Two Saturdays ago I had a close brush with the Ebola virus. Laura Johnston of the Northeast Ohio Media Group has the details here, with commentary by Scene’s Eric Sandy here and others here, here and here.
Of course, calling attention to a deadly virus that has little to no risk of spreading in the U.S. doesn’t threaten advertisers’ bottom lines any and only keeps eyeballs glued to screens, so we get a wall-to-wall freakout in the press. Meanwhile, critical problems that are exponentially more threatening to humanity continue to be ignored or misrepresented in the media because advertisers are by and large resistant to the structural change that’s necessary to solve them. If there’s a silver lining to this Ebola hysteria, it’s that it goes to show that we might actually have a chance at solving our real problems if we could only manage to have media that would present them as such. High hopes here in Cleveland, where the editorial page of our only “daily” newspaper is edited by a man who just wrote this column:
“If the climate changes, we’ll adapt,” says Kevin O’Brien.
Just like the dinosaurs did.
Anyway, speaking of things that will make you bleed from your eyeballs, the Browns [click to continue…]
“A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from [ages] nine to ten are now in demand.” — Christopher Columbus
In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue from Europe for a place called the Indies, in search of gold, silk, spices, and mostly gold, under the flag of one of history’s more accomplished church sponsors.
But instead of finding the Indies, Columbus found a new hemisphere, populated by “the best people in the world and above all the gentlest.” According to Columbus himself, these people were “very simple and honest and exceedingly liberal with all they ha[d], none of them refusing anything he may possess when he is asked for it.” Additionally, “they exhibit[ed] great love toward all others in preference to themselves.”
So, Columbus called them Indians, and demanded that they bring him all of their gold.
When the Indians didn’t bring Columbus as much gold as he wanted, he [click to continue…]
“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” — Kurt Vonnegut
At certain points in the life cycle of most NFL divisions, consecutive seasons of high drafting by the weaker teams and the depreciation and increasing expense of the rosters of the stronger teams results in a natural shift in the division’s balance of power. Today, the Browns can send a clear message that such a shift might actually, finally, after 15 years, be under way in the AFC North when it comes to the Cleveland team, playing in front of a home crowd electrified by that prospect (minus the inbred towel wavers), as well as the chance that the Browns would have a winning record after five games for only the third time since the franchise returned to the NFL in ’99.
The Steelers come to town today [click to continue…]
It’s naturally tempting for more well-off Northeast Ohioans to believe that a renaissance is underway in the region. LeBron is coming back, the Republican convention is coming to Cleveland, fancy new buildings continue to go up downtown, we just got the world’s biggest outdoor chandelier, and the local paper has been trumpeting a “brain gain” in the city.
“Young professionals from elsewhere [are] streaming into urban neighborhoods, raising education and income levels and maybe setting the stage for a new economy,” the Plain Dealer’s Robert L. Smith wrote in April of a study published by researchers at Cleveland State.
Yet as much as this CSU study might mostly mean that you can only get a job in Cleveland anymore if you’re a doctor, it was only a few weeks ago that the same local paper brushed off new census numbers showing [click to continue…]
If there was ever a day for the Browns to have beaten the Ravens, a franchise that’s been running on reputation and fumes since Ray Lewis retired, and one that came to town yesterday with the Ray Rice domestic violence cover-up having just been exposed as an historically spectacular microcosm of everything that’s wrong with everything on planet earth (or at least at the intersection of sports and capitalism in America).
At certain points in the life cycle of most NFL divisions, [click to continue…]