Thursday, February 20, 2003

I'm not changing locations. Sorry for the misinfo, I'll have the old design up shortly. (I'm so indecisive.)

Anyway, after reviewing ol' Martin Sheen's Million Modem March, I've come to the conclusion it may not be all that bad. My initial impression was that they were trying to jam every communications device this side of Capitol Hill, but it seems a bit more democratically focused than that. And where there's democracy, there's the potential for varied viewpoints.

The blogosphere seems to agree. Pro-war people are using the services to send letters, calls and faxes showing thier support for Bush's stance on the conflict. I did so, and I advise everybody to send their feelings to a representative.

Use this site. Send a custom message, as sending the default message would be very, very bad indeed. (Even if you agree with the default message. Speak for yourself.)

I sent this message.

Dear Senator,

As a high school student, activist and American citizen, I wish to inform you that I fully support the current administration's stance on the conflict with Iraq. As a democratic nation and a world power, it is not only our right but our duty to help the citizens of the world in overcoming despots and ensuring the people who are opposed by them both freedom and security. I feel that the implications of allowing Saddam to remain in power would not only be of the most terrible damage to his own citizens, but in funding suicide bombers in Palestine, using conflict to prohibit his neighbor Iran's transition to freedom, and allowing extremists to use his land for dangerous acts, he poses a concern to the entire free world.

While campaigns such as this one may deter you from advocating this viewpoint, I would hope that you can realize that even 1-2 million participants represents but a small majority of the American public, a public which, should you believe most polls, stands behind the administration. Also, keep in mind the "ballot-stuffing" tactics of Internet campaigning.

Thank you for your time and consideration. May you have the best judgment for these tough times.

Note: I will probably move this site to a different location in the next 72 hours.

Take note, my 2 readers.
When I talked about "e-activism" on Saturday, this isn't quite what I meant.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Not sure what to make of this.

I'll all for free speech, and you could probably get away with wearing that shirt at my school, judging by all those cursed Anti-Flag "Why is it Not Called Terrorism When Its Done by the US?" shirts that are so popular with the kids these days.

Still, my school is pretty white dominant, and I think our Arab population is around 10, so different strokes for different areas.

In addition, "Compare and Contrast Bush and Hussain" for a school assignment? I can't tell if they're trying to raise a generation of hack journalists or uber-patriots.

UPDATE: Someone is smarter than I.

Monday, February 17, 2003

I wonder what the ratings will be?

Personally, I don’t have a hard time imagining that things will go the way of the XFL. But if they have the audience, more power to them.

The new liberal radio network is initially being financed by the Paradigm Group, of which the Drobnys are the principal partners. Ms. Drobny is the chairwoman of the venture, which is being called AnShell Media L.L.C. Jon Sinton, a longtime, Atlanta-based radio executive, will be its chief executive. He helped start the nationally syndicated radio program of Jim Hightower, the former Texas agriculture commissioner. Liberals had hoped that would be their answer to Mr. Limbaugh, but it was canceled shortly after its start in the mid-1990's.

The failure of Mr. Hightower's show supported the notion of many in radio that liberal hosts do not have what it takes to become successful and entertaining hosts: the fire-and-brimstone manner and a ready-made audience alienated by the mainstream news media it perceives to be full of liberal bias.

Mr. Sinton said the new venture would seek to disprove not only those who doubt liberal hosts can make it in radio, but also those who believe that success in radio depends on an alliance with one of the handful of major distributors or station groups.


As for the "fire-and-brimstone" section: Make no mistake. Rush Limbaugh is a jerk. Bill O'Reilly is a jerk. Hannity can be a jerk. But at the same time, they are very established jerks, well-dressed and well-rehearsed. Essentially, they are perfect representations of right-wing angst. (I don't care for them, but I can see why they're popular.)

But continuing down the article, I see a bit of a problem:

"This side has failed by going at Rush, and trying to be Rush — you're not going to beat him at his game," Mr. Sinton said. "What really makes this work is tapping into Hollywood and New York and having a huge entertainment component, where political sarcasm is every bit as effective as Rush Limbaugh is at bashing you over the head."

My question is: Is the left truly represented by sarcasm, and is that in any way effective? The reason Limbaugh is successful is that he has a large cohort of followers that act in his name. Sarcasm and cynicism, on the other hand, are more likely to hinder any idea in the listener's mind that change is possible. After hearing Franken go off for 2 hours speaking about why the system is terrible in a sly, condescending demeanor, is the listener going to be more inclined to advocate causes, or just give up altogether? Then again, the entire purpose of talk radio is to both inform and entertain.

Plus, the Left houses many more political ideologies than the Right. The article seems to share that sentiment:

"Individuals who are liberal in their viewpoints can be all-encompassing," he said. "It's very hard to define liberalism, unlike how easy it is to define conservatism. So, as a result, it doesn't evoke the same kind of passion as conservative ideologies do."

It's an uphill battle for this group, any way you look at it.