Graduating in '71 from Cornell gave me a few unencumbered years of protesting, followed by 4 happy hipster grad student/worker years at U of Michigan, completing a Ph.D. in public administration. Followed a comedian to San Francisco, then my heart to Austin Texas to learn the TV business, dabbled in hot&heavy politics in DC, and returned to Austin & San Antonio, Texas to hone my political/media skills. I make my money conducting consumer and political opinion studies.
Number of posts: 32
Email address: email
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By Suz Korbel:
- Dr. King’s messages resonate with our working class, majority-minority communities. Aside from the 80,000+ census count of African Americans, we are a city of blends and spices.
climate change is real
Hurricane Harvey has brought death, unfathomable destruction, loss of homes and a deeply distraught community of caring people throughout the world. How can we help? What do we do now?
We will reach out, and offer whatever we can. I particularly love the #cajunnavy and all the out-of-state volunteers from California and New York rushing to our side.
staring at the sun
For one brief, shining moment, we gathered near strangers, didn’t fear for our lives, and watched the moon blot out the sun. The moon & sun were gliding all over fly-by land, giving us a quick peek at our natural selves; amazed, amused and/or otherwise distracted from the chaos of our own creation. We thought about our place in the universe, among the other animals making noises and clustering together.
hurts our hearts
I imagine what happens next to that march from protozoa to ape to man – just a poof of dust from the increasing implosion of facts-to-lies-to-violence based on nothing but a madman’s brain, and his cunning associate (perhaps with an “s” – just in case there’s somebody else in the room with Bannon?). I wonder, daily, about how much of the planet will still be here …
do we still believe?
Ever since the polls got Brexit and Trumpocalypse so wrong, inquiring minds have been wondering how could the pollsters, and by extension all the media, lead us astray? In the past week, many publications like The New York Times have discussed the polling problems.
As a survey researcher, my colleagues and I can think of many reasons, but the “science” has its own jargon, and is difficult to explain (or perhaps justify). On private chat boards, they’re trying to figure out what went wrong, and how to deal with the PR problems that arise, muttering things like …
angry bernie birds
I didn’t think it would happen to me. I thought I was so open minded; basically a wild-eyed radical gently easing into being a nice liberal.
Live and let live. Well, no more.
I like to think that I am an informed, conscientious world citizen. On Twitter as @hidingunderhere I follow 930 news feeds and supporters for all types of candidates and issues from places all over the earth. The feed has been my loyal companion when I want to find the truth, because recently the mainstream media #MSM has failed to cover almost everything, choosing 24/7 McTrumpNews instead…
OK, I have an apology to MSNBC. I watched the Republican debate on FOX last night, and I liked it. Megyn Kelly was fantastic. I mean, I used to scream every time the channel was on FOX news in public places (because the remote is forbidden from stopping there at home), but recently I have been watching with glee as they try to make sense of the present primary picnic (especially turd blossom, who is doing his best to pimp Rubio).
I know two nice guys from San Antonio and Nashville who recently wrote a cookbook on enchiladas. Cappy Lawton and his family have founded many restaurants in Texas, and presently own three in San Antonio; including La Fonda on Main which features many of the dishes from the cookbook. Chris Waters Dunn loves country music, but is presently more interested in honing his culinary skills.
Dear passionate supporters of the candidates, can you please answer these questions to help me choose our next President?
To Bernie supporters:
Q. I remember how hard I worked to get George McGovern elected to be a strong anti-war President in 1972. I also remember the crushing defeat, and the years afterward with Nixon. Where is Bernie’s 50-state strategy spelled out online? Where is his state-by-state endorsement list of elected officials? I am frightened that the former Independent will not be able to rally the Dems in all the states so we can not only win the White House, but also the Senate and/or House.
The green envelope in the photo is only one of 12 new forms necessary to qualify Texas voters (or make their vote “provisional” if they don’t have identical photo ID).
Yesterday I was an elections judge on the Northside suburbs of San Antonio (read: big houses). This was not a heavy voting day, since there were no candidates on the ballot, so the polls were visited primarily by the faithful. Still, it provided insights into what we can look forward to in the future.
deep in the heart
Republican dominance in Texas is no longer assured. Last week we saw the representatives of a previously dominant party morph into poisonous vestigial organs. The abortion bills which couldn’t pass the two-thirds test during the regular session were presented again during a “special session” when bills only need a majority vote. Thanks to the cunning and hardworking efforts of our Democratic delegation, Planned Parenthood, and other key interest groups, SB5 never reached a vote on Tuesday night.
I’m getting insecure about my humanity.
On the one hand, it’s cool to be wired into our world. Obviously since you’re reading this online, you agree. However, I’m feeling pretty creepy about being a “Quantified Self.” The Quantified Self lives in a smart home, traveling in our smart cars to meet with our smart friends who are using their smart phones to connect with even smarter friends who aren’t at the table.
I have always thought Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs was missing something. Last weekend I figured it out. Just because we’ve found shelter, safety and food, and are on our way to the “self actualization” emotions at the top of the pyramid, we’re still attached in some primal way to the basic survival instincts. Our hardwired primal urges linger inside, albeit as mutations that just seem weird to outsiders. Take football, or anything else involving spectators emotionally involved as sport participants clash. Whether your think the sport is played with a round or elongated ball, there are millions and millions of humans across the globe who follow and flock to the games (electronically or in person).
Pride and Joy
If you’re around high schools in the spring, you may have come across a Signing Party where the beloved star athlete proudly sits at a table next to a cake and balloons while TV cameras capture that precious moment when he/she puts pen to paper, officially announcing college choice intentions. Proud parents beam, draped in their fledgling’s college paraphernalia. The coach puts the school cap on the kid, and everybody eats cake.
Everybody, that is, except all the students rushing by to class. I was one of those parents celebrating my student athletes, and now I realize that this tribute for my child was unfair.
As you read this I am probably in transit as part of a 48-hour flurry to cancel appointments, pack-and-grab bags and get up to Fargo from Texas to attend to Dee, my mother-in-law. She is 92, and trying her best to get home to her apartment. The hospital professionals are trying to decide what to do about her broken back, and where she should go next. She wants to continue to live her life alone in an apartment, and have her nightly Manhattan (or two) for the foreseeable future. At this point, that’s a tough call, and somebody’s got to help her consider alternatives. In our family, that’s me.
South by Southwest
In case you weren’t aware, Austin is in gridlock. Not just cars, but people. Each year flocks of various culture vultures descend upon the city in waves – first come the gamers and Silicon Valley dolls, then the filmauteurs, followed by the warblers and tuneful tons of steel.
I can’t stay away. I love the wild-eyed keynote speakers, and always meet new friends for life (or at least to help find the way back to hotels at closing time). I’ve been five times; three to recruit musicians for venues, and the last two years just the Interactive conference. I posted my top impressions on Pinterest, in honor of CEO Ben Silbermann, whose conversation was inspirational because he epitomized an artist who just wanted to make something beautiful.
If you’re one of the million+ who have signed up to Pinterest in the past few months, you know about the eye candy. The phenomenal growth is due to women (80% of the present participants) who are resonating with what is essentially online scrapbooking.
It’s the new social media hula hoop, with thoughtful reporters and marketing execs twittering away about the possibilities. Sandra M. Jones of the Chicago Tribune described it on Feb. 5th this way: “The site is in essence an idea factory, where individuals create their own set of virtual display boards, ‘pin’ photos of things that inspire them and share them with friends and followers.”
I’m just not a big supporter of community arts, theatre & music. I’ve attended my share of school recitals, local exhibits and theater, but somehow local shows disappoint me. While I think the efforts to keep arts in the schools and public spaces are noble, I’m not sure I would ever choose to fund them over basic needs. In San Antonio, probably the most successful art shows are by mariachis in the restaurants and “Starving Artists” along the Riverwalk. I don’t mean to say that we got no cultcha; we have a struggling symphony, art district(s) and museums, and get the usual mix of national performers (especially during rodeo) and Broadway road shows — so please, Chamber of Commerce, don’t scream at my omissions. What I thought we lacked, I guess, is pure gold talent. Then, last night I changed my mind.
I attended a free performance at Gallery Nord , an art gallery in San Antonio. I was one of about 50 who came to hear Mark Cheikhet play his violin, while standing in front of his paintings. He was accompanied on piano by his wife, who later was accompanied by their baby.
Still Marching for Freedom
Over 100,000 people peacefully marched through the East Side of San Antonio yesterday. This is not uncommon. We really like this march, and for the past 25 years, rain or shine, our Texas burb turns out for MLK day. Here are a few reasons why we are probably in the top ten list for bringing out the crowds every year:
Here they come! Probably not as many in the mail as in previous years, because there are more emails, ecards and clever links showing up. I do it too, because there’s always some friends who beat me to it, and send cheery messages that beg a response, like: “All the kids are brilliant and we’re off to Cabo for the holidays. How ’bout you?”
Well, thanks for asking! Money is tighter than ever, we’re not going anywhere for vacation, and I’d rather not think about some of the things we went through last year …
What if everything we spent went to our neighbors in the city, state or country in which we live?
Our coffee grinder finally broke. First I went to Target, but when trying to decide which of three choices to buy, I looked to see where they were made. In a jingoistic pique, I rejected all the Chinese imports, and decided to try elsewhere. I scoured local grocery stores and googled “coffee grinders USA” and found some interesting sites: usstuff which lists by product category and buyamericanmart –a website that sells online. I wrote lots of emails, and heard from Coffee Wholesale USA in Round Rock. Here is what Cristi Helton, Customer Service Specialist responded:
What do you think about the firing of Joe Paterno? Do you agree with those upset that he was fired? If so, I urge you to read the Grand Jury Report on Jerry Sandusky. Did that ruin your day? Sorry, I can’t stop thinking about what those boys will think about their personal Psycho every time they see a shower. Also, I just want to know — what if one of the rape victims had been your son? Wouldn’t you want somebody to have stopped it, if they’d known, which they did.
As for all the witnesses and others in positions of accountability, especially in the athletic department, who remained quiet for years as Sandusky committed his shameful acts, there crime is more heinous.
Wine & Poses
Hey farmers, here’s a brilliant marketing proposition: make your produce so desirable that the prospective consumers will pay just to get the sales pitch. Actually, create a visiting “experience” so special that they’ll pay just to walk through your warehouse, buy stuff you markup with your name on it, as well as videos glorifying your ancestors!
OK, for all you wine snobs ready to provide your wisdom about the great vineyards and superior products from Napa Sonoma, this article’s not for you. I’m talking about an alternate reality; one that the masses seem drawn to, and/or are not familiar with corks.
Occupy The Globe
On Saturday, I was looking for coverage of the NYC Occupy Wall Street event because I knew my daughter was there. With the dogged devotion of a good mother (and former ‘60s protester), I surfed all the channels my DirecTV would give me. Not finding any live coverage, I went to the web, and found livestream.com. Wow! Before I knew it, I was streaming the NYC, Berlin, London and St. Louis feeds. On the right side of the screen, comments were flying up and out, from all the folks signed in with names like “wedidit” and “darthvadersmom.”
Last night at sunset I watched 20 million bats vortex toward the sky from Bracken Cave in Texas. Actually, I lost count after about a million, so I’m just taking our Bat guide’s word on this.
Then, this morning at dawn I watched them all (I guess) dive-bomb at 40 miles-an-hour back into their cave. The sky was raining bats, interspersed with owl and hawk visits to the breakfast buffet. Oh, and a few skunks & raccoons were waiting below in case the some of the little Mexican free-tails crashed on re-entry.
Supporting Our Troops
End the war(s). Great news. High unemployment continues. Bad news. Cutbacks everywhere. Worse news. Support the Troops. How?
So many massive social changes are occurring, but for many, life goes on the same. Perhaps you don’t know a family that’s welcomed a soldier home, or talked to a vet recently. Whether you support the wars or not, it’s time to get ready for the domestic aftermath of war, and hopefully preparations for becoming a more peaceful planet. In the meantime, we’ve got some work to do.
I just don’t know how I feel about the two-dimensional bar code that has been popping up in the last few years (Wikipedia’s got an exhaustive definition).
They’re on billboards, stapled to telephone poles, tatooed (I hear), and cupcakes. Ever since I got a smart phone, it’s been taking me to strange places, mostly to sell me something. My phone has gone to a video of a vodka tasting party hosted by Eva Longoria, websites, and photos unmentionable in family magazines (not sure – is this one?).
It’s been a month since SXSW in Austin, and my friends are tired of hearing me rant about it. I have no professional connection with SXSW. It just changed my life.
Before last year, I did the SXSW pub crawl as a recruiter for music venues. I always thought the Interactive festival was just for gamers who looked wasted and were leaving as I was just arriving, fresh and ready for action. This year I won a pass to go to the Interactive festival, so why not? I’m still plowing through all the books I bought and getting to know all the cool new people and tech toys I met, and here’s why I know I’ll be there next year:
We like to send our kids off in style down in San Antonio – holding ceremonies in rodeo arenas. Yesterday at the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum, my daughter joined six hundred-and-who-knows-how-many-others-and-mothers pushing for photo ops. Actually, being in a wrap-around arena is fun, because as each name is called out, pockets of whoops and hollers erupt, like random waves in an ocean. After the spate of excerpts from politico/celebrity speeches, there’s not much new to say about the graduation scene of cluster cries and cheers. It is also no surprise that the summa-cums, magna-cums and other laudes have more Asian, Indian and Anglo names, while 10 of the 14 Gonzales/zes sat behind all the laudes. Also, when the principal asked those who planned to serve in the military to rise and be honored, almost all who stood were sitting in the back. This social stratification is so shockingly commonplace […]
I’m reluctantly going to watch my daughter play in the volleyball Junior Olympics next month in Miami Beach. When I try to find a place to stay or things to do, I’m confronted with ads of happy drinkers in bikinis or hugging happy grey hairs. Do I want a hotel with free afternoon cocktails at the pool and art deco/iPod rooms, or a quiet bed and breakfast with shuffleboard? It’s not that I don’t know the area. My family escaped Detroit for a few warm weeks for several winters. Later I Spring Breaked there, and then did dressy conventions in fine hotels and tromped around the Everglades with my kids. Oh, and I’ve seen “CSI Miami” and danced on Calle Ocho. After working with many CVBs (Convention and Visitors Bureaus) I know that I don’t fit the demographics of the desired tourist. Just looking at the ads makes that pretty […]
There is no school Friday in San Antonio. Don’t worry about making appointments or returning calls. We should be exhausted from partying all week at Fiesta. On Friday we are all expected to go downtown and thrill as the floats with Queens (seriously), Duchesses and miles of marching bands snake through the city, while we gorge on gorditas. Our royalty represent our city so well — although I can’t imagine anything I’d want them to do for me, or why they exist at all. Just look at these photos of the Investiture of King Antonio LXXXVII. Although they might look like Five Star hotel doormen, the Texas Cavaliers are proud insurance salesmen and other (white) notables who charge for the privilege to watch their parades (3) and their daughters in gowns, throw some of the proceeds to local charities, then take off for a cruise. Today I heard several sirens and pulled over, only to see 2 motorcycle cops (taxpayer […]
Somebody please tell me you’re watching these people and they will stay in their cages: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeYscnFpEyA