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City life

Thursday, April 12, 2007 by Dave Winer.

A picture named fan.jpgAfter breakfast at Saul's this morning, I stopped in at Long's Drugs, nearby, to pick up a fan. It's still cool in Berkeley, it's only April after all, and the Bay Area never gets all that hot, nothing like the south or the east, so houses here don't have air conditioning. But we will have a few days of 100-degree heat, and on days like that you must have a fan. Last summer I got there too late, they were already sold out, so this year I resolved to get there early. They had a good selection, and I was able to get the kind of fan I like. $20. Another item off the to-do list. Permalink to this paragraph

While walking through the aisles, looking for other things, batteries, soap, I overheard a conversation between two store clerks. What were they talking about? Imus, and how he had been kicked off MSNBC, and they expected he'd be kicked off CBS too, and he was getting what he deserved. It was amazing how much they had to say about it, and how what they said exactly mirrored what was being said on the cable news. Permalink to this paragraph

In the NY Times they say he got caught in the 24 hour news cycle, he never had a chance. Permalink to this paragraph

We witnessed something that looked to me a lot like the Kathy Sierra storm that swept the blogosphere a few weeks ago. I knew Imus like I knew the people who were being hunted in blogland. I liked to listen to his show in the 70s, he was fresh and different, irreverent, interesting. I feel sorry for Imus, and I think it's sad that he's going out this way. I hadn't listened to him in many years, but I haven't forgotten how the young version of me saw him as a role model.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named billypilgrim.jpgAt the same point in my life that Imus made me laugh, so did Kurt Vonnegut. I loved his books when I was young, and I made a point, four years ago, to re-read most of his books, so I've got an updated appreciation for how wonderful they are. And they were made more important for me because I shared his writing with my uncle, who had (I felt) a similar sense of humor, of irony. Like many others of my generation, Vonnegut formed my perspective on the world, on mysticism, and politics, on the smallness of everything we care about. If you've read Sirens of Titan, my favorite Vonnegut book, you know what I'm talking about. No spoilers here! Permalink to this paragraph

And while I shared Vonnegut with my uncle, I shared Imus with my younger brother. He was in NY, where Imus was broadcasting; he'd record cassettes and mail them to me in New Orleans, where I was in school. Getting a tape of Imus was like getting a bag of fresh bagels or a Sunday NY Times. Love from home. Permalink to this paragraph

I hope Imus finds something satisfying to fill his remaining time. Maybe he'll become a podcaster or a blogger. It's smaller than being a radio star, and we have witch hunts here too, but here they can't shut you down for being rude. At least not yet! ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

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Last update: 4/26/2007; 12:44:59 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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