Thursday, December 30, 2010

Casey Corr: Jake Locker and the New York Times crush on all things Northwest

The New York Times, which has long had a high school crush on all things Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, goes for the goal posts with this piece on Jake Locker. You can almost hear the slap of an appreciative salmon on the waters of Lake Washington as it takes in the sight of a game at Husky Stadium. Thanks for the memories, Jake. Maybe the Seahawks will draft you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Casey Corr: Facebook and privacy -- a view from the windshield of my car

I agree with those who say Facebook is threat to privacy. It's clearly a very private matter and certainly an issue of discussion if you need to have two toilets in a public place, and yet I posted this to my Facebook account. Content is king. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stunning new entries during our trip to the Sonoma Valley

Deep thoughts spread across multiple platforms.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jack London...what he wrote, what he did in just 40 short years

GLEN ELLEN, CALIF -- Sally and I left the posh confines of our resort in Glen Ellen, Calif., to visit the nearby Jack London State Park,  a beautiful acreage funded by London's prolific writing, maintained by the Sate of California, and guided by an exquisite sense of design and visionary sense of sustainable farming practices. London was an astonishingly prolific writer, who stayed up late and rose as early as 5 a.m. to accomplish his goal of 1,000 words a day, six days a week. The result was dozens of books and hundreds of articles, many of which became movies. It's charming to learn that much of his earning his plowed into additions and improvements to his beloved Beauty Ranch and the home that was nearly completed with customized furniture, only to be destroyed in the last months of completion by a fire. He vowed to start over but died at age 40 before any reconstruction could begin.

To visit London's estate, so far from the snowy Alaskan scenes of his most famous works or the distant settings in Japan, the South Pacific and other points around the globe, is to be reminded of the power of personality. He matched his brilliance with a commitment to hard work. By spending every penny he earned, he barely kept ahead of bill collectors for the estate and he remained in constant battles to protect the rights to his work from sleazy Hollywood producers who stole his stories and copycat writers who imitated his style. For all his great talent, what I enjoyed much was his sense of humor. He tied ropes around the bed posts of guest rooms and at night had them yanked as he yelled, "Earthquake." He died young of kidney failure, perhaps brought on by treatment using a mercury-based salve during an ill fated sailing trip around the world.  For all my fellow Hearstians out there, take some solace that the Old Man paid for much of Jack London's writing, though he probably insisted that London use both sides of his note pads.

London was an outspoken socialist. As such, he might have scorned where Sally and I are staying, the resort  Gaige House. but then I might have replied that his own 15,000-square-foot Wolf House, underway for what today would have been $1.9 million upon completion, was hardly a pig shack. But you must admire London's sense of work ethic. His first piece of published writing paid him just 1 cent a word -- a little less that today's freelancers but still impressive. He wrote well to live but to him, always, it was a means to live well.

UPDATE Aug. 16, 2010
Fascinating piece in Slate that strips some of the gauze off Jack London's image today. Like many great figures of literature or history in general, the guy had some odd sides to his personality. Also, a  new book suggests a different theory on his early death.

Slate review of biography of Jack London

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Day Frank Colacurcio pulled a fast one on the Seattle Times -- or did he?

The death of "Seattle nightlife figure" Frank Colacurcio Sr. this week ended a fascinating chapter in local law enforcement and concluded with a long story in the Seattle Times about his career.

Missing from the coverage was what sure looked like a stunt pulled by Colacurcio on his media nemesis. Back in 1995, the Times sent a photographer out to shoot Colacurcio for a feature on the operator of strip clubs. When the photographer arrived, someone else sat for the photo. The Times, embarrassed when the story ran and many pointed out the erroneous headshot, ran a correction.

Was that playful payback by Colacurcio for decades of negative coverage or just a case of a film negative resulting from a simple misunderstanding?

The Times ran a straightforward headline on the correction: "Correction -- Photos Weren't Of Colacurcio."

But couldn't The Times have done a play on that famous NY Daily News headline with something like, "Wrong Head Found in Topless Bar?"

P.S. The image with this posting is purportedly a 1980 Seattle P-I photo of Colacurcio. Or is it?