Turns out the same skills that make a person a keen observer of movies or theater are also useful for observing the real world. Here’s Roger Ebert in The gathering storm:
Sometimes in the noise of the news there will be a single item that pops out with clarity. That happened when I heard about Tracy, California, which is charging $300 every time the fire department answers an emergency call that doesn’t involve a fire.
The essay also explains why it’s so expensive to park in Chicago. I wondered about that last time I was there.
To go back to the beginning, some of my favorite writers were at one time theater or movie critics. New York Times columnist Frank Rich was a theater critic, as was technology journalist and entrepreneur Scott Rosenberg.