Lying Media Bastards

August 30, 2004

Greetings from Lockdown NYC

Hey folks.

Iím sitting in lovely Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, making use of their free wireless internet access. The Republican convention starts this morning, the protests started three days ago.

First, New York City: if youíve never been, go. Itís so dense and vertical and international, so amazing that I wonít even try to do it justice in words here (although at present, its most noticeable feature is itís hot sweatiness. Ew. Only been awake a few hours and I probably already smell like an unwashed dog). Itís the anti-suburbs in many good ways. Why donít I move here? I wonít rule out the possibility someday, but Iím a born and raised southern Californian, and anytime I leave my domain, that becomes achingly obvious. Iím supposed to live hours away from a beach? Iím supposed to deal with humidity and cold and snow? Iím not so down with all that.

Anyhow, went to the pro-choice march Saturday, which involved activists marching over the Brooklyn bridge for one jillion hours. Well, probably more like 2 and a half, but it seemed really long watching from the finish line. Happily, the best response that the anti-choice forces could come up with was a couple dozen red-faced men and one crazy lady who was belting out hymns or something.

And yesterday was the big, dangerous march that could have (but didnít) go to Central Park-- dangerous only because I was afraid that many protesters would illegally go to Central Park and get arrested in droves. Huge numbers of folks there, Iím hearing reports between 100,000 and 400,000 in attendance. No crazy police crackdown, thank god. The march went to Union Square and was supposed to then disperse, but instead, it was more like a big old activist picnic, very chill. I wonít pretend that it rocked the political world, but it was enjoyable.

Then last night there were a number of direct action protests near Times Square. Activists learned that a number of Republican delegates were going to spend the night before the convention seeing some of the cityís many plays and musicals, and used this tidbit to confront the delegates in person, huge police presence be damned. Truly one of the ballsiest protests of the convention. Just read a snippet on NYCís Indymedia site which read something like: ďactivists cornered Republican delegates outside a Times Square restaurant and chanted Ďright wing scum, your time has come!íĒ Let that image lull you to sleep tonight with a smile on your face.

But the crazy Times Square actions did incur mass arrests, sad to say, maybe 200-300. And it caused the police to occupy the area to the point that I feared that if I left my friendís Square-adjacent apartment that the cops might not let me back in.

Other fun development: I might be interviewed on NYCís KROCK-FM today sometime between 1-4pm EST. In an unexpected development, the station offered 3 hours of airtime to my lefty rock star bosses to do with whatever they like. And what they like sounds like it will include lots and lots of quality political tunes, an interview with Michael Moore, and an ďin the fieldĒ report from me. Unless plans change, which they always can, of course.

Iíll toss out an idea: maybe some of yíall would like to start trying to raise some money for an Arrested Activist Defense Fund. If our brothers and sisters are gonna take on the evil-doers to their faces, we should try to have their backs.

Posted by Jake at 07:29 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 27, 2004

So that's where my bathing suit was! In my bedroom, on top of the amplifier box, in the plastic shopping bag, with the beach towel and the package of miso soup!

Posted by Jake at 08:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Najaf II Epilogue

Juan Cole has a pretty great summary of what appears to be the end of the second American siege of Najaf.

Historial note: does anyone remember that the uprising, Najaf sieges 1 & 2, the rise of Moqtada al-Sadr and the Mahdi army, all began when the US shut down al-Sadr's newspaper?

Posted by Jake at 07:50 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 26, 2004

CMRN Debut

As of this week, I'm part of yet another political radio project. I recorded one of my trademark stream of consciousness political rants for the premiere broadcast of the Critical Mass Radio Network, which should air sometime tomorrow (August 27), between 10am and 10pm PST.

To quote the press release:

CMRN is a decentralized network of independent community based radio stations that will broadcast a coordinated signal internationally. The general theme of tommorow's broadcast will be the Republican National Convention in New York and the resistance to the policies of the Bush Administration.

Long story short, six pirate and internet radio stations are going to work together to create a single stream of political audio content for people to listen to, or for microbroadcasters to send out over the real airwaves. The current line-up is radioActive San Diego, Philadelphia's Radio Volta, Radio Free Santa Cruz, New York's A-Noise, Portland Indymedia Web Radio, San Francisco's Enemy Combatant Radio, and LA's own Kill Radio.


To start, CMRN will just create this stream once a month (the last Friday of each month), but it will likely grow in length and frequency as time goes on. I think the project has a lot of potential.

[update]

It seems most likely that my piece will air between 10am and noon PST, but CMRN will be webcasting all day. Listen here.

[/update]

[update 2]

Wow, they launched a new look for the site this morning. Tres dope.

[/update 2]

[update 3]

Due to some kind of mix-up, my recorded rant did not get played. Sigh.

[/update 3]

Posted by Jake at 10:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"I think governments are the cancer of civilization. And the minute that we see seven or eight women get in a circle and start a war, I'll be shocked like a motherfucker."
- Chuck D

Posted by Jake at 08:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 25, 2004

Virtual

I don't even know what to say about these:

The "naked female video game character" issue of Playboy

The "Boyfriend Arm Pillow"

The "virtual cellphone girlfriend"

Write your own punchlines.

Posted by Jake at 04:55 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 23, 2004

Fahrenheit 527

After the Swift Boat attack ads, Kerry swiped back, calling on Bush to denounce the ads. Bush, using his clever Texas strategery, wouldn't denounce the ads except as part of a broader criticism of 527s. 527s are groups like MoveOn and the Swift Boaters, which raise money and buy ads that don't explicitly support one candidate or another.

After this attack, many liberal bloggers are disingenuously claiming that Bush is trying to ban political speech, or that he's being a hypocrite. That's got nothing to do with nothing. Liberal 527s have raised way more money and have been way more pro-active than conservative ones. So Bush is pretending to be calling for a dignified campaign, when he's really trying to get Kerry to give up his own advantage. It's like a kid on crutches saying "no fair, if we're gonna race, we should all have broken legs."

Or, as Mark Kleiman brilliantly put it, "I'll ask my friends to stop lying about John Kerry, if he will ask his friends to stop telling the truth about me."

Posted by Jake at 05:11 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Open Letter to the Media

Dear Press Corps,

As you may have noticed, 2004 is an election year. Although I, and many of my fellow Americans, have become quite jaded about the US government, there are two men running for president, and if we are going to vote, we need to know about those men.

The United States is facing a very troubling time. Terrorism is a real danger. We are fighting a war half-way around the world. Our military is stretched to the breaking point. Much of the global population-- even our allies-- think of our nation as arrogant and bloodthirsty. Our civil rights have been eroded. The economy is doing badly. People can't find work to feed their families. Our national issues of racism, sexism and violence continue unabated. Environmental danger. An unjust justice system. Corporate abuse. Epidemics of cancer and obesity.

We need to know what the candidates will do about all this (if anything). If one the candidates will start to turn the tide, we need to know. If one of the candidates will cause us harm, we need to know. If the candidates are more or less the same, we need to know. And as each candidate is more likely to tell us what they think we want to hear instead of tell us the truth, we need the media's help.

And what have you done in our time of need, when we need to focus on the future of our country? Turned all of your focus onto the cataclysmically irrelevant issue of whether someone shot at a boat in Vietnam 35 years ago!!

Have you lost your minds? Have you just gotten caught up in the herd? Are you so stupid that you think this actually matters? Or are you fully aware of the situation and continue anyway? If that's the case, you shouldn't just be ashamed, you should be humiliated.

You sicken me.

If this was history class, it would be okay to cover this ancient story, you'd get top marks. Oh wait, no you wouldn't. Because if this was history, you'd check all your sources, weigh the validity of those sources, and then come to some tentative conclusions about what really happened. Instead, the media seems to be saying that decades-old military records and the testimony of everyone on John Kerry's boat is exactly equal to the claims of a dozen guys with an axe to grind, who were not on Kerry's boat, who are funded by Kerry's political opponents.

I'm sure you have plenty of good excuses for why you're covering this ridiculous bullshit.

"It's news, we have to cover it."
"If we don't cover it, we'll fall behind."
"It's a character issue."

Shut the fuck up.

You control the cameras, you control the microphones, you control the typewriters. When this kind of trivial political nonsense comes up, it is completely within your power to turn them away from it. You can get a call from the head of the Swift Boat guys offering an interview and say "no thanks." You can receive a press release from the Kerry campaign and not quote it in your article. You can, at the very least, say "here's a quick summary of the latest Swift Boat bickering, now let's look at Bush and Kerry's respective economic plans."

Sad as it is, the nation relies on you to protect them, to inform them, to be an early warning system to prevent them from being screwed. And you've dropped the ball.

Honestly, I don't expect much from the media these days, but this nonsense is just more than I can bear.

Your fears of being unpopular, of being called "biased", of losing access to the nation's elite, have turned you into stenographers for power. I have no interest in official proclamations, I am interested in the truth.

Forget the press releases and official spokesmen. That's stage-managed crap.

Forget the partisan he-said/she-said. That's all smoke, no fire.

Instead, find out what's going on in this world, then tell it to me. That's what news is.

Jake Sexton.

Posted by Jake at 01:27 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 21, 2004

That Was Fast

Earlier this week, I mocked the ridiculous and offensive plan to stop "violent" NYC protesters with cheap "peaceful protester" discounts. I also thought to myself, "hmm, I should take the image on these buttons and photoshop it into something satirical like."

Someone beat me to it.

[image stolen from Politics in the Zeros]

Obviously, the original's the one on the top.

I'm actually thinking of having some buttons printed up with that image. Neat.

Oh, and as an update, I will indeed be attending the convention protests. I will most likely be posting daily reports and photos to AxisOfJustice.org. I'll post them here as well, if I'm feeling particularly ambitious.

Posted by Jake at 02:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"Storytime", or "Don't Just Read the Cliff Notes"

A friend of mine told me this story, and I feel compelled to share it.

It's a weekday morning, and John walks into his local coffee bar for his morning Joe. A young man behind the counter is joking around with his female co-worker, and says "Wonder Twin Powers, activate!"

To those of you born after 1982, this is a reference to two of the dumbest characters to ever grace the popular Superfriends cartoon show. The Wonder Twins were brother and sister aliens or sun-tanned elves or something, and when they spoke that magic catch-phrase, the sister could turn into the animal of her choice, and her brother could turn into some form of water. Not quite on par with heat vision or super speed, but it was enough to save the day sometimes, with the help of their monkey friend. The monkey was blue. He was a "space monkey." The space monkey often carried the bucket that held water-boy when they went traveling.

That's how most of their episodes went. Someone's in trouble! Sister turns into an eagle. Brother turns into water. Monkey catches water in bucket. Sister picks up bucket-holding monkey and flies to villain lair. Sister turns into big angry gorilla. Brother turns into an ice cage or a giant ice pitchfork or some shit. Bad guy is caught. Monkey giggles.

No, no, don't thank me. It is my pleasure to enrich you with such knowledge.

Anyway.

So coffee guy says to his co-worker, "Wonder Twin Powers, activate!"

To which John wittily responds "So who's the bucket of water?"

Silence.

Timidly, coffee boy says "I-I'm Sean."

Folks, there's a moral to this story. If you're going to make pop references, know what the fuck you're referring to. Otherwise, you'll look stupid, like Sean, and get written about on some stranger's webpage. Truly a fate worse than death.

Posted by Jake at 02:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The three little girls stood on tiptoe beneath the street light, taping a flyer to the side of the lamp post. It was probably announcing a garage sale or lemonade stand, but I like to think that it was part of a cunning trap that would lure grown-ups to their deaths.

Posted by Jake at 01:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 20, 2004

Sunset Junction, What's Your Function?

This weekend, Silverlake presents its big yearly street festival called Sunset Junction. It's just like your regular boring street fair of booths selling crafts and crap, but with one important difference: lots of musical performances by excellent, and often well-known, rock bands. The fair allegedly requires a $10 donation for entry, but those hip to city law tell me that no one can make you pay for a public event on public grounds. So technically, it's free.

And, for the third year running, Kill Radio will have a booth at the show. Stop by, say hello, pick up free stuff, possibly buy non-free stuff, spit on your favorite DJs, whatever. I won't be there, however, as I am headed down to San Diego to celebrate my dad's birthday with him. Well, maybe I'll make it back by late Sunday.

I'm looking at the performance schedule, and it's mostly bands I'm only vaguely familiar with. But I'll make some recommendations based on what I know:

Saturday
1:30pm- Dengue Fever. I haven't heard them, but their Cambodian lead singer was imprisoned during some nonsense "homeland security" sweeps, and they probably deserve a little love for that alone.
2:15pm- Giant Drag. Garage rock meets Mazzy Star. Kinda. Frequent guests on Kill Radio's Get the Fuck Up show.
9:30pm- The Donnas. If you think you'd enjoy young women singing your favorite Ramones or AC/DC songs, you'll enjoy the Donnas.

Sunday
1pm- Cuahtemoc. I believe I saw these guys perform at the farmworker protest outside Taco Bell headquarters this year, but I get my bands named after multi-syllabic Aztec gods confused. If these guys are who I think they are, they're pretty good. Political hardcore from the real OC.
2:15pm. Your Enemies Friends. Hip rock meets noisy roll.
3:30pm- Very Be Careful. I wouldn't've known what to call this style of music till I looked it up. Vallenato. "Indigenous Colombian melodies on accordion over african rhythms." All I know is that they somehow turn traditional, folksy latino tunes into party music.
5pm- Sweet and Tender Hooligans. Popular Smiths cover band. You like the Smiths. See them.
7:15pm- Camper Van Beethoven. One of my favorite bands, period. Back in the 80s they were called "college radio darlings", alternative rock when that term meant something. Sweet meanderings between pop, punk, folk and country.
8:30pm- X. LA punk legends for like 700 years. But in a good way.

Enjoy the show.

Posted by Jake at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 18, 2004

And Then They Came For...

NYPD to Shadow 56 Protesters Believed Most Dangerous

If this article is accurate (and I can't help but notice that there aren't really any specific sources mentioned in it), a few hundred NYPD officers are going to leave NY, and spy on activists in Boston, DC, North Carolina and California. And the NYPD has been spying on activist groups for almost 2 years now.

Supposedly, 56 "primary anarchists" (what the hell does that mean?) are going to be assigned 7 officers to spy on them 24 hours a day.

I could continue to analyze the article, but as I said, there's not much sourcing there. Buuuuuut the surveillance of activists is going on, especially anarchists, who have apparently become our nation's new (non-Islamic) boogymen.

Posted by Jake at 10:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Clean Sweep

It shouldn't come as a surprise, but many of Manhattan's homeless have gone missing as the weeks have been leading up to the Republican convention.

The article above does not give much in the way of specifics, but history shows us that it's fairly common for law enforcement to drive such "undesirables" out of a city in the name of tourism just before a major local event. The article does mention that a number of the services that these folks have come to rely on are being shut down or curtailed thanks to the convention.

I'd guess the homeless exodus is a combination of arrests, police harassment, and voluntary departure to avoid trouble and continue surviving.

Posted by Jake at 11:10 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

A Bit Out of Touch

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City, in an attempt to quell potential violence, or try a new tourism strategy, or grab some free publicity, has announced that RNC protesters who agree to wear "I am a peaceful protester"-style buttons, will get discounts at restaurants and museums and such around the city.

Huh?

Do I even need to point out the ways in which this is idiocy?

"Thanks for visiting our police state! In exchange for surrendering your right to free speech and right to assemble, get $2 off your next purchase at Applebee's!"

Posted by Jake at 08:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 17, 2004

More Goss Bashing

This is a little scary.

Until recently, new CIA head Porter Goss was member of the House of Representatives. And back in June, Goss proposed a new bill that would increase the power of the CIA head (take that, ESP skeptics!).

The creepy bit is that the Goss bill would change the legal description of the position, taking the existing text which prohibits the CIA from "exercis[ing] police, subpoena, or law enforcement powers within the United States," and adding "except as otherwise permitted by law or as directed by the president."

See, the CIA is supposed to be about American intelligence outside the country, and can't operate inside the country on American citizens. But as I understand it, the Goss bill would violate US law, if the president asked them to. As one fellow put it, "This language on its face would have allowed President Nixon to authorize the CIA to bug the Democratic National Committee headquarters."

[via Political Animal]

Posted by Jake at 10:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Coming to an Eduplex Near You

Morgan Spurlock, creator of Super Size Me, has announced that the DVD version of his film will be released soon. But more interesting to me, he has also announced the Super Size Me School Tour. This fall, Spurlock will "take the Super Sized message on the road to colleges, high schools, junior highs and elementary schools. I want parents, teachers and students to start examining how they can act locally to shift the current obesity trends that are running rampant in our country."

And to top it all off, you can try to get Spurlock to bring his travelin' show to your own school:

"If you would like me to visit your school, please contact Sean Lawton at Keppler Associates: (703) 516-4894 or SJL@kepplerassociates.com"

Coolio.

Posted by Jake at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Grim Q&A

Prof. Juan Cole recently did an online chat for the Washington Post, answering many questions about the Iraq war and the war on terrorism. I put a lot of stock in his analyses, because he really seems to know his stuff, and he understands and takes into account the many complexities of the various factions, cultures, movements and governments of the Middle East.

The transcript of Cole's online chat is at the link above. It's good. Nearly all the questions are fairly in-depth, and most deal with the current siege on Najaf and Muqtada al-Sadr.

Two rather grim passages stand out for me among Cole's replies:

"I'd say there is a 50/50 chance of the Iraqis tossing the U.S. out of their country within the next two years."

and

[The recent US attack on Najaf] is ... among the most stupid political moves any military has ever made. The War on Terror requires winning hearts and minds. The attack on Najaf has made all the Shiites in the world furious at the U.S. It doesn't matter whether that is fair or not, it is the way it is. And it is highly undesirable, and our grandchildren may be living with the effects of it.
Posted by Jake at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"I don't think Osama bin Laden sent those planes in to attack us because he hated our freedom. I think he did it because of our support for Israel and our ties with the Saudi family and all our military bases in Saudi Arabia. Y'know why I think that? Because that's what he fucking said!"
- David Cross

Posted by Jake at 01:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 16, 2004

08-16-04

Bad Religion- Turn on the Lights
Madvillain- All Caps
Bjork- Cvalda
Lou Reed- Perfect Day
The Dresden Dolls- Good Day
Against Me- Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Balled Fists
Truth Enola & Dragon- Lighters Up
LL Cool J- Going Back to Cali
Ride- Seagull
Leftover Crack- Clear Channel (Fuck Off!)
Jay-Z- Dirt Off Your Shoulder
Massive Attack- Safe From Harm
Prince Po- Hello
David Cross block
MC5- The American Ruse
Camper Van Beethoven- Tania
Old Crow Medicine Show- Tear It Down

Posted by Jake at 11:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nuance

The Bush campaign has many ways that it would like to characterize John Kerry, and one of those is that he is flip-floppy, "nuanced" and "French." Pausing to think and consider the other side, pondering the possibilty that you might actually be wrong, or changing your mind, is weak. And if you're weak, you're a faggot. And if you're a faggot, you're a girl, and there's nothing worse than being a girl (but if you are an actual girl, you shouldn't try to be a man, cuz that would be wrong).

This is quite different from Bush, who is strong and bold. He makes the wrong decision without delay, and following through and refusing to admit error, until every last passenger is killed in his train wreck.

Sadly, the media seems to be buying into Bush's spin. A Thursday NY Times headline read "For Now, Bush's Mocking Drowns Out Kerry's Nuanced Explanation of His War Vote" (note: the web headline appears to have been editted from its original version, and now reads "Bush's Mocking Drowns Out Kerry on Iraq Vote").

I'll admit, I was confused a bit by Kerry's position at first. After months of criticizing Bush's war, I naturally assumed that if he had it all to do over again, that he would not have voted to give Bush the okay to go to war. He surprised me (well, lots of folks) by saying that no, he would still vote for Bush's war authority. But he does actually explain his "nuanced" position fairly well in a quote in the link above:

KERRY (8/9/04): Yes, I would have voted for the authority [to go to war]. I believe it's the right authority for a president to have. But I would have used that authority as I have said throughout this campaign, effectively. I would have done this very differently from the way President Bush has.

And my question to President Bush is, Why did he rush to war without a plan to win the peace? Why did he rush to war on faulty intelligence and not do the hard work necessary to give America the truth? Why did he mislead America about how he would go to war? Why has he not brought other countries to the table in order to support American troops in the way that we deserve and relieve a pressure from the American people?

In other words, Kerry's nuanced position is "Bush fucked up". Really, that's about it.

If we play the little puppet show of denial, and pretend that this war really was about Iraqi liberty and a dictator's deadly weapons, Kerry's position makes some kind of sense. Giving the president the authority to declare war could have helped in negotiations and diplomacy to get rid of Saddam and the weapons. In a theoretical Kerry 2000 presidency, the inspectors probably would have stayed much longer, and perhaps an international force would have gone into Iraq maybe in the fall of 2003 (summer's a no-no cuz it's so hot). The US economy would not be in (as many) tatters, and the Arab/Muslim world would have less ability to blame all their problems on just the Americans (which I guess means "terrorism for everyone!").

Actually, I'd like to think that this magical Kerry White House wouldn't've had the lunatic neocon crusaders who wanted to invade Iraq in the first place.

Now, I think Kerry's position makes him a jackass. First of all, his "I believe it's the right authority for a president to have" is bullshit. The Constitution says that it's Congress' job to declare war. By definition it's not "the right authority for the president to have." I don't know what the hell Kerry's talking about.

Secondly, this war was not about keeping America safe, WMDs, or terrorism (ironically, the war went so badly that it has become about all of these things). It was about putting a US-friendly leader in charge of an important oil-producing country in an important oil-producing region. Under this framework, Kerry's position only makes sense if a) Kerry believes the puppet show, or b) Kerry was cool with the idea of the US planting its boot firmly in Middle Eastern soil. I'm not sure which possibilty is scarier. Okay, the second one.

Someone wanna remind me why I wanna vote for this asshole?

Oh yeah. Cuz of the other guy.

Stupid fucking two-party system.

Posted by Jake at 12:22 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 15, 2004

Giggles

Commenter "Chesaw" makes a good point regarding my recent post about new CIA head Porter Goss.

I realized it when I was about to make an additional snide post at Goss' expense. I was going to link to this article, which claims that when mothers of 9/11 victims were lobbying hard for Congress to investigate the terrorist attacks, that Porter Goss had tried to avoid them by hiding behind his office door. I was going to mock the fellow by saying something like "this is the best that the head of America's spy agency can do, hide behind doors?" But I realized that I was trying for a cheap shot that didn't even really work. I was forcing a particular reading of events for the sake of a joke.

And that is the same as Goss' "I couldn't get a job at the CIA" line. Yes, it is indeed possible that someone who runs an organization not be well-suited to other jobs within that organization. You could, for example, run the McDonald's corporation without knowing how to work a cash register. I was aware of that idea, yet let it fall by the wayside for the sake of the punchline.

Still, I find Goss' claims that he "doesn't have the cultural background" regarding "Arabists" to make it seem that perhaps he's not the right guy for the job at the moment.

In addition, there are allegations that Goss is "too political" for the job (i.e. has done a fair amount of partisan PR for the Republicans and the Bush administration), that he won't do much to halt future "intelligence failures", and-- most disturbing to me-- he supports PATRIOT Act II.

That being said, I will do my best to avoid spin-for-laughs in the future. There's enough terrible, ridiculous, fucked up shit out there; I don't need to mislead for humor.

Posted by Jake at 10:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2004

"There's nothing more American than false hope."
- Louis Black

Posted by Jake at 11:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Big Audio Dynamite

I finally finally got the archives of the radio show I produce-- "The Axis of Justice Radio Network"-- back online. It's a political music show, hosted by Tom Morello of Audioslave/Rage Against the Machine and Serj Tankian of System of a Down (what, you didn't know I worked with internationally famous rock stars?). Each show has a bunch of political songs from many genres, some discussion of the significance of those songs and artists, and usually an interview with a political activist, academic, or artist. Not knowing what sort of music you, the LMB reader, enjoys, I'd say that it's worth skimming a few of the shows to see what you think. They're all in lo-fi mp3 format. Each show's about an hour, and we have about 16 of them to choose from.

I've also got one of my own radio shows available for online listening. The show's almost two hours, mostly music (check the playlists in the upper right corner of this site), with some ranting and rambling from me. It looks like Kill Radio is going to start archiving all of our shows (in the near future?), so any of you could listen to my show without having to tune in live.

In my only slightly-biased opinion, my show is ten thousand times better than Tom & Serj's.

Posted by Jake at 10:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 11, 2004

Eyes Pop Out of Head

"It is true I was in CIA from approximately the late 50ís to approximately the early 70ís. And it's true I was a case officer, clandestine services officer and yes, I do understand the core mission of the business. I couldn't get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified. I don't have the language skills. I, you know, my language skills were romance languages and stuff. We're looking for Arabists today. I don't have the cultural background probably. And uh, as my children remind me every day, 'Dad you got to get better on your computer.í Uh, so, the things that you need to have, I don't have."

Ė New Head of the CIA, Porter Goss, March 3, 2004

So... this guy says he's unqualified to work for the CIA, and five months later, he's running it. I hope they filled his brain with all kinds of secret counter-terrorism serums and microchips since then, or we're fucked.

[via Atrios]

Posted by Jake at 03:21 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 10, 2004

Abbott and Costello Meet Al Qaeda

Juan Cole is all over this story, and it is appalling.

The highlights, as I understand them:

- July 13, Pakistan arrests Muhammed Naeem Noor Khan, an Al Qaeda agent. Khan agrees to become a double agent, passing information to the West and spreading disinformation among Al Qaeda. This makes him (presumably) one of the only people that the US and its allies has inside the terrorist organization.

- it's a bit fuzzy, but it seems that on August 1, a Bush administration official, seeking to dispel skepticism of their latest terror alert, tells the press that they received their intelligence from Khan. The official does not say that Khan is a double agent. The NY Times prints an article naming Khan.

- August 3, British police arrest over a dozen Al Qaeda suspects, fearing that they'll get wind of Khan's blown cover and run for it. The British had not arrested these men before because they felt they didn't have enough evidence to convict them. At this time, two have been released due to lack of evidence. Five more suspects have allegedly gone underground.

So...

Some fuck-up over at the White House has cost us a valuable spy that could have helped capture muderous terrorists, possibly even do severe damage to the Al Qaeda organization. And why? We get the equally savory possibilites of political convenience, or utter incompetence. Someone is either an oily opportunist, or they're Shemp.

[update]

Half of what I said up there might be wrong. Juan Cole has continued covering this story, and says that the NY Times reporters who first mentioned Khan now claim that they got their information from a Pakistani official, not a Washington official. But the Pakistani government insists that it was a US official who did the leaking, not one of theirs.

So in addition to my possibilities listed above, there is the additional one that we have a Pakistani Shemp to blame. Honestly, that's where I put my money at the moment, because I trust two NY Times reporters more than I trust the Pakistani government. Not because I put more faith in Americans, but because governments tend to lie a lot.

[/update]

Posted by Jake at 09:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Vicious

Dear God!

Bob Harris over at This Modern World has reprinted an old photograph of George W playing rugby in college:

Check the caption. The guy can't even play sports and obey the rules.

And I know that we all have our weird moments where the camera catches us making weird faces, but Bush's looks really mean to me. Which gave me the idea for my latest Bush campaign poster.

Posted by Jake at 09:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Your Name in Ink

Looks like Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting finally printed the article I wrote for the latest edition of their magazine "Extra!" Unfortunately, the article is not online (tres ironic, as the article is about blogs and online journalism), so you'll have to buy the magazine for it. Or, you'll have to go to the bookstore, read the magazine, and then put it back on the rack.

And to give credit where it's due, there are a few paragraphs article that were not done by me, but by the magazine's zealous editor, who packed it full of even more facts, making me look even smarter. Gracias, Jim.

To any of you who've stumbled here after reading that article, welcome. I hope you'll be pleased to find that most of my web writing is shorter, funnier, and filled with more swearing, than my latest print endeavor. Fuck ass poop.

Posted by Jake at 05:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Monopolizing Competition

Oh for fuck's sake.

In a far cry from the high-minded ideals of humanity and tolerance embodied by the Olympics, the organizers of the Athens games have warned spectators that they could be barred for taking a surreptitious sip of Pepsi or an illicit bite from a Burger King Whopper.

Strict regulations published by Athens 2004 last week dictate that spectators may be refused admission to events if they are carrying food or drinks made by companies that did not see fit to sponsor the games. [emphasis mine]

The International Olympic Committee is so greedy (or needy) for corporate cash, that they will restrict the rights of paying spectators. "You want to drink a Pepsi you brought to the games? Fuck you, Pepsi didn't pay us for advertising! You don't like it, go watch at home on TV!"

I like the article's closing quote, from "Greek sports fan" Kostas Giannis:

"I don't see why, after all the money that Greek taxpayers will end up paying to host the games, McDonald's should dictate what I can eat in my own city."
Posted by Jake at 12:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 09, 2004

*08-09-04

This show can be heard online here

Junior Mervin- Police and Thieves
Against Me- Those Anarcho Punks are Mysterious
OC Smith- Blowin' Your Mind (theme song to Shaft's Big Score)
Nine Inch Nails- Into the Void
Dangermouse & Jemini- Bush Boys
Until We Die- Global Threat
Deadbolt- You Don't Wanna Know Me (live)
Rock-a-teens- Losers, Weepers
The Damned- Jet Boy Jet Girl
KMD- Who Me?
Rage Against the Machine- Mic Check
The Coup- Pimps
Bruce Springsteen- Born in the USA (live acoustic)
Against Me- We Laugh at Danger (and Break All the Rules)
Finley Quaye- Your Love Gets Sweeter
Interpol- PDA
The Black Keys- Brooklyn Bound
Nirvana- Verse Chorus Verse
The Dresden Dolls- Girl Anachronism
Public Enemy- Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos
Suede- Moving

Posted by Jake at 11:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 08, 2004

Bundle o' News

JibJabbing for Artists' Rights- Gregg and Evan Spiridellis create animated web cartoons. Their latest is a political satire mocking both presidential candidates to the tune of "This Land Is Your Land". The company that owns the copyright to Woody Guthrie's catalog threatened to sue the Spiridellis brothers for using the song, the brothers filed legal papers asking a judge to speak to the copyright issues involved. Under US copyright law, you are allowed "fair use" of copyrighted works, if you're using them for critique, education, and several other occasions. And this case is obviously, obviously within that realm. I imagine that the judge will smack down the copyright-holders. The thing that makes the company's actions even more dispicable is the original songwriter's opinion on copyright:

"This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."

'Real women' ad sets new trend- women's underwear company Dove launched a TV ad campaign in Britain using women of various shapes and sizes instead of busty-yet-anorexic swimsuit models, and Dove's sales increased by 700%. Maybe there's a lesson to be learned there...

Punk at a Moment's Notice- I'm sure it's extent is overexaggerated in the article, but this concept is very cool: small local band sends text messages to its fans and announces that in a few hours they will be playing a show at a nearby bar, subway train, gallery, funeral parlor, etc. People show up, band plays free show, everyone leaves.

FCC Blocks Spam on Wireless Devices- one of the first things the FCC has done in years that I approve of: ban spam text messages sent to cellphones and PDAs.

Liberally applying "most liberal" label- conservative pundits keep squawking that John Kerry and John Edwards the first- and fourth-most liberal members of the Senate, and the news media doesn't seem to be questioning it. This Spinsanity article shows that these rankings are not of Kerry or Edwards as individuals, but are rankings of their voting records for a single year, 2003. And 2003 was an unusual year, as both men took plenty of time off from the Senate to campaign, which meant that they had fewer votes as part of their tally. Spinsanity links to a more comprehensive survey which finds the two to be pretty close to the Democratic center rather than the Democratic left.

Covering the "Caged Hamster": Media's picture of Kerry based on RNC distortions- article which argues that the press' general coverage of Kerry seems to accept Republican stereotypes and disinformation at face value.

Selling the News- Vibrant Media Inc. and Forbes.com are working together to take the text of Forbes.com articles and hyperlink certain words to the websites of their advertisers. The Forbes.com president reassures us by saying that his company is "not trying to blur the line between advertising and editorial, we're just trying to find out where that line is." Comforting.

Posted by Jake at 02:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Long Shot

I know that the chances of this are virtually nil, but if anyone out there has the power to get me into the Republican convention, please contact me. I'd send y'all postcards from the belly of the beast.

But most likely you'll get my reports from outside the beast, as it breathes fire at us.

Posted by Jake at 11:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 06, 2004

Swifty Truth Boats for Veterinarians

As you may have heard, a group of Vietnam veterans have formed a group called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" (a name I keep getting confused because at I swear that at some point I heard of a group called "Swift Boat Veterans for Kerry". And because I'm not entirely sure what a "swift boat" is, besides the obvious) that is claiming that during the Vietnam war, John Kerry was an evil, lying coward. They've even created and bought air time for a TV commercial to that effect, and next week one of the swift vets is releasing a book arguing the same thing.

Is it true? Damnd if I know, and it's not something I want to delve into much. Bush is driving this country into the ground, and I'm supposed to change my vote because Kerry is vain and made up stories to get medals? No thanks, I live in Sanity Land.

But on it's face, the whole swift boat veterans thing seems shady. Mainly because the swift veterans who served on Kerry's boat all think he's great... and all these guys who hate him were not on his boat. Seems suspicious, no?

Add to that, the fact that one of these anti-Kerry veterans has now retracted his statements. And that one of the anti-Kerry book's authors was recruited by the Nixon administration to defuse Kerry as an anti-war figure. And that the other author is a certifiable right-wing nutjob (e.g. on Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, nutjob says "Mullah Ali'Gore-ah is very proud of his new Bin Laden beard and he hopes others in the Democratic Party will follow his lead. Hell-ary is disappointed she cannot grow a beard, but her press secretary reminds us she can still enroll in flight school." Get that man a Napoleon hat).

But frankly that's all conjecture. I have made zero effort to figure out who's telling the truth here. If you want take on that challenge, here is a good place to start. And then if you want, you can jump into the fray and argue about the issue over on Kevin Drum's blog. My favorite part is one commenter's mixed, shaken, and stirred metaphor:

"All you pots calling the republicans fools ought to take a good look in the mirror because I think there's been a good dose of koolaid passed around to both sides."

It's a thing of beauty.

Posted by Jake at 09:46 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

"I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America... In America, the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them."

-Alexis de Tocqueville

Posted by Jake at 09:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 05, 2004

Good Show, Old Bean

Subversive graffiti artist Banksy has pulled off a pretty impressive new stunt.

He created a 20-foot, 3 ton bronze statue of "justice as a prostitute with leather boots and a thong", and secretly cemented it into a public square in London.

Said Banksy's prepared statement:

"This is a brand new monument for London. It is a monument dedicated to thugs, to thieves, to bullies, to liars, to the corrupt, the arrogant and the stupid.

"It's the most honest depiction of British justice currently on display in the capital. I hope it stays there for good.

Carry on, Banksy, carry on.

[thanks to Indira]

Posted by Jake at 04:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hurts So Good

No matter how much you hate the president, you have to admit that he's comedy gold.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

-George W. Bush

[via Xoverboard]

Posted by Jake at 01:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 04, 2004

D-Con Revisited

Somehow in my big rant about the Democratic Convention, I neglected to mention something I've been saying on my radio show for weeks, about why the convention was irrelevant.

The convention is about words, about broad rhetoric to fire up the voters. But to me, the thing that matters is the reality behind the words:

- What do the candidates actually want to do? Tell me what they plan to do, not what they say they want to do. And give me some detail. When Kerry says that he wants to make America stronger, what specifically does that mean? He wants to give our soldiers steroids? He wants to give all Americans laser guns? He wants to spend $1 jillion on defense?

- Which candidate plans will actually get through? The candidates may have plans, but which plans will make it through the Congressional minefield unscathed? Which will be radically altered by the end? Which will be dead on arrival?

- What will be the likely effects of these plans? If Kerry wants to give us all laser guns, what is the likely outcome of that? Will it deter terrorism? Will it increase energy consumption? Will the guns' radiation give us all cancer?

This is the only stuff worth a damn. I don't care that Kerry was a hero in an immoral war three decades ago, or that Bush is strongly opposed to butt sex. What are they gonna do, and how will that effect us all? Everything else is bullshit.

Posted by Jake at 12:46 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 03, 2004

"The true axis of evil in America is the brilliance of our marketing combined with the stupidity of our people. George Bush has $180 million to spend. With that kind of money, he could convince Americans to drink paint, and he probably will."
- Bill Maher

Posted by Jake at 11:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Disintegration

After the big prehistoric killer asteroid hit the Earth, I imagine those first mammals said to themselves "it's getting pretty cold out. Good thing I've got this warm fur coat and a hibernation instinct." And the last dinosaurs were saying "it's getting pretty cold out. I'm... going to eat some leaves." Had they the brain pan, opposable digits, or tool-making skills, that same dinosaur might've said "I've got to make a shelter or a winter coat or something," and survived.

I feel that today's big media industries are like those dinosaurs. I'm not trying to pull some kind of hipper-than-thou, techno-manic attitude, that these businesses don't understand "the digital revolution" or some shit. I'm saying that these industries are working on business models that're decades old, and due to changes in society and technology, might not be viable any more.

I've written several articles where I talk about the music industry's violently stubborn refusal to accept change. Since probably the 1950s, the recording industry has depended upon the fact that mass-producing recorded music is so expensive that all musicians needed a corporate sugar daddy to survive. But now you can record an album on a friend's computer for cheap, burn CD copies for cheaper, and transfer the songs over the internet for free. As we know, the record industry has made little-to-no effort to adapt to its new circumstances; instead, it has tried to sue and intimidate people into pretending that it's 1950 again.

I found an odd example of both the changing music enviroment and the effects of the RIAA's backlash in this article. Brothers Alan and Andy Berry opened up a record store in Indianapolis, selling hip-hop music. As an interesting aside, the Berrys admit that they would "break the streetdate" for new albums. "Streetdate" is a collusion between record label and record store to refuse to sell an album until a certain day, even if the store has the records sitting in plain view for a week. In exchange for honoring the streetdate, the record companies give advertising money to the stores. But since they really only give this money to big stores, Berry's Music didn't see why they should bother.

But the main part of the article is about mixtapes. A local DJ will put together a number of exclusive tracks, by well-known and unsigned artists alike and sell copies of the compilation. They are quite popular. Berry's regularly sold mixtapes for several years. Then, *BAM*, the RIAA shows up with the cops, confiscates $10,000 worth of mixtape CDs, and arrests the brothers on 13 counts of royalty theft and fraud. Responds Alan Berry:

"We never really questioned the legalities of them. We never did. Because, one, we were getting some of the mix-CDs through our regular vendors that we bought our quote-unquote 'legit' product from. The same place I would get the Interscope record from, I would get mix-CDs from, from national distributors. Two, the artists are on there endorsing the mixes. I mean, Eminem's on the mix-CD saying, 'Yo, this is Eminem. You're listening to DJ Green Lantern.' Then he drops three or four exclusive free-styles and heís talking within the mix, about the mix itself, saying Lantern's his man. You would kind of assume that Eminem's fine with it."

Which sounds pretty damn reasonable to me.

Unfortunately, the brothers Berry decided that they had to sell their store and all their records to pay for their legal defense. They managed to plea bargain down to a misdemeanor, but that carried a heavy fine. The only upside is that Alan plans to open up another record store, Naptown Music. If anyone hears about that place opening, please drop me a line so I can announce it. The fella could probably use a little publicity.

Was this a case of the RIAA trying to destroy the mixtape, which is effectively an alternative to a record label? I'm not sure, because I have not seen any other stories of stores closed for selling mixtapes. Was this a case of the RIAA cracking down on the violation of streetdate? That seems a little more likely to me.

My next example is the newspaper industry, by way of the comic strip. Scott Kurtz, of the internet comic PvP wants to get his comic in the newspapers. He explains that many comics are part of a syndicate. The syndicates pay the cartoonist, own all the rights to the cartoons, and sell bundles of cartoons to the newspapers. Kurtz claims that comic strips were originally a way for one local newspaper to draw readers away from another. But nearly every city in America is a one-paper-town these days, so there is no competition. Kurtz quotes a fellow cartoonist who says

"If any one newspaper would get the balls to just 86 their comics page, and suffer through the months of letters they would receive, we'd be done for. Once the papers realize they can survive dropping the comics page, everyone will do it."

And s/he's right. If comics are an expense, and newspaper publishers find out that they can keep selling as many papers without paying for that expense, the comics will vanish. Which leads to Kurtz's plan to give his cartoon away to newspapers for free. He figures that it would be free publicity, and that he (and other cartoonists, if they followed suit) could make their livings selling books of their cartoons, advertising on their websites, and cartoon-related merchandise.

Very strange, the modern newspaper. Almost none of them have any competition locally. I guess each local paper competes with the nearest regional paper and with the nearest "paper of record" (NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post). The local has the advantage that it'll say what's going on in your very city, the others have the advantage of real news.

And finally, we have the television. The TV business model is way fucked up. TV has made its profits by selling time to advertisers for decades. But advertisers want to get the most for their money, so TV stations started getting their audiences measured by the Nielsen company back in the 1940s. And today, TVs sell time to advertisers, based upon audience measurement by Nielsen. 60 fucking years later, not much change.

The biggest change has been what audience the advertisers want. Originally, advertisers wanted as many people as possible to see their ad. But since they were paying per person, they later decided that as much as possible, they only wanted to reach audiences likely to buy the advertised product (in the advertiser's wildest dreams, a network would air a program about toothpaste, watched by millions of toothpaste enthusiasts, on which they could advertise their own particular brand of toothpaste).

The shift in advertiser desires led to a shift in programming strategy. Instead of creating shows that would appeal to everyone, the networks began creating shows aimed at specific consumer-oriented audience segments. Advertisers want to reach a wealthier audience, because they have more money to spend, which makes sense. But they also want to reach a young male audience, almost to the exclusion of most other audience segments (no one has explained that to me very well. Wouldn't you want everyone's money?)

Anyhow. This article is about television's hunt for the 18-34 year old male audience... and how they're losing it. Guys this age (my age) resent advertising, don't watch advertising, and "hunger for authenticity", so how are advertisers responding? With advertising styles that either don't promote their products or that will incur Gen X wrath (I don't know how much "experimental" fake real life advertising the public will take before someone gets his ass whupped).

All I'm saying is that they times, they are a'changing, and the media giants, they are a'stupid.

Posted by Jake at 09:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 02, 2004

El Convention

As they were first formulated in the US, political party conventions were a place for party delegates to come together, debate issues, hammer out a platform, and nominate their favorite candidate to be the party's presidential contender for the year. Near as I can figure, none of these happened at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

And it won't happen at the Republican Convention either.

Somewhere along the line, parties realized that candidates who are chosen early and supported early are more successful than ones who battle it out till the convention, and then only have from the convention's end till the election-time to win over the public. In other words, democracy gets in the way of winning, so the democracy's got to go.

Before I focus too much on the inside of the convention, let's cover the outside.

I have already said plenty about the protest pens, and I was very glad to see protesters use their common sense ("why the hell should we protest in that deathtrap?") instead of blindly doing what they were told. You can see lots of pictures of the protests here and here. I'm not sure how the Really Really Democratic Bazaar turned out, but it looks like it might have been a fun way to spread a little political knowledge, as opposed to your standard dull march/boring speakers/mass arrest thing. To tide you over till the RNC protests, we've got Democracy Uprising, a 258-mile march from Boston to Manhattan.

And in far-off Pakistan, an al-Qaeda "facilitator and operative" was captured, right at the height of the convention. If you read this article several weeks ago, about the Bush administration pressuring the Pakistani government to find a high-level al-Qaeda guy during the DNC, to rip the spotlight away from Kerry, you'd probably find this a bit suspicious... even more so when you read that the al-Qaeda guy was captured on July 25, yet his capture was not announced until July 29-- the day of Kerry's acceptance speech. Luckily for the Democrats, the media did not shortchange the convention in order to cover the terrorist.

Now to the inside.

Conventions these days simply introduce the characters who will be the three months' traffic of our electoral stage: John Kerry- "I'm a stern ex-military man who wants to make the country safe"; John Edwards- "I'm an earnest, boyish Southerner with passion and optimism"; Howard Dean- "I'm a the thick-necked firebrand"; Barack Obama- "I'm the really cool black guy"; Dennis Kucinich- "I'm a magical dancing elf"*. I'm sure come the Republican convention, we'll see: George W. Bush- "I'm a strong, natural leader, who is truly, utterly baffled on how anyone could possibly disagree with me";** and Dick Cheney- "Now witness the power of this fully operational battle station!"***

The media this year went a little too nuts covering bloggers. It seems the sad truth that reporters think that if it involves computers and they haven't heard of it, it must be cutting edge. Of the 15,000ish media people in attendence, 30 bloggers were granted access. This is such a small percentage that statistically speaking, there were no bloggers at the convention.

For my money, there were two blog stories worth mentioning. First, the union of the Pandagon Duo. For months now, the Pandagon blog has been written by a young guy from Dayton Ohio and a young guy from Santa Cruz California, who, until the convention, had never actually met in real life. That made me happy. You read these blogs long enough, you start to like the folks writing them, and you like it when good things happen to the authors.

The other big story was the final outing of pseudonymous blogger "Atrios". I really hope that this revelation was Duncan "Atrios" Black's choice; that would fucking suck if someone else spilled the beans, exposing him unwillingly to the world.

One other weird-ass, blog-related story. Tom Tomorrow posted a personal photo on his site of Michael Moore and Bill O'Reilly conversing/fighting/something. Then, Tomorrow discovered that internet hack Matt Drudge had posted the same photo on his own site, after flipping the image left-to-right and then photoshopping it a bit to make it look like a different picture. Just a quick glance at the two photos and you see that they're obviously the same. What the hell is up with Drudge? He couldn't just post Tom's picture and write in tiny letters below "photo courtesy Tom Tomorrow"?

Apart from Kerry's official introduction to the voters of America, there seemed to be only one significant event inside: the speech of Barack Obama. He already seems a lock for the Illinois Senate seat, and based on the popularity of his DNC speech, folks are already predicting great things for him, possibly even the presidency. As I have no psychic powers, I won't even try predicting the future like that.

I did take issue with Obama's "one America" speech. I have already written my feelings that the United States is so divided by race and class and religion and geography that I don't even know what all Americans could possibly have in common. If we experience this country in such different ways, what could it be that possibly holds us together?

Now there's just the Republican National Convention. I should hurry up and buy my plane tickets, so I can fly out there, protest, get beaten by cops and pre-emptively arrested. Sigh.

----
*Why am I always making fun of Dennis Kucinich's appearance? After a bit of soul-searching, I think it's because I'm mean.

**I think the "baffled" bit will truly play a role. "I'm just a reg'lar guy who wants what's best for 'Murica. I just don't *heh* *heh*-- I mean, what's this other guy want?" It helps paint Bush as a man of the people, and paint Kerry's stances as incomprehensible (and therefore liberal and wrong) without saying a damn thing about them.

***You just can't go wrong with "Dick Cheney = evil" jokes

Posted by Jake at 11:02 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

08-02-04

Against Me- Turn Those Clapping Hands into Angry Balled Fists
Latin Playboys- Manifold de Amour
Tom Waits- Black Wings
Eric B & Rakim- Microphone Fiend
Eric Idle- FCC Song
The Descendants- My Age
Calavera- Wolf That Howls
Quarashi- Stick Em Up
Blur- Entertain Me
The Wailers- Simmer Down
The Vendettas- Hidden Evil
Nirvana- Come as You Are
Roni Size & Zack de la Rocha- Center of the Storm
OC Smith- Blowin' Your Mind (AKA the theme to "Shaft's Big Score")
The Pixies- Where Is My Mind?
White Zombie- The One
System of a Down- Metro
Jimi Hendrix- Axis Bold as Love
Miranda Sex Garden- Tonight
Lightning Bolt- 13 Monsters
The Sundays- Wild Horses

Posted by Jake at 11:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

August 08, 2004

Bundle o' News

JibJabbing for Artists' Rights- Gregg and Evan Spiridellis create animated web cartoons. Their latest is a political satire mocking both presidential candidates to the tune of "This Land Is Your Land". The company that owns the copyright to Woody Guthrie's catalog threatened to sue the Spiridellis brothers for using the song, the brothers filed legal papers asking a judge to speak to the copyright issues involved. Under US copyright law, you are allowed "fair use" of copyrighted works, if you're using them for critique, education, and several other occasions. And this case is obviously, obviously within that realm. I imagine that the judge will smack down the copyright-holders. The thing that makes the company's actions even more dispicable is the original songwriter's opinion on copyright:

"This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."

'Real women' ad sets new trend- women's underwear company Dove launched a TV ad campaign in Britain using women of various shapes and sizes instead of busty-yet-anorexic swimsuit models, and Dove's sales increased by 700%. Maybe there's a lesson to be learned there...

Punk at a Moment's Notice- I'm sure it's extent is overexaggerated in the article, but this concept is very cool: small local band sends text messages to its fans and announces that in a few hours they will be playing a show at a nearby bar, subway train, gallery, funeral parlor, etc. People show up, band plays free show, everyone leaves.

FCC Blocks Spam on Wireless Devices- one of the first things the FCC has done in years that I approve of: ban spam text messages sent to cellphones and PDAs.

Liberally applying "most liberal" label- conservative pundits keep squawking that John Kerry and John Edwards the first- and fourth-most liberal members of the Senate, and the news media doesn't seem to be questioning it. This Spinsanity article shows that these rankings are not of Kerry or Edwards as individuals, but are rankings of their voting records for a single year, 2003. And 2003 was an unusual year, as both men took plenty of time off from the Senate to campaign, which meant that they had fewer votes as part of their tally. Spinsanity links to a more comprehensive survey which finds the two to be pretty close to the Democratic center rather than the Democratic left.

Covering the "Caged Hamster": Media's picture of Kerry based on RNC distortions- article which argues that the press' general coverage of Kerry seems to accept Republican stereotypes and disinformation at face value.

Selling the News- Vibrant Media Inc. and Forbes.com are working together to take the text of Forbes.com articles and hyperlink certain words to the websites of their advertisers. The Forbes.com president reassures us by saying that his company is "not trying to blur the line between advertising and editorial, we're just trying to find out where that line is." Comforting.

Posted by Jake at 02:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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"I think governments are the cancer of civilization. And the minute that we see seven or eight women get in a circle and start a war, I'll be shocked like a motherfucker."
- Chuck D

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So that's where my bathing suit was! In my bedroom, on top of the amplifier box, in the plastic shopping bag, with the beach towel and the package of miso soup!

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