Posts Tagged ‘Free Speech Movement’

Where the free speech movement started

April 6, 2012

After the New Downtown Berkeley Launch Event was concluded on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, a reporter from KGO radio in San Francisco was walking on Adeline Street with John Caner, the Executive Director of the Downtown Berkeley Association (DBA), when one of the homeless people in front of John’s Ice Cream challenged her to talk to him and get both sides of the story.  She declined the invitation to get a balanced picture of the situation and scampered quickly to her Mercedes Benz and drove off informing him that she had all the information she needed.

In the current issue of the East Bay Express (April 4 – 10, 2012) on page 12 of the hardcopy edition, reporter Robert Gammon recaps the skepticism that Joe Debro faced when he criticized the deal which was utilized <a href =

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/raiders-deal-still-haunts-oakland/Content?oid=3167659> to bring the Oakland Raiders back toOakland</a> from their temporary rebel encampment in theLos Angeles area.  Debro was vastly outnumbered by sports fans, journalists and politicians who heartily endorsed the efforts to lure the absent rascals back to the Bay Area.

Debro’s objections seem more credible now that the city is in financial crisis mode and the football team might need to be reminded of the particulars of a loan that was instrumental in getting them to (like the prodigal son) return home because it is Debro’s continued position that no payments on the loan have been made and none are scheduled to be made.  If families can live paycheck to paycheck, can’t a $53.9 million dollar loan be forgotten if a team is living from season to season?

Time magazine’s Reagan era White House correspondent, Doug Brew, advised reporters to take the time to listen to what people were trying to tell them and not prejudge the quality of their information based on their appearances or apparent financial status.  How (you might ask) could the World’s Laziest Journalist possibly be the recipient of advice from such a highly qualified source for opinions on the art of Journalism?  We were coworkers on the staff of the weekly Santa Monica Independent Journal Newspapers in theLos Angelesarea.  That brings up the question:  “How well did you get to know him?”  When he was welcomed into this columnist’s humble abode in Marina del Rey, Brew expostulated:  “My God, Bob, this is a hovel!”

Could KGO’s gal reporter have possibly missed a goodBerkeleysidebar story in her haste to get . . . some place else?

On Tuesday afternoon, we were informed by some of the folks in People’s Park that (irony alert!) the beloved guy known as “hate man” had been issued a stay-a-way order from the public park that he calls “home.” 

The ten years that Mark Hawthorne (AKA Hate man) worked for the Metro Section of the New York Times were also known as “the Sixties” and we would pay good money to hear him tell his stories and just maybe get some advice on how to produce quality journalism. Hawthorne’s suggestions would probably be just as good as those provided by the fellow who worked for Time magazine. 

If UCB’sschoolofJournalismcan’t get hate man to teach there, perhaps they could getHawthorneto do one guest lecture per semester?  Hate man prefers to be outdoors and it is not unprecedented for some UCB classes to be held outside (like perhaps at People’s Park?). 

How is that fair and balance act working out for Rupert Murdoch?  Maybe if we learned how to do Journalism Fox style, we could wind up driving a Mercedes Benz?  Don’t they always put their best sly digs in the form of a question?

Is it true that Rupert Murdoch is trying to buy a major league baseball team and get the town fathers in FoxboroMassachusettsto build a stadium to serve as home for such an enterprise?   Could they call such a stadium “The Hen House”?

Could anyone convince the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors to build a brand new football stadium on county owned land in Marina del Rey and let a football team move in for little or no rent?  Isn’tLos Angelesthe biggest metropolitan area without a major football team?  Shouldn’t the board be happy to build a stadium and make loans that can then sit abandoned?  Where are the Brookly Dodgers Football team playing these days?

Whatever happened to the pro football teams that used to play in theLos Angelesarea?

Is there a C&W song titled “You’ve got a cash register heart”?   If not; why not?

Isn’t theUniversityofCalifornia Berkeleyrenovating their football stadium?  Aren’t college football games always played on Saturdays and aren’t pro football games always played on Sundays?

If the Berkeley Downtown Business Association really wants to bring shoppers and travelers to their town, why don’t they float a bond issue, take over management of the UCB football stadium and give the Raiders a better deal than a loan that doesn’t have to be paid back?  They could pay the Raiders gigantic bonus to move a few miles north and become the Berkeley Raiders!

If Monterey can be world famous as the town where one writer (John Steinbeck) use to live and if Key West Florida can hold an annual Hemingway Days series of events because just one writer used to live in their community, then why don’t book readers from all over the world flock to Berkeley where Ursula K. LeGuinn was born, and Philip K. Dick, Alan Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac used to live?

Since the Mediterraneum was open when Dick, Ginsberg, and Kerouac all lived in Berkeley, isn’t it natural to wonder if they ever had a brief chat there?

Charles Dickens, when he came to theUnited Statesto visit, made a particular point of going to visitLowellMassachusettsbecause of its literary heritage because a famous magazine had been published there.  That was years before Jack Kerouac’s father brought his family to that town.  Isn’t the Berkeley Barb mentioned repeatedly in “Smoking Typewriters,” which is about the history of underground newspapers in theUSA?

Last fall, when the high school finalists in the freedom of speech essay contest read their winning entries didn’t it get coverage on the TV networks by holding the event on the Mario Savio steps at theSproulPlazaarea of UCB?

Doesn’t the guy who runs the Daily Kos website for liberal online commentary live inBerkeley?

Is there a DBA suggestion box for ways to bring attention toBerkeley?

If the Journalism students at UCB were to produce a TV show all about Berkeley every day, wouldn’t it be quite likely that in this era of “low cost is no cost” broadcasting if they offered such a product to a cable TV company <I>gratis</I>, they would take it and offer it to viewers all over the world?  (Fox seems to be ubiquitous inAustralia.  Lottsa sports.)  Wouldn’t that be a career boost for the participating students and wouldn’t that win the DBA seal of approval?

Doesn’tKalgoorlie, inWestern Australia, lure visitors from all over the world with just one word?  Gold!  How far fromBerkeleyis Sutter’s Mill?

[Note:  It was a challenge to find a way to illustrate this column.  We used material from an abandoned photo project titled “On the road with a copy of ‘On the Road.’”  SinceBerkeleyis specifically mentioned in “The Dharma Bums,” that might have been a better choice, but the photo editor had to go with what was available.]

National columnists’ Day is rapidly approaching and the World’s Laziest Journalist intends to write a column for the occasion about a fellow who was born inBerkeley(about a hundred years ago) and became one of the Bay Area’s top contenders for the right to call himself “Mr. San Francisco.”  UCB has the Hearst School of Journalism and that particularBerkeleyrascal was personally fired by William Randolph Hearst . . . twice.  That notorious columnist might provide the basis for one installment of the aforementioned hypothetical student TV show “Berkeley Tonight” (or whatever).

Didn’t the Sixties officially start (in Berkeley) when Mario Savio said:  “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”  [Can you believe that that quote is not in Bartlett’s?] 

Now the disk jockey will play Janice Joplin’s “Oh, dear Lord,” Ry Cooder’s “Crazy ‘Bout an Automobile (Every Woman I Know),” and Woody Gutheris’s “Go For a Ride in the Car, car.”  Speaking of cars, we have to celebrate this weekend by watching “Rebel without a Cause” one more time.  Have a “See theUSAin your Chevrolet” type week.