Posts Tagged ‘ News ’

Overheard in Sonoma

2017.10.02
By

(For Leah Garchik’s back-page-of-the-San Francisco Chronicle feature.)

Ms. Garchik,

I was walking on the west side of Sonoma Plaza this morning when I passed a middle-aged touristy couple, just as the man was saying to his female companion, “Someday, she’ll know what beer is.” His words are a mystery to me, and I hope amusing to your readers.

Be well,

Neal

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My Letter to the Mayor of London

2017.06.06
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Here is what I said to Mayor Sadiq Khan via his website. You may want to write your own.

Dear Sir,

Please accept my humble condolences and healing prayers for those injured and killed in the recent terror attack; I hope this finds you otherwise well. I realize you are very busy, but I just wanted to take a moment to apologize for the actions of “our” president. Not all of us voted for him; not all of us share his boorish opinions or worldview. Many of my countrymen/women are otherwise fine people, and many of them are trying their hardest to mitigate the damage he is doing to our country and the world. I can only hope you don’t judge us all by the actions of one man, even if he claims to be our elected representative.

Be well, and thank you for your time,

Neal Ross Attinson

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5 Thoughts: Resist!

2017.02.09
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resistancesymbolI DON’T USUALLY GET POLITICAL. But this is no time for silence.

I did not vote for the current President. I find him arrogant, cruel and stupid. His policies, appointments, and disdainful comments about our institutions and values are fascistic and frightening to me.

Fortunately, some people are fighting back:

1. WTF Just Happened Today? Stay informed with this daily update of things bad (and good) related to the reigning regime.

2. Indivisible: A Practical Guide: A strategy (and tactics) for organizing the Resistance. (Takeaway: Be like the Tea Party, only progressive.)

3. Bend the Arc | A Jewish Partnership for Justice: A small but doughty band of Jews and allies who have Seen This Before.

4 Find your Senator / Find your Representative: This is where some of the real power lies. Make your voice heard in the Senate and House. Daily. (According to Indivisible, phone calls and office visits are the best way to do that.)

5. https://twitter.com/RoguePOTUSStaff (you’ll need a Twitter account): Dispatches purporting to be from a rogue official on the President’s staff. Enlightening if true.

And remember: take care of yourself and don’t pass along rumors!

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KCBS: Stop the Banter!

2017.02.09
By

(Sent today via email.)

To whom it may concern,

As a KCBS listener for more than 20 years (and a former radio reporter/announcer at KSRO in Santa Rosa), I’m writing to comment on your (apparently) new policy of having hosts and commentators banter between segments.

In short: Please stop.

I understand the desire to “humanize” newscasts, but frankly, it’s grating on the ear and borderline unprofessional. It also has me talking back to the radio (“WHO CARES??? GIVE ME NEWS!”) on an hourly basis. I tune in for news and weather (and occasionally traffic), not banter.

So please rethink your policy. You would make at least one listener VERY happy.

Thank you, and be well,

Neal Ross Attinson
Sonoma

PS: Other than the above complaint, I think you are doing a fine job presenting the news in a straightforward, no-spin manner. I particularly like the in-depth stories at the bottom of the hour. And StarDate (sp?) is awesome, too. I try to never miss one. Keep up the good work!

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The W-Word, As In “We Are Not Amused”

2011.09.13
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A CREEPING TREND OF LITERARY infantilization is loose upon the printed land: we refer specifically to the practice of substituting for a contretemps-laden word a reference to its initial letter: “the T-word,” “the F-word,” etc.

We recognize and laud the noble impulse to avoid giving needless offense. Yet this usage has reached a point where it is difficult to understand what’s being communicated. Read more »

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Monumental Question

2011.09.11
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“Do you honor the hole, or refill it with something?” (This may also apply to more than just the WTC memorial. Me, I vote for honoring the hole.)

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Then

2011.09.11
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EVEN AFTER TEN YEARS, THE memories and pain are still fresh when I think of them. I don’t think of them often.

My habit in those days was to check the Ha’aretz news ticker with my morning coffee. “Hmm… soccer teams doing well, banks not so much, road accidents, airplane flies into World Trade Center. Wait. What?” Read more »

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Saturday Night Owls, Sunday Morning Penguins

2011.09.04
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EVEN IF THERE’S LITTLE TO read — sometimes, especially if there’s little to read — nothing beats sharing an early morning newspaper with someone you love.

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5 Thoughts: Comic Strips

2011.08.21
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1. THE MORNING ISN’T COMPLETE WITHOUT checking into the daily comics page and some of my favorite parallel universes. I scan most of what’s there (as my friend Gary Nordstrom says, “If the author went to the trouble of writing it, as a fan I should take the trouble to read it”), and while my eternal favorites are now but shrine-emplaced memories (Pogo, Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side and Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy) here’s a handful I look forward to each day. What they have in common is strong characterization, technical competency and good writing, but that’s not all:

2. Get Fuzzy. The only “funny animal” strip that “gets” the animal mind (in the way that Jack Vance “gets” the alien mind). Darby Conley’s Satchel Pooch and Bucky T. Katt are, well, not quite human — and they’re rendered that way, as they muddle through each day trying not to give Rob Wilco (their human roommate) one of his perennial headaches. Read more »

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“Self-Deleting Jews”

2011.08.16
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(Feel free to skip if you’re not hot for ethnoapologetics.)

THERE’S AN UGLY MEME IN the Jewish community that may or may not have analogs among other minority groups: the so-called “self-hating Jew.”

This term, most often used in online Jewish fora (the Forward, Tablet, Jewschool, et al) when someone Jewish posts a critically outre comment about Israel, is more generally used to describe one who turns his or her back on “the tribe” and spends some significant time publicly railing thereupon. (Peter Beinart and Adrienne Rich come most prominently to this writer’s mind, but someone once used it to describe me when I naively asked in one forum, “Is there such a thing as ‘too Jewish?’” I don’t think so, but some apparently do.) Read more »

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Another “Next Big Thing”

2011.08.11
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“LOOMING” (N): PEOPLE BEHIND STUFF.

Fig. 1.

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The Tar-Baby Problem

2011.08.08
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ONCE UPON A TIME, BEFORE minorities realized they were being patronized by pop-cultural stereotypes, there was a literary MacGuffin known as a “tar-baby.” This item featured highly in the Joel Chandler Harris story “Br’er Rabbit and the Tar-Baby,” where one of the funny animals makes a baby out of tar to trick his enemy into arguing with it, striking it, and finally being englobed by it. A fine family tale enjoyed by generations.

Here’s where history trumps metaphor. And why I need your help.
Read more »

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Recent Tales

Not Like It Used To Was

Mom in the drug store Called out to her son: “Brooklyn!” Am I getting old?

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Prosatio Silban and the Visitor From The Sands

PROSATIO SILBAN WAS NOT KNOWN for nothing as “The Cook For Any Price.” He had long ago foresworn the Sacreanthood and serving people’s souls...

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The Poet

HE COULDN’T TELL WHETHER HE loved beauty or women more until the day he called his mom and said “Guess what? I’m marrying a...

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Storyteller’s Knot

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF any story is the point at which it’s attached to the reader.

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