I waited for the end of the world for seven weeks, so really this is nothing I haven’t seen or heard or felt before. You’ve got to open the door a little further to scare the living hell out of me. I woke up in a landscape shaped like a gun pointed at my head and it wants me dead — or maybe it’s indifferent. You don’t live rent-free in my head. Tell me, why would I give you my heart? That would be tantamount to a crime, or maybe some kind of high art. You don’t live, you don’t live — you call that living?
It’s a shock to look up one afternoon and say to myself “oh, here I am again in a bookstore and here are a bunch of interesting books and magazines in front of me and they are full of words and pictures and advertisements and some of them even appear to come close to my psychometric demographic profile.” Or some such.
It’s slightly less shocking to look up and find myself in, say, Berkeley Bowl. ”Oh, here I am again in a grocery store full of fresh and shiny organic produce and canned wild sardines and free-trade French roast coffee beans and who-knows-how-many kinds of imported and some of them even appear to come close to my psychometric demographic profile.”
I was sitting at Lynne & Lu’s Escapade Cafe on Grand Avenue, drinking coffee and eating tofu sautee.
I can thread my way through crowds of people dressed in Halloween costumes on my bicycle and pick up food at Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe on Telegraph Avenue before turning around and heading home.
But I can also be distracted on the way home by the sight of the Scott Olsen memorial at the edge of the Occupy Oakland encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza.
I walked down a second-floor aisle to the morning news meeting. Passing an open door, I noticed a T-shirt hanging off of some binders and books on the office’s shelf. I asked the man in the office if he minded me taking a picture of the shirt, and he said not at all, go right ahead.
So now we wait for all of the good things on the way. And we wonder which of us will be left to participate in them, learn them, turn them outwards and wield them, and which of us will be walking out the door to watch for a while and then walk away.
It’s funny when you stay up waiting all night for a raid that never comes, and you go into work the next day and never see other stuff coming.
And now we know some more of those changes.
I did get to ask Steve Rossi, CEO and president of the California Newspapers Partnership, if the points that Jeff DeBalko made in his Tumblr post were something that the organization was paying attention to or taking under consideration. Rossi said those seven tips were more than they’d gotten from DeBalko while he worked at BANG when they were asking him. Rossi also said that the organization was fast-tracking the search for a new chief revenue officer.
Here’s a little bit of Martin Reynolds had to say about community media labs.
It’s really weird to go to a daily news meeting and sit next to these guys and then find a link and read about them. This is how Michael Shapiro’s Columbia Journalism Review article “The Newspaper That Almost Seized the Future” opens:
Randall Keith and I are talking about the past when his boss, Dave Butler, slides open a glass door, eases his long frame into a chair, plants his feet on the conference room table, and makes clear by his weary affect that the topic does not interest him.
Instead, this is what Butler wants to talk about when he talks about his
newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News: all the many readers—2.7 million weekly, in print and online when you factor in the Merc’s smaller sister papers across the Bay Area; the Merc’s new “spiffy” app; its willingness to focus on the “important stuff” rather than compete with “every school board that has a website” and all the many tech bloggers—“I have no idea how many blogs are dedicated to covering Apple”—because, he says, the Merc is “willing to be more interesting.” He wants to talk about making money, too, because the Merc makes some. How much he will not say, except that most of the profits still come from print. [...]
It is one of those days where all I can hold onto is what I can get done, what I can share and go forward and feel positively about, a step or two forward, something accomplished.
It is good to show and to share someone motivated and curious how to use a phone to post a tweet. It is meaningful to answer questions from someone else about the social media clients I use, the ways I think URLs should be tweetedand the conversations we’ve not yet had (not to mention the decisions made) as an organization about what and how to tweet, what browsers to use.
It is important to articulate one of many things about social media: that it is not a broadcast platform, that if you walk around broadcasting stuff just because you have a tool that lets you say the same thing on multiple accounts, people just look at you and realize you’re not paying attention and you’re acting like a town crier in a hospital quiet ward and you betray a fundamentaldisrespect of people’s attention.
On a day like today, it is necessary to remember why I am working a lot of extra hours: because I love this stuff, because I use it personally as well as for work and I have a sense of mission that what it can teach me is what everyone in my building and in my other co-workers’ buildings needs to know if they are going to be journalists tomorrow and the day after.
One of the nice things about living here is being able to jump up on a night when Erica Mauter pops up nearby, grab Ankita and go meet her and Missy and travel around and point stuff out and show it off. I love this place. It’s unique, like everyplace else, but … uniquely so? How do I put it?
I missed Erica’s heads-up tweet days before, but I was glad to be able to come through and get them outside Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe on Telegraph Avenue., go by the Occupy Oakland camps at Frank Ogawa Plaza and Snow Park, around Lake Merritt, up Telegraph Avenue to the UC Berkeley campus, back down through Emeryville past the Pixar entrance and then down San Pablo Avenue to return them so they could take BART back to their hotel in S.F.
- “Me and Margaret Counting Countdowns”: Seven minutes in pop-punk closet heaven but the timer only says 3:15. Huh.
- “Miss Carolina”: I’d pay to see the beauty pageant where this band plays this one at the end.
- “Gold Tooth”: Like listening to Britt Daniel declaim over tumbling, tom-driven, strings-spiked rock, but way better.
- “Between the Gutters and The Ballrooms”: By a cozy hearth made of fiery guitars and rolling rhythms, Ryan Christopher Parks asks: “Who are you loving now?”
- “Outside a Hexagram”: Guitars like coy shafts of sunlight reaching down to taunt you after you’ve sunk about twelve feet below the surface of a freshwater lake.
- “Everything I Own is Broken”: Cold War Kids and a bazz amp in an alley brawl with The Walkmen and a delay pedal. YOU, DEAR LISTENER, ARE THE WINNER
- “Turn Out the Lights”: Bassline walking around looking at you like it’s daring you to say something, anything at all. Lots of Dulli-crooning and shouting and sneaky-spiky dramatic BBQ-sauce guitar riffing stuck all over your fingers.
- “Dolltime (for Swans and Bulldozers)”: Loud, noisy and long, but I realized about three minutes in that the toms needed the time and the room for takeoff
- “Now or Eventually”: A groovin’ background-vocal-cooing slide-guitar slow burner that feels like a “Screamadelica” outtake.
- “On Borrowed Time”: Acoustic guitar and xylophone gives way to dark, sturdy, strummy shuffle with organ toasting some of the annoying particulars about mortality (or maybe morality), “the night and whatever’s left”
- “Oakland and Anaheim (Ain’t Divided by the 5 Tonight)”: What “House of the Rising Sun” sounds like refracted off the surface of a badge or a nightstick
- “Everything I Own is Broken (Fixing Fucked-Up Shit Version)”: This version feels less like a mantra and more like homespun wisdom, or something.
- Faves: “Gold Tooth,” “Everything I Own Is Broken” and “On Borrowed Time”
I’d passed by a corner of Frank Ogawa Plaza a few days after Occupy Oakland set up out front of City Hall, but I hadn’t visited it for any real length of time until late in the evening a couple of days ago. Today’s march, led by a band through the streets of downtown Oakland, began just after Amy Gahran and I were able to bike over and walk around the camp in earnest.
After the marchers got underway, Amy and I headed down to Jack London Square to check out PedalFest, which included booths from local businesses, free valet bike parking from the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and a trick exhibit from the Clayton Bikes Stunt Team.