August 8, 2014

The ballad of the Oakland/L. A./Oakland (/L. A. ?) Raiders

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:26 pm

crop of nader

A photo of Ralph Nader giving a talk to protesters at the Berkeley Post Office supporting their efforts to prevent the sale of the downtown Post Office building had news value and could be used as part of the week in review the weekend after the event occurred but after that, unless it was work done on assignment for a monthly magazine, the images had lost their news value and only had residual value as a stock shot.

Businesses supplying stock shots for various publications used to be an integral part of the magazine industry but now that the internet supplies photos for free the stock shot businesses are being diminished by the trend.

A long fact checked story about the demise of the stock shot agencies would have a very limited audience and most of the general public would glance at the headline and move on to other content.

A long and detailed think piece using the incredible shrinking stock photo world to support the assertion that journalism and the free press tradition in the United States are suffering the death of a thousand cuts might attract the attention of reporters who happened to stumble upon it, but the rest of the audience would shrug their shoulders and say: “So what?”

If the World’s Laziest Journalist takes some photos at an event this weekend titled “Naked Girls Reading: Dearly Departed,” happening in San Francisco, the images might have some news value and would possibly attract some curiosity seekers to next week’s installment of our week in review column. (Google hint: sexandculture dot org) They might have more residual stock shot value than the Ralph Nader photos. If he runs for President again, we might get to use the photos as mug shots to go with future columns.

While he was in Berkeley, did Nader notice that the Liberals’ wildly enthusiastic support for President Obama seems to be diminishing lately?

If journalism is dying; some might say: “So what?” Police and politicians might be anxious to see the free press go the way of covered wagons, but voters might want to think about it before endorsing that eventuality.

Back in the day, when the weekly news magazines were expected to tout the Establishment’s values, the staff could pull an end run on the owners by doing trend spotting stories about the counter culture. If, for example, an outlaw journalist ran for the office of sheriff in Colorado and if the staff of some New York based Establishment publications wanted to ditto his point of view; they couldn’t, but by covering that story as an aspect of the pop culture scene, they could say what he was saying and thus get it into their publication.

Austerity budgets and staff cuts have reduced to a considerable degree the window of opportunity for the staff of an Establishment publication to run counter culture material as part of a trend spotting story.

Liberal talk shows on radio seem to be going the way of Wolfman Jack on XERB. Back in the day one man on one radio station was heard regularly in 38 states. Whew! He had “clout.”

Recently the World’s Laziest Journalist, who has very little interest in sports, stopped into Pappy’s Sports bar on Telegraph Ave., in Berkeley (they have a good buger deal that fits our austerity budget requirements) and the one conversation we overheard was critical of the quality of journalism available in the USA. (In a sports bar?) Imagine how mundane TV would be if there were no expressions of traditional sport rivalries permitted.

Will Boston Red Sox fans be ecstatic if it turns out that our prediction that the seventh game of this year’s World Series will be decided by a walk off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth hit by Derrick Jeter in his career’s last time at bat?

So if a TV network can be relied upon to blame Obama for all the misfortunes in the world today, who is going to waste their time watching that? To quote a line from a Rolling Stones song: “You’re so predictable!”

What the hell ever happened to top 10 radio? We skimmed through a copy of Billboard magazine last weekend and didn’t know any musicians on their charts. When does a person become too old for a “Good Guys” T-shirt?

The novelty value of Liberal punditry and/or (as George Carlin used to say): “Last week’s pick hit of the week, this week’s no. one, and next week’s Golden Oldie” style radio would be enough to attract a goodly number of listeners who just want to get away from the all propaganda all the time nonsense.

Didn’t a European country try out the “One politician, one political philosophy, one nation” approach to pop culture? How did that work out for them?

Speaking of sports, what’s with all this subsidizing the sports moguls crap?

Los Angeles hasn’t had a local professional football team for about twenty years. Now a team owner in Oakland wants the citizens to think that subsidizing a move to their town is a crucially important idea.

What’s wrong with this picture: If Los Angeles subsidizes a new sports venue as a way to lure a money hungry team owner to the city of angels, they might then donate generously to the reelection campaigns of the cooperative politicians. The politicians will then, in turn, buy ads in conservatively owned media, to win reelection. The conservatively owned media will avoid any criticism of the shenanigans and loudly proclaim what an honor it is for the local voters to become eligible to spend vast amounts of their hard earned dollars to go and cheer for the new guys in town. Everyone will conveniently forget that those same suckers provided the tax revenue which funded the new stadium. Texas Guinan used to use the same greeting for all her customers: “Hello, sucker!”

Meanwhile, back in the Bay Area the 49ers are moving to a new stadium in Santa Clara, a few miles further South of San Francisco’s city border. If the after game traffic jams continue to be nightmarish, who will pay for more traffic officers to be brought into the area on game day?

Oakland just had to do handstands and back flips to keep the A’s there. Now the basketball team is threatening to move over to San Francisco. When the Raiders moved back to Oakland they incurred some financial obligations that seem to have been forgotten and or forgiven. Are homeowners getting the same kind consideration from the banks that want to foreclose on homes?

Now the folks who play college athletic games want to get paid. Just because they could get hurt and ruin their lives, they think they should get some of the cash that they help generate. Isn’t that just the kind of philosophy that Sen. Joe McCarthy was trying to protect America from thinking? At long last, have the college players no sense of altruism?

If as some cynics on the campus of the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory (which needs a tax payer subsidized employees sports stadium) are correct in their assessment, team owners, media owners, bankers, (and the clergy?), and politicians have formed a mutual defense treaty organization which practically guarantees that in the country that fights and dies for freedom of speech, no Establishment publication or broadcast program is going to alert the audience that they are being had. (Not even Jon Steward?)

Could it be that in a town where they have two (counting the one that’s just been sold) professional basketball teams, an ice hockey team, two professional baseball teams (counting the Los Angeles Angels who play in Anaheim), host the Rose Bowl every year, have the UCLA and USC football teams, and the college basketball team that did so well when John Wooden was the coach, could it be that the politicians are a wee bit afraid to try to convince the locals that they just “have” to subsidize a football stadium to bring the Raiders (who were in L. A. from 1982 through the 1994 season) back to “tinseltown”?

Learning how to track down and use photos in the public domain that are available on the Internets sounds like too much work. Going out among them and getting some photos that have some relationship with a column that is being written is a bit more challenging than searching for the perfect stock shot in the public domain but wandering around Frisco with a Coolpix is definitely much more fun.

There used to be a poster for sale in California that showed St. Ronald Reagan in a cowboy costume, holding a six-shooter, saying: “Thanks for the votes, suckers!”

Now the disk jockey will play Bobby Bare’s “Drop Kick Me Jesus,” the Beach Boys’ “Be true to your school,” and “the Blind Man in the bleachers.” We have to see if we can buy a West Coast Eagles T-shirt on the Internets. Have a “tape of the play is being reviewed” type week.

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