....LMB: "Welcome to LMB v3.0"....

February 19, 2004

[*Problems viewing the site?]

I really love the new site. Massive thanks to Mark McLaughlin and Quang Tang.

The change wasn’t just a matter of prettying things up, it was about organizing the information in a better fashion, and about kicking myself in the ass a bit. Super loosely based on the efficient layout of Dack’s Rational Enquirer site.

Now, the guided tour:

First, the colors. It seems the standard for radical political websites is to use lotsa black and lotsa red, with small amounts of white if absolutely necessary. I wanted to use that as a starting point, but not to be shy about using white and gray. And for some reason, I had this feeling that it should also contain a yellow/orange/gold color, so I trusted my intuition and went with that. And as we cranked out some trial versions, we saw that the blacks and dark reds really weren’t so good for backgrounds, so the orange, white and gray kinda took over. So the black is text and outlines, the red makes some nice highlights.

We have our fantabulous logo by Quang Tang in the upper right. Many months ago, I asked people to submit some ideas for a potential LMB logo. I liked Quang’s best. Thanks to everybody who sent me something. Some of you I never got back to. Sorry, I suck.

Right below the logo, are an easy search prompt and a pull-down menu for all my radio show playlists. No fuss, no muss. Then a new description of what LMB is, followed by my email address. Replace the “+at+” with the @ symbol and you can email me. I wrote it that way to avoid spammers, of course, but I’ve been surprised that some of my readers haven’t been able to determine that that string of characters is my email address. If you want to write me, that’s how you do it.

The left-hand column is the main blog that you’re used to. News, politics, analysis, and assorted absurdities. Also, based on your responses to my posts about my mother’s death, I got the impression that some of you really appreciated that openness, and wanted to connect with me on a more personal level than is usually contained in my posts. And I admit, I do like the idea of not being confined so tightly to topics of political opinion. So I figure I’ll occasionally unbuckle a corner of this armor and show a little skin before suiting up again to tilt at windmills.

The main reason I redesigned the site was because something bothered me. It’s called “Lying Media Bastards”, but I’d often go long spells without a single post relating to the media. To rectify this, I’ve added a box on the right where all the media-related articles will go (they won’t appear in the main body of the blog). Hopefully such a prominently placed (and prominently dated) media news section will goad me into keeping y’all more updated on transpirings in the media world.

Lots of links on the right, including a vastly improved set of news links, a fairly impressive list of media industry news links, blogs, political columnists, comics, etc.

There's a new section for inspiring or amusing political quotes, aimed at getting your ass motivated to fight the power (the link below the quote itself will lead to an ever-growing archive of such quotes).

The Snapshots section is new as well, intended to give me a little more freedom to be non-political. As a writer, my brain is always in gear, putting thoughts and experiences into words, whether I want it to or not. I guess this section will be kind of experimental, just superbrief thoughts and passages I find myself mentally writing as I go about my days.

Then you’ve got the archives, if you want to read old LMB stuff. All the posts and comments from the old LMB site should be there, except the media-related posts. Those you can find my clicking on "more media news" at the bottom of the "media news" box. We might need to find a better way to arrange that.

And later, I plan on posting reviews of books, movies, music, video games, etc. These links will appear below the archives. The reviews of political books might be very helpful to y’all, the other media less so. But dammit, as an obsessive writer and lover of movies, music and video games, we’ll see what comes up.

There are still probably bugs and glitches here and there, so please notify me by email if you find any. We’ll try to get em fixed.

Hopefully in the near future we’ll have some LMB t-shirts. A generous Kill Radio colleague made a silk screen of Quang's LMB logo some months back. Just gotta get the screen back from him and buy some non-sweatshop shirts, then I'll screen em by hand. Probably orange or red on black, maybe vice versa. I don’t expect I’ll sell many, but it’d be nice having folks walking around sporting the team colors.

Gotta give tons of thanks to my volunteer web saviors Quang Tang and Mark McLaughlin. Mark, who used to run the official Rage Against the Machine website with me, did much of the layout and coding for the new site. Quang did the logo, additional layout and coding, and is hosting the site on his servers out of the goodness of his heart. He runs the webhosting company NiceDream.net. Thanks Mark and Quang! Hire them and make them rich.

And thanks to everyone for reading. As an obsessive writer, I would have typed up a lot of this stuff anyway, but the fact that many of you find my stuff informative, important and enjoyable on top of that makes me feel good about making the effort.

Yes, I’m sure some of you are going to hate the new site format (you can't ever please everyone). Sorry, you’ll just have to get used to it. It’s still substance over style, you just get a lot more pretty to go with your substance.

[note: I'll keep this post up at the top of the page for about a week to make sure I greet all the first-time viewers of the new set-up. New articles will appear just below this entry for the next several days, then the site will resume as normal]

Posted by Jake at 01:48 AM

Hey Jake! You're site looks great and everything, but i have a problem. i can't read all of the left hand column; the box on the right partially covers it. i'm sure it's just my computer because it sucks, but yeah.

Posted by: Piper at February 20, 2004 06:35 PM

Looks gooood.

Font's a bit small though.

Posted by: C Bryan Lavigne at February 26, 2004 08:44 AM

I have to agree. The old site was much easier to read IMHO. It isn't the point size so much as it is the decision to switch to a san serif font.

Serif fonts are just easier to read, especially at smaller sizes. I beg you to switch back.

Posted by: Mike R. at February 27, 2004 03:24 AM
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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 ®.

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.

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"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into."

-Jonathan Swift

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Damn. That joke would have been much funnier if I'd said "apprentice" instead of "intern".

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Design and Layout by Mark McLaughlin and Quang Tang
LMB Logo by Quang Tang

Alt "One Hell of a Leader" logo largely stolen from Obey Giant.
All other material by Jake Sexton (unless otherwise cited)

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