aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
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.
London mayor: US Ambassador is a “venal little crook”
Friends here are telling me about Bloomberg pushing his congestion pricing proposal, something they know I’ve long favored. They wonder if I’d like the provision that has it take effect below 86th St. I lived on 95th between Columbus and Amsterdam for twenty years; this would make my old neighborhood a parking nightmare.
Well, yeah, I’d draw the line at 96th Street!
It was in that context that I read today that the U.S. is the biggest congestion pricing scofflaw in London. Our excuse? It’s a tax so we don’t have to pay. The mayor of London’s not buying that:
“The majority of missions pay the congestion charge on time and do not incur fines. We also wrote to all missions owing over Ã‚Â£1,000 in fines urging them to settle their debts with Transport for London.”
The US embassy - along with many others - has refused to pay the congestion fee on the grounds that it is tax; and therefore diplomats are exempt from paying it.
It has led to stinging criticism from London mayor Ken Livingstone, who branded US ambassador Robert Tuttle a “venal little crook” for his refusal to pay.
We owe Ã‚Â£1,484,765 in unpaid fines, over twice as much as second place Nigeria.
Via Cory Doctorow who points to what we learned analogously in NYC, “a country’s national corruption index is a good predictor of the likelihood that its UN diplomats will rack up unpaid parking fines.”
Evan & Sicko
Evan Almighty, Hollywood’s $200 million pander at the Christian market in which a faithless and stupid congressman turns into a reluctant ark builder and comes to believe in God only because God hammers him over the head with miracles, was a weekend box office disappointment.
The star instead? Fox says (!) it was Sicko, ”a smash hit:”
The documentary about the health care industry was sold out at all its “sneak” screenings in 43 locations around the country including Cleveland, Boston, Atlanta, and Detroit.
In New York, at the AMC Lincoln Square, where “Sicko” began an exclusive run on Friday, Moore’s funny and quite sad look at how Americans might benefit from universal health care sold out its entire run. The total box office at the theater was over $70,000 - possibly a record for an exclusive showing. [...]
On Friday night, Moore and one of his producers attended the 7:45 p.m. Lincoln Square screening, unobtrusively and out of sight of the audience. When the show ended, a standing ovation ensued, with cheering that culminated in Moore ultimately revealing he was there. The situation got so out of hand that the fire marshall came in to clear the theater.