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Friday, February 18, 2005

The good folks at the Eugene WEAKLY, decided that stomping on Bruce Anderson wasn't enough, and kept going this week. My intemperate comments were cited, and I reproduce their wonderful news coverage herein:


Our Slant last week on the closing down of AVA Oregon generated a slew of unflattering words from Hart Williams, former chief of the Lane County Democrats, a former state House candidate and a recent contributor to AVA Oregon. Williams writes about EW on his blog and calls the paper "basically glorified parakeet cage liner," and goes on to say that "generally, the parakeets contribute the best material to the paper." He describes EW as a "pseudo-'alternative' paper," noting that EW gave scant attention to his political opponent Paul Holvey's out-of-district campaign contributions in the last legislative primary (see News Brief 5/6/04). "They started raking muck where there was no muck, and NOT raking muck where there was," he writes. He calls AVA's Bruce Anderson "the only honest editor in Eugene," and "the only editor that I know of on the West Coast with any balls." Read all about it at www.hartwilliams.com where there's a link to his blog.

Well, I was never the "Chief" of the Lane County Democrats. Heck, I was never even an officer, unless you count Publicity Chair (the WEEKLY wouldn't print our press releases, BTW).

So, their track record for "getting the facts" remains unblemished.

But you're not here for a journalistic cat fight. You're here to see the latest Paris Hilton photo, hot from the paparazzi, and I've got it for you.

My political voice has been silenced. My journalistic voice is pretty much silenced these days, and so I guess I will just have to continue this narcissistic blogging (if only to upset the "REAL" journalists) and work on selling my porn film.

Meantime, check out my AVA pieces on the links there on the right --------->
Excelsior, as Jean Shepherd used to say.

P.S.: As long as we're on the subject of "newsworthy," here's a little letter I sent the WEEKLY editor, without knowing that he was planning on publicizing my chicken scratchings on this blog:
I want to take a moment to explain something important in the dynamic here.

I bear you no personal enmity.

My response to the publication of the Prozanski letter was based on a simple tenet of fairness: I sent it in so that Prozanski, no matter what I might think of his behavior in the election, would have time to respond to the charge levied.

Publishing it on the Thursday before the election made it seem like a craven act of cheapjack assassination. The point, now that he's won, is moot. But he still should have had the opportunity to respond.

Just FYI, in case you might find this newsworthy at some point: in 2002, Prozanski spent about $21,000 to retake his seat in the newly redistricted HD 8. In 2004, he raised almost *exactly* the same amount of money of his own efforts.This was bolstered by $230,000 added by the Senate Democratic Leadership committee, or almost 93% of his campaign expenditures of about $250,000.

To whom is he then beholden? (This 92% outside money figure is becoming disquietingly common in races around these parts.)

Democracy? Well, it was a fun ride while it lasted.


Well, you know who signed it. Wonder if they'll follow up?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Evincing a sense of responsibility belied by the article quoted below, I just wanted to warn you of what a DANGEROUS fellow I am. I might exercise my First Amendment rights, and then where would you be?

I'll tell you, or, actually, this guy will tell you. From today's Eugene REGISTER-GUARD:


February 16, 2005
Beware the blogs, for truth isn't a fact

By Matt Cooper
The Register-Guard

It's one thing to stand on a street corner and shout opinions at the top of your lungs. It's quite another to do it on the Internet.

The practice is "blogging" - using a Web page as a journal for views, statements and information - and its ability to rapidly steer public opinion has some people asking, what responsibility do these online announcers have to get it right?

"The danger in blogging is that there isn't that level of checking," said John Russial, an associate professor in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. "Information can get out there and it can be spread like wildfire, when in fact it might not be true." [...]

What, as opposed to what the MEDIA fucking does already? You know, those guys who report GI Joe dolls being abducted? Right. But ...

Woooo! Be AFRAID! Be very, very afraid.

Except that I've noticed the cocksuckers in the news game, and the university con (you know, the one where you go into hock for the next ten years for a "degree" that is barely worth the paper it's printed on, and in which you come out with no marketable skills to speak of, and never actually see a professor, but, instead get some frazzled grad-ass teaching your undergrad class, while the Prof shamelessly solicits grants for research like a streetwalker soliciting serial killers in their pickup trucks? That con?) er, well, THEY don't exactly show all that much responsibility or fact-checking, either.

Perhaps it was true once, but this high moral dudgeon is entirely out of place in today's "Marching Morons" atmosphere (see Cyril M. Kornbluth's original, hall of fame Science Fiction story to see what I mean). People who wear glass jackboots shouldn't goosestep, after all.

But then again, I'm a dangerous blogger. You should probably stop reading now. Call the local authorities. Protect your children.

Just felt that you should be alerted.

Wait! Whoops! That would be RESPONSIBLE, wouldn't it?

Forget I mentioned it. OK? OK.

Nitey night.
Monday, February 14, 2005
St. Valentine's Day

This is a special day around these parts. My wife and I were both conceived on Valentine's Day, and my father -- also a Hart -- was born on Valentine's Day in 1928.

He is my only living parent (or at least, I hope so. I haven't found any death certificate.) This year he is 77.

[I haven't seen him since I was five years old, having been forced to adopt the Maternal Propaganda Line, which unravelled slowly over time, as I learned to THINK, and noticed that it simply didn't add up. Mother was slick, but she wasn't all THAT slick. Fortunately for her, she confined her mendacity to small towns where it had a much better chance of succeeding. In a larger market it wouldn't have lasted a New York Minute.]

I am constantly told, by those who knew him and DIDN'T have a vested interest in demonizing their divorce, that he was unremittingly kind, hard-working, charming and gracefully athletic. He remarried, lives in the South, and has been married to the same woman for the past 45 years or thereabouts.

[Which is more than can be said for my late Mother. She overdosed on a surfeit of self-righteousness and tumbled off the Jesus cliff one night several years ago. EMTs in attendance said it was one of the most horrific accident scenes they'd ever witnessed.]

Went to see George Winston at the McDonald theater tonight, and it was fantastic. I've listened to Winston since he first came out on Windham Hill Records long, long ago. I think his album was the first one WH released. WH was originally put together by a guitarist named William Ackerman, who wanted "pure" music, no overdubs, acoustic only, etc.

My fellow Temple student, Liz Story, was signed to the label, and I attended her "record" party at the late, lamented "Tantra Central" house down just off Olympic and La Brea (?) that she and her partner shared with her sister Cathy, and Cathy's husband, Tom, who was the first person I ever heard use the catch phrase (and the first to obsessively use it, too, now that I think of it) "Go for it."

At the time, Ackerman had not yet signed any sort of distribution deal, so the small label seemed doomed to obscurity, but we loved Liz and were happy for her ANYWAY, and they played Liz's record at the party, but later, as I recall, other WH lp's had been sent to or bought by the denizens of Tantra Central, and I heard Winston's lp there for the first time. A couple of months later, A&M Records signed a distribution deal, and "New Age" music was born, and Windham Hill went on to become the giant of the niche. All of which brings us back to George Winston:

He's just as amazing today as he was then.

[By the by: Later, when the New Age format "the Wave" was introduced to LA FM radio a few years later, the first song played would be from Liz's "Colors" album, "Wedding Rain," which we'd heard that night at her party. According to last reports, she married a bass player for Doc Severinson's old Tonight Show band, and is living in Flagstaff, Arizona. Whether she is still recording seems a bit of a mystery. She still does music, though.]

After the George Winston concert, we were invited backstage to meet the artist. Turns out that Winston is driving straight from this show to Everett, Washington tonight to get ready for his next show. Tough gig being a musician these days. Valentine's evening, driving six or seven hours. I think he may have a single roadie. I'm not certain. T'was a beautiful piano, the name sounded something like a "Steinbrenner" or "Steinbrunner," which the Piano Liquidators guy (from whom, I took it to mean, the piano was rented) called it the "Cadillac of pianos."

To which I would only say: What else would any businessperson say about ANY grand piano? That it's the "Yugo of pianos"? Well, if it were someone ELSE's store or piano, yes, I suppose.

But it was a sort of blonde chestnut knotty pine effect, perhaps a mahogany, or cedar and refracted under the lights like tiger-eye quartz. The sound was equally astonishing. Winston also played "slack-key" guitar (a pre-steel Hawaiian guitar style) and harmonica. Also amazingly. He really hears the overtones and harmonics -- everything in the room.

He and the promoter spent several minutes backstage after everyone had left talking about obscure halls from Denver to Eugene, from Bellingham to Santa Fe; their acoustics, their setup, etc. A very interesting conversation to be a fly on the wall for.

He made one sly funny that no one else seemed to catch when the promoter talked about a John McLaughlin/Al DiMeola/someone else tour that they'd done in one of the halls they were speaking of:

"I bet there were a WHOLE lot of notes on THAT stage."

The joke passed, unlaughed at. Too bad. I knew what he was talking about. Winston hails from Montana, by the by. I hadn't known that.

Having nothing else to justify my presence, I had him autograph my ticket stub. Such was Valentine's night.


Hope that the child of Venus and Mercury blessed his arrows with the scratching of that itch, if itch there were for you tonight.

Remember: this is the festival of Venus, not "St. Valentine." The Church tried to supplant the holiday, but I think we can all see how successful they were when you consider that Venus and Mercury's son was Cupid. In the Greek, perhaps you will recognize the symbolism a bit better when I tell you that the son of Aphrodite and Hermes was Eros. (Same folk, different names.)

[OK: I can hear the quibbling. Here is an "authority" to sort out the nuances:

His origins are disputed, but one popular belief of this most famous god of love and desire, darling of poets, artists and lovers everywhere is that he is the son of Venus and Mars or for the Greeks, Aphrodite and Ares. A lesser known version is that he is the son of Venus and Mercury or Aphrodite and Hermes.

from: http://www.epicureantable.com/articles/acupid.htm
a nice Valentine's story for you to read, by the by.]

The Latin term for "It's greek to me," by the by is "Non potest legi, Graecum est." Which literally means: "It cannot be read; it is Greek."

Which is probably why they changed the names. Well, thank God(s) I create Erotica and not Cupidity. Graecum ist.
hart williams
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