WHITE HOUSE VS. LETTERMAN
You should watch the video clips, but in a nutshell: A preteen boy was caught yawning, checking his watch, and nearly falling asleep behind G.W. Bush during a speech. Funny! Then CNN plays the clip and reports "The White House has informed us that, funny as the kid was, he was edited in to the speech by Letterman staffers." (voice of Lil John) a-Whuuut? Letterman, understandably pissed, says that is an outright lie – remember that when you go to the voting booth this November. Heh.
Janeane Garofalo has Dave Chapelle on now. He's voting for the first time, but wishes he could vote for somebody that actually has a conscience and believes in something. Yep, even Chapelle has the cynicism bug, but he knows the lesser of two evils is... less evil.
Franken is going off on Bush's SOTU address again - "Where's Mars? What happened to Mars?" Not only am I sick of hearing that, but it wasn't that funny the first time around and doesn't really have a political point. Please Move On, Al. Katherine Lanpher isn't cut out to play straight man either, but hey – it's only the first day.
What's funny? Franken's Rumsfeld impersonation, and G. Gordon Liddy saying he'd kill a man very slowly if Franken asked him to.
DEMOCRATIZATION OF MEDIA
Someone who thinks like me: Amateur Hour
Yes, we have the power. The power to create a hilarious and disturbing slideshow of President Bush as a woman. [via someone else who thinks like me, Reality Sandwich]
AIR AMERICA GOES LIVE
Debuts today! Listen live
Lorika sez: "The O'Franken Factor will be on WMNN 1330 AM from 11am to 2pm."
That's followed by High Ground Radio, a sortof Minnesota Nice moderate-liberal radio show weekdays from 2-5 pm.
Bush and Kerry are sparring over oil, no surprise. Gas prices are going up and that hits everyone's pocketbook - let's start mudslinging! Bush's latest ad tries to be "wacky" (Bush really is "off the hook" lately, isn't he?), accusing Kerry of 50-cent gas tax hikes. Sure, Kerry voted for Clinton's economic package ten years ago, including the 4.3 cent gas hike. But guess what? That led to a booming 90's economy, unlike Bush's tax cut rut we've got now. Hmm... nope, the ad doesn't seem to mention any of those pesky details.
As a consumer, of course I want low gas prices. But as a Citizen of Planet Earth, I want the price of gas to reflect it's increasing scarcity and real cost. I want smarter, longer-term solutions. Not shortsighted politicking.
Voters Aren't Energy Dummies is sobering:
Christian Science MonitorThe real problem is that gas is just too cheap as the Age of Oil nears empty.
If anything, gas prices should be higher (and less erratic) to help force the shift to other types of energy and transport, or to better conservation - well before world production of oil starts to decline within two decades, as most experts forecast.
Of course raising gas prices won't get anyone elected, and it shouldn't. It hits working class families the hardest. But I would love the opportunity to pay a little extra for gas if the money went directly toward alternative energy transportation. How about EcoPumps?
Behold the world of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs), Personal Electric Vehincles (PEVs), and electric scooters. They're cute, they typically have a range of 10 miles, and top out around 25mph. But, except for the scooters, they're too frigging expensive.
My favorite fantasy runabout is the cute-as-a-bug GEM Vehicle. I can sure imagine a perfect society in which we tool about town in little GEM 2-seaters, or maybe the "mini pickup" shortback model. You can get it with a heater and hard doors for winter buggin' action. But by the time you add those options... well, you may as well buy a Passat.
Old think: Top-down, oil-rich, short-term, anti-intellectual, aggression-based
New think: Decentralized, renewable, long-term, smart, peaceful
LIME CAT DAY
I ALMOST STARTED A HOBBIT BLOG
I am driven by greed. Greed and elf meat and filthy hobbitlust. Behold a dead end on the blogformation gokart raceway: Tolkien and Lord of the Rings News.
My plan was to create a niche blog covering something "fun" that wouldn't make me "want to shoot myself" after a week. Enter GoogleAds, enter money$, enter my ass in a Hype Williams video. Really though, I'm just looking for creative ways to finance the ol' Blogumentary. Busting open truckstop condom machines with my Wusthof just ain't cutting it.
But guess what? Google denied me on account of "Excessive profanity." Do I really swear that much? I can find plenty of foul language alongside other GoogleAd blogs. I can also find foul language on Ev William's super awesome shirt, but thankfully his shirt doesn't have ads.
Really though, excessive profanity? Sure, i throw out an effenheimer and an "ooo geez!" if I get really excited. Maybe I talk too much about this search result.* Oh well, there are too many LOTR news sites anyway. Perhaps... robots?
JUSTIN HALL CLICKS ON
We ran into Justin Hall on the way to the Web Awards. Suddenly, we were engaged in an epic battle of phonecam vs. videocam:
It was bloody - organs flew, bone fragments darted into brick and bark. But it was cleansing, and our new cells feel fresh and electric. Check out Justin's article, Social Surveillance for Mobile Media.
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
We enjoyed the film, very much so.
DO BLOGS REPRESENT?
danah boyd's prickly robber thread has me thinking about race and gender and all that jazz, especially in the blogosphere. A good place to start is this incredible conversation between Heather Champ and Derek Powazek that I filmed last year at SXSW:
My perception is that SXSW seems whiter, richer, and more male than the blogosphere as a whole. The Perseus Study demographics show 92.4% of blogs are created by people under the age of 30, and 56% are women. The MIT Study only finds 36% women and only 1% African-American.
Looking at SXSW attendees from California, about a third are women. I'd sure wager most are white. Maybe SXSW is representative of the blogosphere after all – if so, that's sad. Do we want to be "scorekeeping"? I think it's important, because blog conferences are where the "movers and shakers" gather, make connections, and shape the future of blog media. There may be a zillion young ladies on Xanga and LiveJournal, but I don't see too many of them at blog conferences. And the only black blogger I saw was George.
So what about race? About.com's Race and blogs is one of the few sources I could find. It points to an Africana.com article, Blogging While (Anti) Black which takes Gawker and Wonkette to task for perpetuating "white hipsters adopting a casual racism."
But AllAboutGeorge.com says: "Bullshit, bullshit and bullshit... The joke's on marginalization, not the marginalized. As for people who feel blogging's a white man's sport? Well, shit, I feel that way sometimes too. But that hasn't kept me away from it for the last three years, nor has it stopped a slew of folks in my circles of friends."
How many people who read my blog are white? I dunno, a lot I suspect. (Speak up!) As I mentioned on danah's thread, between me and my friends and my blogroll – that's a blinding hunka whiteness right there. Until 5 minutes ago I could only name 3 black bloggers: My man Tony Pierce, Oliver Willis, and George.
What exactly is the role of the black blogger? In my mind, the role is as difficult to classify as we are but I believe that the one motivating factor that ties most of us -- if not all of us -- together is a desire to put an end to the notion that cyberspace is colourblind. Regardless of our politics, sexual orientations, and personal motivations, our very presence adds -- if you'll forgive me -- a dash of colour to the normalized "whiteness" that exists online. [...] Yet we've somehow created this rather loosely organized network where we link to (mostly) the same people, and read (mostly) the same weblogs.
Exactly. I have my little outpost here, and it rarely intersects with the "black blogosphere" if there is such a thing. Maybe that's the danger of niches. I'm drawn to people, to personalities and writing. I rarely think about the fact that Tony Pierce is black unless he brings it up. I only think about Min Jung Kim being Korean when she busts out the martial arts. Or you know, how she's hot like that. Same with Rannie. Is "Canadian" a race? Or "sexy"?
Lorika has an awesome idea. After talking with a blog-savvy reporter from a Minnesota black community newspaper, she wants to pitch a story to them about blogs. "We need the internet and the blogosphere to truly be the great equalizer for ALL voices! " Amen to that.
ESSENTIAL READING: (Thanks James)
SXSWBlog 2002 Race/gender/politics discussion
NOAM CHOMSKY'S BLOG
Turning the Tide:
"Since US elections are pretty much bought, [Bush] will therefore win, unless there is a very powerful popular mobilization to overcome these enormous and usually decisive advantages. That leaves us with a choice: help elect Bush, or do something to try to prevent it."
There's a storm brewing outside right now. Literally and metaphorically.