books...and other
stuff I'm putting in the bag so the books don't shift around and get damaged.

I don't know how many students I'll have or any other details.  I will be giving a lecture
to some cultural studies professors, who are having a banquet in my honor.  That
should be very nice.  This Iran trip is an adventure that I could never have anticipated,
until I was invited.  From what I've read in books, etc. Iran is a fabulous tourist destination
and now the New York Times and various tourism companies offer trips to Iran.  And, if
you like pistachio nuts, it is--so I've been told--the center of the world.

Below is the Iranian translation of my academic murder mystery, Durkheim is Dead:  Sherlock
Holmes is Introduced to Sociological Theory.  The face on the cover is not Sherlock Holmes, or
so I imagine.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


I'm now working on the fourth edition of my book Media and Communication Research Methods: An Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches.  The first edition was published in 2000 so I've been working on the book for fifteen years.  The third edition was published in 2014 so the fourth edition will be appearing two years after the third edition--a bit of a speed up.

Here are the covers of the first three editions.  You can see how cover art has evolved over the years.  I wonder what my publisher will  have in store for me for the fourth edition cover.  They give me a few choices but I don't think my decision  about which cover I like best is final.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015


That is the title of my blog on Facebook...I send stuff to it from my
smartphone but find this blog easier to use and it has some virtues
the Facebook blog doesn't have.

It seems that the Iranians have translated four of my books into Farsi:

Media Analysis Techniques
Cultural Criticism and
Durkheim is Dead.

I find it interesting that any of my books were translated--it was a big
and pleasant surprise to me, and that one of my academic mysteries
was translated...though it is a didactic mystery featuring Sherlock Holmes,
and not my usual detective, Solomon Hunter.

I've written a number of mysteries when there was an editor at one
of my publishers who liked them.  When she left that was the end of
my career as an academic (didactic) writer of mysteries.

The Chinese have translated four of my mysteries including:

The Hamlet Case
Durkheim is Dead
Postmortem for a Postmodernist

I forget the name of the fourth one.  They've translated something like a dozen
of my books.  Amazing.. But so far, nothing in French or Japanese.


Thursday, April 02, 2015


I've just reviewed my chapter on content analysis for the fourth edition of this book.
How I was able to write this book still mystifies me.  A number of  years ago I attended
a conference (maybe it was the International Communication Association) in Boston
and was having lunch with the communications editor for Sage publications when
she pulled a communications research book out of her briefcase.  "This book isn't
selling well," she said.  "Why don't you do one for us.  60,000 words.  Due in a year."

I looked over the book on the plane back to San Francisco and noticed a
number of things I would do differently.  Then I assembled all the books I had
on research methods and put them together on a shelf.  And I asked my
colleagues for their syllabi for the version of the course they taught.

Then I sat down and wrote the book--a book unlike any other I'd ever written,
except that I brought my style of writing to the book.  And so, unlike any
other research book I know of, I have comedy inserts in every chapter...
inserts which many students describe as "lame."

There was one topic in which I needed help.  I mentioned to a friend of
mine, a professor in Bulgaria, that I was having  trouble doing the chapter
on statistics and he said "My wife teaches statistics.  She'll do it for you."
And so my chapter on statistics was written by a Bulgarian statistician,
who did a wonderful job.  I added some material in the second half of the

Since this is the fourth chapter, I've been rewriting and revising this book
for a dozen years...I suspect this will be my last revision of the book--but
who knows.  I only have a few more chapters to review and then I'll send
it off to my publisher, Sage Publications, which has published something like
ten of my books over the years.''


Wednesday, April 01, 2015


The first of April is devoted to nonsense, comedy, jokes and laughter...
when we recognize the role that fools play (and foolishness plays) in
our lives and society.  We play tricks on one another, find ways to
inject an element on frivolity in our daily routines and relationships,
and often make fools of ourselves.

I'm waiting for American consumer culture to find ways to monetize April
Fool's the same way our consumer culture has monetized
our holidays and other kinds of days, such as mother's day, father's day,
and--especially (as of late)--Halloween.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Some drawings



I am now finishing up the revision of my book Media and Communication Research Methods.
This will be the fourth edition of the book, which means I've revised, added to, etc. four times.  To do a new edition, you need around 15% to 20% of new material, so over the course of my revisions, I've written close to the equivalent of a new book.

I've done five editions of Media Analysis Techniques and five editions of Ads, Fads and Consumer I've written the equivalent of a new book for both of those books.  I've also done
two editions of several other books.  So I've spent a lot of time rewriting my books.  As things
stand now, I don't have any new rewriting assignments...and hope I'm done with them.  At least
for a while.