The Night Of The Gun & David Carr


The first thing David Carr did when he came on stage was to bitch about missing the end of the Super Bowl. After all, we were missing what amounted to the most spectacular of comebacks, and San Francisco appeared poised to pull it off. I shared the same angst as Lisa and I sped across the Second Narrows Bridge to Capilano University. 

The veteran New York Times media reporter came to Vancouver to take part in the annual PuSh International and Performing Arts Festival before a packed house in a two-hour discussion. His acerbic wit and forceful opinions were on full display to the crowd, which included a who's who of journalists in Vancouver. 

Carr made the long flight from New Jersey to B.C. to talk about the events surrounding his memoir, "The Night of the Gun." In writing the book, Carr reshaped how we think of the genre of memoir by reporting the hell out of his own sordid past as a drug addict. His commentary also touched on everything from the state of journalism to his opinions on social media. 

For journalists, Carr is a must-follow on Twitter. He doesn't take himself too seriously, abhors humblebraggers, and is a splash of colour to the just-the-facts-ma'am nature of most NYT journalists on the medium. During his stay in Vancouver, Carr wondered aloud about bear-proof trashcans, where to find the best dim sum, and his frustration with not being able to see the best commercials on Canadian TV. 

In his conversation with moderator David Beers of the Tyee, Carr also reminded the audience about the importance of newspapers. As we become overwhelmed by the information firehose, they give us a hierarchy of what's important.

By the end of the discussion, I had almost forgotten about the Super Bowl. Turns out, San Francisco couldn't finish off the miracle comeback. Oh well. trade football of any magnitude for an inspiring conversation with one of my profession's best.