Throwing words away one syllable at a time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Season for Walking Away

It's been a hell of a week for liberal war-hating women in the media.

First, Rosie walked away after a blowout on The View. I don't watch TV, and certainly am not at home to watch this during the day. So when I pulled up the show on YouTube I was pretty shocked.

Joy took after Bush. Finally. But then everything broke down between Rosie and Hasselbeck. I wondered why they didn't just call the show Catfight.

I looked up Rosie's blog after that. I wanted to see what she was about, and I was surprised. I think she's very authentic. She hates the war. She supports her causes. She get love mail and hate mail and posts both, answering both.

Her hate mail really resonated with me... given that I get a nasty now and then on the McIntosh blog. I think someone last week told me I was full of B.S. And then, of course, I was amused by the person who put a toot, toot under the post about 10K hits. I'm hardly tooting my own horn. In the scheme of the Internet, 10K hits ain't nothing. Relative to tiny McIntosh though, it is.

So, Rosie walked away from the View. One less brave voice of reason calling out what people don't want to hear. Or so, one might think. But when you look at her blog, she's still out there. I sent in a question today to her video blog and at 5 p.m. when the questions hadn't been on all day, she had more than 10,000 questions.

See what I mean? Ten thousand hits on the Mirror really isn't horn tooting.

Then, I saw in the headlines that Cindy Sheehan is walking away, too.

I read an editorial by Mike Spinney on about the real reason why Sheehan is walking away is not that her cause wasn't just, it was that the people she was standing up to support didn't back her up.

We expect politicians to cave, but when apathy creeps so deeply into our fabric, when the likes of Hasselbeck compare a war to a football game like a Republican cheerleader... Like I said, tough week.

Then, I got an e-mail from the Indigo Girls MySpace blog pointing me in the direction of their new video channel on YouTube.

I'm a huge Indigo Girls fan - have been for more than 20 years. I try to see them every time they come with a reasonable distance of Gainesville.

They've never supported Bush. So it probably shouldn't come as a surprise after their single with Pink "Dear Mr. President" that they've got a video making some strong political statements. This one is to "Last Tears" all dressed up like, well,
Barbara Bush, or maybe Laura. That in itself is a hell of a statement. I heard Emily Sailers in an interview once talk about how she hated wearing dresses as a kid.

I always saw this ballad as a love song, or a post-break-up walking away song. In the context of this video, though, Rosie, or Sheehan could be singing this.

I'm not sure what to make of this season of walking away. Like Spinney, I'm worried for the idealists of the world. I wonder what's next. Our country needs people who aren't afraid to shake up the decision-makers... the deciders.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Barack Obama's campaign's stand on new media, blogs, threatens free speech

Below is my correspondence with the Barack Obama campaign from my account. I saw a story on CNN about how Obama took over Joe Anthony's Obama MySpace page. Initially, it was a move so that the candidate could control the information posted. As CNN reported it, the two parties couldn't agree on compensating Anthony for his work and the campaign officially took over the site.

I've got some GRAVE concerns about this move and Freedom of Speech.


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: CHER Cher
Date: May 3, 2007 9:42 AM

You know, I actually considered voting for Obama.

But I saw the story on CNN about how this campaign bogarted the time, effort and work of Joe Anthony.

Frankly, I have GRAVE doubts about anyone running for high office who treats freedom of information (and speech) so callously. That scares me, actually.

I saw in that story that he lost Anthony's vote. Well, you can tell Barack Obama he lost my vote, too.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Barack Obama
Date: May 9, 2007 5:04 PM

Thanks for writing us with your concern about the confusion over our official Myspace profile. Simply put, there has been a lot bouncing around throughout the internet on this one. Nonetheless, we think Joe Anthony did a great job in organizing on MySpace and worked with him toward the profile becoming official. Unfortunately, after working together for the last two months, we did not achieve an agreement on how to move forward together and therefore started our new official profile with the official url being Joe worked hard to build the community and is running his own unique profile. We hope our official MySpace community can work together with Joe as well as the rest of the unofficial Myspace communities in the days ahead.

Lindsay @ Obama HQ

From: CHER to the Obama Campaign
Date: May 9, 2007

Thanks for the reply.

But I got my information from the mainstream media and a reputable news organization -- CNN -- not what was "bouncing around the Internet." I'm a Journalism grad student who studies online media, specifically blogs and citizen news movements. And given my area of study, this move by Obama and his campaign concerns me.

But it doesn't take someone incredibly informed to see Obama stepped on First Amendment Rights here. He didn't tread close to it. He stomped on the First Amendment with this move.

By taking over Joe Anthony's blog, Obama took over another person's freedom of speech so he could control the content. It would be one thing if Obama's campaign agreed to compensate Anthony for his work. If you think Joe Anthony did just a great job, how come you weren't willing to pay him for it?

Further, there are a number of legal issues that will have to be resolved in the future dealing with blogs and free speech. Were you aware a blogger in California spent more than 200 days in jail because he would not turn over his reporting (a video)? There's a building controversy over who should have protections from a shield law... should bloggers be included in that?

When I look at those issues and the high-handed act here by Obama, I have some very grave concerns about voting for the man and what kind of policy he would promote in a situation like the shield law I mentioned above. If stepping in, taking over, and controlling information by calling it "official" is Obama's way of managing new media and the press, that's just freaking scary.


AP story: Obama takes MySpace page from backer

Obama MySpace page:

Joe Anthony's MySpace page:

Friday, April 13, 2007

Maybe Imus can land a gig on Star Trek?

Has anyone ever noticed how much Don Imus looks like a Klingon?

Not that I have an opinion either way about his employability... after so many years in the business, he should know what's appropriate and what's insulting.

But maybe he can get a gig as a Klingon extra in the next carnation of Star Trek, whenever that might be. As long as they either give him no lines, or ensure everything he says is in the native Klingon tongue, he might actually stand to keep a the job. After all, there's a only a small segment of the Trekkie population who would be able to understand him. But what am I thinking? Some Trekkie would only translate anything subject to scrutiny and launch it virally through blogs and YouTube until the mainstream media picked up on it.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Where are all "The Wrong Stuff" headlines?

It seems like the perfect hed to me.

The Wrong Stuff: Astronaut wears diaper to drive 900 miles with kidnap/murder kit.

OK, it's a little long and maybe a teeney bit in bad taste... but still. Why does it seem like on Day Three of the Astronaut Media Blitz are the media holding back on this story, or going to lengths they don't normally go to in order to paint Lisa Nowak as a victim?

This NASA love triangle, or square if you count that Nowak's husband also works for NASA's Mission Control, is a freaking incredible story. There's a ton of underlying questions. Is NASA really this messed up? What the hell was Nowak gonna do with all that rubber tubing?

I was first surprised to see how carefully the family's requests were tucked into the end of the AP stories on the Day One this story broke. Apparently, when NASA asks, the newspapers listen. I had to wonder if they are afraid they won't get good seats, or worse be left uninvited, to the next shuttle launch.

I did a Google News search this morning, and the compassion for Nowak in the headlines is kind of shocking:

Arrested astronaut was under stress at work and home before arrest ...
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Astronaut Suffered 'Mental Anguish'
CBS News, NY

'Mental anguish' of love triangle astronaut
ic Wales, UK

Psychological tests need reviewing - Nasa
Independent Online, South Africa

Observers: Astronaut Lisa Nowak Suffered 'Mental Anguish' Over ...
FOX News

Dude, she freaking had 3-4 feet of rubber tubing, a BB gun, a knife, pepper spray and garbage bags. She drove across the southern US. If some schmoe working at the local 7-Eleven was caught after macing a woman, do you think they'd let him out wearing a GPS device so the media could print compassionate headlines? (Everybody at home, raise your hand if you thought at least once, she'd pull a CSI-trick and pry that GPS device off and plant it on the dog?)

It was the Gainesville Sun's headline this morning that tipped me over the edge: A mug shot is not your best picture.

What is the hidden message of this story splashed across the front page of the Sun?
The message is so obvious, they didn't even hide it: See, she only kinda looks like a scary strung-out stalker on a possibly a murder-rampage in her mug shot, but that's just a bad picture.

Gee, she was maligned in the press by a bad picture. I am sure that's exactly what Colleen Shipman is thinking after she saw it... well, after her eyes stopped stinging from the pepper spray.

There is hope for Day Four, even through the flack. Time magazine's hed: "Houston, She's Got Some Problems?"

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lolly, lolly, get your Schoolhouse Rock here.

Anyone remember these?
I made an observation that the Schoolhouse Rock commercials they played during Saturday morning cartoons that I remember the words for tend to be subjects I am still into as a grown-up.

Conjunction Junction


And, of course, that annoying song "Lolly, lolly, lolly, get your adverbs here."

I'm Just a Bill:

Sufferin' Till Sufferage:

I couldn't find the Preamble or the Boston Tea Party one...

The Dark Crystal

I'm not normally a fan of remakes, but I think that it's way past time for someone to remake the "Dark Crystal."

This is on YouTube. Whatcha wanna bet we see this movie again one day?

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Tookie train and who told on Kenny, again?

My god, today is a wet dream in local newsland.

Let's start with Custom Copies and Kenny Roberts being sued *again* for copyright infringement. Come on, I don't know that I know anyone who didn't see this one coming from a mile away. The last line in the Sun's story was interesting to me: the point isn't about the money but instead about the quote from the Allen Ryan, director of intellectual property for the publishing house suing Roberts. "But the point we're trying to make is more than just a loss to the publishers. It undercuts (copy shops) who are trying to do things right."

Tell me, because I wonder, isn't it just possible that other copy shops in town who consistently follow copyright law and thereby have a good relationship with Ryan's business for that reason, could it be that maybe there's a little bit more behind this than meets the eye?

Just a thought. And for the record, I am dissappointed that neither the Sun nor the Alligator addressed why Kenny changed the name of Custom Copies to OBT - Orange and Blue Textbooks.

Otherwise.. The Tookie train dragging behind it cars labeled "no more capital punishment" and "Florida's inhuman lethal injection" is going to collide with Danny Rolling and spatter all over Jeb's desk blotter.

I know few things for certain but this is one: Florida will find a humane way of killing prisoners post haste. There is no way this state is going to allow Danny Rolling to live out the rest of his life in a prison in Bradford County.

Rolling is the poster child for why states have death penalities. No one is Tookie enough to challenge that, not even Tookie.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Baby bites dog

Not for the first time in my life, I've wondered about the news in other countries.

I'm the first one to admit I'm a cornfed white girl from the midwest and that creeps out in my naivette and a lack of worldliness. Maybe everyone feels that way and it's not just an Indiana thing.

But what the holy crap is up with Rueters wire from odd countries on the other side of the world?

"Baby feeds on dogs milk"

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - A Tanzanian mother went into hysterics when she found her six month-old baby suckling dog's milk, a local daily reported Thursday.

The mother left her son on a mat while she went to hang clothes in the yard of her Dar Es Salaam home, Uhuru newspaper said. When she came back to find him suckling on the dog, she screamed and rushed to her brother's house to seek advice.

But the brother managed to convince her dog's milk was harmless. "Since that day the baby is doing well and hasn't had diarrhea or any signs of illness," he was quoted as saying.

Another relative, who witnessed the incident Monday, was also unperturbed. "The baby was satisfied, since his belly was full and his lips had traces of milk," he told Uhuru.

OK, I read the story because it's almost as close as you can get to the "man bites dog" case of newsworthiness. But honestly newsworthiness really seems to be a bit of a stretch here; there are no names attributed and it's she said, he said.

Nothing to see here.

I used to give Michael Brown the benefit of a doubt.

He might have been a mid-level pencil pushing politico who got a little lucky and landed himself a government position further up the foodchain than he deserved. Hey, it happens all the time. We train the those kinds of politico has-beens of tomorrow in our student governments every day. I wondered if he could have been more a scapegoat than incompetent.

But I am taking back my doubt right now.

Brown is an ass and an idiot.

You can not say you have a legitimate interest in making records known, or a truth known, and then turn around and use it for personal leverage against the president to guarantee your own legal defense.

My friends, they call it extortion. If you have information the public needs to know, be honorable enough to hand that info over forthwith.

And my first glance at the new headline of CNN shows that Bush seems unruffled. The news headline, Bush: US thwarted al Qaeda attack on LA.

Geez, the cop on South Park is less obvious when he says, "OK people, move along, Nothing to see here, you looky-loos."