Posts from April 16, 2004

Tweedy sweat

Tweedy sweat
: Bob Costas has Bubba the Love Sponge on his HBO show with three more reputed social critics, two of whom are going after him (Joel Stein of Time is at least realistic about pop culture). Bubba says he respresents many man — the kind of men who watch sports and burp — and he’s real and entertaining. Costas says he does not represent the “prime cut” of men. I’m sorry, but I take that with a block of salt. Costas covers sports. He makes his living glorifying guys who live by testosterone and steroids. It’s fine to dislike Bubba’s act. But this high-and-mighty act about sports is as credible as attempts to make Costas look tall.

‘You can’t beat something with nothing’

‘You can’t beat something with nothing’
: Micah Sifry is hitting gong regarding Iraq and the election that’s resonating true. He started it here and continued it at Tom Paine:

Last night, President Bush made a forceful case for staying the course in Iraq and boldly tied that goal to his own re-election….

So far, Bush has the upper hand in this argument. Even as he and John Kerry muddle toward an awkward role for the United Nations in Iraq, Bush is doing so while maintaining the appearance of certitude about his course. Meanwhile Kerry hasn’t figured out how to define a clear alternative. Unlike his bold (but all too brief) call to honor the democratic process in Haiti, Kerry is trying to have it every which way but sideways on Iraq. Unfortunately, that sliver of Americans in the confused middle on this election are more likely to be swayed by certitude than caution. And you can’t beat something with nothing.

That should be the it’s-the-economy-stupid of this election: You can’t beat something with nothing.

Iraq could defeat Bush if Kerry has a strong alternative. But with nothing, Bush wins.

Micah analyzes polls on Iraq and sees a more complex picture than some: We do want to do right there:

There’s a deeper pattern at work here, in my view. Many Americans believe that the United States can be a positive force in the world. It’s part of our founding mythology

The real social network

The real social network
: It’s always fun when bloggers get together in the flesh.

Halley (who doesn’t need a last name; she’s the Cher of blogging) was audio-blogging drinks.

Mary Hodder wrote a preemptive post on the plane hoping we won’t hear the same old stuff tomorrow; I read it in the bar; she left the bar to go post. Now that’s addiction: blogging beats booze. Over dinner, she and Halley talked about the thong that reads, “I’m not blogging this” and agreed that Halley should get one that says, “I am blogging this.”

Amy Langfield, the New Yorker everybody likes, and Rick Bruner, Mr. Marketing, and company drove up.

I finally met big-media-pro-slash-blogger Rebecca McKinnon and we complained about dinosaur media.

Britt Blaser and I compared notes on his world-changing Republic project.

Jay Rosen arrived late from the train and befuddled at the acidic reaction to his post arguing that blogging isn’t journalism. Dave Winer posted against it and then said he realizes that Jay is up to something and he just trusts Jay.

Doc Searls was here only by phone. Damn. Damn. Damn.

I didn’t get enough time to spend with Henry Copeland. Tomorrow. Ditto Dan Gillmor.

I got to meet Steve Garfield, star of the Time Magazine story on video blogging (to which I was merely the kicker). We have more to discuss on video and citizens’ media.

I met Gordon Joseloff, founder of groundbreaking hyperlocal WestportNow.com; we, too, have a lot more to talk about re hyperlocal.

And I haven’t even gone into JR and Werner and Renee and Micah and….

Tomorrow.

: One more note of thanks to Steve Westenhiser and my colleagues at Advance.net for swooping in to rescue the webcasting situation at Bloggercon. Thanks.

The Daily Stern: Afternoon edition

The Daily Stern: Afternoon edition

: HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? The NY Post says the FCC will fine Stern again next week, slapping $1.5 million on his company, Infinity, on top of the $500k last week against Clear Channel.

If this isn’t evidence of a personal vendetta and a government effort to drive this one man off the air, I don’t know what it.

The latest tally, if we add in this reported fine, will be $6 million in fines levied by the FCC since 1990 — $4 million of that against Stern.

So Howard Stern is responsible for two-thirds of all the naughty bits on radio? Howard Stern is responsible for two-thirds of the downfall of America?

Crap.

The FCC will clearly keep fining Stern and his company and stations until he is off the air — and probably afterwards, for good measure: the last kick on the ass out the door.

What’s offensive here is the FCC.

: PREVIOUS DAILY STERN POSTS: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here.

And the smell of 9/11 will finally be gone

And the smell of 9/11 will finally be gone
: The Times writes this morning about the piece-by-piece dismantling of the wounded Deutsche Bank building beside the World Trade Center.

It is the last place that holds the smell of 9/11: that metalic, electric, wet, moldly, sick-sweet smell that covered the city and New Jersey in the days after the attacks. It cannot leave soon enough.

This morning, as I flew to Boston, we went aside Manhattan for it was the first time I saw the hole from the air. And it hurts all over again. I can feel the dust again. I can smell the smell again. That damned smell will live on in memory even when it is gone from Manhattan.

Don’t hug me; I’m wearing a bomb

Don’t hug me; I’m wearing a bomb
: Terry Teachout has a great line today in his Wall Street Journal review of Sixteen Wounded:

But Mr. Kraiem’s stalwart attempt to humanize the face of terrorism is just the sort of thing guaranteed to please Manhattan playgoers, who like nothing better than poking smugly at the limits of their tolerance. If Satan himself were to materialize in Times Square at high noon tomorrow, you can bet that by 12:05 the streets would be crammed with Upper West Siders eager to hear his side of the story, so long as he promised to check into the Betty Ford Clinic the next day.

Windows help, please…

Windows help, please…
: Lately, my Sony laptop (using XP Pro) has started freezing for no apparent reason. It comes back after about 30 seconds and a beep; I’m not sure whether hitting the old control-alt-delete works, but I keep hitting it. I’ve caught it at these moments running at 100 percent. But I have not caught which application seems to be doing it. I’ve gone into config and killed everything at start-up that I can. Anybody else experiencing this? Any suggestions short of rebuilding?

The privacy boogeyman

The privacy boogeyman
: Anil says — and I agree — that “privacy is like ‘the children,’ a blanket excuse for any unjustifiable freakout.”