Monthly Archives: October 2011

Kids Today Like Their Print

If it’s THEIR print, that is:

Students have returned to college campuses armed with laptops, smart phones and countless other electronic gadgets. Yet most still turn to a print newspaper for their campus news.

The printed versions of college newspapers continue to thrive, with students grabbing copies as they go from one class to another. It’s not unusual to see students reading about the latest campus news while eating a quick lunch or taking a break on the lawn.

It’s far less likely that the wired generation, raised with iPods and smart phones, is checking out the news on the newspaper’s website.

I can’t tell you how many college journalism events I go to, where they discuss “the future of journalism.” The only time student media even comes up is for someone to deplore it as unserious and students’ love of it as insignificant. It only counts as reading a paper if you read theTimes, kids!

Some of this is the usual amateur versus professional argument with which blogtopia is familiar. Some of it is that a lot of our pundit critters aren’t researchers, and just say things based on the last poll to cross their desks. But they ignore the reasons student papers succeed, and the reasons they do succeed could be valuable lessons to media companies that have responded to the loss of customers by making their products worse.

“College newspapers are niche publications,” said Lloyd Goodman, director of student publications at the university. “Students like to pick it up, read it over lunch. It’s still a community newspaper.”

That may help explain why, in general, local commercial newspapers have had trouble gaining a foothold with students. Several of the college newspaper advisors I spoke with described repeated — and unsuccessful — efforts by commercial newspapers in their areas to sell more on campus.

“I don’t see students hovering over the Los Angeles Times here,” said Mona Cravens, director of student publications at the University of Southern California. “The faculty, staff and students have come to rely on theDaily Trojan for what’s going on on campus.”

The campus is their town, and the campus paper covers their town. It’s easy to get, it’s useful and convenient to them, and it’s distributed where they see it all the time. What’s in it varies widely from campus to campus, and the skill with which it’s produced varies as well, but it’stheir paper. That sense of ownership and loyalty requires some hard work and money to build, but once built it’s hard to lose. Media companies today destroyed it on purpose in relentless pursuit of profit, forgetting where those profits come from in the first place:

Stephen Heleker, student body president atBoise State University, told me in an e-mail that students spend so much time on computers doing school work that “they value the respite offered” by the print version of the college newspaper. “It definitely becomes part of the routine at college.”

A newspaper, part of your daily routine. Imagine.

x-posted at FireDogLake



Anonymous Herman Cain story was leaked to Politico on the same day the hoaxidate appeared at the National Press Club.

Whodunit? My money is on that veteran ratfucker, Karl Rove.

Any thoughts readers?


Tebow gets Tebowed.


For more, go to TBogg, my favorite source for anything Tebow.

Boo from Crowded House


I saw the above image on Facebook via progressives that kick conservative assand decided to not be a Halloweenie and share it with y’all. I’m having my annual autumnal cold and having to work through it so my Halloween spirit is de minimus. All I got is my annual posting ofSister Madlyfrom the <ahem> “farewell to the world” show at the Sidney Opera House in 1996:

This is Going to be Awful

For the women, of course.Not Cain:

During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.

The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.

In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.

I feel like we’re going to need a bingo card for all the pseudo-psych, misogynist crap that’s about to come down the pipe. Let’s see, we’ll have “money-grubbing whores” and “they were asking for it” and “why do powerful men cheat?” and probably some “trying to destroy the black candidate” thing about white liberal guilt. I know I’m missing something. What else?


Sunday Morning Video: Halloween- Modern Family

This is the first time, I’ve embedded a video from Hulu. That means it involves a few commercials BUT it’s worth it to see this classic season-2 episode ofModern Family.

‘Teaching 3rd Graders and Doing Landscaping’

That sort of thing is apparently beneath our Galtian overlords:

Someone in the Chicago Board of Trade dropped leaflets on top of “Occupy Chicago” protesters Wednesday afternoon as they rallied alongside unions in the city’s financial district.

“We are Wall Street,” theleaflet said. “It is our job to make money.”

“Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves,” it continued. “What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours.”

“Do you really think we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping?” the leaflet asked.

Right. You work at the Board of Trade because you’re ABOVE such things, after all. I mean, the reason you pledged a frat was so that you wouldn’t end up living life like the plebes do. Your parents played all that golf with the chancellor for a reason!

Fucking arrogant pricks. I’m sorry, but you know what? It is possible to be a rich person without being a TOTAL DILLHOLE. It is actually possible to go to your job, make your money, go home, and enjoy your life. America really wouldn’t hate you, if you did that. Not to the point that there’d be rallies outside your work place asking people to honk if they want you indicted.

What makes America hate you is shit like this, this epic whining that you have it so rough and how dare five guys with mowhawks bang drums. Not only do you want to make a giant pile of money to swim around in like Scrooge McDuck, but you want every single person in the world to love you, too. Guess what? It is a matter of physics. Eventually you have to stop jerking or you willbreak it off, man. It starts to look needy.

Nobody in any one of the dozens of Occupy outposts around the country is saying you, personally, Trader Joe, give me $50. What they’re saying is that the system rewards you and punishes them, and they would like to stop being fucked so hard constantly for the unpardonable sin of working every day. Doing trivial things. You know, like landscaping, or teaching third grade.



Seasons in Hell

After the Cardinals tied it for a second straight inning last night, I went to bed. I didn’t need to know what I already knew: There would be a seventh game.

I didn’t need to see Ron Washington standing on the steps of the dugout, imploring Cardinal hitters to do something stupid and hand him the World Series.

I didn’t want to see the requisite camera shots of Tony LaRussa looking like he knew he’d win. Baseball’s version of Benjamin Button is annoying enough in the regular season, let alone the playoffs, where he always seems to have this misplaced sense of destiny.

And, as The Missus noted after her second drink of the night, “They can stop showing me that skinny blonde bitch in the Cardinals hat who is praying in the stands.”

The Rangers hold a special place in my heart, though, and I’m sure I’ll be watching Game 7. Not so much for the baseball, but because of writer Mike Shropshire.

Perhaps the funniest baseball book I’ve ever read (and that takes in a lot of territory) comes from Shropshire.

“Seasons in Hell” and I got together in a chance meeting when the local library was closing and it was a buck a bag for books. While The Missus raided the cooking section, I cleaned the shelves in the sports area. “Seasons in Hell” landed in one of the bags and the rest is history.

Shropshire’s book covered the Rangers from 1973 to 1975. The team was managed in that time span by Whitey Herzog and Billy Martin, one a hall of famer and the other who probably should be. The team had stars like Jim Bibby, Ferguson Jenkins and MVP Jeff Burroughs. Pheenom David Clyde was on the roster as well and Bob Short was calling the shots from the administrative level.

On paper, they should have been a force.

On the pages of Shropshire’s book, they were a hysterical mess.

Between his binges of press-box alcoholism, Shropshire managed to crank out daily coverage of a team that lost 105 games in 1973, teased fans with a second place finish the following year and then finished with a sub .500 record in 1975.

Yet, it is his recalling of the characters of the day and the weirdness of the franchise is epic.

He noted that Jim Bibby had a dick of “equine proportions” and that Owner Bob Short’s biggest quandary was trying to figure out a way to make it a gate attraction.

He talked about “Hot Pants Night,” in which the team wasn’t going to give away the clothing item but rather ask women to show up wearing them. Women would then compete for a trophy that confirmed for the winner that “she and only she the best-looking ass in North Texas.”

He followed the meteoric rise and fall of David Clyde, an 18-year-old Texas boy who was driven like a rented mule and burned out before his 20th birthday. His name still serves as the cautionary tale for abusing young talent.

However, my favorite story came as a result of Herzog’s displeasure with the ass-kicking the Rangers were receiving in Milwaukee:

“It started yesterday, when they were beating up on us with 17 runs. I knew something was up and figured the third base coach was stealing… signs,” said Herzog, speaking rapidly and making wild, pointing gestures, like in an old film of Mussolini making a speech. “But today, in the first game, I figured it out. I got some binoculars and looked out there in centerfield where they keep that little asshole in the costume.

“And that’s when I saw the other guy and that’s when I was positive. He had binoculars too, picking up our signs… Either they were getting our pitches or this is the greatest hitting team of all time.”

Herzog’s rant about Bernie Brewer, sitting in his barrel chalet, stealing signs is a classic. For those of you not familiar with old County Stadium, when a Brewers player would hit a homer, Bernie would slide down the barrel into a mug on this giant chalet mounted above the centerfield bleachers. He would then release a set of balloons.

While it ended up not being proven, the Milwaukee answer in Shropshire’s book was a classic:

“Some guy in the Brewers’ clubhouse took me aside and said that the Bernie, in real life, was the son of some team employee. ‘The kid… and please don’t print this… but his blender doesn’t go all the way to puree if you know what I mean. Steal signs? Hell. It’s all he can do to release those goddamn balloons.'”

Shropshire eventually moved on from the Rangers, and sports writing in general, but his recall of the events of those seasons will always be for me the epitome of Ranger baseball.

Still, I’ll be watching tonight to see what happens in Game 7 to this might oak that grew from a guy with a huge dick, some stupid promotions and a rant about a little asshole in a costume.

Friday Ferretblogging




Friday Catblogging: Oscar Begs

Even though he doesn’t like most human food, Oscar loves to beg. He’s got the cute thing going for him, after all. The expectant look in his eyes means that this involves his favorite human vittles: cheese or rice. Yes, that’s right I said rice. He’s a true Loooziana cat:


Rock On, Wino


Marketing is everything these days. I recall when rockers were disdainful of lending their names to various products. That has changed. I guess we can blame Gene fucking Simmons for that: Kiss pioneered “extending its brand” by sticking its imagery on almost anything you could imagine.

I was interested to learn, however, that the ultimate first generation hippie band, the Grateful Dead, haslicensed its name andSteal Your Face logo to a winery.I’m less surprised to see Rolling Stones and Police related brands. When you open the latter, the voice of Sting tells you how great it is.

The Dead wine is steal you face red and I’m only marginally interested in trying it. It’s gotta be better than a touch of grey reisling or even worse, the wine the Dead are kinda sorta tied to via the title of this classic tune:

Fuck Yeah, Church of England!

How often do I say that around here?

The canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Rev Dr Giles Fraser, has resigned in protest at plans to forcibly remove protesters from its steps, saying he could not support the possibility of “violence in the name of the church”.

Speculation grew in the last 24 hours that Fraser, a leading leftwing voice in the Church of England, would resign because he could not sanction the use of police or bailiffs against the hundreds of activists who have set up camp in the grounds of the cathedral in the past fortnight.

Just after 9am on Thursday, Fraser tweeted: “It is with great regret and sadness that I have handed in my notice at St Paul’s Cathedral.”

In a statement to the Guardian, Fraser, who was appointed canon in May 2009, confirmed his resignation, saying:“I resigned because I believe that the chapter has set on a course of action that could mean there will be violence in the name of the church.”


Fraser quickly became a hero figure among the Occupy the London Stock Exchange (LSX) movement, clearing police officers off the steps of St Paul’s and supporting the group’s right to peaceful protest after a court injunction stopped it from setting up camp in nearby Paternoster Square. He also delivered a Sunday sermon decrying corporate greed, which was seen as another sign of his endorsement of the protest.

Occupy London said it was “deeply moved” to hear of his resignation.

“He is man of great personal integrity and our thoughts are with him. He respected our right to protest and defended it. For that we are very grateful, as he ensured that St Paul’s could be a sanctuary for us and that no violence could take place against peaceful protesters with a legitimate cause – challenging and tackling social and economic injustice in London, the UK and beyond.”

The Catholic Church I attend when I drag my lazy ass out of bed on Sunday spends a lot of time gathering donations for the local food pantry, running benefits for the homeless, and generally working in the neighborhood around it, which isn’t the richest in the whole world.

It’s why I kept going after I felt I’d done my best to do the whole “believe in God” thing and was only ever going to get partway there. I kept going there because it wasn’t just “try not to be such a douche all the time,” though those sermons are useful to me. I kept going because I felt like that was the kind of place the church, and organized religion generally, needed more of: not a word about how women are whores merrily having abortions all the time, and lots and lots of actions about feeding some damn poor people already.

Somewhere along the line we got the blasphemous idea that the only moral issues the church could take a stand on had to do with sex. As if there was any damage we could do by banging each other that would begin to approach the level of damage we do walking around every day in a world where some of us have more than enough to eat and some of us don’t and that’s somehow okay.

Kudos to Rev. Fraser for making a moral stand.


Leave me out of it, Mitt

Mitt Romney was running an almost error free campaign until recently. His status as the unloved frontrunner seems to have made the usually unflappable Romney irritable. Usually the Mittster can pander and flip flop with the best of them but he’s run into trouble over his handling of theOhio anti-union issue. He was for it before he was neutral and now he’s for it again. Gov. Kasich is annoyed with him and the teabaggers are pissed. You know it’s bad when the previously hapless Gov Package Check scores some points.

My favorite recent Mitt Haircut moment, however, came with the his“for Pete’s sake” line, which the Dems are using against him and I bitterly resent:

For Pete’s sake? Why do right wingers insist on talking like elderly women in 1930’s movies, gosh darnit?

Back to the post title. My given name is Peter and I’ve always preferred being called that. My favorite Uncle is called Pete so as far as I’m concerned that name is reserved for him. I don’t really mind being called Pete but I do mind Mitt Haircut’s taking my name in vain.

Leave me the heck out of it, Mitt. Hitch up your Mormon underwear and get back to pandering as only you can do it

Eddie Munster Shrugged


Then he whined. Thenhe pouted. And then he threw atemper tantrum.

But Eddie is…a “serious” Republican, at least in the eyes of the press. Go figure.

Caption This


As Oakland goes?

Oakland is a city with an inferiority complex: it has been in the shadow of San Francisco forever and is now outshined by San Jose, of all places. I say that because San Jose was a smallish semi-rural town when I was growing up. That was, of course, before the tech boom. Oakland remains best known for Gertrude Stein’s wisecrack: “there is no there, there.”

Oakland finds itself in the spotlight because of its handling of the #occupy protests:

Police and protesters scuffled in the streets of Oakland on Tuesday as more than 1,000 people marched on city hall to voice anger over scores of arrests at an “Occupy Wall Street” camp.

Police dispersed the crowd once with what appeared to be a stun grenade and several other times set off tear gas to drive the demonstrators away from a downtown plaza that had been at the center of the conflict.

Witnesses reported seeing several people taken into custody during the confrontations, but an Oakland police spokeswoman said the department would not confirm any Tuesday night arrests until Wednesday.

Protest leaders said the march aimed at reclaiming Frank Ogawa Plaza, which had served as a base for two weeks of protests against economic inequality in the city until police cleared it before dawn by firing beanbags and tear gas.

Ain’t leadership grand? I got a whiff of tear gas many years ago in (where else?) Athens when the cops busted up a protest rally at Syntagma Square near the parliament. The more things change and all that shit.

I’m not sure where the #occupy protests go from here but I must admit to being surprised by their staying power. They’ve stuck it out much longer than expected and, if nothing else, came up with the catchy slogan about the 99%. The problem in America is that a good slice of the population wants to be a part of the 1% and doesn’t give a shit about the folks they left behind. Some call it American exceptionalism, I call it American selfishness.