Friday, November 7, 2008

History Requires A Permanent Record

We bought two.

Moments like Tuesday night's historic election of Barack Obama require a newspaper.

Not to read; oh no, we've moved beyond that since the advent of the World Wide Web Internets. No one reads newspapers anymore for NEWS--for that, we go to a

But Wednesday morning, newspapers once again proved their relevance--as a keepsake of nostalgic times. No longer something you'd open to keep up with the world's events, buyers snapped up every available copy--and then some--of major newspapers, primarily to stash them away in a box to record the historic event.

Amid nothing but gloomy news on the Editor And Publisher website (" 'Knoxville News Sentinel' Eliminates 50 Positions, 'Boston Globe' Cuts 42 in Ad/Circ, Marketing, E.W. Scripps Swings To A Q3 Loss -- Suspends Dividends" ) came one bit of increased circulation: one buyer in Bellingham, Washington, purchased 10,000 copies of the Bellingham Herald's Wednesday edition. At $.50 a copy, he spent $5,000. But he figures that, someday, he could make a profit. (Having spent two years in Bellingham as a college journalism student, an familar with both the newspaper and the recreational pursuits of some of the area's residents, I have to wonder if that guy is smoking something: WHO will want someday to buy an old copy of a shitty small-town Gannett newspaper, even with the historic news on its front page?)

Historic days should happen more often, for the Newspaper Industry's sake.

I can't imagine too many folks were archiving the home page of Wednesday morning to preserve for their children, but I could be wrong.

A Country Divided

Obama supporter? You think?

University of Texas kicked lunkhead backup center Buck Burnette off the football team after he posted racist remarks on his Facebook page following the Obama victory.

Burnette wrote: "all the hunters gather up, we have a #$%&er in the whitehouse"(not wanting to offend, he didn't use that actual word, but rather put in the @#^%#$'s in the appropriate places). Burnette issed an apology saying that his actions were "immature" and that "I'm not a racist. . .I grew up on a ranch in a small town" and that, anyway, it was wrong to write that "publically" (guess it's still okay to write it in private).

Just goes to show you that we're not as cool about the race issue in this country as some would think we are following Obama's election. While certainly an electoral landslide, Obama's election is by no means a "mandate" outside of a small geographic portion of the United States . Check out the county-by-county map of the United States and see where Obama's support comes from, and you can easily pick out places where the population is overwhelmingly urban, or young, or hispanic, or college educated, or wealthy. Look at Idaho: Amid a sea of red, blue blips register in Blaine county (that mostly-liberal, wealthy crowd in Sun Valley) and Moscow (University of Idaho--young voters). The rest of the nation--the Flyover States, rural america--voted overwhelmingly for John McCain.

Where I live, in mostly-urban Tarrant County, Texas, voters went with John McCain, something like 56-44% over Barack Obama (and I'm guessing Obama won the popular vote within the Fort Worth city limits). Travel not too far west of here, the population is much whiter, and more rural, and generally less educated, and Obama's support drops like a rock: 22% in Parker County, 18% in Stephens county, and keep going west, out to Borden county in west Texas, and only 11% of the population voted Obama--88% went for McCain.

If you think such overwhelming support for a candidate that "looks like me" is just a white, rural, redneck thing, you're wrong: it goes the other way, too. District of Columbia, whose population is overwhelmingly African-American, voted 93% to 7% for Obama. Exiting polling found that black voters, nationwide, voted similarly.

We've got a long way to go in this country to heal our racial divide. And I'm not entirely sure that Obama's election helped the healing, or will drive a wedge deeper with those who absolutely do not like the black man--or the white man, for that matter.

In the meantime, Texans seem to be following Buck's lead and stocking up on guns and ammo.

Sign The Petition: No More "Saved By Zero."

You can't escape it: the horrible "Saved by Zero" ad campaign by Toyota that spews forth from your television set every few minutes. The whole premise of the "Saved By Zero" hook is absurd. You think anyone that needs "saving" can actually qualify for 0% financing? If your credit is that good, you can probably pay cash.

Now, I'm no huge fan of the Fixx, but, PLEASE, Toyota, enough already: END THIS AD CAMPAIGN IMMEDIATELY. You've permanently ruined what was a marginal song to begin with.

If you agree, go here.

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