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Wednesday, Aug 1, 2007

News about my zine…

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Wednesday, Aug 1, 2007

The tug of war continues over students’ free speech and press rights.

First, the good news: In Oregon, Governor Ted Kulongoski (D) signed a bill on July 13 that, for the first time ever, protects under one statute both high school and college students’ right to a free press. The law states, “student journalists are responsible for determining content of school-sponsored media.”

The bad news is not far behind. According to The Student Press Law Center (SPLC), the law was the subject of plenty of debate and revisions. A SPLC press release states, “The House Judiciary Committee amended the HB 3279 by removing ‘advertising’ from a list of protected student expressions for high school students and deleting a clause that would have allowed for the awarding of attorney’s fees and costs to students who successfully sue their school for violations of the law. The Senate Judiciary Committee removed a provision that designated college publications as ‘public forums’ and discarded a guarantee that student media advisers who refuse to censor student publications cannot be fired or transferred.”

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Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007
by Connie Ogle
First Among Sequels: A Thursday Next Novel

First Among Sequels: A Thursday Next Novel
by Jasper Fforde
Viking ($24.95)

There is simply so much you don’t know about fiction: Thomas Hardy’s novels used to be hilarious, but someone made off with the humor. There was once a shocking outbreak of sensible behavior in Othello. Only 15 pianos exist in literature, and so they must be endlessly shuffled from Bleak House to The Mill on the Floss to Heart of Darkness and so on. Mistakes happen; one piano ended up in Miss Bates’ parlor in Emma, and Frank Churchill had to take the rap for dumping it there.

Such unsettling events occur regularly in the Bookworld, born in the furiously agile imagination of Jasper Fforde, creator Thursday Next of Jurisfiction, a literary detective whose adventures stretch uproariously across four novels (The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots and Something Rotten). Fforde has shaken up genres—fantasy, comedy, crime, sci fi, parody, literary criticism—and come up with a superb mishmash with lots of affectionate in-jokes for any book lover.

In the aptly titled First Among Sequels—tough call, but there’s a good chance it’s the best of Fforde’s novels—Thursday is no longer working SpecOps, or at least not to her husband Landen’s knowledge. He thinks she’s laying carpet, but she’s still leaping in and out of assorted prose and contending with non-literary mayhem. The genre wars continue, with Racy Novel’s threats to drop a dirty bomb into “Mrs. Dalloway.” Time may be coming to an end. The ruling Commonsense Party is running up an ominously high Stupidity Surplus (“Instead of drifting from one crisis to the next and appeasing the nation with a steady stream of knee-jerk legislation and headline-grabbing but arguably pointless initiatives, they had been resolutely building a raft of considered long-term plans that concentrated on unity, fairness, and tolerance”).

Worst of all is the introduction of Reality Book Shows, which will rewrite the classics based on audience approval. First up: Pride and Prejudice.

Fforde, also author of the even sillier Nursery Crimes series, is not even close to running out of targets. His satire is relentless and inspired; even his throwaway one-liners hit home: “The MAWk-15H virus has once again resurfaced in Dickens, particularly in the Death of Little Nell, which is now so uncomfortably saccharine that even our own dear, gentle, patient, noble Nell complained.”

Thursday may face a threat against reading in the Bookworld, but in the real world, thanks to the witty Fforde, she can rest assured that the demise of the book has never seemed more unlikely.

Connie Ogle
McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

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Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007
by Phil Rosenthal and Michael Oneal

CHICAGO - Rupert Murdoch’s $5 billion conquest of Dow Jones & Co. is all but complete.

After an operatic, months-long battle of wills with the wealthy Bancroft family, which has controlled the business news empire for more than a century, Murdoch’s hefty $60-per-share offer finally prevailed on Tuesday. Ultimately, an agreement to pay the family’s advisory fees trumped fears that Murdoch might corrupt their birthright, one of the most respected and powerful news organizations in the world.

The victory of Murdoch’s News Corp. marries the staid, establishment publisher of The Wall Street Journal with a global media maverick and his company best known as purveyor of newspapers such as The New York Post and television shows such as “The O’Reilly Factor” and “The Simpsons.”

That coupling has sent chills through the world of establishment journalism and raised anew a question that has bedeviled the industry in recent years as audience and advertising revenue decline: Why can’t even the best newspapers find a way to pay for themselves?

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Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007

Some important forwarded information

Protest the Corporate Take Over of Harlem

Rally and Demo for Bobby’s Happy House
Protest the Eviction of Harlem’s
1st Black own business on 125th St.
Friday, August 3, 2007
5 PM to 7 PM
2337 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
(Between 125th & 126th Streets)

Legendary record producer Bobby Robinson, now 90 years of age opened Bobby’s Record House, the first Black owned business on 125th Street in 1946. Robinson, a prominent African American independent record producer established six record labels between 1952 and 1962, Red Robin Records, Whirlin’ Disc Records, Fury Records, Everlast Records and Enjoy Records. Robinson produced numerous million-selling records by such notable performers as Wilbert Harrison, The Shirelles, Lee Dorsey, Dave “Baby” Cortez ande Gladys Knight & the Pips’ first hit, “Every Beat of My Heart”.

At issue is whether or not Bobby’s Happy House and other local Black businesses can remain in the “Harlem Has Arrived” corporate takeover of the world renowned community once called the “Black Mecca” in the US. For sure, the subsidized corporation takeover of Harlem is moving full speed ahead with the complicity of presidential hopeful Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Board of Trustees of Columbia University, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and elected officials. Estimates are that over 50 local Black businesses have been forced out of Harlem and more will follow with the $50 million sale of 112-118 West 125th Street, 250 West 125th Street, 301-303 West 125th Street and 2331-2349 Frederick Douglass Boulevard not to mention new developments that are coming: Hotel 124 at 125th Street and Fifth Avenue;  21 stories Harlem Parks at 125th Street and Park Avenue;  a retail complex at 261 W. 125th St;  and a retail tower at 125th Street and Lenox Ave with luxury apartments. Columbia University’s bold land grab of over 17 acres in West Harlem and Mayor Bloomberg’s Uptown New York calls for the use of eminent domain to force local businesses to sell to private owners. And the legendary Copeland’s restaurant will host its last Sunday Gospel Brunch on July 29th. With all of these developments coming the number of jobs for the majority local Black population will be minuscule while undocumented workers will be exploited to the hilt! The Real Deal of course is money and backroom deal, all at the misery of the poor and working class. The real estate industry is projecting commercial prices over the next 18 months reaching as high as $2,000 per sq. ft.  The pressure is on and we are fighting back. But WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! JOIN US ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 3RD.

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