aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Colbert is hot. Right now he’s got Bill O’Reilly on. Rich Little? I forget who he is. But the White House Correspondents Association has asked him to be the featured entertainer at their annual dinner coming up April 21. Wonder why?
Little said organizers of the event made it clear they don’t want a repeat of last year’s controversial appearance by Stephen Colbert, whose searing satire of President Bush and the White House press corps fell flat and apparently touched too many nerves.
“They got a lot of letters,” Little said Tuesday. “I won’t even mention the word ‘Iraq.’”
Little, who hasn’t been to the White House since he was a favorite of the Reagan administration, said he’ll stick with his usual schtick—the impersonations of the past six presidents.
“They don’t want anyone knocking the president. He’s really over the coals right now, and he’s worried about his legacy,” added Little, a longtime Las Vegas resident.
C-SPAN’s Steve Scully, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said he came up with the idea of inviting Little as the featured entertainer after seeing him during impersonators’ week on “The Late Show with David Letterman” in November.
They said Colbert wasn’t funny last year. Here’s Little on Letterman.
DJ Drama bust in the Times
The Times says yet another symbol of the music industry’s turmoil and confusion:
As of yesterday DJ Drama was sitting in jail, but dozens of his unlicensed compilations were still available at the iTunes shop.
Brad A. Buckles, executive vice president for anti-piracy at the Recording Industry Association of America, said, “A sound recording is either copyrighted or it’s not.” And he said the DJ Drama case, like most piracy cases, began with illegal product, which was then traced back to the distributor. Chief Baker said that before the raid, DJ Drama and Mr. Cannon were sent cease-and-desist letters from a local lawyer.
There have been mixtape busts before: in 2005, five employees of Mondo Kim’s, in the East Village in New York, were jailed after the store was found to be selling unlicensed mixtapes. But the arrest of a figure as prominent as DJ Drama is unprecedented. Record companies usually portray the fight against piracy as a fight for artists’ rights, but this case complicates that argument: most of DJ Drama’s mixtapes begin with enthusiastic endorsements from the artists themselves.
It also seems clear that mixtapes can actually bolster an artist’s sales. The most recent Lil Wayne solo album, “Tha Carter II” (Cash Money/Universal), sold more than a million copies, though none of its singles climbed any higher than No. 32 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. That’s an impressive feat, and it’s hard to imagine how he would have done it without help from a friendly pirate.
The RIAA has been locking up fans for years, now they’re locking up promotes too.
The pilot of a TV news helicopter used the wind from the aircraft’s rotor to push a stranded deer to safety after it lost its footing on a frozen lake and could not get up.
A small crowd had gathered to watch the deer struggling, its hooves repeatedly slipping, near the shore of Lake Thunderbird around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
With the helicopter’s camera rolling, KWTV pilot Mason Dunn used the wind from the rotor to push the deer, initially sending it into a break in the ice where the animal managed to hold onto the ice with its front legs.
Dunn then lowered the helicopter and the wind sent the deer sliding on its belly across the ice until it reached shore and scampered into a nearby wooded area.
It sure beats this one where a couple South Florida anchorpeople get a kick out of a deer stuck in an Iowa Target store. But it would be better if we did something real to help out the entire deer population rather than just pat ourselves on the back for the individual exceptional incident and be done with it.
MTV buys RateMyProfessors.com
Today’s Chronicle (subscription) reports:
MTVu, the campus closed-circuit outlet of the music-television network MTV, announced on Wednesday that it planned to buy RateMyProfessors.com, one of the largest online forums for students to anonymously review the teaching abilities of faculty members.
The move, to be made early this year, is part of an expansion of MTVu, which also owns College Publisher, a network that hosts the Web sites of more than 500 student newspapers.
Stephen Friedman, executive vice president of MTVu, would not say how much it would pay for the popular rating site.
“It seemed like a nice fit for our audience where we want to connect,” he said, adding that RateMyProfessors.com was “a site almost all our students recognized and used.”
They say they may expand it to includes students rating restaurants, music and “anything else they think is important.” I’m with the cynics:
Jeff Chester, executive director of the advocacy group Center for Digital Democracy and author of the recent book Digital Destiny, is more skeptical of MTVu’s motives.
“What most people don’t recognize is that the dominant media shaping digital culture is advertising,” he said. The most valuable part of the latest deal for MTVu, he added, would be access to the personal information of the site’s users.
Advertisers are desperate to win the loyalty of 18- to 34-year-olds, Mr. Chester said, and owning RateMyProfessors.com will give MTVu and its parent company, Viacom Inc., access to valuable data.
“It’s all about monetizing these college eyeballs,” he said. “You’re going to see it change over time to push Viacom brands.”
There’s no easy fix to our industrial food production system - and it does need fixing - but there’s reason for optimism. The organic movement grew to $23 billion in sales by 2002 with no government or industry support. We care about what we eat. And we care about where it comes from.
Today Salon looks at The Challenge Facing Local Food:
In the past year, the “local” ethos has overtaken even organics as the gourmet cause célèbre—And eat-local challenges have begun sprouting up all over the place. Large food service providers like Sodexho and Aramark, having already introduced organic products, are now experimenting with local sourcing. At Yale, Stanford, Berkeley and other universities, students can eat meals prepared with fresh local produce grown on or just off campus.
The eat-local movement owes no small measure of its success to recent exposés of the organic industry. As huge corporate farms have moved into the sector, the media has been abuzz with the transformation of organics into business as usual—with Whole Foods catering to the upscale consumer and Wal-Mart aiming for the fat middle demographic. The question is: will big business’s discovery of “local” food eventually undercut the positive effects the movement may have on the environment, small farmers and taste? Advocates of eating local say no. Their singular hope is to foment a revolution that starts on the farm and ends on our plates.
The article looks at Bon AppÃƒÂ©tit Management Co. (BAMCO) - “BAMCO believes even lowly college mess halls can be brought into the culinary vanguard” - a food services company for the upper-crust; Georgetown Law, Oracle and Yahoo, the Guthrie and the Getty. Sit through the ad and read it.