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I wasn’t planning on buying a “selfie stick” to help take pictures with my iPhone 6. They seem more like “selfish sticks” and I thought the selfie was another way that technology isolates us as human beings from each other. But, I got one as a gift and now I can’t put the damn thing down.
By Ray Hanania
That’s why I resisted the temptation to purchase a “selfie stick,” the extension that telescopes out and holds your iPhone away from you at enough distance to take a photo of yourself and your friends together.
“Selfies” are that new Internet fad – I know. There are so many of them.
I didn’t like them because whenever I would go on vacation and want a picture of my family, I’d stop a stranger and politely ask if they wouldn’t mind if they took the snapshot with my camera and now my cell phone.
There is something about speaking to other people that makes a picture more fascinating than going it alone.
But, on my recent trip to Hawaii, I discovered the “selfie stick” wasn’t so bad, especially when was surrounded by a lot of people who couldn’t speak much English.
There I was at the Halona Blow Hole, a popular roadside scenic stop on the north side of Oahu, surrounded by hundreds of Japanese tourists and a few Americans wanting to grab a picture with the ocean waves shooting up through the lava rock formation.
I don’t know. You put up a sign on the side of the road and say something is pretty to be seen, and everyone pulls over to grab a picture.
You know something, the picture wasn’t half bad. And I could shoot it rapid fire (holding the button down) to take a dozen or more shots at one time to capture one where I was smiling and my eyes were open. And, my hand was steady. Three factors my wife constantly complains about when I try to grab a digital snapshot.
So I went selfie crazy, taking pictures in restaurants, on the beach – with hot chicks in the background – and even in the airplane, with the camera hovering above the head of the passenger sitting in front of my seat on the plane.
Nearby was the beach where Burt Lancaster was making out with Deborah Kerr in the 1953 Hollywood blockbuster “From Here to Eternity.”
It was pretty small, and dangerous to walk down the lava rock cliff to reach only to get slammed by the huge waves. But boy was that beautiful.
None of the Japanese tourists, at that moment, had climbed down to visit the beach – probably because the movie had a World War II wartime theme that didn’t portray the Japanese too kindly. So I was glad I had the selfie stick to take my own picture.
I also found the home where President Barack Obama was born in 1962. I’ll tell you all about it in one of my next columns.
TIDBITS OF NEWS: Check out Ed McElroy’s cable TV interview program on Channel 19 Tuesday’s at 8 pm. Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar with, an old friend, and Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton, who is recovering well from his brief illness with the West Nile virus, taped one show. I joined McElroy and Secretary of State Jessie White to tape a second show talking about how I merge my writing career and my media relations career into one … Some one woke up Gov. Bruce Rauner. His personal attacks against House Speaker Michael J. Madigan reflected Rauner’s inability to lead with new ideas to deal with the state’s mounting debt. Attacking Madigan suggested Rauner had lost the war. He quickly replaced his attack ads with ads that focused on himself. But, he still doesn’t have a clue as to how to save Illinois.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. Reach him at email@example.com. Originally published at Illinois News Network at www.IllinoisNewsNetwork.com.)
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Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com