aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Why not a Michael Graves cell phone tower?
When I worked in the New York suburbs in the 90s, the hot battle was over cell phone towers. Nothing’s changed. And my guess is calls still drop when driving the Hutch through Scarsdale.
Cell providers should host a competition among the world’s signature architects to come up with new cell tower designs. They’re sure to come up with something more interesting than “spindly, metallic and freakishly tall antennas” that are “sometimes disguised as fir trees, cacti or flagpoles.”
Why not a Michael Graves cell phone tower? Imagine what Frank Gehry would come up with. I bet Scarsdale could be persuaded to put up one of theirs.
Hope for the documentary
News that Judy Woodruff is leaving CNN ("to teach, write and work on long-form documentaries") following, as it does, Ted Koppel’s announced departure from ABC ("There are some very interesting prospects out there...") makes me optimistic that there will be some good documentary happening, hopefully on PBS or a broadcast network rather than pay TV.
I started out in documentary and still have a fondness for the form. Yesterday a student came in asking about doing a documentary this summer about some of the black midwives in Georgia in the 1950s who are still living. My ears pricked up. As it happens my teacher, mentor and friend George Stoney made a 1952 film, All My Babies: A Midwife’s Own Story:
...widely regarded as a landmark film, “remarkable in its time for its respect for African Americans… visual version of a training manual for black midwives...[that] includes an actual birth,” All My Babies follows a remarkable midwife, Mary Coley (Miss Mary), through three deliveries in a series of reenactments shot on location in rural Georgia.
The film was made for Georgia’s Department of Public Health to train the midwives:
Stoney was dealing with subject matter that challenged racial taboos...Stoney was to assure the white community that there was no sabotage intended of the white South, and no intention of even suggesting that an unhappy relationship existed between whites and blacks, not in any way promoting a change in black-white relationships. The film, the sponsors felt, should manifest interest in the health of blacks and how it might be improved within the South’s traditional way of life.
All My Babies represented several advanced views. It challenged the idea that a hospital was the only appropriate place for childbirth. Its consideration of birth as a natural process rather than a “trauma” was quite unusual at that time. And its psychological approach, which stressed, for example, the importance of paying attention to other children in the family, was quite new. According to Stoney, one of the best things that All My Babies accomplished was to show doctors in the South that working with midwives offered unique and rich clinical experience. “A lot of younger doctors began to take those assignments”
I called George for a copy of his tape and will be working with the student, who had his first project debut last night in our school’s first film festival. He’s got talent and has demonstrated commitment. I’m excited at the prospect.
Drooling over Tiger
Not me. Not yet.
A friend IMed yesterday to note that people were lined up outside the SoHo Apple store waiting to buy Tiger. Joe Gandelman, in a roundup of stories from around the world, notes that Apple’s Core Supporters Roar Approval At Tiger:
Apple’s new Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger operating system was a huge smash as it went onsale yesterday - and we’re not lion.
Bill Gates may have the numbers (and bankroll) but, as usual, Apple has the enthusiastic, almost cult-like devotees.
I’m platform agnostic, lucky to have both Macs and PCs, at home and work. I have been primarily a PC person, using the Macs for photos, music and mail (and the PC for graphics? How lame is that?)
Today I’m edging more towards Mac, sitting here with my new Panther iBook, updating and installing software, grousing because the Mac keyboard shortcut for switching betwen windows switches between programs not windows and, elegant as Shrook is, I can’t get it to display date and time.
I’ll get around to switching up to the 200+ new features in Tiger, but not yet.
Detective O’Reilly: Making America Stupider
A Georgia woman, who was found in New Mexico early Saturday and who said she had been abducted, admitted today she had made up the story because she was nervous about her upcoming wedding, police said.
World O’Crap was watching the Bill O’Reilly segment on the case last night, before she was found:
Bill asked Greta [Van Susteren] if the police had any clues about who had taken the woman, because it was obvious that she was the victim of a crime, and was most probably dead.Ã‚Â Greta quickly replied thatÃ‚Â the cases of Audrey Seiler (the Minnesota coed who faked her own kidnapping) and Elizabeth Smart show thatÃ‚Â Wilbanks could still be found alive.Ã‚Â Bill pompously said that this case was different, in that WilbanksÃ‚Â was very close to her family, and was very responsible, so she obviously didn’t just run away.Ã‚Â Plus,Ã‚Â it was only luck (he repeated that: “only luck") that Smart wasn’t killed by her abductor.Ã‚Â BillÃ‚Â addedÃ‚Â that Seiler hadÃ‚Â some mental problems, andÃ‚Â in every case like her’s there are some signs that point to a hoax,Ã‚Â but Wilbanks was 32-years old and had never done anything flaky before, and wasn’t the type to cause her family so much worry, so it was clear that she had been kidnapped or murdered.
Greta defensively said that we had to hope that she would be found alive, even if Bill was right about her not having just gotten cold feet and ran away.Ã‚Â BillÃ‚Â smugly commented that he knew enough about these kinds of cases to say with certainty that Wilbanks was the victim of some crime, and then asked about the status of the fiance’s polygraph…
The thing that bugs me most about this isn’t that Bill, the pompous jerk, was opining about something in the absence of evidence and turned out to be wrong (we have to expect that of Bill), but that he kept hyping the story as being another case in theÃ‚Â "epidemic" of missing women and children who turn out to have beenÃ‚Â murderedÃ‚Â by their husbands, or raped and murdered by degenerate child molesters.Ã‚Â Sure, it’s just a ploy to attract viewers, but it causes harm, in that peopleÃ‚Â start believing that attractive, white women are disappearing at an alarming rate in this country, and that all convicted sex offenders should by lynched to keep our children safe.Ã‚Â And then the more realistic dangers (like domestic violence to regular women, and kids dying fromÃ‚Â abuse and neglect caused by people in their own households) are ignored, since everyone is so focused on Laci Peterson and little Jessica Lundford.Ã‚Â
So, I think the new Fox News slogan should be: We Over Hype, You Over-React.Ã‚Â Or simply “Making America Stupider."Ã‚Â