And it’s not just me saying it.
It was the Supreme Court, too… fully and completely overstepping the intention of these 2 50-year-old bills from the California legislature. Is there no decency? Or, at least, any winning argument against the spewing of indecent language or the flashing of titillating images ? Nope, not anymore, for sure.
Why? Partially because, as our Reporter said 50 years ago (yes, this IS our *50-Year Throwback to an LA FP Issue of exactly 50 years ago), you can’t impose decades-old standards on a present-time individual, they have evolved…. maybe just because other strictures loosened (as when liquor ads were on late-night TV, then prime-time series actors could drink – heck, there was even a bar where everyone knew your name – and soon beer commercials were the best part of the afternoon’s Superbowl). Or, just maybe, people actually did evolve, and came to understand that a larger picture was a better picture, and purposefully sought a wider view – not simply satisfied that barriers were being put aside at the pace of some commercial interest.
Whichever the case, anti-smut laws back then compromised the 1st Amendment, and today’s ruling makes it even more clear that that’s just not OK. And, just to be extra clear,
But wait… in this ages-old article a key point was that the major concern was ‘minors’ – and isn’t a society to stand for the protection of their younguns? Seriously, what is the consequence – beyond the positive experience of enjoying the 1st Amendment, in this widened and more inclusive scope – when our youngest of our young see what they think is our blatant use of a naughty word? (Which, btw FUCT is not – it is an acronym for Friends U Can’t Trust – but, yeah, if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it’s probably… a duck). And, too, aren’t we all a bit compromised because there’s no place left to turn – no longer is it as easy as clicking the remote to erase the picture. Is it?
Bottom line – 50 years ago, we (the LA FP) were saying smut was entitled to its space. that, Constitutionally, it had a place. The F-word became ubiquitous, and this ruling inevitable. So now… do we hope for another evolution? One where Friends U Can Trust maintain a civility that they aren’t legally bound to, but, in the greater interest of a respectful society, do? Personally, I hope so. (And you?)
And now to that ‘*’ right by our mention that this is one of our 50-Year Throwbacks. To be clear, this is the feature wherein we find an article from that long ago Issue that, remarkably, is not far off from a contemporary concern.
That said, we have another then-published point of view. It’s not about a contemporary news item but, instead, about the contemporary news itself. It was the written response to The Bulletin of the American Society of Editors’ (BASE) question of “Do We Really Want To Be Underground?”.
However, Art Kunkin, the then Publisher, the Chief Editor, and Founder himself, instead, answered their real question… “How can your ‘underground’ newspaper possibly fit with our goals?”
Surely, Art’s answer was not what they had expected – but that was the genius of the man.
As it turned out, after 5 years of existence because of an objective to provide a more direct connection with the community, HIS paper WAS the more direct connection to the community – and, in terms of growth, IN FACT, THE LEADING newspaper!
Those OTHER papers hadn’t kept abreast of the changes in their readers’ ‘heads’ – had not catered to that new consciousness… where the LA FP had; the BASE’s focus should not have been on how the LAFP might fit in with their objectives but, rather, how they might fit in with its.
Along with his vision of what the LA FP was meant to be – the article is a read that is contrary to the thoughts of many then, and still now (i.e. that the paper was NOT to be partisan)- it’s principles were the very future of journalism. IN FACT, because of them, his ‘underground’ newspaper had 1. a PAID Subscriber base of about 90,000(!) – which made it one of the largest weekly community newspapers in the entire Country 2. truly local community news that was the gist of each Issue, in step with his grasp of the ‘new’ readers, a bunch whose sensibilities and lifestyle was different than the other papers’ diminishing homogeneous group to whom they were still, and solely, ‘communicating’, and 3. the LA FP was building a reputation for integrity while other papers could hardly be in the same room with the word; we always put out our real opinion as ‘commercial interests’ weren’t our guiding force. 4th: We welcomed the thoughts of all of our Readers, regardless of how they viewed the issues.
When, today, exactly 50 years after we first published it, you read Art’s article, you’ll see how not just newspapers but media outlets of all sorts have, at last, caught up to his thinking – to their greater benefit. And, too, if they are not making the strides his paper did, where they are lacking.
In sum, he did address and answer the question – in 1969 – of “Do We Want To Be Underground?”, though it was un-expectedly affirmative as the BASE neither fully understood what an underground newspaper was, nor the reasons it would succeed.
This week, read it, and find out why LA FP did succeed. As the article is both about the LA FP itself, and by Art, rather than putting those pages in this Throwback Thursday section, they are in our Special Features section… HERE.
And, now, here’s one of several articles on LAST week’s Historic Music Festival – the Devonshire Downs’ Newport Pop Festival. It’s in THIS Issue, rather than in the previous one because… well… in 1969 ‘live streaming’ just wasn’t a thing, network news wasn’t about to spend time giving it its due, and we – the purveyor of real and hip news – regularly published but once a week. (And as that last note sounds tiny, please remember our progress noted above.)
So, how can YOU get an even better look – on this 50th Anniversary of the Devonshire Downs Newport Pop Festival – at the Festival itself? Well, about 4 years ago, on our FB LAFPMusic Page, we ran one of our ‘LIVE’ Concerts – a feature that we will soon be bringing back – for THIS Festival. Here’s that almost lost-to-history re-telling of the ‘event’ – enjoy it as if you were there, BY SCROLLING UP FROM HERE.
We’ll wrap with what’s up for ‘tonight’ (yup, 50 years ago on the dot)…
More on this is, naturally, also on our FB LAFPMusic Page – https://www.facebook.com/LAFPmusic/
Pls have a look and a listen – yes, we know they’re not the Jo Bros, but they, too, made it to TV. (And, from there, went onto Chilliwack.)
Hope you enjoy all of the links given above 🙂
I look forward to seeing you again next Thursday!