Harry Golden was a blogger “ahead of his time…”
* * * *
The name of this blog is a “take-off on the Carolina Israelite.”
The Israelite was a pre-Internet blog of sorts. It was a newspaper – more a newsletter – done up by Harry Golden, seen above. He was a noted “journalist, social critic, and humorist.” And Harry (1902-1981) published the Israelite from 1944 to 1968. It consisted “almost exclusively of essays and writings by Golden.” He used it to discourse on “atheism, socialism, literature, and his boyhood experiences.” In turn his writing style reflected a “lifetime of voracious reading, and the Jewish immigrant experience of his boyhood.”
And he wrote books, including For 2 Cents Plain, as seen at right.
So basically, Harry was a prototype of today’s blogger. (See Great but Forgotten: “If Golden were writing today, The Carolina Israelite would be done as a blog.”) Meaning that if he had such a blog, he too would have a link titled, FOR A BOOK VERSION…
In turn I hope this blog will be – in part – an homage to Harry.
And here’s an interesting sidenote: Golden lost his job in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and was later “convicted of wire fraud, for which he spent five years in prison.” It was only years later – in 1974 – that President Richard Nixon “pardoned him for his embezzlement rap.” (See Carolina Israelite | NCpedia.)
But we digress…
The masthead on the first Israelite showed a menorah and a Torah. Under it Harry wrote: “To Break Down the Walls of Misunderstanding – And to Build Bridges of Good Will.”
Which is not a bad goal at all, especially today.
As far as the “take-off” goes, I am a classic 70-year-old “WASP.” (As of July, 2021.) A balding, slightly paunchy White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, living in northern Georgia. But I’d like to think I share some traits with Harry, including but not limited to his unique sense of humor.
And speaking of that sense of humor – and style – here’s one review of Harry’s work. It came from the first page in my paperback copy of Golden’s Only in America. (Or “OIA.”) That review – from the New York Times – said Golden “writes what he wants to about anything he wants to.”
And that’s including but not limited to some long-ago history:
He tells us things we don’t know, he gives a new look to things we do know, and he makes us think about things that we know but have avoided thinking about.
Again, not a bad set of goals at all.
In the Introduction of that Permabook, Harry described putting The Israelite together each month. He wrote the whole paper himself, including short essays like “How Samuel Johnson Prepared Oysters.” (Johnson is at right.) He also wrote long – 3,000 word – articles like “Sweet Daddy Grace, the Southern Father Divine.” (See also Grace, Charles Manuel “Sweet Daddy,” who died in 1960.)
The first thing he did was set the advertisements. (Something I don’t have to worry about.) Then – he said – “I cram my editorials into every other inch of available space.” He had a general rule: “arrange the columns so that a long article is usually followed by two or three short pieces.”
And he found that people were hungry for such a “personal touch.”
He vowed to turn his paper into a “personal journal,” and to put to good use “the results of almost forty-five years of uninterrupted reading.” So as has been said, if Harry wrote today, “The Carolina Israelite would be done as a blog.”
Turning to my being credentialed to follow in Harry’s footsteps: For starters, I’ve also done a lot of uninterrupted reading myself. And I’ve gone to school a lot: A Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications in 1976, and eight years later the Juris Doctorate – after three years of law school – that allowed me to take the state bar exam. Then 12 years after starting law practice (in 1985), I went back to school and got a Master’s Degree in Journalism.
Another sidenote: As to that latter degree, see also the notes at the end of “Holier than thou,” from a companion blog. It said that one of my self-appointed tasks is to “challenge the prevailing quacks.”
So anyway, not long after I started taking courses for that Master’s degree, I also started a four-year Education for Ministry course. I completed and eventually got credentialed as a Mentor for that course. That in turn led – in the fullness of time – to my first blog, DOR Scribe.
The upshot is that while I enjoy doing that other blog, it doesn’t give me the full range to explore secular topics that this one will. For example, this blog will include a number of Travelogs, not to mention posts on Politics and Nostalgia.
Then there are some Movie reviews. Those reviews – when they happen – are kind of throwback to my time at the University of South Florida, in 1976. Back then I used to do movie reviews for the student newspaper, The Oracle. (Before it got all famous and well-known and stuff.) And I liked films enough to make that my minor at USF.
And finally I’ll review “good experiences.” Like the eight-day, primitive-camping canoe trip my brother and I took in November 2014. See Canoeing 12 miles offshore, on paddling way out into the Gulf of Mexico, and ending up in Biloxi. This was after camping on some of the islands out there – and occasionally a salt marsh or two. (A great experience… Or October 2019’s “Greetings from the Portuguese Camino!” From back when we could fly to other places?) Or see Travelogs, including Back to Camino 2021 – Pamplona to Logrono, from December 2021.
There’s lots more to write – about or in the style of Harry – so keep posted. And who knows, maybe I too can end up being a “voice of sanity amid the braying of jackals…”
* * * *
From Canoeing 12 miles offshore, at dawn, heading to Cat Island…
* * * *
The upper image is courtesy of “Images for harry golden (search.aol.com/aol/image).”
The “Two Cents Plain” image is courtesy of Harry Golden – Wikipedia.
Re; “started off.” See On “Birdman,” the movie, my first post.
Re: Schooling. I got a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications in 1976, then worked for a newspaper as a paste-up artist for five years. Then I went to law school. I was a public defender for 24 years, and retired early, “due to circumstances beyond my control.” It was during that 24 years – beginning in 1999 – that I went back and got my Master’s degree in Journalism.
Re: Movie reviews. I haven’t seen an “indoor” movie since the COVID started. I did January 2019’s A review of Ric Burns’ “Pilgrims” DVD. However, I must confess – I “do not deny but confess” – that I haven’t done many – or any – movie reviews since that January 2019. But back in January 2016 I reviewed “THE Revenant.”
Also, I still I have a textbook from my time as a film minor. It’s A Primer for Film Making: A Complete Guide to 16 mm and 35 mm Film Production (1971), and still contains a lot of relevant information. That Primer for Film Making is available from Amazon for as low as $1.76, plus shipping and handling. It’s a self-styled “basic, step-by-step guide to the art and craft of contemporary film-making.”
Also re: “blogger.” See Urban Dictionary: “Term used to describe anyone with enough time or narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful lives.” Or you might be interested in “20 Reasons Why You Should Blog.”
I took the photo that’s the lower-image. And am not too happy about “Photobucket” horning in…