The Scotia Register Wormhole

It isn’t often you can take a trip through a wormhole, and survive, tumbling back in time, from whence you began, and then arrive back in the future from which there is no escape; and so I have described my recent journey tripping through the online archives of — The Scotia Register — a village newspaper that was published weekly, on Thursdays, in Scotia, Nebraska (population 291) from 1895 to 2003. Paging back through The Scotia Register archives was like being watched and recorded, from afar, years ago, with the perspective, and perception, of the now.

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The Columbia University Strike of 1932

Many may remember the infamous, and violent, Columbia riots of 1968 — but few know about the strike two generations previous that overtook the Morningside campus in 1932.  This is that story — told in authentic, historic, photographs and captions — that I was able to purchase and share with you today.

Protesting the expulsion of Reed Harris, crusading editor of the “Columbia Spectator”, undergraduate daily, a one day strike was called on April 4th, by more than a thousand students at a mass meeting in New York. The students applauded speakers attacking Dean Herbert E. Hawkes, who expelled Harris, and President Nicholas Murray Butler, Harris first gained recognition when he attacked the conduct of Athletics at Columbia University as “semi-professional”. The photo shows a general view of the thousands at the mass meeting. 4/4/32

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Memeing What You Say: My People, My Home

There’s an Old Black Guy who stands outside the Journal Square Bus station in Jersey City station selling newspapers on the sidewalk every morning.  He greets everyone who walks past him with a hearty, “Good morning, and how are you doin’ this fine day?”  His voice is syrupy and friendly, but since he repeats that phrase to single person who passes by, the genuineness of the greeting quickly becomes lost in the rote citation.

One morning, an Old White Guy came up to the Old Black Guy and I overheard their conversation that I will share with you now.

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The Grim Demise of Radio and Records

I grew up on radio.  I worked radio.  I listened to radio.  I was radio.  Our broadcasting Bible was a weekly newspaper called Radio and Records.  Each week, it would arrive at the station and every staff member would take turns reading.  You’d get national news on announcers changing stations.  You read about job opportunities.  You learned which records were getting airplay and why.  I was dismayed to discover all these years later that Radio and Records became an online only publication and, soon after that happened, Radio and Records shuttered itself as it was blended into to disappear — which meant losing all of its identity and uniqueness in the field.

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Editorial Paranoia: I Know a Penis When I Read One

The role of the editor is an important one.  A good editor is more facilitator than censor.  When I am editing the precious work of other writers, I always try to cling to their clarity instead of embossing my prejudices and belief systems into the work.  Editors must honor the author’s original intention while also respecting the sense of a universal perception that what has been written can easily be read and understood.

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The Role of the Critic

The role of the critic in the modern theatre is one of heartache and the temptation of hatred. Only in the theatre can a single review kill a show.

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The Newspaper is Dead: Long Live the News!

The newsprint newspaper is DEAD!  Let it die!  Bury it.  Let the bugs and worms eat the decaying pulp and let’s move on with our lives and getting the news quick, fast, and deadly on the internet.  As an online author and itinerant publisher, it is delicious to watch the traditional media bandwagon crumble under the weight of their new irrelevancy.  They have their worry beads in hand and their self-flagellation in process and they aren’t waiting to sound their own public death knell on your front stoop and in your mailbox:

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