TERRANCE GAVAN – EDITOR
(Ed’s note: I know Mr. Lebo reads me because about three hours after I noted that his former computer columnist was plagiarizing liberally from the internet for his weekly computer gig? He was removed from the website. And a hole was left where he used to sit atop the site underneath the header.)
Let me see if I can construct, ironically, a lede as written by the inimitable publisher of the Haliburton Highlander, one Bram Lebo.
Last week or the week before. I’ve been busy, so I can’t really say that I know for sure.
Anyway. No matter. The point is: Mr. Lebo penned one of his incredibly scattershot equivalencies under an incredulously nonsensical headline and I think his original intention was to tell people that the Highlander had finally decided to pay out for a new website.
Let me tell you what I know about Mr. Lebo and websites.
Back in the fall of whenever (2010) when Mr. Lebo came to me about launching his exploratory rag, The Highlander. He asked if I thought it was possible to put out a paper in three days.
Understand that it is possible. If one has some infrastructure in place. It gets incredibly dicey when the guy what’s asking has no, absolutely no, access to In Design, a printing company, a layout artist, aa publisher (still true) and any office staff.
See this guy from Barry’s Bay popped into the Canoe Offices on day and said he was going to start a newspaper. This guy had publishing experience and a few papers under his belt. So Lebo came running.
To me and another guy who had been involved in newspapers or media for most of our lives.
Anyway. It was election time. And we had a ready made story in the works. We tripped on down to Lindsay, got the scoop on the election and the next day, following some de rigueur glitches et al?
We had a paper.
Several weeks later, after a few promise and a shaky (ironically of course because who was to know) handshake, I undertook to set up a website. Because I kinda’ figured if we were going up against PKP (Pierre Karl Peladeau – did I not warn you about this maven, doyen and juggernaut?) and the Echo and Times we might need a website.
Mr. Lebo said we didn’t have time. Then he asked, in his roundabout way, if we had time. By the time he quit wondering and about 20 sleepless nites later we had a passable wordpress website up. We had 100,000 views in about three months from there. Down to me and SEO, social media etc. (yes I got sober in March 20, 1998 and was told that I must assert what I know. I’m good at things I’m good at. So fuck you if I come off arrogant. It took me 43 years to believe in myself and I ain’t stoppin’ because you have an opinion.) Happy Birthday to me!
I undertook all of this work because I believed in the power of a handshake. And I believed in the power of a man’s word. Let’s all pause to chuckle for a bit.
Anyway back to the point.
It’s now March, 2014 and Mr. Lebo has finally found the time to punch out a website of his very own.
Here’s how he starts the grand announcement in his column: In Or Own Voice – March 6
[quote]When CityTV’s Moses Znaimer hired the very black, heavily-accented Jojo Chintoh to be an on-air reporter in 1978, it wasn’t to fill any quotas. And later, when Chintoh was joined by a wheelchair-enabled David Onley as weatherman, Znaimer’s motivation again wasn’t altruism. Rather, Znaimer had recognized that people like Onley and Chintoh, and not just the more traditionally telegenic Anne Mroczkowski and Gord Martineau, were what many Torontonians actually look like.
Anyone could have noticed this obvious fact, but it was Znaimer who saw the importance of reflecting it on local television. He was ahead of his time in putting to use one of the most famous theories of Canadian social science: McLuhan’s the medium is the message. In Znaimer’s case, the message was that Toronto is a diverse city. It was actually much more than that. Znaimer was saying here: ladies and gentleman, is a very black man reporting the news and – believe it or not, good citizens of the capital of Upper Canada who may find that unsual– he’s not at all scary. And look at the other man in the wheelchair, reporting the weather without any help whatsoever! Imagine that – disabled people doing regular jobs just like you and me. (Holy crap and shineola!) [/quote]
Never mind that this is an incredibly unctuous, supercilious and outlandishly arcane batch of elitist bullshit. It has nothing to do with what he’s trying to announce. ( Bram! It’s a new website! Does anyone edit this fucker? )
That comes in the third para from the bottom. After, you know, Mr. Lebo gets to rum on about Marshall McLuhan, Znaimer (more) City TV and pop out another zinger at commercial television, with this absolutely intolerable bit of disjointed muck: “White people could relate to the on-air personalities and that goodwill spilled over into workplaces and social settings, while people of other colours, particularly kids, now had role models that did something besides play basketball.” (Jeezuz Lebo, why don’t you just take that uptilted nose and shove it up your ass?)
Anyway here’s where he buried his lede. This is where most people unaccustomed to the mores and ethos of the media bury their ledes. At the end. Here’s the lede. Just to save you the trouble of finding it:
[quote]So when we started to build our new website, (YAY! He GOT IT! ed)we determined early on that it would not be a duplicate of the paper. Instead, it’s designed as a complement, to push local media into another dimension and occupy that space for what’s happening here. It’s a place we can see ourselves, talk to each other and ultimately stimulate the hard but very rewarding work of building communities. (Lebo)[/quote]
So, I have, ironically.
Buried my own lede. After several years of harangue and hard fucking work? From Seamus and BAM! and myself? Ranting on about that poor neglected and ugly site? He got the message.
Mr. Lebo has finally shilled out. Money? We hope he didn’t borrow it from the federal government.
The new website looks good.
It was purchased in Edmonton, Alberta by the way. From http://www.shoutcms.com. I’ll go into some techspeak here. The site built a content management system (CMS) and the company is run by a nice group of people. I had to do some research on them a while back for a potential client who was asking about a website and wanted to use Shout as a CMS. They do good work. Great people.
I’m wondering if anyone in Haliburton is asking.
While Mr. Lebo pounds on and on about the local economy? Why he doesn’t get some local designers involved? Or did he? I’m guessing that if he did? He’d tell us. He is Horatio Bram Hornblower after all. Espousing this and that about that and thus.
Anyway. Thank you. For removing that eyesore.
Just a reminder. The site is user-friendly so it can be run by the Highlander staff. It’s kinda’ similar the template I had envisioned with the WordPress website. Until I discovered that Mr. Lebo and I had nothing in common. Ethically or professionally.
So Buy Local Haliburton!
You know like Bram tells us.
Ah, but he quotes McLuhan.
Bringing us full circle to the notion of Global Village. So Edmonton is… local-ish!
And if the “medium is the message?” As McLuhan once said. But he stole it peeps. (Google it)
Why is Lebo still trying to deliver his medium with obsequiously absurd homages to faux intellectualism?