Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Freedom Of Speech Not Allowed At Bush Speech

Cindy In Cuffs

The Right-Wingers call Cindy Sheehan nuts. And she may be. Losing a child can do that to a mother. But there is no excuse, NO EXCUSE, for what the secret service did to Sheehan last night.

In case you didn't hear, Cindy Sheehan was removed from the Capitol building in handcuffs, held in jail for 4 hours, and charged with "unlawful conduct"... for wearing a T-shirt. A T-shirt that said "2,245 Dead. How many more?"

She refused to cover up the shirt. And I agree with her. There's too many cover-ups in Washington already.

Apparently, a woman wearing an anti-war T-Shirt all the way up in the House gallery is too much of a threat to the Commander-In-Chief.

As for Bush's speech? Well. Not exactly unpredictable (see yesterday's drinking game). Except for that whole part about "Manimals".

Anyways, be careful. Wear an anti-war or anti-Bush t-shirt, and you may spend the night in a prison cell.

UPDATE: "We Screwed Up."

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The State Of The Union (revisited)

Bush, Deep In Thought, Prepares For Speech

Wow. It's been a whole year since the last riveting state of the union address. I was a brash firebrand that long ago, shouting "I HATE BUSH!!!" at the end of a strongly worded blog post. I'm more mellowed out now. I don't hate Bush. I hate his policies. And just strongly dislike him. There. Much more mature.

Anyways, last year, Bush told us all about social security accounts, being fiscally responsible, Iraq being free, and reducing dependence on foreign oil.

How has he done in the past year? Well, social security is unchanged, we're in more debt than Toni Braxton, Don Johnson and Mike Tyson combined, Iraq is still a mess, and we're still sucking up to abusive regimes for some of their sweet, sweet oil-juice.

What brilliant ideas shall come from this State Of The Union Address? And more importantly, what sort of drinking game can we make out of it?
Everytime Bush says, "a free and sovereign Iraq": Drink an Irish Car Bomb

Everytime Bush says, "confident and strong": Drink a Fuzzy Navel

Everytime Bush says, "health savings accounts": Take A Shot Of Vodka

Everytime Bush says, "September 11th": Drink a Manhattan

Everytime Bush says, "New Orleans": Drink a Bloody Mary (w/ Tabasco!)

Everytime Bush says, "Working hard": Swallow a Pabst Blue Ribbon

Everytime Bush says "Special Interests": Take a shot of Jack (Daniels, not Abramoff)

Everytime Bush says, "Thugs and Killers": Chug a 40

Everytime Bush takes a not-so-subtle swipe at the Democrats: Say "Long Live Ted Kennedy!" And down a tumbler of Johnny Walker Blue Label.

Everytime Bush mentions "Sanctity of Marriage": Drink a pink slipper.

Everytime Bush says, "God Bless America": Drink a glass of Communion Wine/Manishevitz
By the end of the speech, you'll be too drunk to listen to Tim Russert's Commentary! Won't that be nice?

Check This Out: Write Your Own Bush Speech!!!
Casting Call

MySpace, meet Playboy. Playboy, MySpace.

It was only a matter of time before Playboy started looking at the profiles of all the girls who post sexy pictures of themselves and started to wonder... "How do we get a piece of that?"

Now, they're making a "Girls Of MySpace" issue.

It's interesting. As MySpace has spread in the public conciousness, more and more media outlets are creating profiles for themselves, seeking to connect with customers, subscribers, and yes... potential covergirls.

I was discussing with some collegues about how to promote a certain contest and one of them brought up MySpace right away.

A quick look around on the MySpace site revealed a People Magazine street team, Stuff Magazine, and Filter Magazine, among several lesser known publications.

With internet use on the rise, and print circulation falling (visit to see a pathetic/hysterical attempt to reassure themselves that magazines will remain relevant), media giants are beginning to exploit free space on the web to reach their target audience. 339 U.S. magazines list themselves on Wikipedia (whether they're put there by a fan or an employee is difficult to tell).

What does all this mean to us? Well, for net users, it could mean the social networking, blogging and wiki sites we love are threatened to be overrun by corporate stooges (Remember, Ruper Murdoch owns MySpace). Of course, on the other hand, it could mean that a magazine or company can provide special content (like a song, exclusive interview, or photos) to fans of the mag through its MySpace site. The advantage of having a MySpace profile, from a company's standpoint, is gaining access to the profiles of its customers, which can reveal interests or trends that they can then cover in a magazine or a new product. Of course, the flip side is that the company can read whatever personal info you put on your profile. Do you really want Filter Magazine to know you puked at that kegger last Saturday?

Everyone should know by now that sites like Wikipedia are at risk of being compromised by writers employed to promote a pro-company agenda (already, House staffers have been caught sanitizing the Wikipedia bios of congressmen). But for a company that wants to give basic information about themselves, Wikipedia, the 19th most viewed site on the internet, provides a free and high-profile venue. For the internet user, a Wikipedia entry may not always be reliable, but it can usually direct you towards information that is.

Another free space on the web being utilized by media groups and corporations is the blogosphere. Originally populated by stay-at-home nerds with strong opinions, the blog world is now awash with corporate blogs, many merely spouting off press releases and company slogans. Already, "spam blogs," have become enough of a problem that has had to develop a flagging system so that users can help them identify "robot-written" blogs designed to fool users into clicking spam links. But honest, candid blogs written by corporate CEOs, magazine editors, and others in so-called "ivory tower" positions have the potential to give some transparency to the corporate monolith. Already, several newspaper editors have created blogs to explain the news gathering process on a daily basis to their readers. Brian Williams' Daily Nightly blog, often provides a behind the scenes look at what it took to report on a story. To the reader, viewer, or consumer, these blogs can prove to be valuable sources of entertainment and information. To the company, these blogs are gatekeeper-free press with a personal touch.

The free web offers many opportunities for companies and media outlets to reach new customers and keep old ones, but potential for abuse should make people wary.

I ditched Friendster after receiving spam friend requests and messages from companies that manufactured profiles on the service. No one likes to be bothered. Opt-in mailing lists should be the norm.

And if there's any company ad people reading this... I've had enough of "Splash Ads," (those un-click-away-able animations that "splash" across certain web pages, and the latest trend in web advertising). There are some sites I refuse to go to because I know it'll take too much time to actually read an article there.

Anyways, on a personal note. I may have two articles coming up soon on MSNBC. Stay tuned. And my boy Sickabod Sane performs tonight at the $1000 dollar Open Mike at The Pyramid Club, NYC. Check it out.

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