Posts from September 2003

Nation of thumb-suckers

Nation of thumb-suckers
: The Guardian is trying to find the cosmic, politically correct meaning of magician David Blaines’ 44-day stay in a plastic box in London:

But isn’t there something obscene about turning starvation into a public spectacle when half the world suffers involuntary hunger? Even a chosen incarceration seems vaguely decadent when victims of tyranny rot in the world’s jails.

Oh, ferchrissakes, it’s just a publicity stunt. Much has been made about Britons’ hostile reaction to Blaine and Americans’ accepting attitude to his tricks. The difference is simple: We know show biz when we see it. We don’t waste time getting mad at or analyzing a TV trick. We have lives.

Writer Michael Billington goes to the site of Blaine’s stunt and interacts with the other Britons-without-lives who now hang out there, contemplating the meaning of it all and trying to find haughty intellectualism in even this.

But the bizarre paradox is that Blaine’s act of imprisonment seems to have a liberating effect on the rest of us. Stay there long enough and you not only begin to forget your own rushed daily routine but meet lots of interesting new people. It says something about our own form of solitary confinement that it takes a man in a glass box to get us to open up to other human beings….

But, precisely because we can all attach our own private meaning to Blaine’s action, this strange public confinement in the end acquires something of the unresolvable ambiguity of art.

Man, this guy could find the true meaning in a pile of dog poop.

Armed bloggers

Armed bloggers
: A Michigan man having a zoning dispute over the trailers he put on his property has started a blog to tell his side, capture the press he’s getting (he used audblog to broadcast a radio interview), and mobilize his supporters (he quotes another blogger who advises citizens to take tape recorders and digital cameras to the next town meeting so it can be posted online; he also links to my email chat with Jay Rosen and the prediction that bloggers will cover town meetings newspapers can’t afford to cover).

All that’s quite cool: power to the people and all that.

Just one more thing: This blogger has also recruited help from the Michigan Militia (whose site says that an “armed standoff” has been averted). Armed bloggers. Well, there are already lots of those. But they don’t wear camoflauge.

The Times Club

The Times Club
: If I didn’t already subscribe to, read, and like The New York Times, its commercials certainly would never get me to start. What a bunch of pompous twits.

Blog-bashing, sport of old-timers

Blog-bashing, sport of old-timers
: In a desperate plea to get publicity and links, The Paper bashes blogs [via Henry Copeland]:

…Time was

The real blogging revolution

The real blogging revolution
: Whenever we brag about the impact weblogs are starting to have on media and politics, we should be humbled by the truly revolutionary impact they are having in Iran. Hoder, the guy who started that revolution, writes a very good piece explaining how it happened and what’s happening.

Weblogs are powerful bridges in a widely divided society. Bridges between immigrants and homeland inhabitants, girls and boys, parents and children, and especially between journalists and writers who were not able to publish their works freely in the politically closed atmosphere in Iran and their thirsty readers.