Jul 07, 2009

"Just Around the Corner" Independent Bookstore Video

Video by Jim Haverkamp, commissioned by the Regulator Bookshop, Durham NC.

Just Around the Corner from Jim Haverkamp on Vimeo.

------------

Hat tip, Christina P. who plays one of the hot book-packers.

10:26 PM in Destination Durham, Editorial | Permalink | Comments (2)

Mar 14, 2009

Matchmaking the Celebrepublicans

Jonathan Krohn to wed Bristol Palin

Alex P. Keaton meets the slightly older woman.  Look out, Washington!

See here for Krohn video. He reminds me of my 8th-grade classmate Scott Brodbeck who took the Republican position while debating Philip Brooks at Valley Springs Middle School, Election 1980.  If I recall, Scott and Philip both did a good job focusing on policy differences between Reagan and Carter.  I would have gone for entertainment over substance, and maybe that's why the teachers didn't pick me.

----------------

Image from Yahoo! news feed.

12:34 PM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (3)

Feb 09, 2009

If All Republicans Were as Civic-Minded, Decent and Generous as You...

"If all Republicans were as civic-minded, decent and generous as you are, I'd vote for them.  But since they're not, I'll stick with the wasteful Dems who do a lot of stupid things but also try to make sure everyone's covered."

I said this to my friend Christian just before the 1992 Clinton/Bush race.*

Today's headline in the Washington Post: If Spending Is Swift, Oversight May Suffer -- Plan's Pace Could Leave Billions Wasted reminded me of that conversation.

Do I still feel the same in 2009 as I did in 1992?  Sadly, I do.  At least in terms of my evaluation of the each party's approach to domestic policy.  I hope the next four years will allow both parties to change and for my opinions to follow suit.  But that's hope talking, not optimism.**

----------------

*Christian and I happened to be work colleagues and MBA classmates at the same time.  One of our executive MBA classmates circulated a poll just before the election, and it came out something like: Clinton 41%, Bush 38%, Perot 19%, Mickey Mouse 2%.  Christian said, "Crap -- if we can't win in this room, we don't have a chance."  And he was right.  Our room's tally was within one or two percentage points of the national count.

**See Cornel West and Peter Gomes on Hope vs. Optimism in the Archer Archives.  See also Getting to Peace.

12:28 PM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (1)

Jan 20, 2009

We Got Obama

We got obama - downtown durham

"We Got Obama", downtown Durham next to the former "We Want Oprah" building.

12:01 AM in Destination Durham, Editorial | Permalink | Comments (1)

Nov 20, 2008

Changing Times and/or Not -- Doonesbury ca. 1976

I hope that the folks at Doonesbury won't mind me sharing this online. 

Doonesbury_black_gay_2

The Ginny mentioned is a young black woman running for US Congress, to represent a California House district in California if I remember correctly.  Clyde is her boyfriend.

03:31 PM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nov 08, 2008

Blue Coffee Cafe, Blue City Durham

Blue_coffee_cafe_blue_state_nc_2

Above, Blue Coffee Cafe on Election Night.
Off camera to the left, a TV set is counting up the delegates.

After a few hours here on Tuesday, Dave from Boston declared Durham his new second favorite city in the world.  In town on a business trip for the NIH, he celebrated his fifty-something birthday at a packed Blue Coffee Cafe.

"I had no idea about this place," he said.  "I'm staying at the Marriott and assumed I was going to spend the evening in my hotel room, watching the TV and jumping up and down by myself.  But then I looked out my window and saw a bunch of people, so I came on down."

With the delegate count around 220, Dave let my pal Jenny treat him to some birthday coffee but he refused any hugs until Obama was over the top.  "I'm old school, and I've been disappointed enough times that I'm not going to jinx this." 

While we waited, I told him that he was standing right where Obama had visited in May, and where the still-needing-to-win-the-primary candidate treated his gathered supporters to a few slices of baked Blue Coffee yumminess.* Meanwhile, I knocked off my own fantastic slice of red velvet cake -- chosen without irony, and enjoyed more than any I'd ever tasted.

When the newscasters finally called California and the race, Dave joined the yelling, clapping and hugging without any New England reserve.  "Wow," he said.  "Four decades ago, I could never have imagined this..." Looking around at all the happy on his birthday, he declared, "Durham is now my second favorite city.  This place is great."

------------

*Actually, I told Dave it was pie.  I found out later that it was all cake, and that my memory was off.  I can tell you, however, that Blue Coffee was much more crowded than the photo, above.  I think that by the time I took that photo (after 270), more people had gone outside to holler in the streets.

Recommended visits: That's No Bull's Blue Coffee blog entry from May and the The Durham News' post-election coverage also centered around the Cafe.

09:11 PM in Destination Durham, Editorial, Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nov 05, 2008

Break's Over

Sheen Back in September when Obama and McCain's numbers were starting to flip, Maureen Dowd got Aaron Sorkin to do a painfully funny* piece in which Obama meets the West Wing's Jed Bartlet.  It ended with Bartlet delivering one of his tag lines, "Break's over."

So anyway. My break is over.  I had two days to help the campaign and to rejoice in the result.  Now I've got to face up to the fact that in my last two weeks of travel around the US, my two best clients yoinked the contracts that I had been counting on for things like food and gas for the rest of 2008.  I'm scrambling.  If you know anyone who needs a good marketing strategist or marketing writer, holler fast.  Meanwhile, time for me to start dialing for dollars.

-------

*not "so funny it was painful," but just funny with a lot of pain.  I can laugh now.

09:26 PM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (1)

Nov 04, 2008

Cleansing Waters

Last Friday I visited the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, and I cried as I should have.  Today, an historic election, and I cried as I should have.

Civil_rights_memorial_cleansing_wat

In this photo, the surface of the memorial's fountain.  Reflected in the water is a shiny new building across the street.  I do not know what the building is, but it stands in clear contrast to the older buildings nearby that were witness to the seated Rosa Parks in a Montgomery bus, and the preaching Rev. King on the State Capitol steps.

Obscured in this photo are the words that struck me hardest just four days before our presidential election.  Two of the first three souls commemorated had been martyred for voter registration and organizing.

7 May 1955.  Rev. George Lee.  Killed for Leading Voter Registration Drive.  Belzoni, MS

13 Aug 1955.  Lamar Smith.  Murdered for Organizing Black Voters.  Brookhaven, MS.

On the fountain -- cleansing waters and a reflection of the new.  Present light resting on but not forgetting past darkness.

On that day -- tears of sorrow and then hope.  On this day -- tears of joy and then belief.  Cleansing waters.

11:39 PM in Editorial, Traveling | Permalink | Comments (3)

A Quiet While Waiting

I spent the morning with my friend Jenny, canvassing in rural Roxboro, and we couldn't help but notice how beautiful the country was at half past eleven on a cloudy Election Day.

At 37 Brian Ct., we walked up a gravel driveway to the well-kept pre-fab.  Jenny noted the rose bush, perfectly trimmed, still full of rich red blossoms so late in the season.

We knocked on the door and waited for an answer.  (By now, we'd learned that sometimes people come slowly to the door, so we weren't in a rush.)  Meanwhile, we admired the roses, the lawn, and the overcast sky.

It was about sixty degrees, with a constant light breeze that alternated between barely noticeable and just strong enough to make the autumn leaves whisper.

Most of the time, Jenny and I talk without pause.  But standing on the porch, in a space between sentences, we came to realize just how perfectly quiet it was on the eastern edge of town.  Just the air and the leaves.  Then two cars faint in the distance.  Then again, for the longest time, nothing but the air and the leaves.

It's 6:56 now.  My computer fan is whirring.  The television downstairs is talking about something important but not yet decided.  I'm trying to remember the quiet while waiting.

And I remember the sign that my friend Mark used to have taped to his monitor: B R E A T H E.

06:58 PM in Editorial, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (2)

Today

Oh please oh please oh please...

Obama_change

Update, 11 p.m.: Thank you!

06:15 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (3)

Oct 17, 2008

Southwestern Swing

Obama_las_cruces

Yes we telecom.

Last night I dropped by the Obama HQ in Las Cruces, NM, while I was overnighting with a splendid couchsurfing.com host who needed to do some pre-canvassing tasks.

Pictured above, Team Obama was on their (maybe nightly?) conference call.  Various teams were reporting on the numbers of doors knocked on, number of people contacted, etc.  It was nice to catch my first glimpse of the ground-level organizing that I've been hearing about for the last year.*

Slate just ran an article on how every tiny town counts in this complex swing state whose five electoral votes are getting plenty of attention.  Click here for It's the Little Things -- In the New Mexico presidential race, no town is too small to matter. By Jacob Leibenluft

Excerpt:

In 2000, Gore won the state by a margin of 366 votes. By comparison, 2004 was a landslide for Bush, who carried New Mexico's five electoral votes with an edge of 5,988 ballots. Campaigns in New Mexico have gotten used to thinking in small numbers.

Southern New Mexico presents the ultimate challenge to a campaign that is counting on its ground game: It's got a lot of ground and not many people. New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District—which covers the southern half of the state—is bigger than Pennsylvania. It's very rural and very conservative.

[snip]

LAS CRUCES—As southern New Mexico goes, Las Cruces is about as liberal as it gets. It's home to New Mexico State University, as well as a growing community of East Coast transplants who have moved here for the weather. But for a good example of New Mexico's ideological diversity, consider this: Santa Fe, in the northern part of the state, was one of the first cities in the country to pass a living-wage ordinance. Las Cruces, on the other hand, doesn't yet have curbside recycling.

I watched most of last night's debate at the New Mexico State University student center, along with a dozen or so folks.  One of the audience made a series of disparaging comments about how "McCain's face looks weird".  Another said, "well, give us fifty years and we might all look like that.  I want to hear about his policies."

----------

*I volunteered for the Gantt campaign all of October '96.  It of course looked nothing like this.

Unrelated: I left Las Cruces this morning and drove just over 600 miles to San Antonio.  That's a solo record for me.  I'm now in a hotel watching America's Funniest Videos and they really are hilarious.  I just saw a stork swallow a big fish, and then I saw a seagull swallow a whole hot dog and then yarf it up.  No one's gotten hit in the nads yet on this show, but I saw one of those on Corner Gas.  I love television.

 

01:20 AM in Editorial, Traveling | Permalink | Comments (2)

Oct 09, 2008

Two Quotes on Talking with Enemies

If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.

-- Moshe Dayan

Whatever you think of Dayan's actions and policies, I hope you would agree with his statement here.  But if you still doubt the sentiment because of the source, here is another:

It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends.  But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion.  The other is mere business.

-- Mahatma Gandhi

11:37 PM in Editorial, Quotables | Permalink | Comments (5)

Oct 07, 2008

The Presidential Debate -- With Chris Rock

On the occasion of tonight's second debate between McCain and Obama, here is Chris Rock as presidential candidate Mays Gilliam in Head of State (2003).  This movie cracked me up, but I'm a sucker for any of Rock's stuff.

The NYTimes review suggests that this movie (with Bernie Mac as Rock's older brother and eventual vice presidential candidate) is more mockery than satire (see yesterday's post for my comments on same).  Decide for yourself if you wish.  This excerpt is 9:03 long:

01:57 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oct 06, 2008

Satire and Mockery are not the Same: The Left and Sarah Palin

As I've watched friends and peers over the last few weeks, I've been disturbed at what I see is a massive waste of energy mocking Sarah Palin.  In the company of like-minded people, making fun of someone for being unqualified or misguided may be fun and stress-relieving for a few moments.  But after that, it's time wasted.  Time spent wallowing in the negative instead of doing something useful.  That's what I've been thinking.

But let's take things one giant step further, in the words of Joe Bageant who points out that time spent mocking is time spent shooting our gun-control-selves in our organic-hemp-sandaled feet:

Sarah Palin's real coup is that she brings out the snobbery of the left in their dismissal of her as an ignorant hick typical of small town red state America. They vastly underestimate her. Just like they have underestimated George Bush for the past eight years. While they laughed, George Bush managed to get everything he wanted and assist the looting of America in his spare time. No matter that he is vastly unpopular now even among Republicans. He has fulfilled his purpose to the powerful corporations and financial institutions that animate American politics. You do not have to be smart to be president, just malleable to the greater forces at work.

Yet Palin is not stupid. She may be religious and a right winger, but that doesn't mean she is stupid and incompetent ... [snip] And each time Democrats and liberals take a shot at her religious beliefs and moral choices, which just happen to be those of tens of millions of heartland voting Americans, she gains political ground, or at a minimum, holds some for herself and McCain.

[snip]

Liberals and leftists, theoretically at least, have more common national interests with red state heartland white working class Americans than any other current political group. And the way to communicate that is NOT sneering at the only candidate who resembles ordinary Americans, their beliefs and lifestyle. When we do that, the Republicans grin like Cheshire cats, our global financial oppressors turn the screws down a bit harder, and the Devil takes a nap, because his work is done for him by fools using the most efficient tools available -- arrogance and hubris.

For some reason, I feel the need to mention that I'm not anti-humor.  I think of satire as critical humor written with the hope and aim of helping people to see a better way.  Satire seeks to help.  Mockery, on the other hand, seeks only to put down.  And I don't see the point of that.

HT: Barry C. at En Revanche

---

p.s., here's a dose of (mostly) satire from Chris Rock talking about the Clintons, Obama, and Palin (and one NFL star).

11:23 PM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (3)

Oct 05, 2008

Strong Odds, No Guarantees, and One Ugly Spectre

Is Obama's current lead with four weeks to go a guarantee?  Not according to past results.  Since 1936, the only lead this strong at this time that has been lost was... Gore v. Bush in 2000.

Bryan Schaffner: 50%, 8% and October: Some Historical Context, at Pollster.com.

02:08 PM in Editorial, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oct 03, 2008

Johnny Delegate-Seed, 277 Votes on the 12,000-mile Campaign Trail

Phil2

At RealClearPolitics.com, you can create your own delegate map.

Above, a Johnny Delegate-Seed record of my 16-week road trip. If you give Obama every state that I will have visited between July 15 and Election Day (when I arrive back in NC), he gets 277 electoral votes to McCain's 261. 

The "home stretch" is key -- I'm picking up 96 delegates between October 11 and November 1 on the southern third of my route. 

And of note: every little decision counts.  I almost skipped Oregon and Wyoming for a ten delegate swing.  Whew.

11:06 AM in Editorial, Traveling | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sep 25, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama / Dear Sen. McCain

Late last month, a video titled "Dear Mr. Obama" was released by Iraq veteran Joe Cook.*  See below for his video (which has now been viewed ~9.5 million times) and further below for the new "Dear Sen. McCain" video, released today by Iraq veteran and Durham resident Jon Kuniholm (256 views so far).  Note the parallel "walkaways" at the end of each video.



From what few stats I've seen, military voters are split different ways between McCain and Obama.  In an August poll, the majority of current military and veterans were clearly in support of McCain.  But if you split by age, younger military voters are pulling for Obama.  I recently saw an article about the US Naval Academy, and unless my memory is way off, the pull quote showed midshipmen preferring Obama to McCain by a wide margin.  If I recall, it was an informal poll from earlier this year, before the Democratic primary was complete.  None of them were pulling for Clinton.**

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*Cook is uncredited in the YouTube notes, but his name is mentioned in coverage elsewhere.

**in an October 1992 poll of my executive MBA class, the ~60 of us voted for Clinton, Bush I, and Perot in almost exactly the same fraction as the US electorate voted a few weeks later.  As my Republican friend and classmate said at the time, "It's hopeless.  If we can't win here, we've got no chance."

03:31 PM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (1)

Apr 29, 2008

Obama in Chapel Hill

Obama_in_chapel_hill

Click to increase crowd size.

When was the last time you saw this many people in one place without some team throwing a ball back and forth?

Frank DeFord once said that sports arenas are our new temples.  It's nice to see them used for something more substantive.  Not that I think political rallies are substantive.  But the reason they exist surely is.

Cheesy music.  Long and rambling prayers with bad audio.  Mediocre speeches by locals and congressmen.  All leading up to a candidate saying things you've already heard...  Is this any way to spend 3 hours?  Not for those reasons, alone.

But to look around and see -- under one roof -- 15,000 neighbors whose lives are profoundly tied to your own.  To consider with the crowd how much the world will change for 6 billion other people, depending on how you and your fellow Americans vote in the fall.  And to re-commit yourself to taking your American Citizenship seriously: every day between now and November 4, and every day after...  For those things, the gathering is surely worth the time.

12:50 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (0)

Apr 28, 2008

Back Up Your Files -- PSA

Just a friendly reminder to keep your files backed up.

My regular machine is having open heart surgery this week -- fixing some corrupt files, and getting a new hard drive.  My regular fix-it guy, Paul Rosenberg of Love Your Computer, says that catastrophic hardware failure is the biggest reason his customers keep him in business. (I thought it would be ignorance and laziness, but I was wrong.)

In any case, I'm glad I've been backing up nearly everything lately.  I'm not systematic about backups as I should be.  But I am paranoid.  That'll get you part way.

Writing to you from my happy little loaner computer.  I love Love Your Computer.

06:09 PM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (3)

Apr 24, 2008

Archer Pelican Endorsement

Obama_endorsement

I voted yesterday at the Hillsborough Public Library, steps away from where the "Gosh it seems strange that he can seem so irrelevant" former president Bill Clinton spoke in the afternoon.

04:32 PM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (15)

Apr 06, 2008

N&O Coverage of Durham -- My Comment and the N&O Editor's Response

I recently sent a frustrated comment to the News & Observer regarding their seeming "Most everything in Durham is crime" coverage.  See below for my comment, and for the reply from the N&O's Durham editor, Rob Waters (who graciously gave me permission to publish his response).

My comment (27 March, 8:45 p.m.):

Subj: Is there nothing else to report about in Durham?

12 out of 15 articles in today's N&O "Durham" link are about crime (see below)*. I'm not denying that most of the 12 are in some form newsworthy. But is there nothing else happening in Durham that might be MORE newsworthy than at least half of these? Would your readers not find it interesting or useful to read about more things than an 80% roster of crime-related happenings?

I'm a Hillsborough resident who spends a lot of time in Durham. And I'm finding the N&O less and less useful at telling me about what might be happening in my second city.

News & Observer Durham Editor Rob Waters's response (28 Mar, 10:30 a.m.):

From: rwaters [mailto:rwaters@newsobserv...

Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 10:23 AM
To: phil@marsosudi....
Cc: metroeds; Eric Frederick
Subject: Re: Contact Newsroom: Is there nothing else to report about in Durham?

Mr. Marsosudiro,

We report plenty of news other than crime in Durham, but sometimes our Web site makes it seem otherwise.

The snapshot you provided was from early last evening, before we posted our stories that are in today's print edition. Below is a snapshot from this morning, that contains a bit more of a mix.

As the day progresses, our Web site is programmed to list the most recent postings first. Some of them are fairly trivial, and more than a few of them are simply announcements from the city or county government or the Durham PD — information these public entities would like to have out there — and we're just passing it along. A lot of days, the posting of these minor news items (many of which are about crime) has the effect of displacing some of our more comprehensively reported stories. It's an imperfect system, and we're continually trying to tweak it to make it more useful.

The other thing you should know if you're interested in news from Durham is that much of our news-gathering energy is focused on the weekly Durham News, which comes out Saturday and is distributed free to about 70,000 households in Durham County (but not to Hillsborough). You can find that online by poking around the regular N&O site for awhile, or you can go to it directly here:
http://www.thedurhamnews.com/
A fresh weekly batch of stories (none of them about crime) will be posted there early tomorrow morning.

Our Durham staff also maintains a blog. We have busy days and slow days, but generally we post a dozen or more times a week here:
http://blogs.newsobserver.com/bullseye/

Thanks for writing,

Rob Waters
Durham editor, The News & Observer
Editor, The Durham News
Durham, NC
919 956-2431

----------------------------------------------
(FRIDAY A.M. SNAPSHOT)
Durham police report 'suspicious death'
Durham police this morning are investigating "a suspicious death" of a man at Bay Creek Apartments, 1309 Hudson Ave.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2008 7:26 AM | Full story

Durham police get new deputy chief
Triangle Briefs: A new deputy chief will be among 24 Durham Police Department employees promoted at a ceremony tonight.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2008 3:21 AM | Full story

Schools might ask for more
School officials could ask county commissioners for a $7.4 million increase in their local budget for next year, according to a draft proposal that debuted at a school board meeting Thursday.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2008 3:21 AM | Full story

Teen with a record gunned down on Durham street
John Fitzpatrick Jr. saw Sean Kali Buwe as more than just a defendant he represented in court. He wanted to help change the 18-year-old for the better.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2008 3:21 AM | Full story

Used adult bikes wanted
They will be sent to Costa Rica.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2008 3:21 AM | Full story

Durham police wrap up internal cases
Internal investigations into the actions of three Durham police officers, including one who shot and killed a teenager, have been completed, but the public may never know whether the department thought the officers acted appropriately.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2008 3:21 AM | Full story

Durham police chided for marijuana case
A prosecutor has tossed out marijuana trafficking charges against a Duke University student, prompting criticism from a defense lawyer that police are doing their business backward.
Updated: Mar. 27, 2008 5:28 AM | Full story

County is collecting hygiene items
Triangle Briefs:Several county agencies and volunteers are leading a drive to gather donations of personal hygiene supplies for middle schoolers.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2008 7:37 AM | Full story
Suspect in break-in surrenders to police

Triangle Briefs: A man wanted in connection with a break-in at a home on North Roxboro Street on March 12 turned himself in to authorities Wednesday.
Updated: Mar. 27, 2008 2:24 AM | Full story

Durham sets session on probation
Failure to keep up with two now accused of murder prompts crime Cabinet meeting.
Updated: Mar. 27, 2008 2:24 AM | Full story
Man fatally shot on Durham sidewalk

Durham police officers are investigating a homicide after a man was found fatally wounded on a sidewalk Wednesday night.
Updated: Mar. 27, 2008 2:23 AM | Full story
3 shootings, 3 deaths, 3 autopsies

Triangle Briefs: Recently released autopsy reports detail how three men who died late last year were killed, including one who died from police bullets.
Updated: Mar. 26, 2008 3:02 AM | Full story

Man collapsed, died after fight
Frank Carver Jr. of Durham was talking with police after the affray when he fell ill.
Updated: Mar. 25, 2008 2:44 AM | Full story

First there's 'smoke,' then ATM is swiped
Triangle Briefs: A tall man apparently led a Durham motel clerk astray with a false report of smoke in the building, then wheeled the motel's ATM into his waiting pickup truck, police said.
Updated: Mar. 25, 2008 2:43 AM | Full story

Durham trial opens window on police work, gangs
A murder trial set to begin today in Durham offers a glimpse into how young people can be drawn into gang life in this city.
Updated: Mar. 24, 2008 8:22 AM | Full story

---------------------------------
Stories from The Durham News:

Downtown boom bypassing civic center
City debates spending $6 million on upgrades.

Mold-free building wows crowd
Adolescents surged through the doors of Durham School of the Arts in February to see new building.

Prayer vigil scheduled for slain Duke grad student
Abhijit Mahato was fatally shot Jan. 18.

Pitch made for city-funded neighborhood liaison
Advocate would cut through bureaucracy, some claim, but others say it's unnecessary.
More stories...
Special Advertising Section

2008 Summer Options - Durham/Orange County
For School-Age Children and Teens

---------------------------

*here was the previous evening's list that I was complaining about:

Durham police chided for marijuana case
A prosecutor has tossed out marijuana trafficking charges against a Duke University student, prompting criticism from a defense lawyer that police are doing their business backward.
Updated: Mar. 27, 2008 5:28 AM | Full story

County is collecting hygiene items
Triangle Briefs: Several county agencies and volunteers are leading a drive to gather donations of personal hygiene supplies for middle schoolers.
Updated: Mar. 27, 2008 4:52 PM | Full story
Suspect in break-in surrenders to police

Triangle Briefs: A man wanted in connection with a break-in at a home on North Roxboro Street on March 12 turned himself in to authorities Wednesday.
Updated: Mar. 27, 2008 2:24 AM | Full story

Durham sets session on probation
Failure to keep up with two now accused of murder prompts crime Cabinet meeting.
Updated: Mar. 27, 2008 2:24 AM | Full story

Man fatally shot on Durham sidewalk
Durham police officers are investigating a homicide after a man was found fatally wounded on a sidewalk Wednesday night.
Updated: Mar. 27, 2008 2:23 AM | Full story

3 shootings, 3 deaths, 3 autopsies
Triangle Briefs: Recently released autopsy reports detail how three men who died late last year were killed, including one who died from police bullets.
Updated: Mar. 26, 2008 3:02 AM | Full story

Man collapsed, died after fight
Frank Carver Jr. of Durham was talking with police after the affray when he fell ill.
Updated: Mar. 25, 2008 2:44 AM | Full story
First there's 'smoke,' then ATM is swiped

Triangle Briefs: A tall man apparently led a Durham motel clerk astray with a false report of smoke in the building, then wheeled the motel's ATM into his waiting pickup truck, police said.
Updated: Mar. 25, 2008 2:43 AM | Full story

Durham trial opens window on police work, gangs
A murder trial set to begin today in Durham offers a glimpse into how young people can be drawn into gang life in this city.
Updated: Mar. 24, 2008 8:22 AM | Full story

Boy's death in pool is ruled an accident
Triangle Briefs:The death of a 6-year-old boy in an abandoned pool near Durham has been ruled an accident.
Updated: Mar. 20, 2008 2:42 AM | Full story

Autopsy shows man riddled with bullets
Victim attacked in car on N.C. 98.
Updated: Mar. 20, 2008 2:42 AM | Full story

Durham convict is granted a new trial
Triangle Briefs: The N.C. Court of Appeals granted a new trial Tuesday to a Durham man convicted of assault because a prosecutor failed to provide adequate explanations for dismissing potential jurors who were African-American.
Updated: Mar. 20, 2008 2:42 AM | Full story

Gubernatorial forum set at Duke
Triangle Briefs: Duke University will host a forum from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday for gubernatorial candidates on "The Future of Water in North Carolina."
Updated: Mar. 20, 2008 2:42 AM | Full story

Suspects sought in trailer break-in
Triangle Briefs: Investigators are looking for the people who entered a business parking lot at 5420 Chapel Hill Road about 11:30 p.m. Feb. 12, broke into a trailer, stole about $6,000 worth of tools and fled in a white Ford F-250 crew-cab truck.
Updated: Mar. 19, 2008 2:42 AM | Full story

Suspect who fled police is sought
Triangle Briefs: Police are trying to locate Walter Chavis IV, who is wanted on weapons and drug charges.
Updated: Mar. 19, 2008 2:42 AM | Full story

09:59 PM in Destination Durham, Editorial, News | Permalink | Comments (7)

Nov 07, 2007

New Hope For Durham Calls for Moratorium on Development

Kevin at Bull City Rising has a post today on (among other things) New Hope for Durham's call for a moratorium on development. 

New Hope for Durham's spokesperson Claire Jentsch (who has published a previous letter on Durham zoning at the Archer Pelican) asked me to publish their letter on the moratorium, which I'm including here.  As always, opinions expressed are of the writer, not the Archer Pelican:

Moratorium on Development

On Monday, November 19, at 7 p.m. the Durham City Council has the opportunity to approve or deny a Rezoning Request (Z06-64) to build 308 multi-use residential units off Garrett Road. Our group, newhopefordurham@yahoo.com, is concerned about current and future traffic, pollution, road, and water and school problems due to careless development. Development is obviously degrading our welfare and environment.

Yes, Plan Designs stay within legal guidelines. But a Development does not exist entirely unto itself: It is a piece of the overall Plan for a Collective Good. It needs to be an asset, not a detriment, to the Community. The addition of students to our overcrowded schools, the increase in the number of cars, the widening of roads, the spread of impervious surfaces, the continued pollution of Jordan Lake and the raising of taxes should be given serious attention before a Proposal for yet more construction is considered acceptable.

We are hoping that citizens will attend this Meeting in order to show our elected officials that Development is not a Natural Disaster – it is a Man-made Disaster that can be controlled. Please come on November 19 to City Hall so a Moratorium on Development can begin.

Claire F. Jentsch
Durham, NC 27705

04:50 PM in Editorial, News | Permalink | Comments (2)

Oct 28, 2007

"Adopt Me, Please"

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you're probably a regular reader of the Independent Weekly.  And if you read the Indy, I suspect you've seen the great pet adoption ads run by the Independent Animal Rescue.  Here's a current ad for "Annie" from IAR's website:

Annie2adj Annie is a playful girl who loves affection. She enjoys going for runs with her foster parents, chasing her ball, chewing on a bone, and snuggling with humans. Her favorite part of the day is her afternoon ride in the car where she sits politely in the back seat and enjoys the view. She is truly a pack animal and wants to be surrounded by loving humans, as well as other dogs, as much as possible. She loves to curl up for a nap with the pugs in her foster home. Her house training is coming along very well. To prevent accidents, Annie is crated when her foster parents are not at home. Annie wants to become a member of a family that has lots of love and attention to give her.

Annie was found by a volunteer, and though it appears she has been a street girl most of her life, she came right to volunteers with no signs of fear or aggression. She was hungry, tired, and eaten up by fleas, but immediately rolled on her back, wanting her belly scratched and giving lots of kisses. This special girl was even rated a "Gold Star Puppy" by our IAR trainer for her wonderful temperament.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you're probably not a regular reader of The Triangle Tribune, "The Triangle's Choice for the Black Voice".  But if you saw last week's issue of The Triangle Tribune, you might have seen this adoption ad from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services:

Adoptmedaquanage13

Question (with no judgment implied): why doesn't the NC DHHS place adoption ads like this in the Independent Weekly?  According to the AdoptUSKids website sponsored by DHHS, there are 192 active "cases" of kids awaiting adoption in North Carolina.  My sense is that all of these are non-baby/toddler kids currently in foster care.

09:20 PM in Editorial, News, Seen | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oct 23, 2007

"If It's Yellow, Let It Mellow..." - Water Conservation at Halloween

If it's yellow, let it mellow.  If it's brown, flush it down.

-- water conservation slogan that I first heard in the mid-80s.

Live it for Halloween:

Toilet_costume

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Toilet costume photo from JokesUnlimited.com, which will sell you that Halloween costume or many others.

07:11 PM in Destination Durham, Editorial, News, Quotables | Permalink | Comments (3)

Oct 06, 2007

Editorial -- Z06-64 Zoning Plan

Editorial posted on behalf of a friend.  Opinions expressed are those of authors, not the Archer Pelican:

‘Orange’ you interested?

We of the Durham Watch (newhopefordurham@yahoo.com) need your help and advice. 

On Monday, October 15, 2007, at 7p.m. the Durham City Council will vote on yet another Rezoning. 

We hope to convince the Council to postpone, or deny, the Proposal. We need lots and lots of people to show up wearing orange to prove to elected officials that we citizens demand sensible development – not urban sprawl and the curse that goes with it.

This particular Plan (Z06-64) embodies all the ills of careless land use.  Citizens will suffer:

1. ECONOMICALLY –housing Prices Drop as roads get very busy and schools get more overcrowded;  and read on
2. DANGEROUS ROADS-increased traffic on Hope Valley and Garrett add risks of accidents and lives; 15-501 is one of the most Dangerous in Durham;
3. POLLUTED WATER/ENVIRONMENT-Jordan Lake Reservoir is on list of “impaired waters” and Cape Fear Standards for Improving Jordan Lake Reservoir have not been passed yet;
4. MORE CROWDED SCHOOLS-The cost for each added child to a trailer is $20,000;
5. EXCESS # OF HOUSES-Our homes are a Big investment in the future and we want them to be prime;
6. LOSS OF HISTORICAL LANDMARK-The Old Garrett House is to be removed;
7. INCREASED TAXES-City of Durham estimates that cleaning up Jordan Lake could cost more than $1.2 billion over a 30 year period (and we’re planning add to the mess…).

Elections are in November so now is the time to set a PRECEDENT with rejection of a very poor Plan that disregards the needs of the community for now and for the future.  It could be the Landmark Decision that brings about some change… We are hoping you have suggestions as to how to contact many people and make a Petition perhaps.

Thank you, Claire F. Jentsch       Stan Bekowski    Helen Fischer

04:14 PM in Destination Durham, Editorial, News | Permalink | Comments (3)

Sep 11, 2007

Durham City Council Zoning Decision Meeting -- Monday 15 October

JUST BE THERE

On Monday, October 15, 2007, the Durham City Council will decide on a Zoning Development Plan (Z06-64) that requests a 308 unit multi-family residential on Garrett Road.  As private citizens we want to gather many, many citizens to appear (wearing orange shirts) at City Hall that evening.  The presence of so many voters, constituents, will prove to the Council Members that citizens want a better Plan.

We are mainly concerned that the numerous impervious surfaces, of recent and future developments, damage creeks and streams and, of course, further pollute Jordan Lake.  Since EPA already lists the Lake as “impaired water” now is the time to challenge the course of  heedless construction – residential and commercial.   For much building is being done purposely without waiting for the passage of the Standards for Improving the Quality of the Jordan Lake Reservoir.

We realize that development  will occur.  Nevertheless, it should be committed to the community’s well being.  Endangering water, overcrowding schools and increasing traffic does not support  the needs of the environment and of  the public.   

Any suggestions or support is welcome.

Wear orange to the Meeting!  We can do this as often as we want to express our views and get results!

Contact - Claire Jentsch or Helen Fischer newhopefordurham@yahoo.com

This editorial notice posted at the Archer Pelican on behalf of Claire Jentsch.  Views expressed are of the writers and not the Archer Pelican.

02:44 PM in Destination Durham, Editorial, News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Jul 13, 2007

Hoping for Prepared Foods at the Durham Farmer's Market

My friend Yvette shared this letter that she sent to the Durham Farmer's Market, and I volunteered to reprint it here as a local editorial.

Hello Durham Farmer's Market,

We are proud to live in Durham and have such a vibrant and living farmer's market to support, which in turn supports us with healthy produce, beautiful plants, tasty treats.

Our family loves to travel and we love farmer's markets, so no wonder the market is always our first destination in a new city or country.  We have been to some amazing ones, and find that what makes a good market great include variety of farm fresh items, some prepared food for sustenance and to top it all off, music to keeps your toes tapping.

The only ingredient we find missing at our Durham Farmer's Market is prepared food.  We love when a local restaurant sets up with samples and recipes using market ingredients, but we'd be happy to purchase food and hang out, listen to music and meet friends.

In our travels, we've enjoyed a variety of tasty eats at local farm market's:

  • Home-made tacos, hand-crafted breads at the Dublin's Temple Bar Bio Market (also a great muesli and granola vendor)
  • Made to order crepes at the Noordermarket (Bio) in Amsterdam
  • Mexican, South-American, Caribbean cuisine and more at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market in California (also with pony rides and pony ride protesters)
  • Vegan burritos at the Organic Farmer's Market in Berkeley, Calf.

I understand that the Durham Farmer's Market may be going for a more traditional "farm market" sensibility, it is also a community gathering place and could be the best place to go for a meal in Durham if we allowed it to be.  I don't in any way mean to take away from all the hard work and integrity of the farmer's that sell there, they are of course the reason we attend the market year round.

Adding chefs and delicious food to the mix creates a vitality and symbiosis that make buying local and preparing fresh food exciting!  What to do with all those zucchinis?  Ask a chef!  Have some vendors as regulars selling prepared food (even 1 or 2 would be great); and sometimes having chefs or restaurants do a special appearance would also be wonderful.

Thanks,
Yvette Yasui

01:58 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (3)

Nov 01, 2006

"He Believed Her" -- Opinion from Amanda Smith

Below, an opinion piece by my friend Amanda Smith.  It is scheduled to appear in today's Herald Sun but I thought I'd also run it here.  The usual publishing disclaimers apply -- "does not necessarily represent the views of the Archer Pelican, etc."  But the Archer Pelican is glad to run this piece which takes at least a couple of controversial public stands.

He believed her.

Not long ago rape was a word so shameful you rarely heard it, and the deed
was rarely punished.  So much stigma was attached to a woman who had been
raped that she didn't report it.  She often didn't even tell her husband,
for fear of being rejected as damaged goods.  And if people did believe her,
the standard phrase was, "She asked for it." 

I was one of many who lobbied the legislature to keep the woman's name out
of the newspaper, so that she could seek justice in a court of law without
having her name smeared in the court of opinion.  (Few states passed such
laws, but to their credit most newspapers adopted the policy anyway, as did
the Herald-Sun.)

We novice lobbyists were stunned at the level of men's fear of false
accusation.  This fear made no sense to us.  "Do you have any idea of the
stigma?" we asked.  Not to say that a false accusation couldn't happen, but
people tended to look the other way when men were guilty, much less when
they were innocent.  Compared to the hundreds of thousands of real rapes
that were reported every year, false accusation seemed like a dim
possibility. 

Over the years, with public forums and rape crisis centers and hotlines and
news articles, we got across a novel idea: when a woman says she's been
raped, believe her.  Believe she didn't ask for it.  Believe she had every
right to walk a dark street, drink too much at a party, say no on a date,
even say no to her husband.  Countless workshops on college campuses
preached: No means NO.  And men, we learned slowly, were perfectly capable
of believing it.  Even the old saw, "Don't let him go too far, because
beyond a certain point he can't stop," turned out to be false.  A man can
always stop - and good men do.  Even when they are drunk.  Even when she's
led them on.  Even if she's a stripper. 

A few months ago a black stripper said she'd been raped by the Duke lacrosse
team at a team party.

And - the District Attorney believed her.  Experienced as a litigator, he
had every reason to.   Since then, according to what we read in the papers,
it turns out maybe the rape didn't happen.  But I can't hold the DA's
reaction against him.  Because here's what else didn't happen.

The DA didn't say "She asked for it."  He didn't say, "What do you expect?
She's a stripper."  He didn't say, "These fine young men could never have
done such a thing." 

In fact, most of the town and most of the Duke campus were entirely ready to
believe that these men had done such a thing.  They were notorious for their
drinking, their sexual excess, their arrogance.  They were literally a
public nuisance - the source of many neighborhood complaints.  When the DA
indicted them, it would have been quite accurate to say "they asked for it."
Because they had, for years.   

It's tempting to wish the DA had "believed her quietly", as a friend of mine
neatly put it, but a fair amount of good has come of the ruckus.  Duke is
taking a more serious look at campus behavior than ever before.  So are a
lot of other universities all over the country, because, reprehensible as
the Duke laxers' general behavior is, they are far from unique.  They acted
as they did because their society encouraged them to.

That's us. 

If you are one who is sorry for the laxers, ask yourself how we all, through
our treatment of athletes, our embrace of out-of-control behavior, our
deathly ideas about proving manhood, contributed to their up-bringing.

But don't blame the DA because he believed her.  I promise you that is a
whole lot better than what happened in the good old days.

Amanda J. Mackay Smith
Durham NC

Your comments are welcome and I'll pass them along to Amanda unless you direct otherwise.

12:14 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (15)

Apr 28, 2006

Durham Voters - Re-Elect Judge Ann McCown, District Court

An endorsement from my trusted friend Susan Olive of Durham:

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Please join me in supporting Judge Ann McKown for re-election as a District Court Judge in Durham County. The election for her seat will largely be determined on May 2nd. No matter what your party, as long as you are registered to vote in Durham County, you can vote in this election--and your vote is important.

I have known Ann McKown for almost thirty years, and know that she has earned your support. If you think that judicial races aren't important, or that you don't know enough to vote--think again, and read on.

District Court judges are the “face” of the judicial system. Most of the people who have business with the courts, conduct that business in District Court. These judges decide who gets custody of a child, what happens to a juvenile who has run afoul of the law, and how property--even multi-million dollar estates--is divided when there is a divorce. Most criminal and traffic charges are disposed of in this court. These are judges who can make a difference in our community, and Ann McKown is one of the judges who DO make a big, positive, difference.

Ann was nominated by the lawyers of Durham and appointed to the bench in 1997 after practicing law in Durham for more than twenty years. She has twice been re-elected for four-year terms, first in 1998 and again in 2002. She has earned a reputation for listening closely and patiently to those who appear before her, ensuring that all sides are heard, and then applying both her knowledge of the law and her common sense to reach an appropriate decision.

Tough but fair, she has placed a big emphasis on reducing truancy and working to rehabilitate children whenever possible, initiating programs that have been described as “compassionate compulsion” to keep kids in school, off the streets, and out of gangs. She has a long record of community service in Durham, including chairing the family selection committee of Habitat for Humanity and as a founder of the Durham/Orange Coalition for Battered Women and the Durham Rape Crisis Center. Ann’s supporters span all sectors of the community, all races, all genders, all ages, and all incomes.

It was Ann McKown who brought Truancy Court to Durham—the program that gets judges, parents, and schools involved as soon as kids start skipping school, so that these children don’t move on to violent crime. That program won a national award for Durham and its Family Court. It is Ann who is working with the County Commissioners as chair of the Substance Abuse Committee of the Durham County Criminal Justice Partnership Board to get appropriate treatment for addicted offenders so that they don’t continue committing crimes in order to support their habits.

Even those who oppose her call her record "exemplary." They only question whether she is the most "efficient" possible judge. But that's not the point. Ann McKown understands, when she sits in Family Court, that nothing is more important in a person's life than the welfare of his or her child. She understands, in every case that she hears, that her decisions have lifelong impact. She invests the time that each case requires, to ensure that cases are decided right the first time. She is punctual, and stays late when necessary to make sure that everyone has had a full and fair hearing. As a result, she has decided over 50,000 cases, has reduced her court's backlog to under three cases, and has an enviable record on appeal. That's true efficiency. Shaving a few minutes from the court day so that lawyers and the judge could leave at 4:30 instead of at 5 isn't a valuable goal, and isn't worth compromising justice.

The election for this judge’s position will largely be determined during the non-partisan primary election, which is May 2nd. Ann is the kind of District Court judge we need! Ann is in her ninth year on the bench and has decided more than 50,000 cases as a judge. Her experience and expertise make her the best candidate in this race.

VOTE FOR ANN McKOWN ON MAY 2, AND ASK ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO DO THE SAME by forwarding this message to them.

Call me with any questions. And for even more information, visit the campaign website at www.JudgeAnnMcKown.com.

 

Susan Olive

12:16 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (2)

Apr 11, 2005

In Defense of Bud Light

Bud_light_adSeveral so-called friends have recently mocked me for drinking Bud Light.  While such mockery doesn't constitute "hate speech" or "fighting words," they do incite me to a brief defense.

First, the broader context.  In my world, beer has two major purposes.  It is either (1) an excellent drink to enjoy on its own merits, OR (2) a complimentary beverage for washing down rich foods.

Lookit, people -- when I'm knocking down a monster bowl of popcorn with olive oil and garlic, or a burger, or a pizza, the last thing I want to drink is something heavy or rich, full-flavored or (god forbid) sweet.  What I want is a balancing contrast, and what could be more contrasty than a Bud Light?  (Someone with a PhD recently asked "what about water?"  Hello?!  Water?!!!  That would just create a weak wash of blended food flavors, and if you want that, here's some dishwater for you.)  Bud Light: it's fizzy, it's bitter, it's crisp, and it's light and I love it.

For the record, my refrigerator currently contains (in addition to the Bud Light) some Killian's, Saranac, and a Young's Double Chocolate Stout.  I love all those beers and can drink them for hours.  A Shiner Brewery marketing analyst once paid me $50 to talk for 45 minutes about what I liked about different beers.  I'm no god damned stranger to good beer.

But when it's time for a snack and a brew -- it's Bud Light for me. Freedom forever.  Hit your refresh button.  So there.

12:31 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (15)

Mar 16, 2005

Comments on the Business Network

Daffodils400_1When it comes to business network status, it's not who you know, it's who knows you.  Which is to say, to know how important you are, what's more relevant is who has you in their Palm Pilot rather than who you have in yours.

That being said, when it comes to business network productivity, the more important thing is how well you use the contacts you have, rather than how often you use it.

And that being said, network productivity really isn't the most important thing, but it's something worth thinking about in the middle of the workday.  (But not for too long.)

By the way, if this business jibberjabber makes no sense to you whatsoever, it's likely that (a) it's not relevant in your world or (b) you've got some work to do.  But surely you knew that already.  It's March now.  I love it when the daffodils come in.


12:53 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nov 12, 2004

"United to Smite Homosexuality" | editorial

Unitedtosmitehomosexuali

"I have been smitten.  How about you?"  -- Richard Z.

I hope you can read the headline in the photo, "United to smite homosexuality".

When I first saw the headline, I thought, "no wonder they're in bankruptcy -- they should focus on customers and finances, not social issues."  Then I saw that the article was about churches, not airlines. "Ne-ver-mind!"

Or maybe this is what W. meant when he said, "I'm a uniter, not a divider"?

Hennyway....

02:00 PM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (1)

Aug 27, 2004

"W is Wrong" | editorial

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Express yourself. In t-shirt or coffee mug, with art from the "W is Wrong" store, created on cafepress by the esteemed Tom Buhrman, whom you met on these pages last Christmas.

12:22 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (0)

Apr 30, 2004

Starship's "We Built This City" | editorial

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Today’s “Opinion Writers of the Week” awards go to my Nougatmates Ben Turney, Fikri Yucel, and Beth Ann Koelsch for their contributions to an email thread that started when Blender Magazine proclaimed Starship’s “We Built This City” as the worst single ever.

Said Blender editor Craig Marks, Starship’s 1985 anthem, the runaway No. 1 stinker, "seems to inspire the most virulent feelings of outrage… It purports to be anti-commercial but reeks of '80s corporate-rock commercialism. It's a real reflection of what practically killed rock music in the '80s."

Rebuts Ben:

I have to disagree completely. It's a great song, and if it spelt the end of rock and roll, then rock and roll needed help anyway. Maybe rock and roll, like jazz and classical, needs to come off its high horse and get back to the people. Did they ever think about that? Huh?

Beth Ann takes the bait:

“Au Contraire, Mr. Turney!” I think it's right up there in the pantheon of jaded, soulless, cynical dreck. I remember when it came out I couldn't believe it was a hit. The song tasted like plastic to me. I always pair it with Queen's "Radio Ga Ga" as songs phoned in to support the bands' cocaine habits.

Starship used to be Jefferson Airplane. Jefferson Airplane used to care. Starship had long ago given up even appearing to try.

Act III, enter Fikri:

"We Built This City" sucks. Its sucking is entirely unmitigated and irredeemable. The utter through-and-through suckage of the song, however, renders "outrage" a ridiculous response. The only sensible response to this song is cool indifference. When I'm drivin' around and it comes on the radio, sure, I'll change the station, but I will do so calmly and unhurriedly. It's not like the song is so offensive that I must jab at the stereo in frantic haste, even at risk of life and limb to myself and others as I lurch violently to the center console of the dashboard, flailing at the stereo preset buttons so as to minimize my exposure to the aural toxicity. I mean, it's not like it's Alanis Morrissette or anything...

I think the "virulent feelings of outrage" at this song betray the old-guyness of the panel. They are the music critic equivalent of David Denby whose every movie review shrieks "I am an old white guy who has nothing valuable whatsoever to contribute to any discussion of current pop culture anywhere, and the fact that I write regularly for the New Yorker is an utterly baffling mystery, as my writing itself is also entirely devoid of any spark of creativity, insight, or wit!"

Basically these dudes loved the music of the sixties that Jefferson Airplane represented, and so they excoriate the band for going "80s corporate rock." This kills me. As if 80s corporate ANYTHING is so different from corporate bullshit from any other era (this is a common practice, reviling the "corporate excess and greed" from the 80s without batting a fucking eyelash
at the EXACT SAME STUFF that went on in the 90s, and, hell, lots of other periods of time, only at orders of magnitude greater intensity—anyone remember the "robber-barons" of the turn of the century, for example?).

The notion of anything about the 80s "killing rock music" is absurd on its face. What a bunch of hand-wringing wankers. Shut up, Blender panel of critics. Even if I agree with you about specific songs or bands, I think you are asshats.


Ben, undeterred:
I like the damn song. You may say to me, "Ben -- not a single musical instrument was touched by a human hand or breath to make that music." But I don't care. In high school, I spent an hour a day each on trombone and piano. My own lips and fingers have well known the feel of real instruments. Let me have my little studio produced pleasure. And don't worry, I'm still listening to Van Halen, so there's plenty of humanity pounding out of my speakers.

In "City," I like the rising-pitch nature of the verses. I like that little instrumental sound like knives being sharpened, and, I love how those two bold "guitar" chords which mostly occur on beats 2 and 3, instead occur on beats 3 and 4 during the bridge ("It's just another Sunday . . ."). I sit and conduct this song in a four-count pattern to prove to myself every time that these chords fall on different beats during the bridge.

And you say its sucking is unmitigated.

Whether Fikri leaves it on or changes the radio station when he hears this song matters not to me. But if he is streaming it, and he kills the stream, well, that just means, more bandwidth for the rest of us.

Epilogue: four days later, the thread is still cruising along with contributions from Jerry, Jen, Alan and Glenn.

12:04 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (9)

Dec 22, 2003

Hurry Down the Chimney Tonight | editorial

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Happy art from the good Tom Buhrman, Durham NC

Hey, and don't forget to enter the current CONTEST! You know, the one with prizes.

03:07 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dec 12, 2003

"Opinions are a lot like a**holes..." | editorial

"Everybody's got one, but I don't necessarily want to see yours." My first office-mate, J. David Winkler told me that back in 1989, and I seem to recall that he was speaking in general terms rather than addressing me directly, but who knows? At any rate, Winkler also said during the 1992 presidential election, "Who do you vote for: the dummy you can trust, or the smart guy you can't?"

This "Editorial" section is reserved for when I want to express an opinion backed up by facts or at least strong emotion. [What, you were thinking it was going to be opinions backed up by the lower GI tract?]

There are none today (thank you for asking) but if you'd like some fast-flying debate, swing by Orange Politics, which was featured today (along with its creator, Ruby Sinreich, Zephyr Teachout of Howard Dean's Blog for America, and some other dude on WUNC Radio's "The State of Things". [And damn, but that's a lot of linking in one sentence. No wonder people "blog" has the same number of letters as "work".]

02:16 AM in Editorial | Permalink | Comments (0)