Friday, October 06, 2006

Tidbits Day

No Minced Words. The incomparable Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo
gets right to the point: "Let's not mince words: President Bush is a profound threat to the U.S. Constitution. His contempt for the rule of law needs to be ended."

Never Again. Cleveland's "tech czar," my old pal Michael DeAloia, has a
new book of poetry out. Like the guy himself, it's soulful and never boring. But last night, at a tech event (you can download the webcast here) downtown, he turned his attention from verse to economic development. He even committed a bit of news, I thought. Speaking about one of downtown's agonizing near-misses--Peter B. Lewis's booming insurance company very nearly brought all of its giant Cleveland-area work force downtown a few years ago--he said this: "The rallying cry in the city is 'no more Progressives.' They basically built an entire city on the east side." Unfortunately, there aren't as many people to work at attracting business downtown as there once were. He noted that with budgets tight, the city's economic development staff has gone from 21 to 7 in recent years.

New Theory for Falling Newspaper Circulation. You've no doubt heard a hundred or more theories on why newspapers have been suffering steady circulation declines in recent years, from the ink rubbing off on readers' hands to the allure of getting one's news electronically. But Deep Cleveland's Mark Kuhar has his own novel theory on why fewer and fewer people are reading newspapers: because they lack poetry sections. Back in July he wrote: "only poetry can save the world, and these idiots don't even recognize it."

The Eagle Has Landed. We hear that Ken Kesegich, the former editor of the CWRU university magazine and later a speechwriter for then-Case president Ed Hundert, has found a new gig. Caught up in the regrettable university downsizing forced by budget deficits, he recently joined ad and p.r. agency Marcus Thomas as a copywriter. Congratulations, Ken, and a good choice, Marcus Thomas.

The Undiscovered Web. Remember back in the '90s when we were all still giddy over the Internet, discovering digital treasures one site at a time? Remember how seemingly every magazine published "bookmarks," lists of prominent people's favorite sites? We haven't seen much of that lately. But PC Magazine is back in the fray with this not uninteresting list of 99 "undiscovered" sites. I think it's worth at least a quick scan.

Finally, I was bummed to miss seeing the New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert speak this week. She appeared at Oberlin College last Wednesday, as part of its excellent ongoing convocation series. Last month, I missed an even more interesting speaker, the incendiary Times op-ed columnist Paul Krugman. Perhaps next month I'll try to catch Andrew Sullivan, if I can stomach the idiocy of a conservative gay man who's shocked--shocked!--to learn that conservative Republicans are meanies when it comes to dealing with homosexual issues.

7 Comments:

At 4:01 PM, Anonymous roldo bartimole said...

Peter Lewis and then Mayor Michael White in 1990 worked on a deal to bring Progressive to the city's lakefront.

It would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars in tax subsidies and other incentives, would have necessitated buying Modell out of the old Browns Stadium, replacing the stadium elsewhere. It also would be necessary for the city to negotiate with Conrail for use of its land.

All of this would have merely moved Progressive from one part of NE Ohio to another part of the county, hardly a great economic boon for this area.

It's all outlined in Point of View, Vol. 23 #1, July of 1990.

It never happened and it shouldn't have.

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

It would have, however, injected a lot of life and energy in downtown, which is sorely needed. But what you're suggesting, of course, is that it would have come at too high a price. I do seem to recall that there was also some discussion of them all moving into the BP building shortly after BP left.

 
At 5:14 AM, Anonymous Lou said...

Not having the stadium take up valuable (in terms of access and ROI) lakefront space, now there's a novel idea.

 
At 7:02 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

I see you're up at 5 a.m. on a Saturday, Lou. That wouldn't be connected to the new baby, would it? Anyway, we did indeed miss a major chance to rethink the lakefront by building the new Browns stadium there.

 
At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Lou said...

I wish I could say that I was getting ready to golf, but...

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You'll just enjoy your golf game all that much more when you do finally get back to it, Lou.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger steveg said...

On Kuhar's quote (and kudos to the JE for reading an underground poetry blog), I say you can print it, but you can't make them read. Even with the plethora of self-published chapbooks, pamphlets, and Chris Franke scrap paper poems; I found that even the poets rarely read what is handed to them. This I discovered, when someone gave me their latest chap and said, "Here, Steve, I know that YOU will read this."

On a second note, in order for the poetry to make an impact, we need to get our education up to snuff. Most of the focus is on math and science, but basic illiteracy is the crumbling foundation. If the PD is written for a 6th grade reading level, what poem besides a dirty limerick (no offence to my Irish colleagues) will be understood.

The solution (besides Free Hugs), is more public spots with spoken word and poetry. Let the oral tradition of bards and troupadors resurge. Get the words to the public, then show them how to read what was said. Finally and most importantly, encourage them to write themselves, simply and effectively. Once they are able to value expressing themselves, it is a short hop to getting them to vote for change.

 

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