Longplayer: … ain’t a piece of vinyl, but a sonic banquet “good to eat a thousand years.”

Sexual orientation as a factor in job hiring?: John Ashcroft, come on down!

Rebecca Walker’s looking for a few good men: Actually, one good one will do.

“My partner has a child and both of us serve as parents. I want to have children, too, and am looking for a donor.”

A donor?

“You know, a daddy donor. I have my eye on a Pakistani man that I met recently. I took one look at him and thought: ‘Yum, I want to have your baby’. But I’m open to other possibilities.”

After all the troubles she has suffered from her own parents’ experimentation with child rearing, you might think she’d proceed with greater caution.

“No, I’m excited about creating a family that can exist in a really diverse world. I was thinking how much fun it would be if I had a child with my Pakistani friend. Just think, the child could go and visit relatives thousands of miles from California.”

Yes, and perhaps also write a memoir some day, recalling in great detail the special challenges of its fashionable, multicultural childhood.

Bush has his finger on my power button: … and he knows which way I voted.

Californians feel lambasted, defrauded, and bamboozled by Old Economy “pirate generators” such as (let’s name names here) Reliant Energy, El Paso Energy, Dynegy, Duke Energy, AES, Southern, Calpine, and Enron. But Enron in particular is George W. Bush’s favorite company in the whole wide world. James W. Baker is Enron’s lawyer. The Pirate Generators own Washington. The Information Superhighway is suddenly yesterday’s news, somebody else’s concept, all hype and ozone. The NASDAQ is in the tank, while the utility sector is the new darling of Wall Street. Furthermore, it very much galls the new administration that the homeland of Reagan is currently run by Democrats. An economic crunch in California is the prelude to a political assault from Washington.

Man deemed too white, thin for prison: I’m not making this up. (link courtesy of Randomwalks)

The ex-reporter turned dot-com worker in me:cringes. (link courtesy of MediaNews)

Twenty-three years and a million cubic gallons of platitudinous lava later, 11.5% of daily newspaper journalists are African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American � but so is 28% of the nation. The gap is still 15%. Nothing has changed.

Except the deadline. The ASNE has dealt with its failure to diversify by awarding itself another 25 years to meet its target. This would be a joke if it were funny.

Jesse Jackson, cinema and the single mom: On a whim, a New York Times’ archive search turns up a review of “Chocolat” on the edge of its two-week run and about to slip into the land of paid-retrieval content. Does this make Jesse Johnny Depp?

“It’s the classic struggle of our time,” he said. Juliette Binoche, playing a free-spirited chocolatier and unmarried mom, takes on a hypocritical mix of morality, religion and politics in 1950’s France. The film could be said to have a message. But a booming one, worthy of Mr. Jackson’s microphone?

“Absolutely,” he said. “The movie is as dramatic as Nov. 7, and it is as though it was written about our times instead of for our times. It’s about the great theme of our time, intolerance. You can just see the religious right narrowly defining the rights of others.”

Later he said: “It’s not like a typical movie, it’s almost biographical.”


Does Mr. Jackson see himself in Vianne, Ms. Binoche’s character? The woman the mayor wants out of the village? “The movie is really about us going to Birmingham to get the right to vote,” he explained in a Lincoln Town Car plowing through Times Square. “People said: ‘You’re not from here, you don’t belong here. Go away.’ ”

Jerryfication: The Chronicle gives my town’s Mayor Brown a mixed report card halfway through his term. Crime is down by 29 percent (“Riders” notwithstanding, I guess I feel safer — I haven’t been attacked yet, though somebody did smash a window on my car back in September); there has been little progress on arts and education; developers have been happily hammering away at Jack London Square and around Lake Merritt (way costly, and frighteningly prone to being left incomplete come the recession), yadda yadda yadda.

What did catch my eye:

  • “In addition, the 10K plan has yet to attract much shopping and amenities that would complete Brown’s vision of a 24-hour downtown. A long-promised Gap is expected to open near City Hall this summer, but deals with other major retailers are still in the discussion stage.” Should there be a Gap there, really? When neither the Starbucks in City Center nor the Tully’s at 14th and Broadway will stay open after 6:30 p.m.? Did I just say that? Not that more Starbucks solve anything, either.
  • “A city-sponsored art gallery near City Hall is scheduled to open by May. Construction on Oakland’s largest public art project to date — a $250,000 industrial mix of motion-activated lights, guardrails and rubber sidewalks to brighten Broadway under Interstate 880 — is expected to begin next month.” A quarter of a million dollars, right? Money that could go to upkeep and improvements like brighter lights. I love me some public art, but this isn’t the place to put it. That stretch of Broadway is not a destination, it’s a path to destinations. Slapping an installation there isn’t going to make it one.
  • “As for his future, Brown would not say whether he’ll seek a second term as mayor or if he is eyeing Washington — either a U.S. Senate seat or a fourth run for president — as has been rumored. His decision, and announcement, will come soon, Brown said. ‘I believe I can make a contribution to clarifying the urban situation in 21st Century America,’ he said.” Well, good for you, Jerry. I hope you let the rest of us know soon, so we can plan accordingly.
  • Effective web writing: … Someday it’ll catch on. (via John Snyder, always looking out for me from over at GreenBiz)

    P.J. Rourke disparages my favorite Beatle: … as a setup for outing Clinton as a “band geek.”

    We met Governor Clinton at hip, cool (well, hip and cool for Little Rock) Doe’s restaurant. He was laid-back. He was out-front. We asked him a question that we felt no other presidential candidate in the history of America had ever properly answered: “Who’s your favorite Beatle?”

    There were four aspects�”avatars,” we used to say�to the sixties. Each idea or event of the period seemed to have the nature of one of the Beatles: John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, or Paul McCartney. That is, everything in the sixties was either brilliant but troubled, earnest but flaky, stupid, or Paul McCartney.

    “Paul McCartney,” Clinton said.