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The [Wednesday] Papers

I'd like to say a few words about the Beachwood this morning.

First, all hail our very own Tom Latourette!

Tom is the man behind many of our song parodies and videos and today we kick off Tom Latourette Month with three of his latest creations.

Our Politics page today features Tom's "Patti Just Sold A Home For The Holidays," a Christmas tribute to our state's fine First Lady.

Tom's song is also an entrant in Eric Zorn and Mary Schmich's seasonal-song parody contest.

Our Sports page today features "The Hester Man," the product of Tom and The Beachwood Devin Hester Affairs Desk.

And our People, Places & Things page features Tom's "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Hanukah," the first of a series of holiday songs coming your way. On Friday, we begin The Twelve Days of Beachwood Christmas.

Needless to say, Tom is the frontrunner for Beachwood Employee of the Month, which, in the great tradition of Moe's Tavern, comes with a free case of Keystone Light.

Beachwood Business
Longtime readers know that on occasion this column does not appear; an editor's note usually says that I am tending to business.

I'd like to say a little bit more about what that business is.

The Beachwood launched two years ago February on the hopes, dreams and enthusiasms of a handful of bitter, idealistic, worn-down, witty, alcohol-fueled, scornful, angry, passionate, music-loving, depressed and truth-loving people.

It has always been more than a lark, though. We have always had a business plan built on not only developing the Beachwood over time into a credible local news outlet but on producing a stable of sites as a way to generate multiple revenue streams while having a helluva lot of fun.

It is really a couple of the other sites we've always had in mind and are ready to move on that look to be the real revenue-generators because of their particular niches.

Our first year was funded by the meager savings I managed to accrue after finally paying off my heinous student loans. That's what paid my modest living expenses while everyone buckled down on a volunteer basis to try to build this thing.

Our second year has been funded largely by a fan of the site and his friend and colleague who became our first investors. We are forever grateful to them for believing in us.

Along the way, we have also taken in a small amount of money through our "memberships" and a smidgen of advertising. Several folks have offered professional services pro bono, and to them we are also grateful.

The funding we've had so far has allowed us to, as they say in the business world, create value. To show what we can do - on a shoestring. (Just think what we could do if we had some money.)

The business I'm often tending to is the business of exploring partnerships, alliances and potential new investors to put The Beachwood Media Company on solid financial footing.

I've had many, many discussions with many, many interested parties over the last year. As our current funding winds down, I hope to make a deal soon and expand operations. But this whole thing could just as easily die a painful death if that doesn't happen.

I'd give us a 50-50 chance.

Either way, I can't begin to tell you how gratifying this has been and how much I appreciate your readership and support.

I hope the next time I write about the Beachwood I can give everyone the good news.

Anyway, everyone is always welcome to the real Beachwood, the Beachwood Inn on Beach and Wood. Stop by and say hello.

Newspaper Genius
"If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content for nothing, what would Google do?" Sam Zell said recently, as recounted in the New York Times on Monday.

I've never understood that line of reasoning. How is Google stealing newspapers' content? You can't read their content on Google. You have to click on the links that go back to the newspapers. In other words, Google is increasing readership for newspapers by referring people to their websites - for free. It's free marketing. Hail Google!

City Where Some People Work
We live in a city where Stella Foster has a job in journalism but John Conroy does not.

Journalism Justice
I hereby nominate John Conroy for a MacArthur genius grant.

Teen Wisdom
Three teenagers who are smarter than the mayor and Op-Ed columnist Dennis Byrne show off in a letter to the Tribune.

Body Image
"When celebrities insist that they stay thin through restraint, grilled chicken, breadless meals and long walks in the Santa Monica hills, they might as well be telling you that there is a new Prada store on Venus," critic Ginia Bellafante wrote recently in the New York Times.

"[Super Skinny Me] follows two journalists as they investigate what it takes to get to a size 0. What they find is that it takes masochism and misery, subsisting on a diet of lemon water and running on treadmills while covered in Saran Wrap in a sauna. A size 0 doesn't mean getting by on 1,200 calories a day but rather half that, as you perform at least an hour of cardiovascular activity daily, tired, petulant and disinclined toward bonhomie."

The Image of Self
"The first step in curing perfectionism, procrastination and blocks is to ignore all the hype and romanticism," a woman from Boston wrote to the Times science section on Tuesday.

"Society promotes a shallow and unrealistic idea of professional success not only via platitudes such as 'Just do it!' but romanticized stories of 'overnight successes' and 'tortured artists.'

"The media also tend to ignore the fact that those who refuse to sacrifice their families or other important commitments to their professional ambitions will necessarily succeed more slowly, and perhaps to a lesser degree, than those who don't."

In other words, pathology is rewarded in our society.

Which I might not be against if it wasn't the wrong kind of pathology.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Get real.


Posted on December 12, 2007

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Goodbye, Apu.
POLITICS - The Political Odds.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Catching Bears Fever.

BOOKS - Gov. Ed Coles.


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