News & Links:
Monday, January 1, 2024



#398  [archive]
JAN. 1, 2024

A draconian legal doctrine called "felony murder" has put thousands of Americans — disproportionately young and Black — in prison
   Someone who's burglarizing cars, but gives up quietly when the cops come along, can be charged with 'felony murder' because an accomplice flees and gets in a wreck miles away. 
    If that's justice, then certainly Elon Musk deserves the same charge for Tesla autopilot wrecks, Jeff Bezos for fatalities at any Amazon facility, etc. 

Diversity offices on college campuses will soon be illegal in Texas, as 30 new laws go into effect
    Plain racism, in bold print and italics. If you're white, welcome to college. 

U.S. Capitol rioter convicted and sentenced in secret
    Turning state’s evidence often brings leniency, which doesn’t trouble me. It doesn’t often bring secrecy, which does. 

92% of Republicans, 78% of independents and 58% of Democrats believe crime is rising, as crime rates plummet
    If people aren't panicked, they wouldn't elect panic-pandering politicians, so there must always be a panic — crime, drugs, commies, libruls, whatever. 

Netanyahu says attacks on Gaza will go on for 'many more months', thanks US for new weapons sales
    What Israel wants, Israel gets. Israel wants genocide in Gaza, and the US being a good sidekick is happy to help. 

Medicaid fraud scandal sees Delaware’s largest hospital system pay $47 million settlement
    Another "negotiated settlement" and a payment that sounds impressive — ooh, 47-millllion dollars — but won't amount to a day's business for a giant hospital network.
    Why no prosecutions? Why no prison time? 

Bodycam footage inside classroom shows Massachusetts cop saying they could "search every room and ask every teacher" for Gender Queer book
    Here's Republican, censorious thinking in a nutshell:
    If kids don’t know about sex, they won’t have sex.
    If kids don’t know about gays, they won’t be gay.
    If kids don’t know about trans, they won’t be trans.
    And on and on… If kids don’t know about science, they won’t grow up to be anything but Christians. If kids don’t know about history, they won’t grow up to be anything but Republicans…
    So they send in the cops, to make sure kids don't know much of anything.

Hershey is sued — and deserves to lose — over deceptive packaging for Reese's seasonal candies
    The lawsuit's been widely covered so usually I wouldn't bother linking, but there's been mockery over it, and the mockery is wrong.
    Just look at the picture.
    Almost anything you buy, the picture on the package is prettier than what's inside, but the imagery on these candy wrappers is PhotoShop BS, a flat-out lie.  

New breed of climate protesters vows to take fight to ‘cowards’ of US politics
    They're interrupting speeches and staging marches, which is fine, but exponentially not enough. 

2023 obliterates temperature records to become warmest year in recorded history 

Amazon rain forest drought: 'We've never seen anything like this'

Gunfight between black and white American soldiers,  June 24, 1943
    Excerpt: It is the local resistance to American racism that fascinates and compels Smith. I asked him what he thought was behind it. He noted the courtesy and politeness of the black soldiers, in contrast to the brashness of the white American military, which made the villagers warm to them. But ultimately, they didn’t like the US military attempting to impose an alien system of discrimination on their community. “They were saying, this is our backyard - you can’t come here and tell us what to do.” They felt an instinctive solidarity with the black soldiers: “It was almost a mill town thing, workers against bosses. They’re no different to us, so we’ll stand shoulder-to-shoulder.”

Death by "sweep": How anti-homeless legislation kills 

More than 13 million people lost Medicaid coverage this year 

The Satanic Temple is helping students form after-school clubs, and parents are furious—but they’re blaming the wrong people. 

Tracking the danger to transgendered people 


AMC Theater tosses disabled black man from screening of The Color Purple 

Turns out Taser’s 'tragic' backstory is bullshit 

Your rights are an illusion. [video] 

NASA mission lines up to 'touch the Sun' 

I've Got A Secret [video]

Substack turns on its "Nazis Welcome!" sign  

US Rep Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Michigan) urges Uganda to "stand firm" on "death to gays" law 

Republican Presidential candidate Nikki Haley says Civil War was about "basically how the government was going to run"  

Missouri school board to reinstate Black history classes with new, less Black curriculum

Prominent right-wing prick is hoping to bring separation of church and state for reconsideration by the current wingnut Supreme Court 

‘I couldn’t be any prouder’: Father responds to son’s federal charges in Jan. 6 riots 

Amusing, Interesting, Outrageous, or Profound
    AIOP is my Lemmy page, for anything that's (in my opinion) amusing, interesting, outrageous, or profound. It's mostly a rough draft of this page, but you're invited to stop by.

The Police Problem
    A page about about ordinary evil cops. Here are a few of my favorites from the last week: 

Man sues city after being framed by Chicago Police and wrongfully imprisoned 30 years 

Over traffic stop, Wisconsin cops chase vehicle into wreck, killing two kids 

Tennessee police took part in multiyear sex trafficking conspiracy to shield a serial rapist — whose victims included children — in exchange for ‘hundreds of thousands’ in cash, lawsuit claims 

♫♬  MUSIC  ♫

Black Pearl — The Checkmates

Don’t Look Back in Anger — Oasis

Minimum Wage — They Might Be Giants 

Sixteen Tons — Tennessee Ernie Ford

Working for the Man — Roy Orbison 


Charlie Connolly
forgotten man 

Gaston Glock
built a better gun 

Bill Granger
avacado toast 

Shecky Greene

🖕 Herb Kohl
rich guy, senator

Laura Lynch
bassist, The Chicks 

Ralph Poynter
prisoners' rights advocate

🖕 Stephen Redd
cop, killer 

Yayra Rutherford
another child left behind

Tom Smothers
comedian, folk singer 

David Soukup
judge, children's advocate

Lee Sun-kyun
actor, Parasite 

Yacouba Sawadogo
farmer, forester

🖕 Donald Wildmon
unwiped asshole 

Tom Wilkinson
actor, The Full Monty


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited. 

Tip 'o the hat to the AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Chuff, Dirty Blonde Mind, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, Lemmy.world, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Self-love Is My Superpower, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration.

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo emeritus, Jeff Meyer, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.


  1. That's my matchbook.

    In the 70s when people asked me how I got into computer programming I had a standard answer: "I saw an ad on a matchbook . . .

    'Earn up to $10,000 a year in computer programming, travel to exotic foreign destinations, meet beautiful women with large breasts.' Where's the money?"

    That seemed a better answer than the truth: I dropped out of college and spent two years at a very good vocational school.


    1. Also, like a great many things, a plot point in Superman III.

    2. Had you at least *seen* the ad on the matchbook? I remember the hype, the schools and even TV newscasts pushing programming, but I don't remember matchbooks published by the Department of Labor...

    3. I remember 1 and 2, and definitely remember Superman 4, but remember nothing at all of Superman 3 except that it wasn't Richard Pryor's funniest moment. Certainly don't remember plot points. Have you seen it recently, or did it just make a big impression on you?

    4. https://youtu.be/iz7XK98_9LM?si=Eq5CDIi_01Omxoyk

      "Its not just about me and my dream of doing nothing..."

    5. lol no I was just thinking of the matchbook, which is how Richard Pryor's character discovers programming. And then it was referenced for the salami slicing scheme where they take fractions of a penny from transactions in Office Space when Michael Bolton says "Yeah, it was the plot of Superman III. Underrated movie."

    6. Well, now of course, I'm wondering. Superman 1 was good, Superman 2 was good for a sequel, Superman 3 felt like the end, and Superman 4 was silliness. If Michael Bolton is telling me Superman 3 was underrated, maybe I need to see it again and decide for myself.

    7. The last time I saw it it was on a VCR so old the remote control was connected by a wire, I have no idea what my however-old self thought but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't trust him!

      Also I recently found out that Richard Pryor had his own Saturday morning cartoon show, and Ray Parker Jr sang the theme song while awkwardly holding a basketball and getting his shoes shined.


  2. "Bodycam footage inside classroom shows Massachusetts cop saying they could "search every room and ask every teacher" for Gender Queer book"

    Ah, but 200 cops will mill around like penguins outside a school, refusing to enter, if someone tells them to find the gun inside. Dumbfuck hypocrite coward bullies.

    Someone needs to manufacture cop uniforms with slow-acting poison impregnated in the material.

    1. Surprise! The widespread adoption of bodycams seems to have lead to little accountability for wrong behavior but a great deal of new "content." There are gigantic YouTube channels that do nothing but circulate footage of people at their worse, their most embarrassing moments with their name and city plastered up in videos with 7 million views. I heard recently that a woman who was arrested for alleged public exposure (touching herself) on the beach committed suicide. Which naturally leads to more content.

      So we've taken a concept intended to increase oversight of heavily armed patrolmen and turned it into a means of surveillance and entertainment directed at civilians instead.

    2. The pinnacle of bodycam stupidity is that the footage is always under control of the cops. What a dumbshit idea! If it paints cops in a bad light, it can't be released for whatever made-up reason, but on those rare occasions when cops' violence seems justified the footage will be released the following morning. And yeah, anything cops find funny gets leaked everywhere.

      Anything footage that shows cops in the wrong, in most jurisdictions if you want the video you gotta protest for months or lawyer up.

      All bodycam footage from every police department should immediately be turned over to a separate state-wide agency, with HIPAA-like protections for the people on film, but none for the cops.

      And any tampering before it's turned over, and any time the camera or mike is turned off, needs to be actionable and switch everything to presumption of guilt for the cops involved.

    3. Sometimes it's hard to find a parking place in downtown Seattle and sometimes it's hard to find a place to reply on this fine blog. Yes, that's my matchbook, or a damn fine replica, but it wasn't published by anybody's government. It was published by a crappy, for-profit trade school. Check out the ass-tu-risk. The terrible trade school is quoting phony USDoL stats which are inflated, fictional, or both. The words Information Technology Professional was new to popular culture and kinda long for a matchbook, but that's what they meant. Computer programmers were coders who worked from the low-level analysis of programmer/analysts, who worked from the high-level analysis of systems analysts. Programmers became coders or coding specialists pretty soon and the middle level of programmer/analyst morphed into systems analysts and systems analysts became business analysts and there were a hell of a lot more than 115,000 of us.

      For a while there was a shortage that was so acute that even people who responded to that matchbook got jobs, and, of course, they weren't all men. Colleges and universities were a decade late in offering programs which produced commercial computer programmers. Many of the old trade schools that gave us fine barbers and welders saw an opportunity and built programs that could produce a competent programmer or systems analyst who knew the ins and outs of commercial data processing and owned a tie or two (or a dress or two) in about two years. When I decided to attend a voc school, I had to take a test and finish pretty high to even get in. At the time, it was easier to get into a college. In 1971, nearly 200 people applied for the thirty spots available in the next class, and of the thirty people who started, thirteen graduated two years later. And the school only had the funding to start one program a year.

      All thirteen of us had jobs before we graduated. We weren't all that good -- the demand was that high. The damn matchbook had actually accidentally understated the demand.


    4. The small print implies it was printed by the US Dept of Labor, even accompanied by a publication number, 61-491. But that's neither hither nor yawn.

      You were in the first crop of programmers to be taught, second only to the first crop to teach themselves, and it sounds like the classes were helpful as hell and got you into the business baby. Something to celebrate.

      Me, I never took a class and my only programming accomplishment was a very early, very clunky text adventure with about 2,000 page scenarios describing dungeons and goblins and fairie lords and treasures, all in text.

      Even now, I'm clumsy with graphics.

      Perhaps it's you who should be looking into the blog's disappearing comments. You couldn't be any less successful at solving that problem than Google, which hasn't acknowledged there's a problem at all.

    5. No problem. The last time I coded was 1981, and that was in Datapoint assembler, IBM Assembler, and IBM COBOL (a language which was envisioned and architected by the great Grace Hopper). I wrote in a half dozen other languages, all now essentially dead. Just ask the Googs to send me the half million lines of source code that drive this product and connect it to PC-based operating systems and the WWW and the dumps of failure occurrences with traces of those occurrences. Google has about 170,000 employees, and this software isn't a money maker. I'll bet there are fewer than 30 people who really know this code and could fix it and they're all getting old. I would venture to guess that Google is afraid to mess with this code, and I'm sure it's all post-2000.

      It's entirely possible that this code was written by one of the numerous tech companies that Google bought and swallowed whole. In that case, put me in touch with the 70-year-old former CTO of the company. You might check the phone book of the Virgin Islands if you can find a phone book. They likely overpaid him just to cut down on the hassle time.

      It's possible that the global code crisis isn't as dire as I think it is, but when I retired every company I worked with had some percent of their own code that they were afraid to touch because of lack of surviving employee knowledge and code fragility.

      But I'm willing to give it a shot.


    6. And I should just drop this, but what the hell is the asterisk for? And in 1970 what the hell was the federal government doing recruiting programmers using matchbooks? Maybe they were honoring Carl Perkins and matchboxes were too expensive to manufacture, but that doesn't seem plausible.


    7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM9GQDibqxw


    8. Claude Reigns, AsteriskJanuary 3, 2024 at 5:11 PM

      "but what the hell is the asterisk for?"

      You've not read Kurt Vonnegut?


    9. I've read all of Vonnegut and the last two or three weren't his best work, but the first six or seven were genius. Asterisks also mean "see below for reference". I regret bringing it up. I thought I could address it lightly, but I guess not.


    10. It looks to me like the asterisk is an awkward footnote, and "US Dept of Labor" looks like the reference for the claim that 115,000 new programmers were needed by 1975?

    11. The US Department of Labor doesn't use matchbooks to disseminate projected job growth. Even in 1965, they used spreadsheets printed on regular paper. This private trade school (contact info inside matchbook) is using fake numbers that they claim are from the US Department of Labor, but by 1970, IT professionals were not referred to as "programmers" in Labor statistics. There WERE coders who were frequently called "programmers" but they worked closely with programmer/analysts, systems analysts, business analysts, and systems programmers to develop business requirements, design automated systems, and, eventually, code (program) them.

      The trade school thought they were overstating the number of IT professionals that American business was going to require by 1975. Oddly enough, they accidentally understated the number. But private trade schools were, in general, not staffed properly to crank out capable IT professionals. I was there. And I'm really sorry. I never intended to make a big deal out of the matchbook -- it just happened to be part of my bar act in the 1970s.


    12. Wkikpedia says, "Pyra Labs launched Blogger on August 23, 1999. It is credited with popularizing the format as one of the first dedicated blog-publishing tools. Pyra Labs was purchased by Google in February 2003 for an undisclosed amount," and ignored since then, with bugs allowed to fester and spawn.

    13. That's a blessed trinity I could get behind. All three seem to be having a swell time. Obligatory Clapton is an ass, but he still plays a fine geetar.

    14. I approve of Kurt Vonnegut's asshole. Man, that's *art*. Also agree with Granville's interpretation of the matchbook asterisk, but whoever designed an asterisk so huge for a matchbook, and placed it on the left instead of the right, knows even less than I do of proper graphic design. Also agreed that they're citing DOL, but that the matchbook itself is not a DOL cancercauser.

      Haven't watched Superman 3 yet (or any movie in the last few weeks) but I've pirated it and accidentally caught the matchbook scene. :)

    15. I thought it was addressed lightly. A light asterisk.

    16. Was it a private trade school or a public voc/tech institute that taught you, John? You learned enough to make a career, so I'm guessing public. The public ones are for real, I think...

    17. The call center bastards have me coming in early and staying late, like some illegal Breakfast Club, so my brain has even less than its usual few minutes daily to stretch its brain legs.

    18. Like me, they see promise in you. It cuts into sleep and recreation, but it's a good thing that they want you morning and night.


    19. At least they're paying overtime...

  3. I've posted this here before, but it's worth listening to again. This is Ronnie Lane (after the Small Faces broke up and while the Faces was forming) and his band Slim Chance singing, playing and dancing Ooh La La. It's a slightly sad story sung and played with pure joy. The capos are moved all the way down the fingerboards leaving few chord choices, but the boys sure find them. I don't think anybody is making music this wonderful today.



    1. Let's click play and see if I can handle optimism before going to work...

    2. Yup, Clover Park Vocational/Technical School, publicly funded and well-staffed with instructors who've actually spent time in their industries. I went back there a number of times to talk to IT students about the state of the industry, partly because a close friend of mine taught there for a few years. They like to recruit instructors from IT jobs so they'll be up to date on current industry practices. You don't need a teaching certificate to instruct there, but you do have to have hands-on experience in what you're teaching. As a student it was much more challenging every day than either academic college I attended.


    3. Never went there or even been there, but I've always heard good things about Clover Park Voc/Tech. Do they still run Channel 56 over-the-air TV? It was PBS, Sesame Street and all, but they also made some in-school shows I watched and liked.

    4. I last checked out the college (it's now Clover Park Technical College, part of the Community College program) about 15 years ago when I was trying to get a nephew to enroll. The classes still looked good, although I didn't see any coding sheets or key punchers. Well, times change. My wife has been out there a couple of times to have lunch at the Clover Park Rainier Room, a modest sized restaurant where the culinary arts program shows its stuff to the public. It's moderately priced and she says the food is quite good. They also have a dessert bistro with fancy pastries at moderate prices. This is why you need a chauffeur.

      They have a pretty good web site which I'm sure the IT program put together. Those guys saved my life, and when I could I went back and talked to the classes. Everybody wanted to know how much money they were going to make. I told everyone it didn't matter and they didn't believe me. Each time they asked, I told them about the matchbook and said they could make 7-12,000 a year. Nobody thought that was funny. I get that a lot.


    5. And nope, Clover Park sold channel 56 to a religious broadcaster in the '90s. Broadcast TV is not the labor-intensive undertaking it once was. Clover Park tries to put its resources into programs where there is lots of demand for talent. When AM radio died and FM went syndicated, they got out of the radio broadcasting business as well. Nobody likes change including me, but the people who run the school seem to know what they're doing. I think that makes them rare as educators.


    6. You've got that alma mater love for the place, which I would too if I'd ever attended a school that put in any effort on me.

      Guess it makes sense, as you say, that they'd get out of the TV business, but here in my dotage I'll carry a soft spot for only two TV stations — channel 56 in Clover Park when it was educational, and channel 13 out of Tacoma long before its Fox affiliation, before the Fox network even existed, when it was "the Blaidon channel," with Bob Corcoran. They didn't even have the ability to broadcast in color.

      Is there even the slightest chance you might remember that? Besides me, you'd be the first.

    7. Yes on Channel 13. More to come. Maybe tomorrow. It pretty much put an end to a promising journalism career. But Miss Late Date would have made it all worthwhile.


    8. My sister learned to fly at Clover Park Technical College. Yup, they once had a runway and a modest control tower and taught both piloting and airframe and powerplant. She was at the top of her class when she washed out due to a failed physical. An ulcer. At the time, there were no good treatments for a gastric or peptic ulcer, so those were grounds for FAA disqualification. She ended up doing OK, but but she never again got the rush of soloing.

      OK, Channel 13 after I get some sleep.



    9. And I'm sorry it's such a hassle getting to and from work. It's a celebration day when I can walk two blocks without my back suing for mental anguish. On the other hand, these guys really want you around. I hope you can stick with it.


    10. An airport — Clover Park Technical College continues to impress, even after the airport's gone. Sounds like what education should me, as opposed to what it is, which usually disappoints.

      With rabbit ears we could barely pull in 11 and 13, not really well enough to watch, but when we got cable, Blaidon's channel 13 fascinated me. It was a mom & pop TV station, basically, or so it seemed to me. Few of the ordinary shows, and what they had was 20 years older than the reruns on other channels, but in prime time they made their own television. Nobody does that any more. Nobody else was doing that, even then.

      And all in glorious black-and-white, because the equipment to broadcast in color was still expensive and the ancient b/w equipment still worked.

    11. I'll get used to the commute. It's already tons better than the long ride to and from Mercer Island every day last spring. Just seemed hellish because I hadn't much stepped out of the recliner since that job...

    12. Doug, this is the closest I can get to replying to your query/recollection of Channel 13 and Channel 56. Turns out they're the same station, with broadcast offices in a concrete block low-rise next to their high broadcast tower on scotch broom hill at the north end of the Highland Hills housing development in the west end of Tacoma, overlooking Commencement Bay and offering a straight shot up the East Channel to Seattle. I grew up virtually in the shadow of the Channel 13 broadcast tower, and I can still see it from my current residence just by turning my head from the desk at which I'm typing this. My friend Mark grew up in the literal shadow of the Channel 13 broadcast tower. Had it fallen over to the east, it would have crushed his house. I have been inside Channel 13's studios several times, but more on that later.

      -- end part 1: Mrs Hoople calls --

    13. In September of 1968 I enrolled full time at Tacoma Community College. The next September I would be enrolling full time at Central Washington College (now University) in Ellensburg. I'm a particular fan of the Washington State Community College system, especially for a one year stop on the way to something else in higher education. In the fall of '68, I was, of course, taking a bunch of 100 level courses -- that's where you start. A full load at TCC cost $72 plus books, maybe another hundred bucks. Class sizes at TCC were in the 30-40 range, and the teaching staff was well qualified and certainly certified to teach college level classes. In the spring of 1970, when I enrolled at Central it was about $500 plus books for a similar number of hours, and the classes were, for the most part, taught by some combination of profs and teaching assistants, with profs lecturing once a week and TA's lecturing the rest of the time. End of that parable.

      In my first quarter at TCC I joined the staff of the college newspaper because I thought I might want to be a journalist. After getting beaten by some combination of the Viet Nam Vets For the War, the Black Student Union (then called the Obi Society) and the Tacoma Police Department, I decided I needed much larger and more visible PRESS credentials and less dangerous assignments. So I went to work for my friend Grant, who was that year's Features Editor for the TCC student newspaper. We took our first assignment together: find out what the hell was going on at Channel 13, especially with regard to Stu Martin's Double Date at the Movies. Well, it seemed less dangerous than field combat and it was.

      We cold called Stu at the Channel 13 studios (barely heated concrete block building on scotch broom hill) an hour before he hit the air. Double Date at the Movies consisted of two very bad black and white prints of two very bad movies that no other stations wanted to rent, hosted by Stu and two attractive ladies, Miss Early Date for the first movie and Miss Late Date for the second movie. Stu greeted us warmly; he was happy for any publicity at all. We ended up spending just about every night for the next two weeks with Stu and Misses Early and Late Dates.

      Stu sold a variety of books and furniture and junk during the frequent breaks in the movies. At one point, Stu was selling a vibrating recliner from some ripoff furniture store in town, and at the break he had Miss Early Date sit in the vibrating chair and narrated her experience as she apparently simulated an orgasm on live TV, causing Stu to get between her and the camera and say, "Now, back to the movie" instead of reading the sales script.

      Another time Stu got ahold of a couple hundred cheap sunglasses and decided they were 3D glasses and either sold them or gave them away to people who called the station. (I can't remember which). Stu promoted the hell out of the one night test screening of the big 3D movie (it was a cheap-ass western with a few splices) but there were a few scenes where the Indians were chasing the cowboys right toward the camera, and a few scenes where the cowboys with re-enforcements were chasing the Indians away from the cameras. So Stu instructed his several hundred viewers to watch the bottom of the screen and when the words "get glasses ready" were projected at the bottom of the screen, the viewers were to put down their drinks (of course they had drinks) and pick up their genuine Channel 13 3D glasses. When the words "put glasses on" were projected at the bottom of the screen, it was time to put on these horrible cheap-ass sunglasses and watch this cheap-ass western as the Indians chased the cowboys right into your living room.

      -- end Part 2: More to Come --

    14. Whoa, someone who remembers the Blaidon Channel and knows it better than me. Hadn't known 13 & 56 came from the same studio and tower; what a strange combination. Commercial but schlock, and educational non-profit. Are they still sharing space, the preacher and the Fox outlet?

      I do remember the old movies, truly old, decades older than any of the other channels showed, but I wasn't yet interested in old movies so I mostly didn't watch. Would've liked to have seen the demonstration of the vibrating recliner.

      Politics interested me, though, so I remember the Bob Corcoran Show. Who the hell was Bob Corcoran? The station and the show never said, as I recall, but it was the weirdest talk show ever — basically a radio talk show with occasional guests and lots of rambling talk from the host, but it was filmed. And filmed with zero pizzazz. It was just Bob sitting at a fake desk, with a phone on it, begging anyone in the audience to call, and sometimes people called to talk politics, and sometimes people called to scream obscenities. It was cable access TV before cable access TV, and it was bonkers.

      Now, of course, local TV stations make no original programming except the nightly newscasts, which are identical and interchangeable with any other newscast from any other station and contain less than 1/10 of 1% news.

      If there was still a Blaidon station, I might own a TV.

    15. I spent a couple of years commuting to Maryland, and a few years commuting to Philly, but, with the exception of a three year stay in Gig Harbor, the addresses on my drivers licenses have always referred to a house or apartment with a view of the Channel 13 tower. It's a tall tower on a high hill. It's always been a beacon home.


    16. Bob Corcoran's son said about Bob, “He did things that no one could even think of doing today. He bought 2 ½ hours of TV time a night and went out and sold the advertising time himself and did the ads himself – and he was sold out six months in advance.”


    17. All hail the old channel 13, but I have no fond feeling for the current shit station.

      I guess he was a conservative, though I don't remember it. I just remember him talking for hours and hours in front of a camera that never moved, always black-and-white, at a desk with a phone that never rang as often as he wanted it to. It was riveting.

  4. And here's Leonard Cohen with a song he wrote in the late 80s and is performing in 1993 -- an optimistic song in a pessimistic time called "Democracy".



    1. I remember briefly thinking there might be truth to the song, and maybe the shushed voices would be heard and the entire situation might be a notch or two improved. But it's still a grand old song.


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