Posts Tagged “Zeitgeist”

08w03:5 Life is better in Venezuela

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Life After the Bubble Burst | Ken O. Burtch
“This is a strange economic time in Canada. While the unemployment rate is the lowest in many years (CTV), Statistics Canada reports that 2/3rds of aged 25-54 Canadians are underemployed or are working under substandard conditions (CTV). According Robert Wright (as discussed in my Linux Startup book), the post World War II generation has exploited both their parents and their children for material gain. During the time of the Great Depression in the 1930’s, Canadian families pumped over 1 trillion dollars into the next generation so they wouldn’t do without. The baby boomer generation, with its hedonistic world-view, retired on the money instead of reinvesting it in the future, leaving Generation X with high unemployment, unpaid education debt, lower income and higher cases of suicide. As more and more older people retire from the work force, the true damage to the Canadian economy is slowly being being unmasked. A friend of mine with a university degree who moved to Venezuela recently returned to Canada because he couldn’t find work in South America. After trying for two years to get a job which paid enough to support his family, he announced that things were worse in Canada than Venezuela. He return to Venezuela…the cost of living was cheaper there.”
// article date: 17 April 2006

08w03:2 Pink Man Bigotry

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I agree with what’s she’s saying, but I don’t agree with the labeling or stereotyping. – Timothy

Who’s Tired of Pink? | Erica Jong
“I am so tired of pink men bombing brown children and rationalizing it as fighting terrorism. I am so tired of pink men telling women (of all colors) what to do with their wombs–which connect with their brains–in case you forgot. I am so tired of pink men telling us we should stay in Iraq for generations. I am so tired of pink men buying bombs and cheating schools. I am so tired of pink men having wives who stand behind them and nod sagely on television. I am so tired of pink men expecting that someone–a brown, black, yellow or white woman–will trail behind them changing light bulbs, taking out garbage, washing laundry, keeping food in the house, taking care of kids of all ages, of parents of all ages …”

08w02:2 The Toronto School

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My excuses for tardiness: my sister’s dog ate it. Or not …. yes, I found this when it first came out and wanted to post it, but it was just before New Year’s and I thought I’d wait.

Then I saw it on BlogTo and thought there was probably no need. (But here I have to say I considered Laura Mendes’ attempt to make it palatable to BlogTo readers juvenile. She wrote that Kingwell was ‘brutally harsh’ and ‘mean’. Mean? Brutally harsh? Who do you think is reading BlogTo, 13 year olds? How thin is your/their skin? Is this what happens to bourgeois bohemians after a live time of anti-wrinkle skin cream?)

Yesterday it was on Metafilter. Metafilter! The poster on Metafilter said, ‘The article is a great read even if you’ve never stepped foot in the city.’

Geesh. I guess I better get on this.

Speaking of bourgeois bohemians: I went to see Kingwell interview Carl Wilson at his book launch the other night, and brought my recorder, but I had to leave before they got around to talking. Because I’m a humorless nerd I found the preceding performances intolerable (although I loved Laura Barrett’s cover of Weird Al Yankovic’s ‘Smells Like Nirvana’) but that also had a lot to do with not having a place to sit, put my coat, nor the fact that I couldn’t move around freely with bouncers guarding the doors lest anyone leaving to use the bathroom be mistaken for someone trying to sneak in.

It was a widely successful night and I congratulate Mr. Wilson on it.

Toronto: Justice Denied | Mark Kingwell
Link (The Walrus)

08w01:1 What he learned working for Dateline NBC

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This article by John Hockenberry is one of the best things I’ve come across in a long time. It seems to reflect how Chomsky’s critique of mainstream media 20 years ago is now becoming mainstream itself. – Timothy

“You Don’t Understand Our Audience” | John Hockenberry
“One might have thought that the television industry, with its history of rapid adaptation to technological change, would have become a center of innovation for the next radical transformation in communication. It did not. Nor did the ability to transmit pictures, voices, and stories from around the world to living rooms in the U.S. heartland produce a nation that is more sophisticated about global affairs. Instead, the United States is arguably more isolated and less educated about the world than it was a half-century ago. In a time of such broad technological change, how can this possibly be the case? […] Humor in commercials was hip–subtle, even, in its use of obscure pop-cultural references–but if there were any jokes at all in news stories, they were telegraphed, blunt visual gags, usually involving weathermen. That disjunction remains: at the precise moment that Apple cast John Hodgman and Justin Long as dead-on avatars of the PC and the Mac, news anchors on networks that ran those ads were introducing people to multibillion-dollar phenomena like MySpace and Facebook with the cringingly naïve attitude of “What will those nerds think of next?”

07w52:3 Bush Admin's 2007 Legal Fictions

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Legal Fictions:
The Bush administration’s dumbest legal arguments of the year.

| Dahlia Lithwick

Summary, in American MSM reverse order (the article expands on each):

10. The NSA’s eavesdropping was limited in scope
09. Scooter Libby’s sentence was commuted because it was excessive
08. The vice president’s office is not a part of the executive branch
07. The Guantanamo Bay detainees enjoy more legal rights than any prisoners of war in history.
06. Water-boarding may not be torture
05. Everyone who has ever spoken to the president about anything is barred from congressional testimony by executive privilege
04. Nine U.S. attorneys were fired by nobody, but for good reason
03. Alberto Gonzales
02. State secrets
01. The United States does not torture

07w52:2 Benazir Bhutto 1953-1907

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Goodreads attempts to be a document of the times, and I’d be remiss if I let the assassination of Benazir Bhutto pass without a related link. But for the most part, this comes with a caveat: nothing new to see here, move along. (Most of the flourishing articles are predictable tributes meeting dismay, and besides, assassination of politicians in cars is so 20th Century).

Daughter of Destiny: Benazir Bhutto, 1953-2007 | Christopher Hitchens

Benazir Bhutto | Wikipedia

07w51:4 Bush as a war criminal

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Wow. Just in time for Christmas, Andrew Sullivan sounding like Noam Chomsky.

The torture tape fingering Bush as a war criminal | Andrew Sullivan
“Any reasonable person examining all the evidence we have – without any bias – would conclude that the overwhelming likelihood is that the president of the United States authorised illegal torture of a prisoner and that the evidence of the crime was subsequently illegally destroyed. Congresswoman Jane Harman, the respected top Democrat on the House intelligence committee in 2003-06, put it as simply as she could: “I am worried. It smells like the cover-up of the cover-up.” It’s a potential Watergate. But this time the crime is not a two-bit domestic burglary. It’s a war crime that reaches into the very heart of the Oval Office. Yes, it is Hollywood time. And the ending of this movie is as yet unwritten. “