aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, October 20, 2006
L.A. Boy Scouts copyright merit
The Los Angeles Council of the Boy Scouts of America will offer rewards to Scouts who absorb a brainwashing regime written by the MPAA. The merit
badgepatch in “respecting copyright” will almost certainly not include any training on fair use, anything about the fact that the film industry is located in Hollywood because that was a safe-enough distance from Tom Edison that the its founders could infringe his patents with impunity; that record players, radios and VCRs were considered pirate technology until the law changed to accommodate them; or that the entertainment industry enriches itself without regard for creators, who are routinely sodomized through non-negotiable contracts and abusive royalty practices. I’m sure it won’t mention the anti-competitive censorship masquerading as the Hollywood “rating” system, or the way that the studio cartel’s copyright term extensions have doomed the majority of creative works to orphaned oblivion, since they remain in copyright, but have no visible owner and can’t be brought back into circulation.
A later update explains it’s called a “merit patch” instead of a “merit badge” because it’s a local initiative by one group.
They eat their own
I knew about the Republican pols circling the wagons and shooting at each other, but liberal bias at Fox???
Accuracy in Media editor Cliff Kincaid plans to attend the annual stockholders’ meeting of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation today in New York City to seek answers to a list of 27 questions posted at AIM’s website. Eight of the questions touch upon Murdoch’s relationship with the Clintons and how that may have affected Fox News coverage.
“The New York Times reported that your son James is ‘steadfastly liberal’ and that he ‘has supported Bill Clinton and Al Gore whose daughter he befriended at Harvard,’” Kincaid inquires of Murdoch. “How liberal is James Murdoch and what plans does he have for taking the company in a more leftward direction?”
The Carpetbagger has a roundup of sorts on the expected defeats that will have many fathers.
Why ‘sucks’ doesn’t. Anymore.
Around here, cursing is frowned upon. In New York I cussed with the best of them. Even there I wondered why and thought that, for my own personal esthetic, I’d rather not. Here I hardly do.
So “sucks” presents me with something of a challenge. How benign is it? Back in August, Seth Stevenson argued:
Sucks is here to stay. And what’s more, it deserves its place in our lexicon, for a couple of reasons. First, it’s impossible to intelligently maintain that sucks is still offensive. The word is now completely divorced from any past reference it may have made to a certain sex act. When I tell you that the new M. Night Shyamalan movie sucks (and man, does it suck), my mind in no way conjures up an image of a film reel somehow fellating an unnamed beneficiary.
Nor should this image pop up in your brain when you hear that the movie sucks. That is, unless you are obsessing over the word’s origins and thus have fellatio in mind each time you encounter it. But such obsessing is silly. When someone says Bill Gates is a geek, do you picture him as a circus performer biting the head off a live chicken? Of course not. The word’s root meaning has been replaced with a new connotation. Similarly, when I call Paris Hilton a moron, I don’t mean she’s mentally retarded, and when I call bungee jumping lame I don’t mean it’s disabled. What once was offensive is now simply abrasive. Language moves on, and the sucks-haters are living in the past.
Besides, it’s not even clear that sucks has naughty origins. We might trace its roots to the phrase sucks hind teat, meaning inferior. Or there’s sucks to you, a nonsexual taunt apparently favored by British schoolchildren of yore. Of course, when a 9-year-old girl walks up to you tomorrow and tells you that ”Blue’s Clues sucks,” she won’t be aware of these past usages. But neither will she have in mind (or understand) the much dirtier alternative. The point is that sucks has become untethered from its past and carries no tawdry implications for those who use it.
Well alright then, I guess that settles it.
Why your broadband sucks. Still.
Larry Lessig in the Financial Times, keep broadband competition alive:
In the US...broadband competition is dying. There are fewer competitors offering consumers broadband connectivity today than there were just six years ago. The median consumer has a choice between just two broadband providers. Four companies account for a majority of all consumer broadband; 10 account for 83 per cent of the market. [...]
The US is facing a competitive crisis in broadband deployment. Yet as it continues to fall behind its competitors, the Federal Communications Commission continues to live in denial. The more it has “deregulated” telecommunications, the worse (comparatively) broadband competition and service have become. When it was 10th in the world George W.Ã¢â‚¬â€°Bush, US president, said that “10th is 10 spots too low”. The nation is now 16th. Broadband in the US is 12 times the price in Japan and six times the price in France.
REMEMBER: Lessig in March 2005, when the US was 13th in broadband deployment, in a Wired magazine column titled Why Your Broadband Sucks.