When Silicon Valley Took Over Journalism

 

By Franklin Foer : theatlantic –  excerpt

The pursuit of digital readership broke the New Republic—and an entire industry.

Chris Hughes was a mythical savior—boyishly innocent, fantastically rich, intellectually curious, unexpectedly humble, and proudly idealistic.

My entire career at the New Republic had been spent dreaming of such a benefactor. For years, my colleagues and I had sputtered our way through the internet era, drifting from one ownership group to the next, each eager to save the magazine and its historic mission as the intellectual organ for hard-nosed liberalism. But these investors either lacked the resources to invest in our future or didn’t have quite enough faith to fully commit. The unending search for patronage exhausted me, and in 2010, I resigned as editor…

Over the past generation, journalism has been slowly swallowed. The ascendant media companies of our era don’t think of themselves as heirs to a great ink-stained tradition. Some like to compare themselves to technology firms. This redefinition isn’t just a bit of fashionable branding. As Silicon Valley has infiltrated the profession, journalism has come to unhealthily depend on the big tech companies, which now supply journalism with an enormous percentage of its audience—and, therefore, a big chunk of its revenue… (more)

A completely different view of the world, based on future expectations of where technology will take us, is unveiled as a major funding partner of Facebook pours his wealth into The New Republic. Having been interviewed by The Atlantic, I can speak from experience on how that movement feels. Both extremes, living in the past and living in the future are not getting most of us anywhere other than longing for a clear presence in the presence that is lacking in both.

 

 

 

How Fossil Fuel Money Made Climate Change Denial the Word of God

Brendan O’Connor : splinternews – excerpt

In 2005, at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the National Association of Evangelicals was on the verge of doing something novel: affirming science. Specifically, the 30-million-member group, which represents 51 Christian denominations, was debating how to advance a new platform called “For the Health of a Nation.” The position paper—written the year before An Inconvenient Truth kick-started sense of public urgency around climate change—included a call for evangelicals to protect God’s creation, and to embrace the government’s help in doing so. The NAE’s board had already adopted it unanimously before presenting it to the membership for debate.

At the time, many in the evangelical movement were uncomfortable with its close ties to the Republican anti-environmental regulation agenda. That year, a group called the Evangelical Alliance of Scientists and Ethicists protested the GOP-led effort to rewrite the Endangered Species Act, and the NAE’s vice president of governmental affairs Richard Cizik pushed for the organization to endorse John McCain and Joe Lieberman’s cap-and-trade bill. “For the Health of a Nation,” which Cizik also pushed, was an opportunity to draw a bright line between their support of right-wing social positions on abortion and civil rights and a growing sentiment that God’s creation needed protection from industry.

“Evangelicals don’t want themselves identified as the Republican Party at prayer,” the historian and evangelical Mark Knoll said at the time in support of the platform.

He was wrong. The rank-and-file membership rejected the effort. Like the oil and utilities industries, they decided that recognizing climate change was against their political interests…

Conservative groups, funded by fossil fuel magnates, spend approximately one billion dollars every year interfering with public understanding of what is actually happening to our world.

For his trouble, Cizik was targeted by a collection of hard right Christians, who petitioned the NAE board to muzzle him or force him to resign. “Cizik and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time, notably the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage, and the teaching of sexual abstinence and morality to our children,” their letter read. It also implied that Cizik, who had worked for the NAE for nearly three decades, supported abortion, giving condoms to children, and infanticide…. (more)

Very interesting stories about media and how it is changing and being used to influence politics. This site is all about media and the arts, and this mornings two stories show the wide range of ideas that are being pumped out to society from the new media sources. Both extremes are backed by large corporate funders backing very different agendas.

 

 

Sam Shepard’s Magic Time

By MISHA BERSON : orartswatch – excerpt

Present at the creation in the late, great playwright’s San Francisco years: watching an American “seeker and experimentalist” at work

Motorcycles would vroom into the massive parking lot at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, a former Army facility being transformed into an arts complex. And if I looked out of the right window from my warehouse office, I’d see Sam Shepard roaring into the parking lot alongside John Lion, the artistic head of the Magic Theatre.

Wearing leather jacket, blue jeans, and shades, his dark hair flopping over his forehead, Sam was so cool he could’ve been an extra from the iconic hipster film Easy Rider. But at that point (in the late 1970s) he was already famous in his own right, at least among theater folk, for his cowboy-beatnik charisma and his sui generis, rock-the-genre plays, like The Tooth of Crime, The Unseen Hand, and Suicide in B-Flat

The great American playwright Sam Shepard died last Thursday, July 27, 2017, at his home in Kentucky. He was 73… (more)

Sam Shepard is one of my favorite playwrights of the new experimental theatre called avant garde when it was taking off in San Francisco. I made a point of seeing his plays as they opened at the Magic and other local theatres around the SF Bay Area. As theatre workers we had the front row seats at rehearsals and watched as they developed into memorable works of art.

My first Shepard play was at New College on Valencia shortly after it was resurrected from the ashes of a mortuary. The ghost of the former occupants led an eerie feeling to the dueling rock stars in the boxing rink as the new-comer whaled on the aging star.

The smell of burnt toast is forever etched in my memory of Sam Shepard along with a barrel of huge carrots. If you are not familiar with his work you should look into it.

Interesting to read the best review of his work so far written by another fan who was on the scene at the time. We probably crossed paths.

Rural America: Where Sam Shepard’s roots ran deepest

John J. Winters : theconversation – excerpt

When Sam Shepard died on July 27 the world lost one of the greatest playwrights of the past half-century. He was an artist renowned for bravely plumbing his own life for material, spinning much of his own pain into theatrical gold. His best work revealed the hollowness behind the idea of the happy family and its corollary, the American dream. Subversive and funny, Shepard had the soul of a poet and an experimental streak that never faded… (more)

 

Artist Activist Quandry

This letter is dedicated to all those artists, historians, and humanitarians who find themselves in this quandary of deciding what is important and what is not. I certainly do not have the answer. I do not believe there is one, only questions about the role history plays in the life of our planet  Earth.

Does preserving material artifacts and records of our historical achievements and failures have a lasting effect on the living? How important is it to preserve our art and historical and cultural history? Is it worth losing a life over? Many lives? Like I said, this is not an easy question to ask and impossible to answer, but, if we do take a moment to think about it, it may help us get past our own limited abilities long enough to feel we have a path forward that make sense because we took some time to think about our actions and our reasons to care.

Let us start at the beginning, or the beginning of history as we know it. How do we know it? We look at the ancient material things that were left by earlier civilizations and we ascertain much about how they lived on this earth. But, we do not actually experience any of these physical realities. We rely on “expert” humans who claim to know what the bones of dinosaurs mean. We rely on scientists to explain would they suspect happened when observe the remains of these civilizations and the physical pieces of what is left to indicate they existed. Few of us will ever see any of these articles in person or visit the ancient world and if we do we are not “educated” to understand what we are looking at…

Continue reading “Artist Activist Quandry”

San Francisco Celebrates Pot instead of 70’s Peace and Love Culture

50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love Festival was denied a permit… but San Francisco’s 4/20 Marijuana Festival Will Be A City-Permitted Event

video news link

If Peace and love of the 70’s is your thing, you may join the Summer of Love Club to share your memories: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DoYouRememberThe70sFanClub/

“Gem of the South” Veronika Jackson


message from Veronica Jackson

It is so nice to be contacting you again, after being out of touch for a while. I hope all is well with you. I have been performing and keeping alive the grassroots music of American folk blues. As an artist who enjoys performing and entertaining music lovers from all walks of life. Please visit website for future performances. See you around the festivals and music rooms!

Veronika Jackson
contact @ VeronikaJackson.com

UC Berkeley ponders People’s Park for housing in controversial move

By Nanette Asimov< : sfchronicle – excerpt

People’s Park near UC Berkeley, where questions over its fate have inspired student protests for decades and led deputies to kill a man and blind another on infamous “Bloody Thursday” in 1969, is again being considered for development.

This time, UC Berkeley is eyeing the grassy 2.8-acre park as one of nine sites for development to alleviate one of the worst shortages of student housing in campus history…

Another great park up for grabs with a ton of history some want to bury. The Grateful Dead and Country Joe and the Fish among many others played here for free long before they were discovered. Many battles were fought to preserve this park.

Last photos I shot of the Pinellas site.

This brings up a question about the old Beaux Arts site. Is it still a park as it was last time I was there or has the city developed it?