Category Archives: A blogger’s musings

Farewell To Glenn Frey, an Eagle soars no more


First, from today’s Washington Post:

Glenn Frey, who co-founded the Eagles and with Don Henley became one of history’s most successful songwriting teams with such hits as “Hotel California” and “Life in the Fast Lane,” has died.

Frey, who was 67, died of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, the band said on its website. He died on Monday in New York. He had fought the ailments for the past several weeks, the band said.

>snip<

Guitarist Frey and drummer Henley formed the Eagles in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, along with guitarist Bernie Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner. They would become a top act over the next decade, embodying the melodic California sound.

There’s one Eagles song that will never leave us so long as we draw breath. Ever since we first heard it back in 1972, we were haunted by “Take it Easy,” one of the first hits of that then-new band, the Eagles, formed as backup for evocative vocal stylings of Linda Ronstadt.

It’s one segment that stirred something deep within, a reminder of our very first job in journalism, working in early 1966 for the Winslow Daily Mail in a dying railroad town in Northern Arizona.

I have memories of standing on a corner, wondering what to do with my teenage self. It’s the same corner that now boasts a park, inspired by that same song.

The Daily Mail is now long gone, one of the countless casualties of the Internet [Gored as it were], but the song by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey still sends shivers down our spine, especially this section:

Well, I’m a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
gonna save me
We may lose and we may win though
we will never be here again
so open up, I’m climbin’ in,
so take it easy

Here’s a 1977 performance in Germany via fritz51357:

Eagles – Take it easy 1977

No Eagles song is more famous than “Hotel California,” the lead track on a 1976 album that went on to sell an amazing 16 million copies and embodying a guitar riff ranked number one on by readers on Guitar Magazine’s Top 100 Guitar Solos of All Time. The magazine also ranked is as the number one 12-string guitar single.

And here it is, with music by Don Felder and lyrics by Frey and Don Henley:

Eagles – Hotel California Live. At The Capital Centre, 1977

Finally, here’s the band performing with Ronstadt, singing a haunting tune by Frey and Henley:

Eagles & Linda Ronstadt – Desperado – Live 1974

ZioNutsies strike again: Scared of young woman


ZioNutsies is an esnl neologism, used to refer to zealous Zionists who never let truth stand in their way when it comes to doing their best to deliver thuggish assaults on anyone who dares suggest that the Israeli government is anything other than a bastion of peace and democracy.

We were attacked with vicious rhetoric after the proved the blatant speciousness of claims made against the Berkeley Daily Planet in the days we reported for the paper’s now-defunct print edition.

We spent a couple of weeks looking into the claims made against the paper, and definitively debunked them. The paper’s only “fault” was that unlike any of the seven newspapers we worked for, publisher Becky O’Malley believed that she had an obligation to open up her publication as a community forum, publishing almost every single letter to the editor or reader commentary to pass over the transom. The result was a boisterous public forum on a host of issues.

And what the paper’s ZioNutsy disparagers insisted the paper was flooded with antisemitic rants. just six percent of reader submissions dealt with the Israel/Palestine conflict, with pro-Palestinian submissions outnumbering pro-Israel submissions by about two-to-one, no surprising given the city’s role as a university town with a significant leftist population, many of them Jewish.

But threats to advertisers, including boycotts and outright intimidation, precipitated a revenue decline, and given that the publication had never money, it folded.

At 16, the latest victim of ZioNutsy zealotry is considerably younger that the grizzled esnl. She also an Israeli-born Jew.

From The Young Turks:

Teen Girl Accused Of Bullying For Criticizing Israel

Program notes:

A teen in New Jersey has been reprimanded by her high school for bullying. She tweeted criticisms of the Israeli government, and the school has taken action saying that it could be perceived as anti-Semitic towards Jewish students. Here’s the problem: She’s also Jewish. Ana Kasparian, Jimmy Dore (The Jimmy Dore Show), Jayar Jackson, and Becca Frucht hosts of The Young Turks discuss.

A New Jersey high school student found herself in a social media storm on Wednesday after she live-tweeted and apparently secretly recorded a trip to her principal’s office.

She said administrators warned her that her comments about Israel and a fellow student on Twitter might have violated a state law against bullying.

The student, Bethany Koval, a 16-year-old Israeli Jew, said she had been reprimanded by administrators at Fair Lawn High School in Bergen County for a tweet that contained a string of expletives directed at Israel and expressed happiness that a pro-Israel classmate had unfollowed her Twitter account.

More from San Francisco journalist Annie Robbins, writing at Mondoweiss:

During her holiday break on December 22, Koval was engaged in a conversation about Palestine/Israel and the viability of a 2 state solution, the discussion turned to Hamas. Koval tweeted she didn’t think Hamas was extreme; “Hamas is just painted that way Hateful rhetoric against Hamas is what allowed the Gaza bombing”. Another student at her school took offense to her tweets and began discussing them with friends. It occurred to Koval she could get in trouble and that her opinions could be construed as “hate speech“.

She explained in her statement to the authorities “A girl…told her friends I had no right to speak on this, and erased my Jewish ethnicity”.  Unfortunately challenging the ethnicity of Jews who expose Israel’s atrocities is not uncommon. Koval wrote she retaliated by writing a tweet about it, a “general message”. Hence, students reported her and she was accused of being a bully, a charge that is punishable by suspension and/or expulsion (pdf) in the state of New Jersey.

“Why I am accused of “bullying”, I think because I wish for a Free Palestine. The freedom of speech is chained and beaten in this school.”

Given that president and most of the members of the U.S. Congress attend the annual gatherings of the AIPAC, possibly the most powerful political interest group in the U.S. [no such turnouts for NRA conclaves], it comes as no surprise that the campaign of intimidation of pro-Palestinian voices has now descended to America’s high schools.

Parents, watch out what your kindergartners say. At this rate, their time will come.

And now for something completely different. . .


esnl grew up in the early 1960s in a small Kansas farm town in the days when anyone of any age could buy any kind of fireworks, from small “lady finger” crackers to powerful cherry bombs and M80s, which packed the same punch as a quarter stick of dynamite, as well as all manner of pyrotechnic fire-belching fountains, Roman candles [shooting a series of colorful multicolored balls of fired], as well as all manner of rockets, from the so-called bottle rockets [named because you launched them from soda bottles] to giant rockets the flew hundreds of feet into the air before exploding to spectacular effect.

Over the years, a succession of laws severely limited the range of fireworks sold, laws passed mainly because the explosive sort invariably produced a harvest of lost fingers and eyeballs [or worse], and the pyrotechnic displays invariably triggered brush and forest fires.

But, God, they were such fun for a pre-teen small town kid!

Nowadays, most fireworks are effectively banned in California and most other states, save for those formal displays arranged by chambers of commerce and other community groups, and operated by professional crews.

Southern California Public Radio enumerates the type of fireworks banned in the Golden State:

Illegal fireworks include the following, according to CAL FIRE.

  • Sky rockets
  • Bottle rockets
  • Roman candles
  • Aerial shells
  • Firecrackers
  • Other types that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner

In other words, everything that appeals to the thrill-seeking juvenile and adolescent, leaving on the so-called “Safe & Sane” fireworks, like sparklers and small cones.

But things are different in Peru, and the following drone-shot video of New Year’s Eve in Lima reminds us of those long ago Fourth of Julys, where fireworks were both unsafe and insane.

And by all means boost it up to full 1080p resolution.

From Jeff Cremer:

Fireworks Over Lima, Peru

Program notes:

Flew my drone over the new years eve fireworks in Lima, Peru. Looks like the start of the air campaign in Iraq.

I re-did my fireworks over Lima video. Someone on reddit commented that it was missing music so here is what I did:

At around midnight I flew the drone over all the fireworks at an altitude of around 200m. I wanted to fly lower but I could just picture someone getting lucky with a direct bottle rocket hit to the drone so I stayed up high. All the footage was taken in 1080HD. I tried to keep the drone moving to make for more interesting shots. I tried to use multiple camera moves when I could to make it better. For example translating the drone to the right while panning to the left etc.

After I had all the footage I imported all the best parts to iMovie. Then I simply split the clips into a bunch of different parts and randomly rearranged them with a cross fade between each one.

The music is Perpetuum Mobile by Penguin Cafe Orchestra. I also dowloaded the fireworks sound effects from iTunes and added it.

When I uploaded the final video to Youtube it detected the fireworks sound and automatically filed a filed a copyright claim on behalf the company that made them. Now all advertisement revenue shown on the video will go directly to them. Interesting.

Anyway, Let me know what you think and I hope that you like the video. – Jeff – http://www.PeruNature.com

Filmed with Phantom 3 Pro in the district of Chorillos, Lima, Peru

And now for something completely different. . .


Our first California newspaper job began in 1967 at the late, great Oceanside Blade-Tribune, a daily newspaper published in as San Diego County beach town and the shopping hub for the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base, then operating at peak capacity as the Vietnam War ramped up.

On many a weekend, friends and I would drive up the coast into Orange County to spend the day in and around Laguna Beach, then a sleepy town populated by a wonderful collection of artists and eccentrics — and a couple of years later, the nation’s major LSD manufacturing and distribution center.

We visited mainly for the art galleries and little restaurants, all mom-and-pop operations, although the uncle of one of my colleagues at the paper owned a Taco Bell on the beach, where we’d cadge free munchies.

In the summer, Laguna Beach harbored two simultaneous art festivals, the upscale, admission-charging Pageant of the Masters, where folks covered themselves in paint and vintage costumes to create tableaux vivants, life size reproductions of famous artworks.

While the Pageant was staid and conventional, attracting what a friend called “the menopause and culture vulture set,” across the road had sprung up the much livelier Sawdust Festival, featuring the creations of the counterculture, many of them extraordinary,  and some of the most beautiful hippie women I ever saw.

Another feature of Laguna in those years was Eiler Larsen, a Danish immigrant who created for himself the role of the Laguna Greeter, standing along the coast highway to offer a friendly way to all passers-by. And though he died 40 years ago, he’s still present at his old spot in the form of a statue honoring his memory.

So it was with special delight that I discovered, via PetaPixel, Sawdust and Sand, a new documentary from from Jason Blalock, about another Laguna Beach original, a street photographer who arrived on the scene four years after we first walked the town’s streets and has captured the evolution of Laguna and its people in the years since.

Here’s a trailer for the film from Jason Blalock. You can watch the full 33-minute documentary here, for free, and Blalock’s website on the film is here.

Sawdust and Sand: The Art of Douglas Miller

Sheldon Adelson stirs up a journalistic free-for-all


Since this is an intimately personal essay, I’ll resort to first person [maybe someday we’ll offer a post on why we typically opt for the third person].

My very first job at a daily newspaper was as a cub reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, then and now the largest paper in the Silver State.

I was 19 when I started, hired on a fluke because I was owed a favor. There wasn’t an opening, and while I was assigned the night cops assignment then standard for newbies, I had six other hours a day to cover other things, five when two minor beats were added.

Since all beats were filled, the editor, Jim Leavey, asked what else I’d like to write about [a really remarkable option for a teenager]. So I said “How about civil rights, radical politics, and [Lyndon Johnson’s] war on poverty?”

A year later, I had won the paper the state’s highest journalism honors, the Best Community Service award from the Nevada State Press Association for my coverage of Sin City’s African American community — which had previously been covered, if at all, with brief statements from “black leaders” essentially picked by the establishment for their politically “safe” opinions.

The paper was then owned by Don W. Reynolds, an Arkansas old school libertarian and a man who let the paper alone, save for an occasional editorial. Some of the other editorials were written by me, and were notably provocative.

But that’s what the R-J was then.

As for now, let’s begin with a quote from a 10 April 2012 profile by Rick Perlstein for Rolling Stone about Sin City’s preeminent casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson, now 82 and worth nearly $30 million, give or take:

Right before the grand opening of the {Adelson’s Venetian hotel and casino], in 1999, the Culinary Workers staged a demonstration on the public sidewalk out front. Adelson told the cops to start making arrests; the cops refused. Glen Arnodo, an official at the union at the time, relates what happened next: “I was standing on the sidewalk and they had two security guards say I was on private property, and if I didn’t move they’d have to put me under ‘citizen’s arrest.’ I ignored them.” The guards once again told the police to arrest Arnodo and again, he says, they refused. The Civil Rights hero Rep. John Lewis, in town to support the rally, said the whole thing reminded him of living in the South during Jim Crow.

Marvels Arnodo, “Here you have a sidewalk that 12 billion people walk down, [and] the only people who can’t use it are the union!” The Culinary Workers argued before the National Labor Relations Board that Adelson’s attempts to keep them from demonstrating violated federal labor law. Adelson’s lawyers countered that their client’s First Amendment rights were being violated – because his threats of arrests were an instance of “petitioning the government.” The union won the right to protest; Adelson refused to comply with the settlement, copies of which the union passed out on that very same sidewalk. That was “fraudulent use of the seal of a government agency,” the Venetian argued, further claiming that union workers had “impersonated” NLRB officials, and that the volunteer labor activists had been coerced. The great civil liberties attorney Alan Dershowitz got involved – on Adelson’s side. “The Venetian has no property rights to the sidewalk,” a federal appeals judge told them in 2007. Unmoved, Adelson tried, without success, to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.  After all, Adelson told the Wall Street Journal, radical Islam and the right to more easily join a union were the two most “fundamental threats to society.”

Did I mention Adelson is nuts? But don’t take my word for it – it was George W. Bush who called him “some crazy Jewish billionaire.”

Adelson has one cause above all other, Israel, one he approaches from the zalous perspective of the Likud.

Consider this from an Adelson Family Foundation press release issued in Jerusalem on 29 April 2009:

The Shalem Center and the Adelson Family Foundation, today jointly announced the creation of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. The Institute will be funded by the Foundation with a gift of $4.5 million. The gift launches an academic and research institute that will develop, articulate and build support for the strategic principles needed to address the challenges currently facing Israel and the West.

The newly named Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies is part of the Shalem Center, a research and academic institute in Jerusalem. The Adelson Institute, whose founding chairman and head is Natan Sharansky, includes as fellows Lt. Gen (Res.) Moshe Yaalon, Martin Kramer, Michael Oren and Yossi Klein Halevi. The institute will explore topics ranging from democracy and security, to nationalism, terror and identity.

“Long-term strategies have to be built on values, not short-term interests. Real, lasting interests are always connected to values like democracy, respect for identity, religious tolerance, and freedom. The gift and vision of Sheldon and Miri Adelson will enable us to tackle the most serious challenges facing the Middle East and the West and to build long-view approaches and plans that will ensure the stability and peace of Israel and of the free world,” said Adelson Institute Founding Chairman Natan Sharansky, a distinguished fellow at the Shalem Center.

Now why do we mention Adelson?

It’s because he has just bought the R-J, paying a price that’s probably what it’s worth just so he can have a platform to advance his own interests, most notably destroying political enemies and ensuring that Nevada sends neocon Republicans to Congress instead of Democrats like Harry Reid.

Otherwise, journalism doesn’t really matter to Adelson.

From A 2014 report in the Israeli paper Haaretz:

Adelson already owns Israel Hayom, a free Israeli newspaper widely seen as reflecting the positions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is considered close to Adelson, and, more recently, news website NRG and religious newspaper Makor Rishon.

“I don’t like journalism,” Adelson said, highlighting what he said was the media’s insistence on focusing on the empty half of the glass.

And while Adelson contends he won’t endanger editorial independence, he’s already belied that claim, as reporters from the Las Vegas Review-Journal were able to document in a story published 19 December:

Just over a month before Sheldon Adelson’s family was revealed as the new owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, three reporters at the newspaper received an unusual assignment passed down from the newspaper’s corporate management: Drop everything and spend two weeks monitoring all activity of three Clark County judges.

The reason for the assignment and its unprecedented nature was never explained.

One of the three judges observed was District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, whose current caseload includes Jacobs v. Sands, a long-running wrongful termination lawsuit filed against Adelson and his company, Las Vegas Sands Corp., by Steven Jacobs, who ran Sands’ operations in Macau.

The case has attracted global media attention because of Jacobs’ contention in court filings that he was fired for trying to break the company’s links to Chinese organized crime triads, and allegations that Adelson turned a blind eye to prostitution and other illegal activities in his resorts there.

But all their story didn’t make it in print, as noted by Newsonomics the same day:

In a cascade of curious events, the paper’s own reporters and editors attempting to report on the sale — and to question the potential editorial impact and brand damage of the “secret” sale — reportedly saw their online-first story significantly changed, and the presses subject to a brief halt, as the paper re-plated with a new version of the suspect story.

According to the Huffington Post, “[Jason] Taylor, the paper’s publisher, stopped the presses Thursday night to remove some noteworthy quotes from the paper’s story on the sale, as The Huffington Post reported Saturday. For instance, the edited version no longer included Review-Journal editor Michael Hengel asking who is behind the company and what are their expectations. Eric Hartley, who covers Clark County for the paper, tweeted the HuffPost story on Saturday night and wrote, ‘This is simply wrong.’”

Mike Hengel, the editor who allowed those reporters the freedom to report the actual news, was soon for the chop, as noted in a 23 December MediaWire report:

Hengel, who has led the Review-Journal since 2010, will be succeeded by an interim replacement selected by newspaper chain GateHouse Media. In the meantime, Adelson’s management will search for a long-term editor.

Earlier today, Hengel told the Los Angeles Times he first realized he’d accepted a buyout offer when he read about it in a front-page editorial written by Adelson’s new managers.

“I figured, I may as well see what the offer was,” Hengel told the Los Angeles Times.

Here’s his message to the newsroom announcing his replacement:

Subject: It’s been a privilege and a pleasure

To: Newsroom

All:

I may not get around to see all of you, so I’ll hope you’ll accept my thanks through this email. I admire you all and thank you for giving the RJ your very best while I was the editor. I leave here knowing that won’t change. You are professionals.

I feel very lucky that I had the opportunity to work with all of you. And I was fortunate to be involved with a newspaper that breaks stories, not just news. The aggressiveness you have shown in covering the stories revolving around our new ownership has been inspiring. I am very proud of James, Howard, Jennifer, Eric and Jim for the their great work. I say that knowing that there are many others in this newsroom who would have performed just as admirably had they been asked.

I never imagined I would go out while working one of the great stories of my 40-year career. Yet, it happened. How lucky can an editor get?

I have no idea what I will do going forward, but I plan to stay in Las Vegas, so I’ll probably see you around. Until then, thanks again for everything.

Onward,

Mike

Next up, there’s this from a 27 offering from Dave Danforth, a columnist for the Aspen Daily News in Colorado:

We wanted to escape attention on billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s quiet purchase of Nevada’s largest paper in the last two weeks, but we can’t. It’s just too riveting. Two shoes dropped. Then, came a third when the paper dug up the identity of its new owner. Now comes the fourth, about a mystery writer and a Las Vegas judge whose performance was slammed — in a Connecticut newspaper 2,200 miles away.

Our lesson comes first. If you ever buy a newspaper in order to control what it prints, don’t follow the Las Vegas road map. Though Adelson has denied any intentions to make the Las Vegas Review-Journal a mouthpiece for his Republican leanings in an election year, practically no one in the outside world — or at the newspaper — believes him.

Now, we come to what simply must be a fictitious story. It involves a small daily in Connecticut taking a sudden interest in a Las Vegas judge who apparently sorely irritated Mr. Adelson, a billionaire casino owner whose Sands Company runs the Venetian in Las Vegas.

More after the jump, including a notable cartoon. . . Continue reading

A little Christmas present from our landlord


It arrived in the mail the day after the holiday.

The meat:

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that on March 1 2016, your month-to-month tenacy of the premises you now occupy will be changed pursuant to Civil Code Section 827 as follows:

The rental of said premises will be the sum of Two Thousand One Hundred Dollars [$2,100.00] per month instead of One Thousand Three Hundred Eighty One Dollars [$1,381.00] per month as heretofore payable monthly in advance on the 1st day of each month. . .

Well ain’t that a lump of coal.

It means, at the very least, we’ll have to be leaving Berkeley for cheaper parts, given that we’re living on Social Security. Just where, wehav no idea.

We’ve lived in our modest digs for longer than any other place we’ve ever inhabited, and given that we’re still debilitated from chemotherapy, it’s going to be rough.

All of which means fewer postings, and perhaps abandonment of the blog, since we may not be able to pay for Internet aservice in the months ahead.

We’ll keep you posted.

Of bells and bygone newsrooms. . .


A blast from the past with two photographic updates. . .

Back in the days when newspapers were printed from lead type and wire serves news came from noisy teletype machines, everyone in the newsroom reserved a small part of their attention for the sound of bells.

The number of teletypes depended on how many wire services a newsroom subscribed to—AP, UPI, Reuters, local services—and because of their noisiness the machines were usually kept in a separate teletype room or alcove, along with inked replacement ribbons and rolls and boxes of paper to keep the machines fed. Photos in those days came from separate facsimile machines, emerging damp on a continuous roll.

The teletypes were wondrous exemplars of the electric age, big, metal-clad hunks of paper-spewing machinery that also emitted streams of yellow punch tape which could be fed directly into typesetting machines. When you picked out a story to run, you pulled the copy, usually tearing with the ubiquitous newsroom ruler call a pica pole, which measured in picas—a sixth of an inch—as well as inches. Then you looked at the cache of punch tape for the appropriately coded strip, rolled it up, then paperclipped it to the story.

After a go over with a fat Number 2 copy pencil — and, if needed, scissors and glue brush [cut and paste really was cut and paste back then]  you figured out a place for the story in your dummies [paper sheets marked to scale in column width and inch depth] then wrote a headline tailored to the column width, using a count system in which the lower case i, j, and l consumed half a space, uppercase M, W, and H counting for two, and lower case m and w rating one-and-a-half spaces. All the rest counted as one.

Every editor had a chart listing the numbers of spaces type sizes ranging from 14 points to 144 according to the number of columns slotted for the top of the story, ranging from a single column, two, three, four—up to eight, which was the standard newspage column width in those days.

Once the copy editing and headline-writing was finished, the editor would roll up the accompanying punch tape and clip it to the copy. At that point, depending on the newsroom, the editor would either yell “COPY” and wait for the copy “boy” or “girl” to take it to the typesetting room, roll up the items and cram them into a tube for a pneumatic delivery system, or, in my last pre-computer newsroom, drop it onto a conveyor belt feeding directly into “the back shop.”

But, for the newsroom, the most important piece of equipment was the bell attached to each teletype, the herald announcing the imminent transmission of something important.

Just how important was revealed in the number of times the chrome plated half-spheres mounted on the outside of the teletypes sounded out.

Three dings only moved the copy boy/girl [newsrooms “clerks” or “aides” in these more enlightened days]. But four bells raised some more jaded heads, and five bells would bring anyone not working on a deadline story to their feet and headed to the teletype room. But ten bells? For ten bells, people ran.

Under wire service protocol, three bells meant an advisory, a heads-up to editors that something significant was about to happen. One additional ring meant an URGENT story would follow, a significant story deemed of likely and timely interest to most wire service subscribers. Five bells heralded a BULLETIN, a critically important and breaking news story. But ten—for UPI—or twelve bells—for AP? Ten or twelve bells meant a FLASH, banner headlines in big type, and an event certain to dominate the attention of most readers and listeners for days to come.

My first FLASH—at least the first one I remember—came late on a Thursday afternoon in April, 1968. Once the number of bells hit six, I was on my feet, headed to the wire room of the Oceanside Blade-Tribune. I was already standing in front of the AP machine by the time the bells went quiet, watching the sheet of narrow paper as the strikers hammered out the news that Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot

The computer era killed both the teletype and the photo fax, replacing them with purely digital data streams, displayed as pixellated screen images. Gone too the conveyor belt and pneumatic tubes [I still have one of the tube carriers from 1979, made by an outfit called Diebold].

A Diebold pneumatic delivery cylinder, acquired on the closing of the old Santa Monica Evening Outlook building as the paper moved to a new building with a computerized newsroom. 26 February 2012, Nikon D-300, ISO 320, 1/1600 sec, 60mm, f/2.8

A Diebold pneumatic delivery cylinder, acquired on the closing of the old Santa Monica Evening Outlook building as the paper moved to a new building with a computerized newsroom.
26 February 2012, Nikon D-300, ISO 320, 1/1600 sec, 60mm, f/2.8

The bells are gone, replaced by optional beeps and buzzes on editors’ computer terminals. The days when an entire newsroom would rise to the sound of the FLASH bells are long gone. Nowadays, sadly, a newsrooms resemble insurance company offices, complete with carpets and cubicles. . .

Had Edgar Allen Poe—no stranger to newsrooms—been around during the glory days of the teletype, he’d’ve added another verse to his most sonorous of poems, “The Bells.”

But for now, this will have to do:

Hear the loud alarum bells –
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now – now to sit, or never,
By the side of the pale – faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear, it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells –
Of the bells –
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
In the clamor and the clanging of the bells!

And the second photographic update, a remarkable photograph from a cache of recently discovered pictures of New York street scenes taken by Frank Oscar Larson in the early 1950s, via Creative Boom.

The shot depicts a gathering of New Yorkers on the sidewalk outside the headquarters of the Associated Press, then in Rockefeller Center. That strip of white paper drawing their respective gazes is the copy streaming from an AP “A wire” printer:

BLOG A wire