Friday March 25, 2005
After many late nights spent bending Flickr to my will, I have finally given my foolish exercise in metatourism—Shiny, Pointy & Tall—a blog of its own. There—just in time for tourist season—you’ll find pictures of people taking pictures of the Chrysler Building, as well as other shots of photo-happy tourists culled from the Flickr community. Hat tip to moblogUK, which is where it all started.
Wednesday March 16, 2005
What did I tell you? Bush today tapped pasty puritan Kevin Martin as the FCC’s next chairman. I bet the Parents Television Council is going to love this. Actually, no wagering necessary. Here is PTC president Brent Bozell’s statement:
The PTC has strongly supported Kevin Martin as Chairman of the FCC because he is a stalwart leader on the issue of indecency, and we are confident he will make a superb Chairman.
Chairman Martin’s leadership record on the indecency issue shows his commitment to serving the public interest. We look forward to working with him and the full Commission.
Broadcast indecency is no small matter. And the FCC has been delinquent in its stewardship of the public airwaves. Just in the past year, the FCC has deemed topics such as bestiality, masturbation, oral sex, anal sex and pedophilia fit for children to watch on prime time network television. This irresponsibility must stop and with the leadership of Chairman Martin, we are confident it will.
The last part is interesting not just for Bozell’s, um, attention to detail, but for the suggestion that Powell’s FCC has been too easy on indecency. Cue the witch trials and Katie bar the pr0n.
AND ONE OTHER THING: As yet more revelations surface about the administration’s successful efforts to manipulate the electronic media, one might hope the FCC would step-up its role as regulatory watchdog. The commission under Powell is already investigating the Armstrong Williams affair. Don’t expect even feigned vigilance with Martin at the helm, however. As we mentioned before, his role as a partisan fixer dates from his days in Ken Starr’s office through the Florida recount, when he served as deputy general counsel for Bush/Cheney 2000.
Saturday March 12, 2005
- Convert words into letters made of pictures with this cool tool that avails itself of the Yahoo API. (Via Make: Blog)
- They’ve taken Sartre’s cigarettes away, and he’s not alone, except — of course — existentially.
Friday March 11, 2005
Reporting from the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Wired tells of a lighthearted competition to design a speculative computer game based on the life and work of Emily Dickinson. While two designers proposed rather straightforard simulations, the winner — proposed by Black & White designer Peter Molyneux — sounds as brilliant as it is, um, creepy.
Conceived as a cross between a Tamagotchi and Microsoft’s annoying “Clippy” character, Molyneux’s proposed game casts the player as Dickinson’s therapist. The game would be played off a thumb drive, with Emily running in the background and popping up only occasionally via email or instant messenger.
“As you interact with her, you start with a cordial relationship,” he said. “She (either) becomes romantically obsessed with you, or goes into a suicidal depression, and at the end, she can delete herself from the memory stick.”
Wow. It’s almost like knowing a real writer.
Saturday March 05, 2005
My non-Platonic roommate (nPRm), Alexandra, is constantly scouting dollar stores for cultural detritus, but she’s outdone herself with this set of parent/child McDonald’s costumes. Here Alexandra models as the Big Mac Madonna — a.k.a. “The Shake” — while a toddler on loan from friends fills in as “The Fries.” Margalit apparently prefers Burger King.
The February issue of Redbook was barely off the stands when Denise Richards announced she was filing for a divorce from Charlie Sheen and seeking custody of their daughter and the one that’s on the way. The cover line reads, “His wild past, her racy pics and the old-fashioned way they are raising their baby girl.”
Tuesday March 01, 2005
While at first I assumed this was just a sophisticated spam trap designed to snare old Spy fanatics like myself, Kurt Andersen sent in the following email last week in response to my post about his use of the phrase “Hobbesian choice.” It appears in its entirety.
I noticed that you (like some other bloggers) took me to task for using “Hobbesian choice” in my piece in New York magazine last week. In fact, I’m a little clueless, but not in the way you think. I thought I was being literate and amusing by twisting Hobson’s Choice into an apt new phrase: that is, I meant to refer to Hobbes’ essential nasty-brutish social philsophy, i.e. in Leviathan, as I recall, he says that the basic human social choice is between living in a State of Nature (such as civil war in Iraq) or under a potentially tyrannical state, the Leviathan (such as U.S. occupation of Iraq). Furthermore, I think Hobbes also said there are only two choices in any given situation — action or omission — and I was arguing in the column that Bush-haters were refusing to admit that painful binary choice as regards Iraq. So, anyhow, I thought I was being smart, but I guess I was just being confusing and opaque. And thanks to you, I now know I wasn’t even original in my conflation, just deliberate — I hadn’t known that Hobson’s Choice and Hobbesian Choice are routinely confused.