....LMB: "My Summer Vacation"....

May 27, 2003

Some of you may have asked yourselves at some point, ďI wonder what Jake does for a living that gives him the time to read so much, and write so frequently, and look so sexy.Ē The time has come to answer these questions.

Until fairly recently, I was the political advisor for Rage Against the Machine (no, really *). Their singer left back in 2000, but I continued working with the remaining fellows on political issues until they formed their new band, Audioslave. After that, I was sort of in flux, being more of a Political Consultant for Rock Bands, mainly for a few things for Rageís guitarist, and oddball metal band System of a Down. Then the guitarist of Rage/Audioslave and the singer for System of a Down decided we should all collaborate and form a political organization that would make use of their media access and rock star fortunes, and my knowledge and my ability to stare at a computer screen for 45 hours a day without going blind.

So my job has now shifted from Political Consultant to Director of a Non-Profit Organization (well, technically of two non-profit organizations) called Axis of Justice which the three of us run (well, they supply ideas, fame and money, I do the rest). Which is a lot like my old job, except I also have to deal with paperwork and fundraising. AOJ is basically anything that we three want it to be to achieve our political goals. Iím a quasi-anarchist encouraging people to think and act and remake the world, Tom Morelloís an IWW-style socialist encouraging people to unionize and kick their bossesí asses, and Serj is some kind of cross between a Buddhist and Bob Marley encouraging people to unite in peace and harmony. Whatís the result? I find out day by day.

Yes, my job kicks much ass. I often say that Iím the luckiest non-rich man in America. The job combines my love of music and obsession with politics. I donít have to commute anywhere. My work has meaning and helps people, unlike so many other jobs Iíve had. It occasionally has fringe benefits like free tickets to concerts and such. And now I get the bonus of a free cross-country trip.

Unless tragedy strikes (which I honestly canít rule out these days), I will be traveling with the revived Lollapalooza tour this summer, to run an Axis of Justice tent dedicated to activism. Yes, your geeky, angry, overworked narrator will be traveling the U.S. of A. with millionaire rock stars in effort to incite concert-goers to overthrow the government and such. Weíre working with a lot of excellent groups: Food Not Bombs, Anti-Racist Action, Independent Media Centers, RAINN, a bunch of local independent political bookstores, a bunch of local peace groups, and more. Itís a good feeling to find people who are doing good work to try to make their communities a better place and then to say ďhey, what can I do to help you out?Ē

So if you go to the Lollapalooza tour this year (which, given the line-up, I really canít recommend), find the tent and come say hello. Look for the guy with the bright red hair (Iím thinking of dying my hair Ronald McDonald red for the tour, to make myself more easily identifiable to the hundreds of strangers Iíll be working with). Failing that, ask for ďJake.Ē Or ďCaptain Smirky.Ē

Also, feel free to recommend local activist groups in or near any of the stops on the tour.

Since I will be physically on the go for weeks and weeks, my radio show will be on hiatus from early July through late August. In addition, this website will probably be quite different during that period as well. Since I wonít have the time to be reading and poring over the dayís news, yet will be experiencing the fairly unusual adventure of touring with rock bands and meeting activists across the country, this site will temporarily be Jakeís Rockín Tour & Politics Diary or something. Itís bound to be interesting, but in a very different way than the usual site.

So there you have it, a slice of Jakeís weirdo life. You canít have it, itís all mine.

* Actually, one factual error in that linked article. I was a Communications student, not a Sociology student.

It's an irritating story, really. The editor of the OC Weekly called me up to try to get RATM's endorsement for an event they were doing. I figured he was calling in that capacity, that we were conversing as two people working together to try to get an innocent kid out of jail, not as a reporter and an interviewee. Apparently I was wrong. I didn't find out till months later, and I was pretty pissed off. That, ladies and gentlemen, is why you always let reporters know that you're speaking to them "off the record," even when (or maybe especially when) you think that should be obvious to them.

Anyhow, the error came when he asked, "what are you studying, sociology?" and I said "yeah," cuz I didn't think it mattered and it was easier than having to explain what the field of "communications" was for the thousandth time. So let's just say that I have an honorary degree in sociology from Shoddy Journalism University.

Posted by Jake at 05:24 PM | TrackBack (0)

I'm happy for you Jake. All of this couldn't have happened to a nicer person. I look forward to reading your updates.

Posted by: Juanito Dolanski at May 27, 2003 07:38 PM

i'm glad to hear things are working out so well for you!

one thing i learned from my brief stint in PR - ALWAYS be on your guard when your talking to reporters! you never know what kind of story they might be working on...

Posted by: holly at May 28, 2003 07:15 AM

jake jake jake,

i cant believe you're not going to continue with the political ranting and raving during the summer. the rants will be missed.

have fun on your tour. stay safe.
red hair? my god, what color is it now?
mr. aster would not be amused.

Posted by: art at May 28, 2003 12:43 PM

Enjoy your summer. I'll try to stop by your booth when the tour stops by Indy.

"Imperialism it the end product of capitalism" - Vladmir Lenin

Posted by: Doug at May 28, 2003 06:36 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

Both projects focus on our media-marinated world, political lies, corporate tyranny, and the folks fighting the good fight against these monsters.

All brought to you by Jake Sexton, The Most Beloved Man in America ģ.

contact: jake+at+lyingmediabastards.com

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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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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