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Thu, 081009
Extremely lousy journalism
Filed under: Media,Politics — Rick @ 153934UTC

If one of my students ever wrote something like this, I’d be deeply, deeply humiliated. And if I ever get that lazy, please slam me in the skull with a two-by-four.

Fri, 080822
Can we make a new rule?
Filed under: Media,Politics,Technology -v- Culture — Rick @ 040324UTC

Campaign ads are not automatically newsworthy. Certainly not worthy of time on newscasts until they’ve proven themselves so. That’s called “free airtime”, y’all. That is all.

Tue, 080805
Need help
Filed under: Media,Politics,Technology -v- Culture — Rick @ 040629UTC

I want to write a post heded: Ironic irony in which I point out pithily that conservatives decry ‘ironic detachment’ and lament that young people no longer embrace causes greater than themselves, their friends, and their possessions. Yet when the left coalesces with (some) enthusiasm behind an emphatically non-ironic and in-pursuit-of-something-bigger-than-any-of-us candidate, suddenly those values are worthy of mockery.

What I’m missing is links to articles in which conservatives decry ‘ironic detachment’ and so on. Any love?

Tue, 080617
Catching up on my TV stuff
Filed under: Media,Politics — Rick @ 172328UTC

On last week’s Bill Moyers Journal, I had a piece on the link between unionization and middle-class wages.

Earlier last week, I posted a web-exclusive video essay on the Bush Administration’s latest stupid plan to spy on you no matter what you do.

Tue, 080401
The Virgin Suicides
Filed under: Media,Politics — Rick @ 005533UTC

Last weekend’s New York Times Magazine piece on a student abstinence group at Harvard is, as others have pointed out, is all-around dumb. The abstinence-only movement is crap, but so is the assumption that college kids aren’t normal unless they’re hooking up on a regular basis. It’s just as annoying to tout one’s avoidance of sex as it is to brag about one’s conquests. Now, can we please move beyond this iteration of the Culture Wars?

Sat, 080301
Shut up!
Filed under: Media,Musicality,Politics — Rick @ 054011UTC

I’ve done a new video segment for the Bill Moyers Journal blog.

After you watch it, please listen to this.

Wed, 071219
Protest Songs for Today
Filed under: Media,Musicality,Politics — Rick @ 053842UTC

Whenever I hear Baby Boomers complain that nobody writes good protest songs anymore, I force them to shut up while I recite this gem by my good friend and musical collaborator Guy Crundwell:


Wed, 070919
Wars of the Roses
Filed under: Politics — Rick @ 230611UTC

If Hillary is inevitable, and she wins, we’ll end up having had at least 24 years of heads of state from just two families. Does anyone else find a rerun of the intra-Plantagenet rivalry a bit out-of-character for an alleged democratic republic?

Fri, 070824
Low-Power FM Radio: ‘Share it with each other. It’s what you do’
Filed under: Media,Politics — Rick @ 230010UTC

Cross-posted at the Bill Moyers Journal blog.

Imagine climbing a hundred-foot radio tower in the howling headwinds of a Category 3 hurricane so that you can stay on the air and keep your neighbors informed as catastrophe bears down. Or remaining at your post, on the mic and on the air, as floodwaters engulf the radio studio. Or pouring every cent of your income into the station to say on the air the aftermath, even though you’re living in a FEMA-issue trailer because you’ve lost your home and everything in it.

I can’t. But Brice Phillips has done every one of those things. And that’s why he’s one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met, and an inspiration to those of us who believe that community radio has the power to change lives — and save lives.


Sun, 061203
Know Your Place
Filed under: Politics — Rick @ 072445UTC

As the blogs digest George Will’s column on the Webb-Bush exchange, a number of writers are drawing parallels to Cheney telling Pat Leahy to f*** himself on the Senate floor.

These writers ask why some D.C. pundits castigate Senator-Elect Webb for his comments even though failed to take the VP to task for his. Is this the GOP message machine in action? Is this anything like the tut-tutting of the D.C. insider class when the Clintons “trashed” Washington?

Honestly, I think it’s much simpler.

Washington works top-down. Like a clique in your average high school. You have to know your place — suck up to those with more social capital, spit on those with less. The difference between Webb’s comment and Cheney’s has nothing to do with partisanship. To the D.C. gang, Cheney as VP has the right to piss on Leahy, who’s only a senator. Webb, as a lowly senator-elect, is supposed to show deference to the “higher-ranking” Bush.

That’s the kind of bollocks that made me hate life in Washington.

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