aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Like children’s theater for 40-year-old gay people
Xanadu on Broadway was everything I hoped for and more (seriously) packed into 90 intermission free minutes of frothy fun.
I was in the audience on what was to have been opening night. As it turned out, the opening of the stage musical version of the mega-flop movie was delayed when lead James Carpinello (recently of Saturday Night Fever) suffered a foot injury. The opening is now scheduled for July 11.
Cheyenne Jackson stepped into the role of the frustrated record album cover artist named Sonny who is inspired by the nine muses of ancient Greece to fulfill that greatest of artistic achievements - a roller disco. “My heart goes out to [Carpinello]...I am honored to borrow his skates.”
Jackson, whose Sonny was buff toothy innocence and terrific, was previously in the off-Broadway musical Altar Boyz that I so thoroughly enjoyed but he may more broadly be known as the openly-gay actor who played gay hero Mark Bingham, one of the real-life characters in the Oscar-nominated film United 93.
His muse, Kira/Clio, is played by Kerry Butler who created the role of Penny Pingleton in Hairspray (the last show on Broadway I saw before moving down to Georgia). She was more recently on Broadway as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. I saw her years ago off-Braodway as Shelley in the cult hit (and personal favorite) Batboy: the Musical.
James Wolcott, who enjoyed the show every bit as much as I did - “It was like taking Ecstasy in Broadway ticket form” - says of Butler:
She is a flowing vision on roller skates, a blonde creamy confection of Olivia Newton-John, the divine Kyle Minogue, and Sarah Michelle-Gellar. She does things to vowels with her mock-Australian accent that should earn her a birdbath perch on musical-comedy Mt. Olympus. I truly, truly dug what she was doing, and I shall now pause to run a comb through my hair.
Wolcott points to another Xanadu convert at NYC Stories:
Xanadu is one of the funniest things to land on a Broadway stage in ages. I laughed and groaned from beginning to end. This show is far far over the top. It might even be over the top’s top, but luckily it knows it and knows just what to do with that material to make an audience laugh. This super campy production is about the only thing that could have been done with the movie to make it work on the stage… See the show now, as it will probably have a hard time hanging on for long. It might just prove to be too gay for Broadway. Then again, you never know. It could turn out to be the smash hit of 2007.
Moore than a movie, it’s a campaign
I saw Sicko in Chelsea last night - the audience burst into spontaneous applause three times - and reveled in every minute of its over the top advocacy. He could have made a safer, more balanced movie, but why the hell should he? Does anyone imagine that if he had the Right would stop calling him a zealot, propagandist and a demagogue?
Moore’s been deftly building the grass roots momentum for his campaign, through strategery and sold out sneak previews across America and on the web. A few weeks ago, he asked people to share their horror stories with us:
Here are the responses so far.
FOR MORE MOORE: Here’s Michael on The Daily Show.
Slate’s review, “Even those viewers who are ideologically in sync with Michael Moore can find plenty to critique in his methods: the gimmicks, the deck-stacking, the deliberate neglect of opposing points of view. On the other hand, even Moore’s worst ideological enemies would be hard put to dispute the basic argument of his new film Sicko (Weinstein Co.): The American health-care system is a sick joke and has been for a very long time.”
The most hyped gadget in tech history
PC World did an iPhone stress test which included putting one in a shake ‘n bake with a bag full of key chains.
TUAW gushes, “Words cannot describe how incredibly wonderful this thing feels to touch and hold. It is an absolute marvel of engineering. Gorgeous in every way.”
The NYTimes reports, “Apple wanted a spectacle when the iPhone went on sale, and it got just that.”
The DC mayor got his, “a guy behind me yells out ‘fix the schools first,’ the guy gives him the finger and sneers, ‘there’s only 15 left.’… a lot of people in the back of the line probably aren’t getting an iPhone today.”
Thomas Hawk - over a glass of wine and with the iPhone still in the box 4 hours after he bought it - reflects on his time as an iPhone line geek. Stephen Berlin Johnson’s got one too, “Tried to be clever and buy at the downtown Brooklyn AT&T store, which was a nightmare and limited me to only one phone.”
Here Meredith Viera fumbles with it on the Today Show.
I’ll have news of the contrarians when I’m back from Tekserve where I’m off with a friend to buy, of all things, a MacBookPro.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Wikipedia time warp mystery
An anonymous user operating a computer traced to Stamford, Conn. — home to World Wrestling Entertainment — posted an entry to pro wrestler Chris Benoit‘s biography on Wikipedia.org announcing the death of his wife Nancy at least 13 hours before police in suburban Atlanta said they found her body along with her husband’s and that of their 7-year-old son, FOXNews.com has learned.
Reporters informed the Fayette County district attorney’s office of the posting Thursday, and the agency forwarded the information to sheriff’s investigators, who are looking into it, a legal assistant said in an e-mail to the AP.
Via Cory Bergman.
LATER: the vandal has confessed, saying that the murder accusation an unfortunately timed joke.
Homo homophobes (again)
The quote I like: “In tests conducted by Prof. Henry E Adams of the University of Georgia, homophobic men who said they were exclusively heterosexual were shown gay sex videos. Four out of five became sexually aroused by the homoerotic imagery, as recorded by a penile circumference measuring device - a plethysmograph. Prof. Adams says his research shows that most homophobes “demonstrate significant sexual arousal to homosexual erotic stimuli”, suggesting that homophobia is a form of “latent homosexuality where persons are either unaware of or deny their homosexual urges.”
There’s more here. We were both sorry to learn that Professor Adams passed away in 2000. Too bad too. I’m not finding any more recent research, though there’s no reason to believe things have gotten anything but worse.
Bigotry and bias dressed up as wisdom
The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at what fuels homo hatred:
University of Pennsylvania psychologist and disgust expert Paul Rozin says it’s particularly a guy thing - most heterosexual men are disgusted by the thought of touching other men. Rozin recalls experiments in which researchers asked subjects how disgusted they’d be if a Q-tip that had been in the mouth of either a man or a woman was subsequently touched to their own various orifices.
Women didn’t care much whether the swab had touched the mouth of a man or a woman. But it mattered to men, who - surprise! - were not at all disgusted by the Q-tip that touched a woman but totally grossed out if they thought it had touched another guy’s tongue.... The moral compass of the religious right factors in that additional dimension of sanctity/purity, which is driven by disgust as well as religious teachings. [...]
“People used to think it was revolting when two people of different races got married,” Caplan says. Letting your sense of disgust guide your views on gay marriage, he adds, “is just bigotry and bias dressed up with the clothes of wisdom.”
Via Stephen H. Miller.
Tango on the nature/nurture question
The NY Magazine Science of Gaydar piece made mention of the breakup of the penguins featured in the most banned book in America:
But for most in the animal kingdom, same-sex pairing is either fleeting or situational. Even Silo and Roy, for six years the poster-penguins for same-sex love in the Central Park Zoo-they famously raised a daughter together-were not destined to last forever. Silo waddled off with a female named Scrappy in 2005, says zoo director Dan Wharton, adding that we shouldn’t worry about Roy’s hurt feelings. “Penguins are matter-of-fact about these things.”
The religious right made sure that I knew that long ago. What I didn’t know was this:
Of course, biology doesn’t determine everything. And some critics of sexual-orientation researchers blame them for minimizing the role of experience in determining our affectional course in life. The feminist biologist Anne Fausto-Sterling has waged a constant battle against their research, which she calls “a big house of cards” that ignores the power of environment in creating personality. Nurture, she argues, can and should be studied as a link to sexual orientation. The baby penguin raised by her two dads [Tango] is a potential case study-though genetically unrelated to either parent, in the last few mating seasons she has mated with another female.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Former ex-gay ministry leaders apologize
Three former leaders of a ministry that counsels gays to change their sexual orientation apologized, saying although they acted sincerely, their message had caused isolation, shame and fear.
The former leaders of the interdenominational Christian organization Exodus International said Wednesday they had become disillusioned with promoting gay conversion.
“Some who heard our message were compelled to try to change an integral part of themselves, bringing harm to themselves and their families,” the three said in a statement released outside the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.
The statement was from former Exodus co-founder Michael Bussee, who left the group in 1979, Jeremy Marks, former president of Exodus International Europe, and Darlene Bogle, the founder of Paraklete Ministries, an Exodus referral agency.
The statement coincided with the opening of Exodus’ annual conference, which is being held this week at Concordia University in Irvine.
Daniel Gonzales shot video interviews with the three former leaders.
SEE ALSO: The LATimes New ground in debate on ‘curing’ gays.
Waiting for conservative Christians to denounce Coulter
I am waiting for conservative Christian activists to denounce Ann Coulter. I’m waiting and waiting and waiting and I’m waiting. This does not seem like a tough one, after all, Coulter has now publicly said of presidential candidation John Edwards she wished, “he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”
Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ Too many conservative Christian activists are behaving as if God is subordinate to their political desiresÃ¢â‚¬Â¦or worse that he is simply a pawn to be used in their desires.
Ann Coulter is a perfect little example of this problem. Countless conservative Christians embrace her and groups like the so-called Family Research Council feature her at banquets. And when she says things like wishing death upon a presidential candidate the Christians say nothing at all.
As quoted by Terrance at Republic of T:
Kuo is in for a long wait, and what he wishes for will probably never happen. Organizations like the Family Research Council can’t denounce her precisely because so many conservatives embrace her. And so many conservatives embrace her because so many of them agree with even her most extreme statements. And that so may of them agree with her most extreme statements - getting a chuckle out of her wishing for Edwards assassination, laughing uproariously when she calls him a “faggot,” and nodding in agreement when she accuses 9/11 widows of enjoying their husbands’ death - is exactly why she won’t be condemned by them or any right wing organizations. She’s the voice of their base.
Rudy’s SC Chair loves & reveres the confederate flag
You’ll recall Rudy’s last SC campaign chair, Thomas Ravenel, a former real estate developer and rising political star, was indicted on federal cocaine charges a couple weeks back.
Now comes news of the new guy and it’s, er, not so good. TPM Cafe:
We’ve just unearthed another choice quote from Rudy’s new S.C. co-chair, former Congressman and former state Senator Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Not only did Ravenel profess his love for the Confederate battle flag, but he said this on national television to none other than Martin Luther King III, the son of Martin Luther King, Jr.
From ABC’s Nightline, July 26, 1999:“I mean, you know, I love and revere and cherish the Confederate battle flag. When you want to take it down or if you take it down, pull it down, move it or whatever, don’t you discriminate against me? How about me?”
LATER: Max Blumenthal at The Nation weighs in on Rudy’s White Powder/White Power Problem.
Record Industry woes: where it all began
So who killed the record industry as we knew it? “The record companies have created this situation themselves,” says Simon Wright, CEO of Virgin Entertainment Group, which operates Virgin Megastores. While there are factors outside of the labels’ control—from the rise of the Internet to the popularity of video games and DVDs—many in the industry see the last seven years as a series of botched opportunities. And among the biggest, they say, was the labels’ failure to address online piracy at the beginning by making peace with the first file-sharing service, Napster. “They left billions and billions of dollars on the table by suing Napster—that was the moment that the labels killed themselves,” says Jeff Kwatinetz, CEO of management company the Firm. “The record business had an unbelievable opportunity there. They were all using the same service. It was as if everybody was listening to the same radio station. Then Napster shut down, and all those 30 or 40 million people went to other [file-sharing services].”
It all could have been different: Seven years ago, the music industry’s top executives gathered for secret talks with Napster CEO Hank Barry. At a July 15th, 2000, meeting, the execs—including the CEO of Universal’s parent company, Edgar Bronfman Jr.; Sony Corp. head Nobuyuki Idei; and Bertelsmann chief Thomas Middelhof—sat in a hotel in Sun Valley, Idaho, with Barry and told him that they wanted to strike licensing deals with Napster. “Mr. Idei started the meeting,” recalls Barry, now a director in the law firm Howard Rice. “He was talking about how Napster was something the customers wanted.”
The idea was to let Napster’s 38 million users keep downloading for a monthly subscription fee—roughly $10—with revenues split between the service and the labels. But ultimately, despite a public offer of $1 billion from Napster, the companies never reached a settlement. “The record companies needed to jump off a cliff, and they couldn’t bring themselves to jump,” says Hilary Rosen, who was then CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America. “A lot of people say, ‘The labels were dinosaurs and idiots, and what was the matter with them?’ But they had retailers telling them, ‘You better not sell anything online cheaper than in a store,’ and they had artists saying, ‘Don’t screw up my Wal-Mart sales.’ “ Adds Jim Guerinot, who manages Nine Inch Nails and Gwen Stefani, “Innovation meant cannibalizing their core business.”
Even worse, the record companies waited almost two years after Napster’s July 2nd, 2001, shutdown before licensing a user-friendly legal alternative to unauthorized file-sharing services: Apple’s iTunes Music Store, which launched in the spring of 2003. Before that, labels started their own subscription services: PressPlay, which initially offered only Sony, Universal and EMI music, and MusicNet, which had only EMI, Warner and BMG music. The services failed. They were expensive, allowed little or no CD burning and didn’t work with many MP3 players then on the market.
Rosen and others see that 2001-03 period as disastrous for the business. “That’s when we lost the users,” Rosen says. “Peer-to-peer took hold. That’s when we went from music having real value in people’s minds to music having no economic value, just emotional value.”
Via Siva, “Wow. The recording industry really blew it.”
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Chef sues for IP theft
I don’t like it in other spheres, I don’t like it here. Sorry Rebecca:
Sometimes, Rebecca Charles wishes she were a little less influential.
She was, she asserts, the first chef in New York who took lobster rolls, fried clams and other sturdy utility players of New England seafood cookery and lifted them to all-star status on her menu. Since opening Pearl Oyster Bar in the West Village 10 years ago, she has ruefully watched the arrival of a string of restaurants she considers “knockoffs” of her own.
Yesterday she filed suit in Federal District Court in Manhattan against the latest and, she said, the most brazen of her imitators: Ed McFarland, chef and co-owner of Ed’s Lobster Bar in SoHo and her sous-chef at Pearl for six years. [...]
“I would say it’s a similar restaurant,” he said, “I would not say it’s a copy.”
Lawyers for Ms. Charles, 53, said that what Ed’s Lobster Bar had done amounted to theft of her intellectual property - the kind of claim more often seen in publishing and entertainment, or among giant restaurant chains protecting their brand.
In recent years, a handful of chefs and restaurateurs have invoked intellectual property concepts, including trademarks, patents and trade dress - the distinctive look and feel of a business - to defend their restaurants, their techniques and even their recipes, but most have stopped short of a courtroom. The Pearl Oyster Bar suit may be the most aggressive use of those concepts by the owner of a small restaurant. Some legal experts believe the number of cases will grow as chefs begin to think more like chief executives.
No bond for Genarlow Wilson
A Douglas County judge ruled Wednesday Genarlow Wilson is not eligible for bond in his child molestation case, a development that could keep Wilson behind bars for at least several more months pending an appeal.
Superior Court Judge David Emerson issued an order canceling a July 5 bond hearing for Wilson. He cited a state law that prohibits appeal bonds for people convicted of Wilson’s crime—aggravated child molestation—and who have been sentenced to five years or more in prison. Wilson is now serving a 10-year prison sentence.
Remember, the “molestation” was receiving oral sex from a girl 2 years his junior when he was underage himself.
LATER: More plea talk. Let me be clear on a couple of points…
1.) I don’t want the kid to cop to a felony. A felony conviction would mean no decent job for the rest of his life. Have you ever seen a job application that didn’t ask “have you ever been convicted of a felony?”
2.) Vague - no, even explicit - assurances of no sex offender registration are no damned good. In fact, let’s remember, the Georgia legislature has retroactively changed who must register before; they can do it again.
He has served his time and learned his lesson. Let him go free.
On Gaydar & female sexual orientation
New York Magazine ran a major look at Gaydar, the Science of Sexual Orientation last week.
Among the findings - gay men are more likely than straight men to have a counterclockwise “hair whorl” at the back of the head, an increased density of fingerprint ridges on the thumb and pinkie of the left hand, and an index finger longer than their ring finger.
Such differences are less distinct in women:
In many other studies, though, lesbians have appeared less unique than gay men, leading some people to wonder if their sexual orientation is innate. Michael Bailey-who, as a heterosexual researcher, is a minority in this field-even doubts the existence of female sexual orientation, if by orientation we mean a fundamental drive that defies our conscious choices. He bases this provocative gambit on a sexual-arousal study he and his students conducted. When shown pornographic videos, men have an undeniable response either to gay or straight images but not both, according to sensitive gauges attached to their genitals-it’s that binary. Female sexual response is more democratic, opaque, and unpredictable: Arousal itself is harder to track, and there is evidence that it defies easy categorization. “I don’t yet understand female partner choices very well, and neither does anyone else,” Bailey wrote me in an e-mail. “What I do think it’s time to do is admit that female sexuality looks in some ways very different from male sexuality, and that there is no clear analog in women of men’s directed sexual-arousal pattern, which I think is their sexual orientation. I am not sure that women don’t have a sexual orientation, but it is certainly unclear that they do.”
He contends that what they have instead is sexual preference-they might prefer sex with women, but something in their brains can still sizzle at the thought of men. Many feminist scholars agree with this assessment, and consider sexuality more of a fluid than an either-or proposition, but some don’t. “I think women do have orientations, but they don’t circumscribe the range of desires that women can experience to the same degree as men,” says Lisa Diamond, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, who is writing a book on the subject. “For women, there’s more wiggle room. You can think of orientation as defining a range of possible responses, and for women, it’s much broader.”
Bailey is a controversial figure in the LGBT community. He “has notoriously declared that true male bisexuality doesn’t exist and dismissed many transgender people as peculiar sexual fetishists.” The female sexual orientation observation is an intriguing one nonetheless.
RELATED: Can you tell whether someone’s gay just by the way he or she walks?
Visual Google News
Confronted with row upon row of (credited but uncaptioned) images, a user has to hover over them with the mouse and wait for the headline associated with that image to appear on a scrolling list of stories in a right-hand column.
It’s also possible to restrict the images to only those showing faces, something which has been possible on the old Google News site since late May. Google syas this is one of the first results of its acquisition of object recognition company Neven Vision.
The reminder that Google is working on recognising and rendering searchable the content of images is probably the most significant implication of this strange new feature in Google News.
It looks interesting, but isn’t the most user-friendly way to navigate a news site.
YouTube 10% of Internet traffic
And you thought YouTube was big before: A new report (PDF) by Ellacoya Networks shows that the Google-owned video site comprises a monster ten percent of all traffic on the Internet. Thanks to the video boom - HTTP traffic outpaced peer to peer traffic for the first time in four years. Granted, video is a bandwidth hog and takes a bigger chunk of the pipe than your average web page - but that is still an astounding number.
And here’s a report that says the number of people who create user generated content will more than double from 118m in 2006 to 238m in 2011.
Addicted to gaming
Among Melissa Lafsky’s FREAKest links yesterday:
In light of our recent discussion of Internet Addiction Disorder, let it be known that the London Free Press reports that U.S. doctors are lobbying to have video game addiction classified as a psychiatric disorder. Online Gamer’s Anonymous, meanwhile, is packed with postings from gamers seeking control of their habits.
From the comments:
Play video games for six hours a day? Addict.
Watch TV for six hours a day? Perfectly normal.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Evolution: like realizing the Earth is not the center of the universe
The NYTimes had a special Science section on evolution today. Science of the Soul? ‘I Think, Therefore I Am’ Is Losing Force was one of the articles in it:
Challenges to the uniqueness of humanity in creation are just as alarming as the Copernican assertion that Earth is not the center of the universe, [Nancey Murphy, a philosopher at Fuller Theological Seminary] writes in her book “Bodies and Souls or Spirited Bodies?” (Cambridge, 2006). Just as Copernicus knocked Earth off its celestial pedestal, she said, the new findings on cognition have displaced people from their “strategic location” in creation.
Another theologian who has written widely on the issue, John F. Haught of Georgetown University, said in an interview that “for many Americans the only way to preserve the discontinuity that’s implied in the notion of a soul, a distinct soul, is to deny evolution,” which he said was “unfortunate.”
There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the diversity and complexity of life on earth.
Mmm-mmm good! 2
At the Grand Central Market…
Unseamly (sic) lawsuit and smooch
My NY host - one of my most dedicated readers - is disappointed in my blogging prowess. He notes that I missed two prime blogger opportunities. There’s the one about the $54 million missing-pants-at-the-Chinese-laundry lawsuit:
WSJ Law Blog has the (long) opinion and (short) judgment in the case. Professor Bainbridge notes the pertinence of the legal principle of “puffery”, under which Pearson was no more justified in demanding the literal enforcement of the Chungs’ “Satisfaction Guaranteed” sign than would other customers be justified in suing United Air Lines after a grumpy flight for not providing “friendly skies”, Exxon for not putting a genuine “tiger in your tank”, Fox News for being less than “fair and balanced”, and so forth.
(See also Joe Gandelman’s fun slacker puns.)
And then there’s the censored gay smooch in the Newark high school yearbook, since reinstated:
The Newark city school district that ordered staffers to use markers to black out a picture of a male student kissing his boyfriend from all copies of a school yearbook now says it regrets the decision.
Superintendent Marion A. Bolden issued an apology to the student, Andre Jackson, according to a statement released by the district on Monday.
“The decision was based, in part, on misinformation that Mr. Jackson was not one of our students and our review simply focused on the suggestive nature of the photograph,” the district said.
“Superintendent Marion A. Bolden personally apologizes to Mr. Jackson and regrets any embarrassment and unwanted attention the matter has brought to him,” according to the statement.
He only learned of the apology through the media, it was not face-to-face, so the student has not accepted. Superintendent and student are slated to meet today so the story still has legs.
It happens that the student on the receiving end the offending kiss is from my extended family home, Allentown, PA. My host here tells me that those who request a yearbook without the markings can get one. Here’s the earlier story, complete with photo.
Bear Sterns: User Generated Content is not a fad
User-Generated Content (UGC) Is Not a Fad . . .
Some investors remain skeptical that UGC is more than a passing fad. However, in our recent online video survey, UGC is the No. 1 and No. 2 most popular content category among men aged 18-34 (M18-34) and among all respondents, respectively. Moreover, if we define UGC as page views only from sites such as Myspace.com, Facebook.com, Youtube.com, Wikipedia.org, Blogger.com, and Digg.com (which is quite conservative), we estimate that UGC now accounts for 13% of total U.S. Internet traffic, up from 0%-1% in 2004. Based on these statistics, we submit that UGC is here to stay.
. . . And It Can Be Monetized
Another investor concern is whether UGC can actually be monetized. We believe the answer is “yes.” From a historical perspective, we note that much of the text-based UGC (like blogs and social networks) has been monetized through paid search. In a video-centric broadband world, we think targeted video advertisement could be one monetization mechanism. Our primary market research finds over one-third of respondents have no major complaints about pre-roll video ads, while only 10% of respondents stated that a ten- to 15-second commercial was too long to watch before the video.
They go on to address the “content is king” media mantra:
[F]or as long as most can recall, the entertainment industry has lived by the axiom “content is king.” However, no one company has proven consistently capable of producing “great content,” as evidenced by volatility in TV ratings and box office per film for movie studios, given the inherent fickleness of consumer demand for entertainment goods.
Via Chris Anderson, “Bear Stearns believes (as do I; indeed a third of my book is focused on this) that in a world of infinite choice, content is only as valuable as your ability to find it. They call that “context and aggregation”, and it’s what both Google and your favorite blogger do when the filter the web according to a narrow lens, be it your expressed search term or their own sensibility.”
Monday, June 25, 2007
MySpace, Facebook, Class & the military
danah boyd has a fascinating blog essay up that’s caused quite a stir. It will be interesting to see it developed. Check it out, Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace.
danah’s careful to say that this is by no means an academic article, that she doesn’t yet have the language to do it justice and that it is, therefor, “problematic.” Based on her 6 to 9 months of field observations, it’s intended to be a conversation starter.
The section on the military I found particularly interesting:
A month ago, the military banned MySpace but not Facebook. This was a very interesting move because the division in the military reflects the division in high schools. Soldiers are on MySpace; officers are on Facebook. Facebook is extremely popular in the military, but it’s not the SNS of choice for 18-year old soldiers, a group that is primarily from poorer, less educated communities. They are using MySpace. The officers, many of whom have already received college training, are using Facebook. The military ban appears to replicate the class divisions that exist throughout the military. I can’t help but wonder if the reason for this goes beyond the purported concerns that those in the military are leaking information or spending too much time online or soaking up too much bandwidth with their MySpace usage.
MySpace is the primary way that young soldiers communicate with their peers. When I first started tracking soldiers’ MySpace profiles, I had to take a long deep breath. Many of them were extremely pro-war, pro-guns, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, pro-killing, and xenophobic as hell. Over the last year, I’ve watched more and more profiles emerge from soldiers who aren’t quite sure what they are doing in Iraq. I don’t have the data to confirm whether or not a significant shift has occurred but it was one of those observations that just made me think. And then the ban happened. I can’t help but wonder if part of the goal is to cut off communication between current soldiers and the group that the military hopes to recruit. Many young soldiers’ profiles aren’t public so it’s not about making a bad public impression. That said, young soldiers tend to have reasonably large networks because they tend to accept friend requests of anyone that they knew back home which means that they’re connecting to almost everyone from their high school. Many of these familiar strangers write comments supporting them. But what happens if the soldiers start to question why they’re in Iraq? And if this is witnessed by high school students from working class communities who the Army intends to recruit?
BTW, when I was in high school I’d have been on MySpace.
At the Chelsea Market…
New Yorker puts up money for Genarlow bond
A bond hearing is set for next week. The AJC reports today:
A New York City investment fund manager and 10 other businesspeople are offering to put up $1 million in bond money to release Genarlow Wilson from prison pending the appeal in his child molestation case, Wilson’s attorney announced this afternoon.
Whitney Tilson, the founder of T2 Partners and the Tilson Mutual Funds, and the 10 other unnamed contributors are ready to wire the money on Wilson’s behalf on 24 hours notice, said Wilson’s attorney, B.J. Bernstein.
“The goal of this bond is to help a young man in Georgia get his life back,” Tilson, also a founding member of Teach for America, said in a prepared statement Bernstein’s office distributed today.
LATER: Whitney Tilson speaks to ABC News.