Thursday, August 31, 2006

Issues Facing America

Prosper magazine is sponsoring a blog team to go to the event "All About Us." Cheech Marin, Tom Daschle, Dave Barry, Bob Dole (!) , Soledad O'Brien (CNN) and Thomas Ridge (Homeland Security) will be speaking on the issues that face America's future. I get to go... and blog!

For my first blog, I'll be discussing what I feel the important issues facing America are. So I thought I'd ask my readers: What are they?

I know what you're thinking. Lacey, come on, our steps to making this country better are obvious!
1. Get Dubya out of the White House.
2. Keep the Bushes out of the White House.
4. Profit!

What would make this country successful is if we actually practiced the democracy we're so gallantly forcing on everyone else. No Diebold voting machines. No Supreme Court picking the president. Our forefathers may have been afraid of the popular vote, but folks today are educated. Let's treat them that way!

...Wait... is one man The Issue facing America's future? I'd like to think the world will move on after 2008. In 2008 we'll have far more noble concerns than whether or not our president was "really" elected. Like, promoting fair trade in a largely capitalist world economy. Or maybe having a foreign policy that doesn't make us pretend to be Canadian when we travel. What do you think? What is The Issue we face?

My blog will be judged based on the quality of traffic I attract to the Web site, so please practice giving me feedback now. ;) Thanks!

Friday, August 25, 2006

YouTube War

What could be more fun than a web service that allows everyone to post their home-made movies? What could be funnier, sexier, or more entertaining?

Images of the war in Iraq, of course!

I'm being sarcastic (hard to tell in print, I know). According to this ASAP story, videos of the war in Iraq (or at least, what *appear* to be videos of the war in Iraq) are viewable on YouTube, the share-all, do-it-yourself video storage site of America. They're graphic and sickening--everything from targets getting blown up, to American or Brittish soldiers teasing or harrassing Iraqis.

Of course, there's no context for these videos, and there's no way to verify that these images are authentic. That's one of the problems of the Internet/blogger age--everyone suddenly becomes published without a gatekeeper to edit or fact-check. I care about the truth. I want to know if these images are real.

But what I found perhaps the most disturbing is that these images, if they are real, may be illegal. According to the article:
"The Pentagon wants the worst videos off the Internet. It has banned "photographing or filming detainees or human casualties, as well as the possession, distribution, transfer, or posting, whether electronically or physically, of visual images depicting detainees or human casualties, except as required for official duties," the military said in e-mailed response to questions."

I don't approve of censorship. It rankles me. The fine line between censorship and gatekeeping is that one is aimed at controlling information--the other is aimed at verifying it!

If these images are real, then YouTube has suddenly become the tool of the people; a grassroots way to spread the truth. The article ends noting, "The Pentagon, burned by public outcry over TV images of Vietnam, now tries to limit media coverage to reporters "embedded" with troops. But there is no censoring the trophy videos. We're all embedded now."

What do you think? Please share your comments!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Stay out of my hoola hoop!

That's right. I want my personal space, buddy, and I'm not afraid to use Jr-high-school terms to get it!

Only now, you can *force* people to stay out of your hoola hoop. (This cracks me up!) An ASAP story led me to this beautiful dress designer's page. YES it's inflatable. Meant to be used in crowded places like the NY subway. I've never taken the subway--maybe that's why I don't see its appeal--but the infusion of technology with clothing is something I highly approve of. Maybe the next iteration will have electro-shock personal defense options for the *really* edgy feminist. Sweet!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Snakes on a Plane!

Yes, it's out in theaters today.

No, I'm not going to see it. (Snakes are scary!)

But I support this movie 100%.

I am tickled pink by the internet philosophy that's grown from one Hollywood screenwriter's blog on this very film. Fanatical internet fandom has 1) kept the silly title alive and 2) got New Line a bigger budget and an R rating.

Further, I am deeply satisfied to know that Samuel Jackson does his own thing, to the horror of his agents (and, perhaps, to the horror of the country).

There's an interesting article on the snake handler hired for this movie here. And Jon Stewart's interview just says it all.

I hope this movie does well, because I'd like to see the blogosphere affect the entertainment industry. I want the power given to the people, brothers! But if Joss Whedon's Serenity showed us anything, it's that fanatical internet fandom doesn't guarantee you a box-office smash.

Then again, SoaP *does* have Sam Jackson. That alone may fix the winnings.

What can I say, man? Snakes on a plane.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Oh, the fun of violence...

StreetWars is a game in the UK wherein people use brightly-colored supersoakers to assassinate each other. Once you take down a target, you try to assassinate their intended target. Whoever's left by the end of next week participates in an instant-death match. Sounds like a good time!

And it reminds me more than a little of that X-box commercial online. (Anyone know if it ever aired?)

Also, science makes life worth living. I feel imensely cool surrounded by good technology. Liquid armor is possible. What more can I ask for in life?