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January 6, 2007

Tomorrow and yesterday
Posted by Patrick at 02:09 PM * 17 comments

The Village Voice, now merged into the New Times chain, has dropped Tom Tomorrow from their print edition. There’s an online petition asking them to change their minds.

I don’t think I’ve remarked on this blog just how hard it is for me to wrap my mind around the fact that the New Times is now a national media corporation that buys up “alternative” newspapers and turns them into bland entertainment giveaways. Back in 1974, when it ran out of a two-room office upstairs from a liquor store on Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona, the original New Times was the first publication to actually pay me cash money for prose—$10 for a review of Barry Malzberg’s Herovit’s World. I was fifteen. I understand the owl was also once the baker’s daughter.

Comments on Tomorrow and yesterday:
#1 ::: poopy pants ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 02:18 PM:

Yeap....
And the cover story for the once-cutting-edge Village Voice last week?

About 1,500 words about the writer's attempt to quit eating sugar!

Look, I know there's nothing much going on in the world for a left-leaning paper to rail against, with the sudden outbreak of world peace, universal human rights and economic prosperity for all classes, but don't you think the Voice might feature a story with a bit more gravitas?

Thank god for blogs.

#2 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 02:46 PM:

okay--petition signed.
thanks for reminding me, and providing links.

#3 ::: ironymaiden ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 02:56 PM:

they've ruined Seattle Weekly. most of the content in the paper now comes from elsewhere in the network, including oh-so-appropriate columns like "Ask a Mexican." (um, Seattle has an incredibly tiny latino population for a city of its size. i won't comment on the actual column content.)

the writing staff has been slashed, and so have the health benefits for the folks that remain on the payroll.

#4 ::: Roy G. Ovrebo ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 03:26 PM:

Norway's Quote of the Year 2006:

"Nearly all newspapers offer a magazine - steadily fewer of them offer a newspaper" - Gudmund Hernes

#5 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 03:33 PM:

When I lived in Seattle, there were so few latinos that the local taquerias were run by Koreans.

#6 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 04:02 PM:

Teresa - We actually now have taco trucks, and a few half-decent taquerias. Now I'm missing the Bay Area again. Where are El Toro and Pancho Villa (the San Mateo one, not the Mission one) when you need them?

There's one decent feature left in the Weakly - Ask an Uptight Seattleite. Otherwise, not even fit for fishwrap. It fell right off a cliff. Thud.

Thankfully, we still have The Stranger.

#7 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 04:29 PM:

At least 'Ask a Mexican' is by someone who's Mexican in ancestry (it's actually written by a guy in Orange County).

The LA Weekly this week had a cover story on one of the more liberal imams in the area. It's sort of relevant. First time I've bothered even to open one in a couple of years; mostly it's ads for cosmetic surgery, exotic dance, and clubs.

#8 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 04:43 PM:

P J, I get the image of somebody needing the cosmetic surgery to get into the exotic dance business. Do they need the clubs to fight off the audience?

#9 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 05:25 PM:

Dave, they might. It's ads for eyelid improvements, augmentation (or reduction in some cases), nose reshaping, and probably a few other things that shouldn't be brought up in public. And clubs as in music.

I won't go into the personal ads. (You probably don't want to either.)

#10 ::: Sajia Kabir ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 05:30 PM:

Occassionally me and my friends will grouse about the current state of Vancouver's Georgia Straight. Apparantly it used to be once a lot like The Stranger, but it now has more of a hipster entertainment magazine. I will say, though, that it's a good hipster magazine, and it still regularly publishes good-quality left-liberal news and political content. And it has had a more multicultural focus than Terminal City (the late weekly, not the comic book).

#11 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 03:10 AM:

The wind went out of the Village Voice's sails when they switched to free distribution.

I took that as confirmation of Chomsky's point about the media: that moving from a reliance on readers for revenue to a reliance on advertisers for revenue means that a newspaper can ONLY privilege the interests of the advertisers.

The recent changes in ownership have only highlighted the fundamental change.

#12 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 01:03 PM:

Since I've been out of the Bay Area for 6+ years now, I'd like to know if the Berkeley Express still exists in uncorrupted form.

#13 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 01:39 PM:

Teresa @ 5...When I lived in Seattle, there were so few latinos that the local taquerias were run by Koreans.

Meanwhile, here in Albuquerque, Japanese fast-food drive-thru places are run by Hispanics. (Statistically not very surprising, I know.)

#14 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 01:44 PM:

San Francisco's Bay Guardian is still around, but is it still its own property? And is it still full of itself? I stopped reading it in early 1997, years before I left the Bay Area, because they got me so mad about when they used the death of columnist Herb Caen to further their holier-than-thou political agenda.

#15 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 04:44 PM:

When I lived in Seattle, there were so few latinos that the local taquerias were run by Koreans.

In Providence there's a strange trend recently of coffee-and-bagel places going out of business and being replaced by Korean restaurants...who keep the same coffee and bagels from the old places, because they were so popular. I'd imagine stumbling across one and not knowing the history would be pretty odd.

As for the local paper issue, I keep wanting to start my own because the choices are so awful.

#16 ::: Hob ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 05:10 PM:

Serge, the Bay Guardian is still around and still independent. They can be annoying, but at least they do actual reporting, and they're up front about their political point of view. And I don't mind them coming across as holier-than-thou when their position actually is (usually) holier than the rest; the Chronicle is a miserable ass-kissing shell, and SF Weekly is another New Times clone with a particularly venomous "we're cool because we don't care about all that political crap" attitude.

#17 ::: D. ::: (view all by) ::: January 17, 2007, 02:26 PM:

#12: Re: East Bay Express: No.

And now I have to go.

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