Three-Dot Grouch 

Fun with aging columnists; fun with press releases; fun with academic prose; fun with mayoral real estate.

Feeder is just back from a trip to the casinos in Vegas. And lemme say that those Vegas commercials hogging the Bay Area's airwaves have it totally right: What happens in Vegas stays there -- like this month's grocery money. ...

San Francisco Chronicle management has been studiously seeking "efficiencies," as euphemologists like to say, in the organization. Not too long ago, Chron management announced that employees would no longer be treated to the regular print edition enjoyed by customers. Instead, they would have to read the smudgier papers from the first press run. "These papers are not sellable and previously would have been discarded, an environmentally and financially wasteful practice," publisher Steve Falk explained in a memo to employees. Executive editor Phil Bronstein should save plenty on Grecian Formula by applying some first-run ink stains to those pesky grays in his man-stache. ...

Chron Sporting Green readers, meanwhile, were informed last Tuesday that columnists Glenn Dickey and Tom Fitzgerald ("Open Season") are being "reassigned," which is euphemologist for "demoted." Reassignment to a regular sports beat definitely seems like a slap in the face designed to get the aging veterans, whose retirement would free up a lot of room under the salary cap, to consider heading out to pasture. In solidarity with my fallen fellow columnists, Feeder is dedicating this column to them. In their honor, there will be no original reporting whatsoever appearing in this space this week. Yep, all material herein is recycled, which should even please cost-conscious Chron execs, since recycling is good for the environment. ...

Speaking of environmentalists, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation last week that would have banned schools from naming their teams or mascots "Redskins," a term the bill's author found offensive. Another bill is rumored to be on the way to the governor's desk that would require tribal gaming halls to be referred to as "Native American casinos." In a related story, the Highland High Redskins will be changing their name to the Highland High Gypsies.

Terrorist Hygiene
We here at the Express want you to know that we love your junk mail, er, press releases. Let's see, here's a spam from the Raelians. Remember them? They're the fun-loving bunch who claimed they had successfully cloned a human, but then when the fairy dust settled couldn't even produce a cloned compact disc. Now they're threatening, er, promising a "series of debates" in schools and universities all over the nation on their latest pet theory. "The Theory of Intelligent Design," the release says, "does not lead to a supernatural designer but to an extraterrestrial human civilization designer." Whaaa? Alf is God?

But here's Feeder's fave from the mailbag this week: A brochure from Bryman College, one of those technical colleges that advertise on daytime television, flogging its new program training the "homeland security specialists" of the future. The front of the brochure shows a picture of a father with his young daughter, accompanied by the loaded question, "Who will preserve her freedom and keep her safe?"

Apparently, a unit of specially trained dental hygienists! Bryman, which has campuses in Hayward and San Francisco, is best known as a training ground for X-ray and pharmacy techs and dentists' assistants. So all you unemployed Feeders can give Bryman a call today and discover a rewarding career fighting terrorist plaque!

Marxist Media Elite
One of Feeder's journalistic acquaintances, who will go unnamed, is teaching an introductory reporting class at a nearby institution of higher learning. This means having to hear said friend repeatedly begin sentences with the pretentious phrase: "As I like to tell my students ..." Well, as Feeder likes to say, newswriting muscles atrophy when you trade the real world for the ivory tower.

To wit: Robert L. Terrell, a former New York Post reporter who, according to the school newspaper, has been teaching Mass Comm at CSU Hayward for more than a dozen years. Earlier this summer, Terrell had a major spread in Street Spirit, the one-dollar-or-best-offer homeless newspaper, featuring his photos of street people. The pictures were accompanied by text. Pages and pages of it, and, at least from the parts Feeder managed to slog through, there wasn't a single quote from a homeless person.

Here's how Terrell's opus began: "The ideologically driven assault that domestic elites have been waging during the past quarter century against this society's weakest citizens is in an advanced state by now." Makes you wanna keep reading, huh? No? Well, then try this paragraph, under the section titled Genocidal Practices Then and Now: "Current elite commentary on a broad variety of social issues, including differences in test scores achieved by Anglo students and their non-Anglo counterparts, are little more than updated versions of the philosophies embraced by slavery's guardians." Yikes! I'd hate be an Anglo student in that guy's course on the "The Theory of Intelligent Design."

Oui, the People
Unique multifunctional Jack London Square building for sale! Price reduced: Was $4.37 million, now only $3.69 million! A sprawling 17,487 square feet! And best of all, you can say you live in your mayor's old digs. You heard right. Billed by local realtor LCB Associates as "Gracie Mansion West," Jerry Brown's former loft commune and We the People headquarters has been on the market with no takers since last year, when Brown and his companion, Gap corporate lawyer Anne Gust, reportedly shacked up together in one of the new Sears Lofts. Why so long on the block, considering that the discounted price gets you an industrial kitchen, library, eleven restrooms (wow!), ten living areas, a 4,000-square-foot auditorium, courtyard atrium, vaulted ceiling with clerestory windows, and ample parking? ... Oh, right. Potential buyers probably figure they'll have to let Jacques Barzaghi, the mayor's former longtime adviser, stay on as a roommate and existential (tor)mentor.

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