Daily Archives: June 20, 2013

The “Zero” Goes to Three-Days-a-Week Delivery; Publishing Everyday. Staff Layoffs.

oregonian-o-logo-240wMore thoughtful comments later but the Oregonian–the big O–the Zero–is going to three day a week deliveries but will continue to publish everyday. Considering its journalistic kin in the Advance Publications, Inc. newspaper family have already done this, it’s not a big shock, but it’s sad.

Creative destruction is reducing the impact of “newspapers”, but not journalism, let’s hope. 

Sadly, more Oregonian workers will be out of a job today, too. From Willamette Week,

Publisher N. Christian Anderson III informed readers at 10 am that the paper will continue to publish seven days a week, but will only offer home delivery on Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. He also announced that newsroom layoffs are imminent. 

We’ll see how this shakes out but Willamette Week saw this coming,

WW broke news June 14 that The Oregonian Publishing Co. filed an application in May with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for protection of a new brand name: Oregonian Media Group. This morning, Anderson confirmed in a press release that the state’s major daily newspaper has started a second company, Advance Central Services of Oregon.

 

“Jihad” Graffiti in Florida. Is Your Neighborhood Next?

jihad graffiti2There are a few things to note in the following story about this 20′ high graffiti seen on a jihad graffitimajor freeway in Florida.

It’s about the Muslim “jihad.” That it’s so large and in this public place that one must deduce it’s not the ‘internal’ jihad being referenced. And there are some other things interesting about this story which you can see for yourself below:

  • It’s big.
  • It could have been done by anyone, since there apparently are no pictures of the culprit, although there were spray cans left over.
  • It’s characterized by the media as an anti American piece of graffiti.
  • The story isn’t so much about the graffiti as about a fight over it.
  • The man who stops to yell at people gathered says they’re “brainwashed”, that it’s “just a word” and that they’re overreacting.
  • The angry man who stops claims “there are no f****** terrorists.”

 A group of people collected near the sign to hold an impromptu protest. They consisted of black and white people. But, of course, the reporter brought up the issue of race. This is what the man told the reporter,

“That guy was white. These women are black. I’m white. I’m Jewish. I have Christian friends, OK? This is about an ideology. It’s time for people to wake up before we have another Boston Marathon bombing, before we have another 9/11.”

Of course, if this is the message from Jihadists, the man who says we need to wake up is absolutely right. And about the drive by man who claims there “are no ******* terrorists?” He’s a VERY low information voter.

See the story here:

 

Scott St. Clair: James Gandolfini, R.I.P.

james galdofini1Yesterday we lost one of the great characters of all time when James Gandolfini, the actor who portrayed him, died of a massive heart attack while in Italy. 

What made Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano a work of art was both excellent writing — junk is still junk even when performed by a great actor — and his ability that only the best actors have of creating empathy for a character. That’s what Gandolfini did as well as anyone and better than most.

Tony Soprano was a loathsome sociopath and hardened criminal of the worst sort. In real life, we would be demanding his arrest and imprisonment. But because we were allowed to see him up close and personal we cared about what happened to him. That doesn’t mean we cared for him — what sane person wants to hang around with a guy who bashes the face of someone on a wooden chair and then goes to a counseling session with his serially cheated upon wife only to find a tooth from his beating victim in the cuff of his slacks?

Instead, he became a multi-dimensional, complex individual whose fate mattered to us. We saw Tony in good times and bad (mostly bad) making his way through the day never certain when the next vulnerability-shoe would drop. Whether it was his chronic panic attacks, his struggles with a mother who had borderline personality disorder and who projected her needy loathing of her dead husband upon him, or his struggles with his children, the only two people who could check and confound him at will.

In one episode, Tony is in bed with his wife Carmella (he spent more time in the beds of other women, but that’s beside the point) and expressed to her their common frustration with their children Meadow and A.J. saying, in effect, that if they really knew how little power they, as parents, had over them then they’d really make life hell. This from a man who, earlier in the day, had killed people in the furtherance of a massive criminal enterprise that he headed that netted millions and controlled businesses, unions and politicians. 

“The Sopranos” is rare in that it is timeless — the first episode is as fresh today as it was when first broadcast over 15 years ago. In that respect, the series is like the first two movies in “The Godfather” series, it’s cinematic genre equivalent from the preceding generation. You can watch them over and over and over and always get a new insight or perspective not only on the characters, but also on life in general. And isn’t that the purpose of great art — to teach us about ourselves as well as about the artist?

No more visits with Tony and his crew at Satriale’s pork store, the Bada Bing, the pizza place or Nuovo Vesuvio, the high-end Italian restaurant owned by his childhood best friend Artie Bucco, an alter-ego to Tony who had similar self-loathing and doubt while lacking his animal instincts and fierceness but at least had a legitimate business.

Celebrities of minimal consequence die every day — great artists who have enriched our lives with lasting contributions to the culture do not. When James Gandolfini passed, so did a great artist, and that is a loss to be mourned.