Censorship notes: My worst nightmare would involve me being assigned to write a newspaper article about New Times, the popular and successful news-and-arts weekly in Miami. Every time I mention the paper, I seem to get the story wrong. The advertising director of Miami's second biggest paper says I was wrong, wrong, wrong when I said the ad department wouldn't allow the use of the word "blowjob" in an ad. What I should have said was that it was the publisher's decision. Fine. End of further discussion? Not quite. One advertiser called to say he wasn't allowed to use "son of a bitch" in his NT ad. John Detrick, of the Americana Bookshop, claims he could use words like that in his ad in a Broward publication called XS that is owned by a giant media conglomerate, and asks the provocative question: "So who's really corporate?" He means corporate as opposed to underground. In that sense, most alternative newspapers are "corporate." While all four papers owned by New Times Inc. share a "corporate" policy when it comes to ads, individual publishers have some discretion, according to Hal Smith, New Times's corporate director of marketing and advertising. "I think we're just more reasonable [than other papers]," Smith notes. I agree. Now about those T&A ads....
And speaking of clarity and the lack thereof, John B. "Worm" Thompson points out that I was misleading when I wrote that censors work best in the dark. I was trying to justify my reporting on some of Thompson's antics, arguing that if people don't know about this insidious stuff, it can spread more easily. Thompson notes that he does not operate in the dark - in fact, he faxes me thousands of times per day to shed light on each and every attempt at censorship he undertakes. Thompson should be given credit for his openness in this regard.
Gritty vocalist and cool-clothes connoisseur Lynne Noble has joined up with Good Rockin' Johnny and the Wise Guys. See 'em live in December.
Greg Brown live in Miami, confirmed, January 18.
Check out the new (dated January) issue of Modern Drummer for an interview feature about Miami Sound Machine drummer Robert Rodriguez and percussionist Rafael Padilla.
Butthorn of the week: Florida State University. Re: the ice throwing/Mark Caesar/arrest incident: Next time the 'Noles are in the Orange Bowl, let's sic our cops on them. Bring those flashlights. Hell, bring the Uzis.
Why not just change the title from governor to butthorn: Before anyone's even allowed to run for guv of this state, they should have to visit the Wizard of Oz and see if they can't pick up a brain, heart, and some courage. (If we're really lucky, the Wiz will send them to Kansas and get 'em the hell away from us.) Lawton Chiles's latest attempt to achieve Bozo Martinez-level idiocy: his refusal to prohibit the further hunting and killing of Florida black bears, an endangered species. What this state really needs is an open season on governors.
The media circus: Tanner in the Mourning.