Today is Sunday August 30, 2015. How it got to be 1 PM I do not know.
I do know that this ambitious posting will be under construction for a while. Consider the host of categories above which includes everything from Health Crisis to the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State to Joyof Motion.
Why I begin this full disclosure [see footnote (1)] account with a lie: “Ain’t Nobody’s Business But My Own” can and cannot be explained.
Here the overriding intent is to disclosure my plan for the future which I grandiosely refer to as “my life’s work.”
No fair. You can not read the entire article here because Isabelle Lomholt and Adrian Welch just published Joel’s Column in Scotland to an audience of nearly one million hits a day from architects and the building community.
Go to Scotland. Read Detroit Trendy City in Scotland where it was meant to be read first exclusively for www.e-architect.co.uk
“In 10 years Detroit will be the trendy city and compared to San Francisco and Warsaw “A 350 page master plan is guiding the new Detroit. The shape? Unclear but promising
“Today’s Detroit column begins in New York City with Detroit on my mind—always on my mind. I have a friend who had the opportunity to purchase a house in the Meatpacking District of New York City.
“The Meatpacking District, despite the off-putting sound of the now-anachronistic name, is the hottest neighborhood in Manhattan. This is the view of Brian Regan, Deputy Director of the Morgan Museum and Library, who was instrumental in obtaining the services of Renzo Piano to design the new Morgan. Regan believes Piano’s new Whitney may become the most popular museum in New York with more visitors than the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“Because of fate (ill-health), I will be covering the May first opening of the Whitney for e-architect. I will also be attending the August 23rd press preview. As I write, the Whitney media page is giving me a countdown. “The New Whitney, Opens May 1, 2015, 19 days, 0 hours, 23 minutes, 15 seconds.’”
“One remote but not outlandish treatment hope is that at Sloan Kettering, I can have inserted a Bioness Corporation device which beams shock waves to patients like me who have foot drop. Some patients walk again. Thus, twice implanted, I may be able to leave New York City walking for the first time in 25 years and pain-free.
All is contingent on securing funds. Forbes Magazine recommended a crowdfunding service that could be valuable to architects starting small projects. The service is called: Indiegogo.
This esssay appeared in Benchley’s book Love Conquers All , published Printed October, 1922.
Note 1. On personal preference: We are Penn State.
Note 2. Thanks to my distinguished webmaster Kathy Forer, this posting is available in Spanish, Hebrew, Chinese, Hindi, etc. See home page, top left for the language of your choice. www.joelsolkoff.com
Note 3. This posting will be first shared on Keep State College Weird:
Sunday morning these fine fall days are taken up with reading about the “40,000 football enthusiasts” or the “gaily-bedecked crowd of 60,000 that watched the game on Saturday.” And so they probably did, unless there were enough men in big fur coats who jumped up at every play and yelled “Now we’re off!” thus obstructing the view of an appreciable percentage.
But why stop at the mention of the paltry 50,000 who sat in the Bowl or the Stadium? Why forget the twice 50,000 all over the country, in Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, Atlanta, who watched the same game over the ticker, or sat in a smoke-fogged room listening to telegraphic announcements, play by play, or who even stood on the curbing in front of a newspaper office and watched an impartial employee shove a little yellow ball along a black-board, usually indicating the direction in which the real football was not going.
Since it is so important to give the exact number of people who saw the game, why not do the thing up right and say: “Returns which are now coming in from the Middle West, with some of the rural districts still to be heard from, indicate that at least 145,566 people watched the Yale-Princeton football game yesterday.
“Secretary Dinwoodie of the San Francisco Yale Club telegraphed late last night that the final count in that city would probably swell the total to a round 150,395. This is, or will be, the largest crowd that ever assembled in one country to watch a football game.”
And watching the game in this vicarious manner isn’t so bad as the fellow who has got tickets and carfare to the real game would like to have it. You are in a warm room, where you can stretch your legs and regulate your remarks to the intensity of your emotions rather than to the sex of your neighbors. And as for thrills! “Dramatic suspense” was probably first used as a term in connection with this indoor sport.
The scene is usually some college club in the city—a big room full of smoke and graduates. At one end is a scoreboard and miniature gridiron, along which a colored counter is moved as the telegraph behind the board clicks off the plays hot from the real gridiron.
There is also an announcer, who, by way of clarifying the message depicted on the board, reads the wrong telegram in a loud, clear tone.
Just as the crowd in the football arena are crouching down in their fur coats the better to avoid watching the home team fumble the kick-off, the crowds two and ten hundred miles away are settling back in their chairs and lighting up the old pipes, while the German-silver-tongued announcer steps to the front of the platform and delivers the following:
“Yale won the toss and chose to defend the south goal, Princeton taking the west.”
This mistake elicits much laughter, and a witty graduate who has just had lunch wants to know, as one man to the rest of the house, if it is puss-in-the-corner that is being played.
The instrument behind the board goes “Tick-ity-tick-tick-tickity.”
There is a hush, broken only by the witty graduate, who, encouraged by his first success, wants to know again if it is puss-in-the-corner that is being played. This fails to gain.
“Gilblick catches the kick-off and runs the ball back to his own 3-yard line, where he is downed in his tracks,” comes the announcement.
There is a murmur of incredulity at this. The little ball on the board shoots to the middle of the field.
“Hey, how about that?” shout several precincts.
The announcer steps forward again.
“That was the wrong announcement,” he admits. “Tweedy caught the kick-off and ran the ball back twenty-five yards to midfield, where he is thrown for a loss. On the next play there was a forward pass, Klung to Breakwater, which—”
Here the message stops. Intense excitement.
The man who has $5 on the game shuts his eyes and says to his neighbor: “I’ll bet it was intercepted.”
A wait of two triple-space minutes while the announcer winds his watch. Then he steps forward. There is a noisy hush.
“It is estimated that 50,000 people filed into the Palmer Stadium to-day to watch Yale and Princeton in their annual gridiron contest,” he reads.
“Yale took the field at five minutes of 2, and was greeted by salvos and applause and cheering from the Yale section. A minute later the Princeton team appeared, and this was a signal for the Princeton cohorts to rise as one man and give vent to their famous ‘Undertaker’s Song.'”
“How about that forward pass?” This, as one man, from the audience.
The ball quivers and starts to go down the field. A mighty shout goes up. Then something happens, and the ball stops, looks, listens and turns in the other direction. Loud groans.
A wooden slide in the mechanism of the scoreboard rattles into place, upside down. Agile spectators figure out that it says “Pass failed.”
Every one then sinks back and says, “They ought not to have tried that.” If the quarterback could hear the graduates’ do-or-die backing of their team at this juncture he would trot into the locker building then and there.
Again the clear voice from the platform:
“Tweedy punts—” (noisy bond-salesman in back of room stands up on a chair and yells “Yea!” and is told to “Shut up” by three or four dozen neighbors) “to Gumble on his 15-yard line. Gumble fumbles.”
The noisy bond-salesman tries to lead a cheer but is prevented.
Frightful tension follows. Who recovered? Whose ball is it? On what line? Wet palms are pressed against trouser legs. How about it?
You can hear the announcer’s boots squeak as he steps forward.
“Mr. A.T. Blevitch is wanted on the telephone,” he enunciates.
Mr. A.T. Blevitch becomes the most unpopular man in that section of the country. Every one turns to see what a man of his stamp can look like. He is so embarrassed that he slinks down in his seat and refuses to answer the call.
“Klung goes around right end for a gain of two yards,” is the next message from the front.
The bond-salesman shouts “Yea!”
“How about that fumble?” shouts every one else.
The announcer goes behind the scenes to talk it over with the man who works the Punch-and-Judy, and emerges, smiling.
“In the play preceding the one just announced,” he says, “Gumble fumbled and the ball was recovered by Breakwater, who ran ten yards for a touchdown—”
Pandemonium! The bond-salesman leads himself in a cheer. The witty man says, “Nothing to it.”
There is comparative quiet again, and every one lights up the old pipes that have gone out.
The announcer steps forward with his hand raised as if to regulate traffic.
“There was a mistake in the announcement just made,” he says pleasantly. “In place of ‘touchdown’ read ‘touchback.’
“The ball is now in play on the 20-yard line, and Kleenwell has just gone through center for three yards.”
By this time no one in the audience has any definite idea of where the ball is or who has it. On the board it is hovering between midfield and second base.
“On the next play Legly punts—”
“Block that punt! Block that punt!” warns the bond-salesman, as if it were the announcer who was opposing Legly.
“Sit down, you poor fish!” is the consensus of opinion.
“Legly punts to Klung on the latter’s 25-yard line, where the first period ends.”
And so it goes throughout the game; the announcer calling out gains and the dummy football registering corresponding losses; Messrs. A.T. Blevitch and L.H. Yank being wanted on the telephone in the middle of forward passes; the noisy person in the back of the room yelling “Yea” on the slightest provocation and being hushed up at each outbreak; and every one wondering what the quarterback meant by calling for the plays he did.
In smaller cities, where only a few are gathered together to hear the results, things are not done on such an elaborate scale. The dummy gridiron and the dummy announcer are done away with and the ten or a dozen rooters cluster about the news ticker, most of them with the intention of watching for just a few minutes and then going home or back to the office. And they always wait for just one more play, shifting from one foot to the other, until the game is over.
About a ticker only the three or four lucky ones can see the tape. The rest have to stand on tip-toe and peer over the shoulders of the man in front. They don’t care. Some one will always read the results aloud, just as a woman will read aloud the cut-ins at the movies.
The one who is doing the reading usually throws in little advance predictions of his own when the news is slow in coming, with the result that those in the back get the impression that the team has at least a “varied attack,” effecting at times a field goal and a forward pass in the same play.
A critical period in the game, as it comes dribbling in over the ticker, looks something like this:
Some one suggests that the pass was illegal and that the whole team has been arrested.
The ticker clears its throat. Br-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r
The ticker stabs off a line of dots and begins:
“UNCLE TOM’S CABIN”
A few choice remarks are passed in the privacy of the little circle, to just the effect that you would suspect.
A newcomer elbows his way in and says: “What’s the good word? Any score yet?” and some one replies:
“Yes. The score now stands 206 to 0 in favor of Notre Dame.”
This grim pleasantry is expressive of the sentiment of the group toward newcomers. It is each man for himself now.
“Here she comes, now!” whispers the man who is hanging over the glass news terminal, reading aloud:
“Yale-Princeton-Game-Second Quarter (Good-night, what became of that forward pass in the first quarter?)
“Yale’s-ball-in-mid-field-Hornung-takes-ball-around-left-end-making-it- first-down-Tinfoil-drops-back-for-a-try-at-a-field-goal. (Oh, boy! Come on, now!)”
“Why the deuce do they try a field goal on the first down?” asks a querulous graduate-strategist. “Now, what he ought to do is to keep a-plugging there at tackle, where he has been going—”
“Bet he missed it!” offers some one with vague gambling instincts.
“AS. 66.991.059 LBS..
And just then some one comes in from the outside, all fresh and disagreeably cheery, and wants to know what the score is and if there have been many forward passes tried and who is playing quarter for Yale, and if any one has got a cigarette.
It is really just the same sort of program as obtains in the big college club, only on a small scale. They are all watching the same game and they are all wishing the same thing and before their respective minds’ eyes is the picture of the same stadium, with the swarm of queen bees and drones clinging to its sides.
And every time that you, who are one of the cold and lucky ones with a real ticket, see a back break loose for a long run and hear the explosion of hoarse shouts that follows, you may count sixty and then listen to hear the echo from every big city in the country where the old boys have just got the news.
Why this posting is being published before completion:
To await the references from William Gillis, editor The American Historian, to arrive by U.S. mail. Gillis is the author of a brilliant paper on Scanlan’s Monthly written as a graduate student at E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Here is a link to the paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in Toronto, Canada, August: 2004. http://list.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0411a&L=aejmc&P=46716
To acknowledge that without Gillis’s paper giving my 8 issue service at Scanlan’s a patina of respectability, I would not have had the courage to write let alone publish this work in progress.
To sell a complete set on Scanlan’s on e-Bay or to the highest bidder, preferably a well-healed university. Gillis says it is difficult now for scholars to read the publication. [Scholars!]
To entice Ralph Steadman to send me the original drawings of his work that appeared in Scanlan’s. Most especially, this one which I saw him create at the editorial offices above a bar in the then seedy section of Times Square.
Scanned from my personal collection
[Query: How do I get this to read 7 instead of 1?] As a kindly suggestion for Chanukah / Christmas presents to suggest purchasing children’s book and not-for-children art as gifts while the British pound is weak and the dollar strong: http://www.ralphsteadman.com/
To locate J.C. Suares whose work at Scanlan’s prepared for the creation with David Schneiderman of the op-ed page of The New York Times.
To express appreciation to Warren Hinckle III [http://www.argonaut360.com/] not only for having shared with him months of near-lunacy [near?] but appreciation for his work at Rampart’s which convinced Martin Luther King, Jr. to denounce the War in Vietnam.
[Query: How do I get this to read 9 instead of 1?] To allow frequent site contributor Hadley Baxendale to make a pre-publication comment to this prematurely published posting.
To convince my skeptical webmaster and friend Kathy Forer I really did work for a publication that PAID for advertising
Now to return to the Scanlan’s posting in progress:
My first “real” job: Scanlan’s Monthly 1971 [NOT for minors]
Working at Scanlan’s was one of the weirdest experiences of my life
The advertisement that begins this posting is a good example of what I mean by weird:
This is the back cover of the second issue of Scanlan’s Monthly where in 1970 I worked on the editorial staff after having been hired at the downstairs bar of Sardi’s Restaurant.
This is the upstairs bar at Sardi’s:
Sardi’s Restaurant is located on West 44th Street in the Times Square neighborhood of Manhattan. Founded in 1927, Sardi’s is across from the center of the theater district.
The restaurant appears regularly in films showing Broadway producers, playwrights, and actors celebrating or bemoaning the first performance of a play. Generally, the scene includes an out loud reading of a review from The New York Times, a review that either made or broke the play. [Note: the offices of The New York Times are around the corner; Clive Barnes then its theater critic was a bar regular.]
Working out of bars in fancy New York City restaurants was an essential part of my first real job after graduating from Columbia College. [Many years later President Barack Obama received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia.]
I was 21 years old, having majored in Medieval European History without a salable skill to my name except the bravado to convince the magazine’s already notorious editors to hire me.
This was regarded as a dream job for any journalism school graduate. Only I was not a journalism graduate and had no formal training. As it would turn out, now that I am weeks away from my 67th birthday, I had no formal training to do any of the jobs that punctuated my career including:
Writing a speech for a controversial President of Lebanon who was literally blown up before he was able to deliver it
Publishing a book on food policy read by the most influential Secretary of Agriculture in my lifetime with whom I became telephone buddies after he was forced to resign from office in disgrace
Working on a report on the M1 tank for Congress’ General Accountability Office
Serving as a political appointee in the Carter Administration in a job requiring extensive security clearance and confirmation by the U.S. Senate
Designing on-line documentation for startup companies in the Silicon Valley of California describing how to use a software product when the software had not yet been completed
My first task of the day was to report to my boss the late Sidney Zion, co-editor of Scanlan’s Monthly. Instead of going to the magazine’s office, located between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, I got off the subway at Eighth Avenue and climbed the steps to the bar. Sidney appeared, first thing in the morning (11 A.M.) for his first scotch on the rocks.
Sidney, formerly a legal reporter for The New York Times, was my boss because only he was allowed to write checks.
Sidney’s co-editor Warren Hinckle, III, who had turned Rampart’s Magazine from a Catholic school publication into the Bible of the 1960s counterculture, was so notoriously a spendthrift he had to ask Sidney to write checks for his many expensive story ideas and ventures.
Warren was the most brilliant editor I ever worked for. (I have worked with many brilliant editors). With rare often disquieting exceptions, Sidney did little work.
Warren ran the magazine. Running the magazine was often a complicated affair because Warren lived in San Francisco where he had an office and staff —flying into New York once a week. My first experience with a FAX was the now primitive contraption that tied the two offices together sending editorial material and nonsense back and forth from coast to coast.
Let us start with the advertisement that begins this posting: Think twice about Germany. The third issue of Scanlan’s, for which I co-authored with Warren the cover story on Russian Pornography, had an editorial “THAT LUFTHANSA AD.”
The editors explained:
“Since Scanlan’s charges money to print letters to the editor (write us a letter and we’ll send you the rates), we make things more or less even by buying advertising. Our back cover last month carried an ad for Lufthansa, the German airlines—but not from Lufthansa.
“Some ads we buy because the editors like them and think they make interesting reading….Other ads we buy for other reasons, as you will see. One such ad appeared last month on our back cover. And for that story we take you to Advertising Age, the weekly newspaper of the advertising industry.
“NEW YORK, April 1—Second thoughts about the new Lufthansa German Airlines’ ad theme, ‘Think twice about Germany,’ appears to be in order.
“Scanlan’s Monthly’s April issue carries what at first glance appears to be a Lufthansa ad, but at second glance turns out to be a doctored version.
“The back cover ad of Scanlan’s substitutes two photos for the gemuelich scenes carried in the original Lufthansa ad, by D’Arcey Advertising. One of the pictures in the spurious ad shows a nude woman, hands bound behind her, about to be thrashed by a soldier while a cameraman records the scene. The second picture shows Wehrmacht officers giving the ‘Heil, Hitler’ salute.”
Thus endeth the editorial.
Subsequent Ad Age reports, read by the Scanlan’s staff avidly, reported the agency pulled its expensive campaign, one executive complaining about Scanlan’s “They did not even bother to show it to us first.”
A lasting consequence of Warren and Sidney’s stunt is today all advertising contains a copyright line, not then considered necessary because no publication ever had the effrontery to BUY advertising.
After revealing one of my first tasks on the job was to deliver by hand the check to the man who doctored the ad, the best way to proceed is to show how buying ads was possible.
What follows are photographs of the covers of each of the eight monthly magazines (with short descriptions of each) Scanlan’s produced before it went bankrupt and I was left unemployed.
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Scanlan’s Monthly 3, May 1970, from my personal collection
Table of Contents
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Copyright 2014 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved. As for the copyright status of bankrupt Scanlan's Monthly itself, the author welcomes comments from well-credentialed copyright attorneys.
“Yellowstone National Park is located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho. It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872
“Yellowstone, widely held to be the first national park in the world, is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular features in the park. It has many types of ecosystems, but the subalpine forest is most abundant. It is part of the South Central Rockies forests ecoregion.
“Native Americans have lived in the Yellowstone region for at least 11,000 years. The region was bypassed during the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early 19th century. Aside from visits by mountain men during the early-to-mid-19th century, organized exploration did not begin until the late 1860s. The U.S. Army was commissioned to oversee the park just after its establishment. In 1917, administration of the park was transferred to the National Park Service, which had been created the previous year.”
“The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world, after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand and Boiling Lake in Dominica. It is located in the Midway Geyser Basin.
“Grand Prismatic Spring was noted by geologists working in the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871, and named by them for its striking coloration. Its colors match the rainbow dispersion of white light by an optical prism: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.”