Archive for January, 2013

How I Got to be “The World’s Worst Reporter”

Posted in The Berkeley Scene, The Global Scene Through Berkeleyan Eyes on January 30th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Jan 28, 2013


“All thought or speech is false” — Aleister Crowley

How I got to be the world’s worst reporter, or is it worst in the country.

I’ve got to be the world’s worst reporter by not being sure that was really the title. Was it in the world or in the country? I was so sure it was the world and not just the country, and besides it’s a better story as world.

I got lucky at, where I received the World’s Worst Reporter award.

It’s a bracing yarn, but the gist of is that I’m the pits. Unfortunately I have a previous worst; last year during Occupy Berkeley — when the national co-founder of Occupy denounced me to the General Assembly as writing the worst stories in the whole country on Occupy.

We responded with this piece.

Now there’s how I got to be the world’s worst reporter. By reliance on my memory when I could easily check. It’s a dangerous game, impending certain doom.

World's worst reporter in quest of a yarn. He can't identify the site or identify a story. These guys are pushing metal because there's a hole. Steed has not a clue. Maybe if someone got hurt, That's it, someone falls in the hole and has to be rescued, Like in Billy Wilder's 1952 Ace In the Hole reporter yarn. Photo by Ted Friedman.

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Who Am I Writing This For?

Posted in Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on January 28th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Jan. 26, 2013


Who am I writing this for? Is it the Berkeley Daily Planet, where I call myself a reporter, Berkeley Reporter, my blog, Facebook, where I just teased this; it’s surely not for Berkeleyside, where I contribute — or for myself.

This is for myself, but I”ll share it with you, BR readers.

It all began with a piece reviewing trash-can food on Telegraph Ave. I got the idea from a conversation with Tanja Traber, who inspired that investigation.

So there I was sampling corn dogs, potato chips, chicken salad — and a real score, most of a ginger tea bun by a little Chinese bakery on Durant.

A full review of the trash bucket bonanzas and a complete history of dumpster diving in America, with an aside on Berkeley’s role in what is now being hailed as, a middle-class pursuit — freeganism! — may or may not be forthcoming.

Corn Dog score. Photo by Ted Friedman.

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Berkeley Homeless Tale: Xmas Eve

Posted in Telegraph Avenue, The Berkeley Scene on January 24th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Jan, 22, 2013
Berkeley, Ca


Once homeless, I welcome opportunities to be among them. I always learn something about myself when I cover them for the Berkeley Daily Planet.

Just off Holiday Crafts Fair stories for the Planet, and Berkeleyside, which I hoped would feature my photos (they did), I was looking for something more piquant.

Also, I had written a highly praised Thanksgiving piece, and wanted to see if I could top that.

The reporting of the story was thrilling. One surprise after another, and friendships with some street people I want to keep up with.

The last major scene on Telegraph is now located between the notorious Cafe Mediterraneum and Amoeba Records, when two major avenue scenes elsewhere dissolved,

I would say I covered the last of the big scenes on the ave, but I know that a scene would just pop up somewhere you didn’t expect.

Lost and I went down to Fred's Market at 10:20 Xmas Eve to see when they would close, so we could spread the word back at the scene - no more booze. Fred's said they ere closing soon. Photo by Ted Friedman.

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The Lonely Life of a Reporter

Posted in The Berkeley Scene on January 22nd, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
January 19, 2013

The Lonely Life of a Reporter. It’s right up there with bus-driver. A bus full of strangers he dare not talk to except to take their fare and answer a professional question or two.

Reporters in film are seen in jovial “city rooms,” surrounded by Mary Tyler Moore characters. But that is very little of most reporter’s working day.

I’ve felt lonely on many stories, even ones with large casts. I envy the majors, who report in teams. At the very least they have their videographers at their sides. If nothing else — in a squabble — you would have a little backup, before you both go down.

I work alone. I’m rarely alone on a story, but I’m invariably the only reporter. Most reporters wouldn’t follow my interests anyway. When other reporters show up, I want to hang with them, but have to tear myself away to do my own work.

The lonely life of Steed Dropout. Photo by Ted Friedman.

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Oakland “Crime Wave” Threatens Berkeley

Posted in The Berkeley Scene on January 14th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

by Steed Dropout
Jan. 13, 2013

Bordering Berkeley’s South side, Oakland’s problems spill-over.

Thursday in Oakland, a panel of Oakland journalists called Oakland’s high murder rates the number one Bay Area story, despite audience response that blamed them for sensationalism.

Entering January 2012, Oakland recorded 115 murders, on course to beat its historic high of 125 in 1998. According to Bob Gammon, editor of the East-Bay Express, Oakland has more murders than similar sized cities across the country.

Timberlinn Drummond, born and raised in Oakland and now columnist for Bay Area News Group noted that Oaklanders in all neighborhoods cower in fear and denial in their homes wondering if they’ll be the next to be slaughtered.

Drummond dubbed International Boulevard “Hoodlum International Blvd.”

An audience of more than one hundred jammed Oakland’s Temple Sinai, near “Pill-Hill,” at eight o’clock to get the scoop on Oakland’s “crime wave crisis” from media heavies.

Oakland’s number one story is Berkeley’s story, too.

On Nov. 18, a “Fuck the Police” march sponsored by two Occupy Movements, Occupy Oakland and Occupy Cal surprised Berkeley Police with its peaceful outcome. I covered that peaceful march, joining it at 10:20 p.m, and sticking with the story until after 1 a.m.

The next morning, I learned that Peter Cukor, 67, had been murdered in an exclusive hills neighborhood over-looking the bay. The city of Berkeley Police, although called by the victim shortly before he was murdered, blamed Occupy Oakland.

University Cops wait to be fucked by Oakland/Cal's 'Fuck the Police' marchers. No one took this seriously, except cops. Photo by Ted Friedman.

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