At Large 

Please allow me to introduce myself

Regular readers may have noticed some minor changes in recent editions of the East Bay Express. This is due, in part to its acquisition by Bay Area–based Weeklys (weeklys.com), a company so committed to the concept of alternative newsweeklies that they made it their brand name. What you're witnessing, as one bloke put it, is akin to "changing the engine of a 747 while flying over the Pacific and no one wants to spill their martini." Who're we? Editorially, we're substantially the same crew as before but with a few new bylines—including mine.

Some might recognize my name from long-ago contributions to the San Francisco Chronicle, or more northern-ly, a handful of papers including the North Bay Bohemian and the Pacific Sun, which are now sister papers of the East Bay Express. I'm the editor of both of those publications as well as editor-at-large of this one. What does that mean? I never asked but I do know it has everything to do with the fact that some of the happiest years of my life were spent in the East Bay. Does this make me an expert? No. Are you an expert? Impossible, since the East Bay is an organism in a state of constant mutation. As soon as you're convinced it's one thing, it becomes another. Here, we document its evolution. And wait for it to eat San Francisco.

Apart from that, you should know that your editor-at-large is a multi-disciplinary artist whose narrative work in literature, film and conceptual art is complemented by deep experience in journalism and branding. Which is a fancy way of saying, apart from newspapering, I write books and direct indie films and never met a freelance gig that I could square with my self-image. But enough about you, Daedalus (if that's indeed your real name)—what are you going to do with our paper? There is nothing I can say in this regard that hasn't already been said better in the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

"Who are you?"

"I'm no one."

"I was raised to do one thing but I've got nothing to fight for."

"Nothing will stand in our—I will finish what you started."

"There were stories about what happened."

"It's true, all of it. The dark side, the Jedi—they're real."

"The Force, it's calling to you. Just let it in."

So, that's basically it—familiar but new, good guys vs. bad guys—and presumably we're the good guys. Any questions?

More at DaedalusHowell.com.

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