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Tag Archives: media

Stewart-Colbertism scorns extremism of all types, but especially conservative extremism, and most especially conservative extremism driven by ignorance or religious fundamentalism. It is mildly critical of liberalism, but mainly for failing to combat conservative bombast more effectively. It endorses, implicitly, whatever liberal consensus has managed to survive these past 30 years, but isn’t terribly interested in the details. All this works well as humor, but as a sentiment shouted through a bullhorn to thousands stretched between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument, it will translate into, well, judging other people for what they don’t know.

Timothy Noah for Slate in Stay Home! The case against the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

Interesting. Sure these shows can in some ways be pretentious, but somehow the effort of doing anything physical, like a rally/march, seems to cross a boundary that Stewart and Colbert have never crossed before. It seems to cross a boundary into something unpretentious—or at least, un-elite—because it involves not being out of sight. The people at the rally will be on camera—for once, the people who watch at home will be in their own eyes. Will it be a mirror? I don’t know, but I disagree Noah, simply because I’ve never heard of anything quite like this happening and I’m very interested to see it…on TV.

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“If I am a cornerstone of the new Establishment, then there is no new Establishment worth talking about,” he says.

“The only interesting people are on the West Coast,” he adds, then launches into a series of classic shameless Gawker riffs on the old New York media titans. “People used to quake when Barry Diller picked up the phone. Now he’s laughable. That image of Murdoch dyeing his hair in the sink is indelible—though the coloring may not be. Sumner Redstone would only be of interest to Gawker readers if he were to soil his adult diapers—on-camera. But the hard truth is that the golden age of New York media is largely over.”

Nick Denton (Gawker)

The Demon Blogger of Fleet Street

Link: Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood explains why the band released their last album direct to their fans

I’m unconvinced that the internet has replaced the club or the concert hall as a forum for people to share ideas and passions about music. Social networking models such as Twitter and foursquare are early efforts at this but have some way to go to emulate the ecosystem that labels such as Island drew upon, the interconnected club and studio worlds of managers, musicians, artists and record company mavericks, let alone pay for such a fertile environment. Shoreditch, in east London, has a vibrant scene right now, with independent labels such as WichitaBella Union and distribution companies like The Co-op, alongside the busy Strongroom studio. I spoke to a friend, Dan Grech-Marguerat, about the scene. He is a busy mixer and producer, and told me that he could just sit at home and work on the computer but would miss the social buzz and benefits of working at the Strongroom and other studios.

There are signs that the net is moving out of its adolescence, and preparing to leave its bedroom. I have noticed on the fan message sites that a lot of the content and conversations have grown up, moved away from staccato chat and trolling, to discussions about artists, taste and trends, closer to writing found in music magazines.

via MJWarshauer

We think of the presidency as somehow eternal and unchanging, a straight-line progression from 1 to 44, from the first to the latest. And in some respects it is. Except for George Washington, all of the presidents have lived in the White House. They’ve all taken the same oath to uphold the same constitution. But the modern presidency — Barack Obama’s presidency — has become a job of such gargantuan size, speed, and complexity as to be all but unrecognizable to most of the previous chief executives. The sheer growth of the federal government, the paralysis of Congress, the systemic corruption brought on by lobbying, the trivialization of the “news” by the media, the willful disregard for facts and truth — these forces have made today’s Washington a depressing and dysfunctional place. They have shaped and at times hobbled the presidency itself.

For much of the past half-century, the problems that have brought Washington to its current state have been concealed or made tolerable by other circumstances. The discipline of the Cold War kept certain kinds of debate within bounds. America’s artificial “last one standing” postwar economy allowed the country to ignore obvious signs of political and social decay. Wars and other military interventions provided ample distraction from matters of substance at home. Like many changes that are revolutionary, none of Washington’s problems happened overnight. But slow and steady change over many decades — at a rate barely noticeable while it’s happening — produces change that is transformative. In this instance, it’s the kind of evolution that happens inevitably to rich and powerful states, from imperial Rome to Victorian England. The neural network of money, politics, bureaucracy, and values becomes so tautly interconnected that no individual part can be touched or fixed without affecting the whole organism, which reacts defensively. And thus a new president, who was elected with 53 percent of the popular vote, and who began office with 80 percent public-approval ratings and large majorities in both houses of Congress, found himself for much of his first year in office in stalemate, pronounced an incipient failure, until the narrowest possible passage of a health-care bill made him a sudden success in the fickle view of the commentariat, whose opinion curdled again when Obama was unable, with a snap of the fingers or an outburst of anger, to stanch the BP oil spill overnight. And whose opinion spun around once more when he strong-armed BP into putting $20 billion aside to settle claims, and asserted presidential authority by replacing General Stanley McChrystal with General David Petraeus. The commentariat’s opinion will keep spinning with the wind.

Todd Purdum for Vanity Fair in Washington, We Have a Problem

(via kottke)

Night of the Living Tech (see also Bernard Gotfryd)

Strip away the headline hyperbole of the “death of” predictions, they note, and what remains is mainly commentary on the impact of the accelerated pace of change and accumulated innovations in the Internet-era media and communications environment. A result has been a proliferation of digital media forms and fast-shifting patterns of media consumption.

MEDIA CONTROL(メディアコントロール)

Mistrust of the intentions of social sites appears to be pervasive. In its telephone survey of 1,000 people, the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology at the University of California found that 88 percent of the 18- to 24-year-olds it surveyed last July said there should be a law that requires Web sites to delete stored information. And 62 percent said they wanted a law that gave people the right to know everything a Web site knows about them.

Tell-All Generation Learns to Keep Things Offline (nyt). [Bottom line, our generations wants laws in place to protect our social networking rights from being exploited, about as much, or as much (as far as I can tell), as we want a “public option” for health care.]

Most culture is dark matter.

Put another way, whether in Berlin or Gaza or New York City, there’s a universe of life and death affairs beyond globalism. And culture is our window onto it.

D.I.Y Culture (NYT)

The medium is the message. The medium is the massage.

Marshall McLuhan

“David Foster Wallace’s epic, endnote-laden novel Infinite Jest has been released as an app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch with “enriched footnote capability.” In other words, pop-up endnotes! “