Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sunday Blather

In which we talk newspaper

It is considered a faux pas in the blogging world to link to articles in "the newspaper." However, two stories in today's Chronicle caught me eye and are worth a mention.

The first is by the inimitable Carl Nolte, who writes the "Native Son" column each Sunday. In it, he talks about how native San Franciscans identify one another by place and social status by the high school they went to.
"Two old San Francisco types meet by chance at a party, maybe in Marin, or the mysterious East Bay. They don't know many people at the party, but somebody across the room looks vaguely familiar. So they start a conversation and it goes like this:

"Hi, howareya? Don't I know you from someplace? Whereya from?" The other person is a little wary; everybody seems to be from somewhere else these days. "From?" the other person says, "I'm from here. From the City."

"Oh yeah?" the first person says. "Where didja go to school?" Though the other person sounds like a San Franciscan - talks fast, runs words together, refers to San Francisco as the City - the question about school is the key. It doesn't make any difference if the person has a Ph.D. from Harvard, or used to be the president of Stanford. What we want to know is where you went to high school.

This is the way San Franciscans of a certain age recognize other San Franciscans; the password, the secret handshake. It tells everything: class, status, maybe religion, who your family is and who your friends are."
Read the rest...

The second talks about the Chronicle's presses' last day. The last Chronicle rolled off the old, 50-year-old presses that were owned by the newspaper early this morning. Henceforth, an outside firm will handle the printing. The good news is that the new presses will allow for a more colorful and "crease-free" read, and may allow the company, which lost $50 million last year, to save enough cash to continue operations for a few more years. I hope it does, because I don't look forward to the day when I have to do without my local daily. The bad news is that a lot of long-time Chronicle press men are now out of work.

Brave new world? Feh!