The current title of this blog comes from the effervescent Tom Stoppard. In The Real Inspector Hound (1968), theater critics Moon and Birdboot utter running commentaries on the play they’re seeing. At one point, Moon says, “There are moments, and I would not begrudge it this, when the play, if we can call it that, and I think on balance we can, aligns itself uncompromisingly on the side of life. Je suis, it seems to be saying, ergo sum.”
My name is John E. Branch Jr. I’m not the New York Times sportswriter of the same name, who doesn’t actually have (quite) the same name. I learned how to mix tequila and champagne from playwright Beth Henley, once had breakfast with Charlton Heston (not like it may sound), worked briefly for John F. Kennedy Jr.’s George magazine, and have appeared on TV. (Gore Vidal once said you should never pass up a chance to have sex or appear on TV; who am I to disagree?) More seriously, I’ve worked in journalism, theater, film, the computer industry, and television. I currently live in New York City, where I devote my spare time to working for Yahoo Media; I was previously a freelance comma cop for Vanity Fair magazine. My writing also appears on Medium (where I cross-post just about everything that appears here) and sometimes on HuffPost, and earlier I contributed to the Don’t Miss It blog, which features commentary from New York and London writers.
I’ve received some honors and awards, and I’ve contributed to establishing some. But if there’s any distinction to be had in this line, it comes from saying no more about it. For further thoughts on awards, see this post and this follow-up.
Apart from the sites just mentioned, you can also find me here:
Current header image: a cropped version of my photograph Blonde haste, taken in Paris on November 25, 2005. The original is on Flickr.