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August  28

What? No Pictures of Coeds Drinking?

Jack_craver_2 When Glen Ridge sent out a memorandum to parents warning about teenage bloggers this month, they certainly weren't thinking about kids like Jack Craver. Craver, who lives in Montclair, is at the helm of a blog called Jersey Perspective, which is a slick-looking, intelligent online mag about the state of the union -- from the viewpoint of three teenagers in Montclair.

In the past week, they've set their sharp eyes and tongues on network coverage of Darfur v. Martha Stewart (guess who wins?), the mercantalist system and corporal punishment ("The state that loves mouth washing the most is Idaho.")

Missing from the blog: any I-met-Jen-down-at-the-mall-and-then-we-picked-up-some-beer-went-to-montclair-i'm-so-pissed-at-my-mom-how-do-you-like-my-new-sneakers-then-we-threw-up-all-over-the-car jabber. There are also no stupid emoticons. In fact, their erudition on world and national news kind of makes Baristanet look like a comic book in comparison. But you guys like the comics, right?

And doesn't it sound just like someone raised in Baristaville to employ this analogy to evaluate W's rhetoric about his progress in Iraq?

Say you're a contractor chosen by a family to do major remodeling of their home. You begin your work with a boom, knocking down the back wall of the house to prepare for ultimately expanding the kitchen an additional ten feet into the backyard. Everything is going as planned. Your early work goes on smoothly and the family seems pleased with how things are going.

But the progress of the project begins to slow, and the family raises some questions. The addition to the house doesn't look the way they had expected it to look and they ask you about it. Or maybe they notice that you're running behind schedule, that tasks that were supposed to be done on a certain date aren't accomplished until a month later and they bring that to your attention. What if you just assure them that "we're on the right track," even when there's considerable evidence that you're not? What if you say that "everything's on schedule" even when it clearly isn't? How long will you be on the job after giving those kinds of oblivious answers?

I know the President doesn't drive around an Astrovan or wear paint-speckled jeans, and I know that a President can't be disposed of as easily as a contractor can. But the President is chosen by the people and, like a contractor, he is accountable to those people.

You tell 'em, Jersey Perspective. And, by the way, in addition to political commentary, do any of you guys mow lawns?

August 28, 2005 in Civic Virtue | Permalink


Three kids who know nothing about life. MOre biased journalism from the left.

Posted by: Johnny Drama | Aug 28, 2005 11:24:39 AM

Easy, Johnny. At least they are trying, write the English language reasonably well, and don't resort to name-calling like most of the lefty-blog establishment.

Posted by: Ken Adams | Aug 28, 2005 11:55:27 AM

Amen, Ken.

At least they're not robbing cyclists at gunpoint in their spare time.

Kudos to those kids. I couldn't set that up! And, quite frankly, I wouldn't mind if they WERE right wingers. They're doing something constructive with their time and that's quite admirable.

Posted by: Dog Mom | Aug 28, 2005 12:07:23 PM

i'd be proud if this were a child of mine--you go new jersey perspective--i've added the blog to my favorite list--i know a ton of adults who know nothing about life nor want to-...

Posted by: cstarling | Aug 28, 2005 12:19:23 PM


Thanks for the plug. And thanks for coming to our defense Ken. Don't be discouraged by the charges of left wing rhetoric, most of the posts are merely commentative updates on the political world, although there are some editorials. I'm glad that people think we're doing constructive things with our time, however, I admit that the blog originated from lots of spare time at work.

I was never a big fan of comics. I liked baseball.

- Jersey Perspective

Posted by: Jack | Aug 28, 2005 12:40:59 PM


As one of Jack's Jersey Perspective teammates, I want to thank you for the good publicity. We do try to include as much Montclair-related news as possible to stay true to our roots and we definitely depend on your site for inspiration in that vein.

I'm sorry Johnny Drama doesn't agree with the view of the post Barista quoted here, but I hope Johnny comes to the site and comments on the post so that we can discuss the issue. As much as we try to stay neutral and informative, opinion has to enter in and hopefully it will get people on the other side interested, not turn them off to what we have to say.

Posted by: Sam | Aug 28, 2005 1:46:53 PM

Sam and Jack -

The site is quite impressive. You'll get criticism for sure, but everyone does. Look at it this way: if you receive criticism, you must be doing something important enough to incite strong opinions. Nobody ever got anywhere by playing it safe.

Best of luck.

Posted by: Dog Mom | Aug 28, 2005 2:34:28 PM

Jersey Perspective: Good content, poor design. On my Mac, the background color and text color have too little contrast and makes the whole page very difficult to read. And I'm a 36-yr-old graphic designer with good eyes!

Posted by: Jim | Aug 28, 2005 5:25:13 PM


I've received one other complaint about the background and I think it has something to do with your browser or computer. My friend who designed the blog actually works on a Mac, and sees the same thing I see. If there's any advice you could give us though, please drop a comment or email me.

- Jersey Perspective

Posted by: Jack | Aug 28, 2005 5:52:20 PM

Jack & Sam,
I bookmarked the site but Jim's right, it's no easy read with the type and background melting into each other. I'm running Panther on a G4 with Safari on Comcast, if that helps. I'll try to read more but it's tough on the eyes.

Posted by: PAZ | Aug 28, 2005 10:14:14 PM

I'd say if anyone has trouble reading it, tweak it fast

Posted by: steve baker | Aug 29, 2005 10:31:07 AM

Got to agree about the contrast issue, on a Mac pBook.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Aug 29, 2005 1:40:55 PM

Right on guys.

These young bloggers are doing more than a lot of adults in creating a forum for the expression of ideas and concerns aobut current events.

There is much here for Barista posters to take note of!

Perhaps in the spirit of encouraging these young BLoggers, Barista readers should contact them off line and offer technical assistance to improve the quality (appearance) of their site.

Blog on!

Posted by: Franklin | Aug 30, 2005 1:35:53 AM

I wish all of you guys submitted REAL email addresses when you comment so that we could get back to you, especially in relation to the technical problems.

Franklin, thanks for the support. Do you find the text hard to read? Is it easier now that I changed it to white font?

- Jersey Perspective

Posted by: Jack | Aug 30, 2005 10:59:11 AM

Re: legibility of type on web pages

You guys should check this page:

Re: REAL email addresses

Isn't this a hypocritical request when you yourself don't list a direct email link?! I can't even find an email link on your blog...

Posted by: Jim | Aug 30, 2005 2:04:17 PM

ha. Good point. I actually do list it, but when you press on my name, it goes to the blog.

My email is [email protected]

We neglected to add our contact info to the new template.

- Jersey Perspective

Posted by: Jack | Aug 30, 2005 2:23:44 PM

Hi Guys,
Still have hard time reading, maybe darken the background and that should do it.

Posted by: PAZ | Aug 31, 2005 10:46:05 PM


According to PAZ, if you're on a MAC, it works well with internet explorer, but not safari.

- Jersey Perspective

Posted by: Jack | Sep 1, 2005 7:37:59 PM

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