American Lonesome: The Ballad of Jared Loughner, by the Associated Press

A blog about politics, sports, media, stuff
Jan. 13 2011 12:01 PM

American Lonesome: The Ballad of Jared Loughner, by the Associated Press

Who was that in the


behind the first wave of Arizona shooting coverage, trying to do back flips on a cheery-colored boogie board? Why, it was the

, the Wire Service That Zigs™! No more for the AP the drudgery of writing the first draft of news, for others to write into the first draft of history. Your 21st-century wire service has moved on to writing the first draft of sociology:

Before everything fell apart, he went through the motions as many young men do nowadays: Living at home with his parents, working low-wage jobs at big brand stores and volunteering time doing things he liked.

Jared Loughner: typical young American, going through the motions. But how did he


? How about a first draft of biography?

Even when Loughner tried to do good, it didn't work out.

And finally, the first draft of poetry:

Loughner grew up on an unremarkable Tucson block of low-slung homes with palm trees and cactus gardens out front. Fittingly, it's called Soledad Avenue - Spanish for solitude.

Solitude found Loughner, even when he tried to escape it.

Heavy stuff, Associated Press. Heavy.

found him. Or—did it...

leave him alone


Tom Scocca is the managing editor of Deadspin and the author of Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future.

  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Jan. 29 2015 1:04 PM Listen to Our January Music Roundup Beat the chill with our winter playlist, exclusively for Slate Plus members.