....LMB: "Speed Rant"....

November 17, 2002

I have an article past due for Destroy All mag that I have yet to begin. I should really be working on that, but I have this mini-rant building up that won't be denied. So I'm trying and experiment here (whee!!), an attempt to write a quick screed without going back and editting. Stopwatches are go!

There's a new conservative argument floating around now, that I've seen several times and always in the same format: "You liberals just don't get it!" Well, that's how it always starts. It is most recently tied to "we didn't see the 9-11 attacks coming." And that's pretty much where the argument ends. The implication is that we should have taken some sort of military action before 9-11 to prevent the terrorist attacks, even if we didn't have condemning evidence that the attacks were coming. And therefore, we should do something now (i.e. bomb Iraq) because we don't have perfect evidence. Good thinkin'.

It's quite interesting when your lack of evidence becomes proof that you should act on that, uh, lack of evidence. I say, why start with Iraq? I mean, we have even less evidence that we are going to face an attack by Iran. Let's start there. Wait, it would be even more unexpected if we were attacked by France. Let's attack France. No! Hawaii! Those native Hawaiians are sending coded Al Qaeda messages via hula dances! Bomb Hawaii!

I'm also amused at Conservatives lack of understanding of the left. Somehow, no matter what your stance, in the eyes of conservatives, we are all Clinton-loving Democrats. Doesn't matter if you're a moderate Democrat soccer mom, a radical enviornmentalist, or an anarchist revolutionary, somehow we all want Al Gore in the White House in 2004.

Hmm. 6 minutes. Not bad, I guess.

Posted by Jake at 09:51 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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