Sci-fi Movie Defied Hollywood Norms

Based on the Carl Sagan novel, Contact is a favorite science fiction film of mine released 25 years ago. This film turned out to be unlike any other from Hollywood before or since. Read more here:

Brighter Future Possible for Cal Poly Journalism Department

During September 2010 I posted a commentary online that was reposted elsewhere.

What I wrote was a strong expression of the anger that I felt about troubles within the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Journalism Department.

I could not understand how a once vibrant Cal Poly Journalism Department that shaped my professional career in the 1970s could look like a train wreck in the 2000s. I am not the only alum who came to believe that the widely publicized bickering among faculty members was the root cause of the descent of the Cal Poly Journalism Department. Ironic how the department that teaches public relations could let faculty bickering spiral out of control into a major public relations disaster.

That was why I posted my recommendation online in 2010 that Cal Poly alumni should withhold financial support for the Journalism Department. As someone who has earned a doctoral degree and has worked full-time with numerous faculty members at several academic institutions, I know that faculty bickering is a 100% preventable condition.

But, I accept that the past belongs in the past. Today I am convinced that a professional focus upon rebuilding the reputation of the Journalism Department and earning accreditation is the only way to go.

As 2011 begins, I am encouraged that Linda Halisky, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Harvey Levenson, interim chair of the Journalism Department, have been working to craft many tangible changes designed to improve the management, operations and reputation of the Cal Poly Journalism Department.

From all I have seen, I sincerely feel that the work begun by Halisky and Levenson deserves a closer look by all who care about Cal Poly. I believe now is especially a time of need for Cal Poly Journalism alumni to support–both financially and professionally–the reform efforts of Halisky and Levenson.

A Great Writer, Ted Sorensen

Today, October 31, 2010, saw the passing of a great writer from the United States, Ted Sorensen. Throughout the 82 years that this man from Nebraska lived and worked, he contributed in significant and often historic ways to the craft of writing in the 20th century in the United States.

My professional life drew inspiration from the writer that Ted Sorensen was. Although I never met him, I find that I am saddened today that he is gone.

There will be many words written about Ted Sorensen by others great and famous. I only want to pay my sincere respects today to his family, and to urge other writers to remember this man and to study how he wrote.

I would select one especially important work of his as a starting point for such remembrances and studies of Ted Sorensen:

He made crucial contributions to the crafting of the 1961 inauguration speech by President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. That work—considered one of the greatest presidential inauguration speeches in American history—contained simple, yet commandingly powerful words that floated like magic into the air on that cold January day in Washington, DC. So it was that words from a speech were elevated in importance due to their clarity combined with pinpointed accuracy. So it was that we saw well chosen and skillfully delivered words morph into an iconic signpost for the Kennedy presidency and that long ago era of youthful optimism:

“Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.”

Do You Remember When Rock Was Young?

Way back in 1972, the Elton John and Bernie Taupin song Crockodile Rock asked, “Do you remember when rock was young?” When that wonderful song first hit the Billboard magazine charts, technically, rock and roll was still young. If you were in or near the rock and roll radio business in those days, you would not think of living your life without reading Billboard and the famous columnist Claude Hall.

Fast forward to today. Claude Hall has just published I Love Radio, a lengthy (250+ page) fictional trip into the wayback machine. Claude Hall’s work is available immediately for downloading in eBook format for $9.95 that you easily can read on a computer screen, or Kindle, iPad, or even print out if you are old-school and still like to read from the printed page.

There are people “in the know,” as the saying goes. When it comes to the rock and roll radio business, Claude Hall is one of these people. I met him long, long ago when I was conducting primary research into one of the most famous rock and roll radio business accomplishment, Boss Radio at 93/KHJ in Los Angeles. He helped me focus my efforts as a very young man in awe of the rock and roll radio business. I am indebted to Claude Hall for his guidance in my research efforts in those days that eventually led to my rock and roll radio history website, Boss Radio Forever that has now been online continuously for 14 years now.

Best wishes to Claude Hall for success with I Love Radio!

—comment from Claude Hall in response—

from: Claude Hall claudehall
to: Woody Goulart wg
cc: Larry Shannon larryshannon
date: Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 6:05 PM
subject: I Love What You Wrote!

My thanks, good friend.

I got emotional; I won’t lie about that. You write well and with impact.

I’m sincerely grateful for the item about my e-book. If this book does well, it will be because of people like you.


Claude Hall