The brush moves back and forth as if under its own power after a while. Painting is a kind of hypnotic therapy driven by nothing more stimulating the porch rail becoming a little bit brighter. The Canadian Pacific grey soot slowly becomes white and shiny, new and clean. Years of weather are buried by another layer of acrylic polymer, ready to start again. It may not be sexy, fun, or even worth writing an essay about, but basic maintenance such as painting the porch every few years is absolutely required if you want to have a nice porch to enjoy the rest of the time.
How much would you pay to read your favorite newspaper online? If the answer is nothing, because that’s what you’re paying now, you’re not alone. But 170 dailies are agonizing over how to make you pay for their craft in a semi-public way that we are just beginning to learn about. The company that wants to make this happen is Journalism Online, and they’re serious.
When people talk about the economy, whether on talk shows or in bars or just standing at the bus stop, the conversation eventually goes the same way. Everyone has a theory about who is to blame, where the money went, or at least how this might play out in the distorted politics of our time. If you let the conversation play out a bit, however, there’s one thing that always seems to turn people’s gaze to the floor as if the answer is written at our feet – what the Hell really happened?
When the going gets strange, the strange get going. Politics always has its share of irrational arguments, but a barrage of the bizarre often establishes a pattern. If you’ve seen it before, experience kicks in to tell you that it’s a much bigger argument than you might have otherwise thought. At some point you just have to accept the unexplainable for just what it is.
Monday is what we call a “holiday”, the word rooted in “Holy Day” or, at the very least, a day of celebration. It’s one of the lost days of our calendar in the sense that very few people seem to understand that Labor Day was a day meant to celebrate the simple fact that everything we have was made by the efforts of someone otherwise unnamed. It was a day on the opposite side of Summer from May Day, when the rest of the world celebrates the same thing. That was colored with the memories of the Haymarket Riot and nasty stories from Europe. This is a day to celebrate American Labor – and the Union movement that brought us the weekend, among other things.
Perhaps it’s just the waning warmth of summer closing around me like a blanket on a fall day, but I’ve had a feeling lately. Events have conspired to make me think about the long term perspective on what is going on in our world, the bigger picture that I like to think is what I do best. Digging into this feeling with a series of internet searches uncovered a wealth of information that I have to share so that, if nothing else, you can all make your own conclusions about things.