Home

Newest Comic

Cartoon Archive

Blog Archive

Interviews, Articles, Etc.

Grab Bag

Contact

FAQ

Reprint Requests

Letters

T-shirts & Swag

Books

Signed Prints

RSS feed

My Wish List (read this first)



Co-bloggers

BobHarris.com

Body and Soul
(Jeanne d'Arc)

The Talent Show
(Greg Saunders)

Billmon



Support this site:
if you buy anything at all from Powell's through this link...

...or from Amazon through this one...

...I get a small kickback.



Other blogs

Roger Ailes

Altercation

Atrios

Baghdad Burning

Berube

The Bitter Shack of Resentment

Daily Kos

Scoobie Davis

Steve Gilliard

Hullabaloo

Mad Kane

Ezra Klein

Frank Lynch

Making Light

MaxSpeak

Orcinus

Pacific Views

Pandagon

August Pollak

Ted Rall

Mikhaela Blake Reid

Elayne Riggs

Skippy

Talking Points Memo

TAPPED

TBogg

A Tiny Revolution

Uggabugga

Wil Wheaton

Oliver Willis

Wolcott


News and commentary

Alternet

Bartcop

Buzzflash

Center for American Progress

Counterpunch

Cursor

Daily Howler

Daily War News

FAIR

Media Matters

PR Watch

Progressive Review

Romenesko

Salon

Soldiers for the Truth

Tompaine.com

Working For Change




January 28, 2005

Exactly right

Krugman:

What's really shameful about Mr. Bush's exploitation of the black death rate, however, is what it takes for granted.

The persistent gap in life expectancy between African-Americans and whites is one measure of the deep inequalities that remain in our society - including highly unequal access to good-quality health care. We ought to be trying to diminish that gap, especially given the fact that black infants are two and half times as likely as white babies to die in their first year.

Now nobody can expect instant progress in reducing health inequalities. But the benefits of Social Security privatization, if any, won't materialize for many decades. By using blacks' low life expectancy as an argument for privatization, Mr. Bush is in effect taking it as a given that 40 or 50 years from now, large numbers of African-Americans will still be dying before their time.


Triumph of the blogs

Jack Shaefer has a good piece on that Harvard blog conference:

The premature triumphalism of some bloggers indicates that they haven't paid attention to how Webified journalists have become. They also ignore media history. New media technologies almost never replace old media technologies, they merely force old technologies to adapt and find new ways to connect with their audiences. Radio killed the "special edition," but newspapers survived. When television dethroned radio as the hearthside infobox and cratered the Hollywood box office, radio became a mobile medium, and Hollywood devoted itself to spectaculars that the tiny TV set couldn't adequately display. The competitive spiral has continued, with cable TV, VCRs and DVDs, satellite TV and radio broadcasters, and now Internet broadcasters entering the fray. The only extinct mass medium that I can think of is the movie house newsreel.

The likelihood that blogs will vanquish mainstream media recalls the prediction Michael Crichton made in his 1993 essay "Mediasaurus." Crichton wrote that the New York Times and one commercial TV network would vanish within a decade and would be replaced by artificial-intelligence agents, skimming information and the news from news databases and composing front pages or broadcasts tailored to the interests and needs of individuals. Like Shamberg's guerrilla revolution, Crichton's infotopia failed to arrive as promised. In 2002, Crichton good-naturedly claimed that his vision will still come true; it's just running a little late.

Blogger triumphalism--largely a right-wing phenomenon, as Atrios noted recently--is just the latest variation on a theme I've been thinking about since watching the Wired magazine crowd in San Francisco in the early 90s. Early adapters are always sure that, having recognized the value of a new technology, they can also foresee the utopia it will inevitably bestow. But it's that last bit that's always problematic. If you had been around when the telephone was invented, and you were an early adapter, you would undoubtedly have been excited by the possibilities--pick up a receiver and talk to anyone, anywhere! Imagine it! And you would have been right--the telephone was a world-changing device. But what you would have been overlooking--what early adapters always overlook--is that while the technology which so excites them does change the world, it also quickly becomes commonplace. Whatever the fabulous new device is, pretty soon everyone adapts it and takes it for granted, and no one is impressed by the dork in the corner who tries to impress girls with the fact that he had a cell phone or an email address several years before most other people. (Said hypothetical dork being a complete straw man for the purposes of this argument, of course.)

Actually the invention of the telephone isn't quite the right analogy. It's more like this: blogs are to the internet as Mr. Moviephone is to the telephone network. They're a spinoff, sometimes useful, sometimes annoying, but not all that big a deal in the scheme of things either way. And in a few years, they'll be utterly mundane, and it will seem ludicrous that anyone ever wrote articles about them, held conferences to discuss them. The impact of the blogs is probably at its peak right now. These days, if a blog shines a spotlight on some minor media mishap, and a couple hundred blog readers send outraged emails, that's more feedback than most media types are used to getting, and it gets their attention (one of the great secrets of the media being how little feedback they usually receive). But once everyone adjusts to the new reality, those couple hundred emails will mean nothing more than the couple dozen letters that might have physically come in over the transom in the old days. Blogs will become mundane, and expectations will be accordingly adjusted--and a couple dozen bloggers whining, or a couple hundred emails from blog readers flooding an inbox, will simply not have the impact they have today.

--------------------

January 26, 2005

Joementum

With friends like this...

I embrace the best tradition of American foreign policy that always has said that partisanship should end at the nationís shores. And note that it doesnít say policy differences should end. It doesnít say ideological differences should end. It says partisanship should end at the nationís shores, particularly so when our nation is engaged in a war Ė a global war on terrorism, a war in Iraq in which Americans have already lost their lives in the cause of freedom and in protection of our security...

One of the great strengths that Condoleezza Rice will bring to the office of Secretary of State is that the world knows that she has the Presidentís trust and confidence and I respect the right of any of my colleagues to reach a different decision today and to oppose this nomination. But I hope and believe that the Senate today, across partisan lines, will resoundingly endorse this nomination and send the message to friend and foe alike that while we have our disagreements, ultimately what unites us around this very qualified nominee in this hour of war is much greater than what divides us.

The foolishness never ends

Fortunately alicublog never tires:

Jim Geraghty wants to know why "lefty bloggers" are not attacking the Motion Picture Academy for failing to give Fahrenheit 911 an Oscar nomination. "I just find it interesting that web personalities who one would think would be big Michael Moore fans are collectively shrugging their shoulders over this," he says. The Ole Perfesser indeeds, and Roger Simon takes the idiocy to breathtaking levels by suggesting that Million Dollar Baby, Sideways et alia got the top slots instead because "Most people in Hollywood now see, although maybe they won't admit it, that democracy in Iraq is extremely important."

--snip--

Jesus Christ. Imagine needing the comfort of popular approbation so badly that you would voluntarily comb through movie award nominations in search of comforting zeitgeist pellets! Yet these guys do it all the time. They sit around figuring out which movies are conservative. Hell, they'll even tell you what sorts of paintings and unread-gift-books are conservatively correct.

Go on, follow the link.

...Wolcott has more.


How many more?

Ur blogger and clumsy photo thief Matt Drudge is reporting that there's another pundit on the GOP payroll.

Amazon wish list

It's over to your left, below the site nav links. Over the years, a few readers have suggested I put one of these up. I wasn't entirely sure about the seemliness of it, but I know Atrios has had one up for a long time, and no one seems to think the less of him for it. I finally decided it's just another way to support the site, if you're so inclined.

Signs of the times

A reader sends a photo (snagged off some board) of a truck with Kentucky plates, resplendent with homemade bumper stickers:

For those of you lacking superhuman eyesight, I've enlarged a few of the more charming sentiments:






You can also see a larger photo of the truck here. But just for the record, here's a partial list of the messages this individual has decided to share with his fellow Kentuckians (spelling and punctuation his, not mine):

MUSLIMS WEAR THEIR DIRTY DIAPER'S ON THEIR HEAD, BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO LAZY TO WASH...

THOUSAND YEARS OF EVOLUTION AND STILL THE ONLY THING ARAB MUSLIMS CAN DO IS THROW ROCKS AND BLOW THEMSELVES UP.

THE U.N MUST RECLASSIFY A-RABS MUSLIMS AS AN ANIMAL OR INSECT FOR THEY HAVE PROVEN THEY ARE NOT HUMAN

BOYCOTT ALL TAXICABS DRIVEN BY DISGUSTING ARAB MUSLIM MAGGOTS

WHEN MUSLIMS MAGGOTS PRAY, IT LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE SENDING FARTS TO ALLA THE PIG AND FARTING IN THE FACES OF THEIR INFIDEL COMRADES TO THE REAR.

ALLAH HAD SEX WITH MOHAMMED, BOTH HAD SEX WITH THEIR MAMA, PRODUCING THE ARAB ISLAMIC BASTARD MAGGOTS OF TODAY

(...if anyone knows where the photo came from originally, I'll credit it accordingly.)

Update: photo by Joe Accardi, who took it in the parking lot of an Applebee's.

More and more

From the LA Times:

WASHINGTON ó Pentagon documents released Monday disclosed that Iraqi prisoners had lodged dozens of abuse complaints against U.S. and Iraqi personnel who guarded them at a little-known palace in Baghdad converted to a U.S. prison. Among the allegations was that guards had sodomized a disabled man and killed his brother, whose dying body was tossed into a cell, atop his sister.

The documents, obtained in a lawsuit against the federal government by the American Civil Liberties Union, suggest for the first time that numerous detainees were abused at Adhamiya Palace, one of Saddam Hussein's villas in eastern Baghdad that was used by his son Uday. Previous cases of abuse of Iraqi prisoners have focused mainly on Abu Ghraib prison.

A government contractor who was interviewed by U.S. investigators said that as many as 90 incidents of possible abuse took place at the palace, but only a few were detailed in the hundreds of pages of documents released Monday.

Via Cursor.

--------------------

Powered by
Movable Type 2.63
Site Meter

Cartoonists

Lalo Alcaraz

Derf

Norman Dog

Dykes to Watch Out For

Jules Feiffer

Get Your War On

Jack Chick Publications

Keith Knight

Peter Kuper

Minimum Security

Kevin Moore

Ted Rall

Red Meat

Mikhaela Blake Reid

Joe Sharpnack

Slowpoke

Ward Sutton

Tom the Dancing Bug

Too Much Coffee Man

Troubletown

Matt Wuerker

Zippy the Pinhead


Other Friends of TMW

Cake

Steve Earle

Michael Moore