Reader Rant: Is the “OB Rag” an Anachronism?

by on November 12, 2013 · 9 comments

in Culture, History, Media, Ocean Beach

Editor: During the past two weeks of our hiatus and re-evaluation of the OB Rag, we have received numerous donations in efforts to keep us publishing, as well as some wonderful feedback. Here, below, a supportive reader – who remains anonymous – writes us that it’s possible that the OB Rag is an “anachronism” and needs to change its name.  Do you agree?

By Anon. Reader

I would first like to say that I think the OB Rag has done an admirable job doing what it does. I like it, as do many others, because it provides a point of view that can’t be found elsewhere. The writing is very good and it is refreshing to read in depth articles that also can’t be found elsewhere either.

I think the problem is that the Rag, and much of what it exists for, have become anachronisms to the general public.

I just don’t think the general public believes a counterculture paper has a place in today’s world.

Honestly, I think one of the main problems is the name. I like it but I think it brands the paper as a hippie throwback and there just aren’t any new hippies coming along.

So, one suggestion I would make would be to change the name. I think the “OB” in the name puts off potential readers also because of the age old reputation that OB has as a hippie and biker haven, although those of us who live here know that OB hasn’t been that way for many, many years. But,there are many people in Pt Loma who would not deign to look at the Rag for that reason alone.

Additionally, I think the “OB” makes people think it is just about OB and that is a very small geographical group. I know everyone loves the name, but I think it is counterproductive.

Aside from that, if as few as 50 to 100 donations would solve the problem for now, I’d say that is the way to go. I would chip in on that. I also think the name change might encourage more advertisers. A fund raiser might also help, perhaps in addition to monthly donations. Shirts maybe, but I have to say that I have received negative comments from folks when I wear my shirt. Again, the name as I’ve mentioned and there is another problem with the name I’ve heard from a few people and that is the slang connotation for the word “Rag” in that in is used to refer to a feminine hygiene product. Ridiculous, I agree, but it happens.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar unWASHEdWalmaRtthONG November 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm

A bit more thinking ought to be going on here, & I’ll just comment on one or two phrases in the submission.
“I just don’t think the general public believes a counterculture paper has a place in today’s world.”
Today’s world needs more than one counterculture paper because the world environments are at the brink of destruction on many fronts. Global warming, overpopulation, fossil fuels, rogue states like the U.S. government, NSA spying, extra judicial killings–there are thousands of issues that need critical analyses & commentary. The mainstream media do not provide adequate reporting on so many subjects; it’s now profit over information for the conglomeration. The local UT is nothing but right wing flotsam, and even more so now that 8 more local papers have been purchased by that cat-litter-paper. If it is not for organizations like the OB Rag, who will nip at the heels of the giants? It is the counterculture hippies who change the world, who nip at the heels of the giants. The hipsters of the ’50’s, the hippies of the ’60’s–they are the ones who challenged the status quo.
They challenged music–and we got rock ‘n roll.
They challenged fashion–and we got long hair, bell bottoms, mini skirts, hot pants, platform shoes, the Nehru jacket. Were it not for those challenges decades ago, you would not see the variety in styles today. Some of us remember the days when a male’s hair length could not touch the shirt collar, when jeans were not permitted to be worn at school.
They challenged the U.S. government–and the draft ended (but 60,000 US military personnel died in Viet Nam, while the military fire bombed & Agent Oranged their way to killing millions)
“[T]here just aren’t any new hippies coming along.” Well, there should be more hippies, & they should be coming out of the woodwork because everywhere you look there are the corporatists mouthing their propaganda. “Capitalism and competition are good for everyone,” they puke. And as they speak they are constantly driving towards monopoly.
No, the world needs the OB Rag. The world needs more OB Rag’s. The world needs more people willing to think critically about the world’s events. Ocean Beach represents a microcosm of the world. Extrapolate the events in the burgh; project the problems onto a map of the whole world.
Keep the Rag. Keep the name. Expand the Rag. The writers of the Rag should be standing on the shoulders of the revolutionaries of prior eras. And the readers of the Rag should appreciate & support what is being done.

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avatar Goatskull November 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm

“Well, there should be more hippies, & they should be coming out of the woodwork because everywhere you look there are the corporatists mouthing their propaganda”

Maybe/maybe not. Not everybody who is a liberal and/or progressive fashions themselves as a hippie. I think the point of the article was that while there are many who share the view and politics of hippies and what the Rag is about does not mean these very same people consider themselves hippies. Some are even turned off by the very culture of it.

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avatar unWASHEdWalmaRtthONG November 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm

An another thing . . .
“Additionally, I think the “OB” makes people think it is just about OB and that is a very small geographical group. I know everyone loves the name, but I think it is counterproductive.”
The Washington Times
The London Times
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Irish Times
The Orlando Sentinel
Los Angeles Times
Seattle Times
Thousands of publications use the locality in the name. A lot of “times” out there. The name in the title does not prevent the publication from reporting on issues outside of its locality. The OB Rag can & should be commenting on and reporting on issues outside of its realm. It’s one world made up of a conglomeration of burghs, but it is still one world.

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avatar gailpowell November 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm

If this anonymous ranter wants to rid “OB” from the Rag, then let’s just all agree to call the new blogsite: “On The Rag.”

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avatar judi curry November 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Love it, Gail.

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avatar nostalgic November 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I love the name “The OB Rag. ” Isn’t mid-century modern the height of with-it-ness today? If the OB Rag isn’t what you want, you can always read The Beacon.

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avatar unWASHEdWalmaRtthONG November 12, 2013 at 10:56 pm

The Beacon may be next on Manchester’s “to buy” list.

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avatar Brian Brady November 13, 2013 at 12:15 am

Is the OB Rag for sale ?

(cue evil laugh and sinister-sounding music)

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avatar Tyler November 13, 2013 at 6:29 am

I would agree with the writer. A lot of commenters are missing it the point. All of us already here clearly don’t have a problem with it, but if you honestly believe the name isn’t holding back larger numbers from perhaps checking out the site, then you are pulling wool over your eyes. Personally, even as liberal as I may lean on some issues, particularly social, I wouldn’t be reading this site if I didn’t live in OB. At times it can be too much (just being honest). But, beyond the free press, and occasional good articles from the reader and voice, it’s the best source of news in this town that isn’t rife with misinformation and yellow journalism (the Useless-Trash, etc). The other side of the coin needs to try and have more reach and more influence on this town, ESPECIALLY now that Manchester has bought out many local papers. I think a name change would bring in more readers who are becoming tired of the patronizing and frankly awful journalism given to us by the larger players here in San Diego. They are certainly hungry for a better source of news, but probably aren’t interested in moving over to the “OB Rag.”
Just my two cents…..

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