random quotes ... to amuse, inspire, enrage:
  How wrong Emily Dickinson was! Hope is not 'the thing with feathers.' The thing with feathers has turned out to be my nephew. I must take him to a specialist in Zurich.

tagged: humor, Emily Dickinson
  —Woody Allen, cited in Charlton, Fighting Words (1994), p.39.

one of jon stewart’s better moments

Friday, March 6th, 2009

In a career of many many good moments of political commentary, surely one of the highlights of Jon Stewart’s career was the Wednesday March 4 episode of The Daily Show, which was almost entirely Jon Stewart doing commentary & interview about the financial situation. I particularly loved his comment to Joe Nocera about CNBC’s “journalism” […]

middle-rite nation

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Lately annoyed by all the (conservative & mainstream) pundits asserting confidently that the US is “a center-right nation”. What? When did that happen? As long as I’ve watched these things, people’s positions on issues trend ever leftward — although the Right has successfully managed terminology such that feminists hate the “f-word”, liberals hate the “l-word”, […]

ferraro and why the media sucks

Monday, March 17th, 2008

So Geraldine Ferraro revealed her cluelessness about race issues with her “I’m being attacked for being white” comment. She also revealed, as my partner astutely pointed out, that she must have almost no people of color in her close circle who could help her out by explaining exactly what was wrong about the comment about […]

requiem for the Weekly World News

Monday, July 30th, 2007

The Weekly World News is shutting down. The WWN was the source of many a headline or graphic I pasted at various workplaces over the years. This NYT article profiles the story, mostly from the perspective of right-wing (faux) commentator, Ed Anger. In the South, in the 80s, it wasn’t apparent to me that Ed […]

tentacles of copyright paranoia

Monday, April 16th, 2007

Copyright paranoia is, truly, everywhere. Reading a NYT article about websites that track the Iraq war dead, I noticed this: The Iraq Page (iraq.pigstye.net) is the obsession of Tom Willett, a software developer from Bloomington, Ind. The site includes a single news account for each United States service member killed in combat, with a fluttering […]

WSJ editorial page embarrassment

Friday, December 15th, 2006

The WSJ editorial page is not something I ordinarily frequent, but they recently wrote an editorial on the DMCA. Aside from a reflexive and simplistic “intellectual property is good so don’t bother me with nuance or details” attitude, this paragraph struck me: Google claims “a legal safe harbor” from copyright infringement under the 1998 Digital […]

LA Times thinks Hollywood is going too far

Monday, July 10th, 2006

Is it a sign when the LA Times thinks Hollywood is going too far? God, I hope so. In today’s editorial, the LAT says: [editorial summary: Copyright infringement is bad, intellectual property is good, yadda yadda.] But what the entertainment industry is seeking in this year’s proposals isn’t merely protection from piracy; it’s after increased […]

nyt article on t33n s3xc@ms

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

This nyt article on teen s3xc@ms raised a lot of interesting issues, not least of which was the role of the NYT reporter(s) in developing the story. update 3pm 12/20: I see that I wasn’t alone in finding the journalist ethics issues troubling. Jack Shafer @ Slate also raised the issue, and got the reporter […]

ad refusal: BeAWitness

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

I’m almost always infuriated when I hear about publicly licensed networks and stations refusing to air political ads. The latest: A media critique ad that aims to bring attention to the Darfur genocide. Be A Witness. Link from Ann Bartow @ sivacracy 8/25

Juarez: missing-non-white-women meme, at work?

Thursday, August 11th, 2005

This article is the first time I have seen NYT coverage of the missing women in the maquiladoras towns along the border — a rash of killings and disappearances that has affected literally hundreds of women, many of whom worked in US-owned factories. Searching the NYT archives since 1996 (“missing women maquiladoras”, “missing women Juarez”) […]

missing-non-white-women meme

Monday, August 8th, 2005

this post on the buggydoo blog (“one good thing”) does two important things: (1) it makes a sensible comment on the snarky ‘media coverage of missing white women’ blog-o-phenomena, and (2) it draws attention to a missing woman, Latoyia Figueroa, who has not gotten as much media attention, clearly on account of race. I am […]

Civil Rights Leader Calls for Copyright Civil Disobedience

Friday, January 21st, 2005

“I would call upon everyone who has access to ‘Eyes on the Prize’ to openly violate any and all laws regarding its showing,” says civil rights leader Lawrence Guyot, who led the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and today is a program manager for the D.C. Department of Human Services. from

the media spins

Thursday, October 7th, 2004

“[The media] would still roll over for Bush in tonight’s debate, if only he had told his lies crisply and with folksy assurance.”


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