posted by Mike on March 2nd, 2006

Tom Lewis getting better: The Worcester artist/activist has been in the hospital for a few days, both for cardio surgery and because of complications. With luck, he’ll be out in a couple days. He was in a very good mood when I saw him this morning, and he denied reports that he’d developed an infection. Please do send a “get well soon” letter to 136 Austin St, Worcester MA 01609.

Tom Lewis making a print
Tom Lewis making a print. Photo by the artist.

Telegram & Gazette: Somehow in the last “Items” I forgot the best local media news of the week: Ace reporter Taryn Plumb wrote a nice article in the T&G on the life of Allen McKeon, who you will remember died sleeping outside in Worcester. Articles about people dying on the street can be impersonal and paint-by-numbers; this one was just the opposite. Many kudos.

Seven arrested at White House protest: Four of them were midwestern Catholic Workers. This is part of the “Winter of Our Discontent” project. Worcester’s Ken Hannaford-Ricardi was scheduled to be in DC to help coordinate this project, but had to stay home because of a leg injury. He had outpatient surgery this week, and is both in pain and in a good mood.

Best blogging newspapers: Jay Rosen’s students have ranked the best blogging newspapers in the US. If you love newspapers and would like to see them survive in the 21st century, you’ve probably read this article already.

I was disappointed, though not surprised, to see that there were no papers on the list more Northeast than DC.

Visionary junkshop news: Jacob Berendes and Mike Leslie were featured in this month’s Pulse (the magazine Berendes calls “the shitty collegiate bar paparazzi lifestyle rag”), and they mention that the visionary junkshop project “Happy Birthday Mike Leslie” is still alive and going to happen soon.

Television: Undertaker and PIP board member Peter Stefan discusses homelessness in Worcester on the Hermis Yanis Show, WCCA TV 13. Premiere: Thursday, March 2 at 10pm. Repeat: Friday, March 3 at 9:30am. Mr. Stefan has helped the homeless for many years, and has strong opinions about what the city should be doing about this problem. The show also features an interview with champion youth go-kart racer Hunter Jones.

To watch the video stream with Internet Explorer, try WCCA’s website. Otherwise, point Winamp at;stream.nsv

Don Knotts, RIP: As a big “Andy Griffith Show” fan and passionate West Virginian, I was sad to hear of his passing. I phoned my brother to commiserate.

Mike: It’s sackcloth and ashes in Morgantown, I bet.

Mark: They’re probably burning a couch in the middle of Don Knotts Boulevard.

Mark, an academic, pointed out that WV resident Bob Denver died “last semester,” and WV native Don Knotts died this semester, so next semester we should lose either Chuck Yeager (first man to break the sound barrier) or Senator Robert Byrd.

Frank Zappa video: In the last “Items,” I joked that I was going to start a course on “How to Talk to the Press.” I’ve given up on the idea–if you want a master class, just watch this great video of Frank Zappa on Crossfire.

My standard advice for people talking to the press is: “Write down 5 sentences on an index card. Repeat them until the interview is done.”

Zappa debates music censorship with a single core sentence: “This is about words.” When someone tries to change the subject, he repeats his sentence. When he gets tired of repeating it, he shortens it: “Words.”

Other parts of the clip are eerily prescient:

Novak: You’re not serious we’re going toward a fascist theocracy!

Zappa: Yes, I am.

A poem: I ran into Michael Webster briefly at the Java Hut Tuesday morning, and was glad that he came by the house yesterday morning for a cup of coffee and a long chat. He wrote me a poem and said I could publish it.

Unendless Chord
Please Lord Jesus take away my fears,
that lead me into the devil’s snares.
Lead me instead towards your heavenly reward,
where the angels play the harps’ unendless chord.


Mr. Berendes comments on the Pulse appearance.

Perhaps you know that Roger Cardinal Mahony has asked LA’s Catholics to pray this Lent for more compassionate immigration policy. See the New York Times editorial.

A bunch more Catholic Workers were arrested at the White House. At least 9 of these folks are CWs.

Published in: Items | on March 2nd, 2006 | Permanent Link to “Items” | 2 Comments »

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2 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On March 2, 2006 at 14:32 xradiographer said:

    Some more Zappa Goodness.

  2. On March 6, 2006 at 09:35 Dr Kaihsu Tai (Oxford, England) said:

    The newspaper blog item reminded me of this article by Annick Cojean during the run-up to the Iraq War: “I was on campus at Berkeley three weeks ago and I met some worried students there. […] on a blackboard, like the ones we had in my childhood, a passionate young girl was writing website addresses in chalk – mainly those of European newspapers – that could give them some background and food for thought.” The Guardian calls itself the “best daily newspaper on the world wide web” and has a blog.

    By the way, Stop the War Coalition is going to organize a march in London later this month, with one of the slogans being “Don’t attack Iran”, echoing “Don’t attack Iraq” three years ago. There is a well-argued but ill-edited article on the topic in Green World 51, which is not on the web yet.

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