Monday, August 29, 2011

Changing the Narrative: Mainstream Media > Corporate Media

So, on the Social Media, Social Justice panel at Rising Tide VI this year, we talked about making a concerted effort to start using the term "corporate media" instead of "mainstream media," especially when referring to the news (Jordan Flaherty was the first to mention this).  I think this is not only a good idea, but a necessity.  Why?  Well, because the term mainstream media sets us up to mentally think "average," "the middle," the "most popular,"or something similar to that.

Social Media and Social Justice Panel from Rising Tide VI at Xavier University

Here's video of the Social Media and Social Justice panel from this year's Rising Tide conference. Thanks to Jason Berry for filming, Bart Everson for organizing, and Dr. Kimberly Chandler for moderating the panel.

Rising Tide 6 - Social Media, Social Justice from Jason Berry on Vimeo.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Get Your Arse There: Rising Tide VI: Tomorrow (Saturday-August 27th)

Rising Tide is Saturday (tomorrow), August 27th at Xavier University.  Get your arse there. You can live stream it if your arse can't make it.

Astronomers find Planet Made of Diamond

Courtesy of TalkingPointsMemo, a team of astronomers found a planet only 4,000 light years away that's made entirely of diamond.  De Beers has reportedly just chartered a flight to it.  Shortly after, astronomers found another planet, this one only 4,001 light years away, made entirely of cubic zirconia.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Primary Characteristics of the Tea Party Movement

By way of TalkingPointsMemo, a recent article in Context, a quarterly magazine on sociology, discusses the fundamental cultural characteristics of the Tea Party movement.  These are, according to TPM, "Authoritarianism, Fear of Change, Libertarianism, and Nativism [or
'negative attitudes toward immigrants and immigration']".

Friday, August 19, 2011

What if the Tea Party were Black? by Tim Wise

A colleague of mine reminded me of this short article by Tim Wise.  It's a really good way of demonstrating white privilege, especially in the everyday, "normal" issues on the intersections of comfort and race.  Now I'm sure there are plenty of people who will argue that the tea party, especially its more radical, gun-toting arm makes them uncomfortable, but that's not the point.  The point is, imagine if instead of being mostly white, they were mostly black? I think anyone who thinks about this seriously and honestly will come away with the same conclusion. Imagine if a number of black men showed up at a state capital or city hall, or even a bar legally carrying firearms? There's no way that would be allowed.  People would be shitting their pants, the tea party would be cast as a crazy, radical, terrorist organization, many would be thrown in jail and some might even be shot.  We'd be seeing random video clips taken completely out of context that reveal the "real danger these people pose to the safety and security of "normal" Americans.  White folks left and right would be falling in line with the political and media constructed narratives.  Here's the link to the pdf.  Or, you can read it below.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Amazing Pictures taken from Space

Courtesy of the folks at TalkingPointsMemo, here are some incredible shots of the planet taken from space.  Unfortunately, you can't see Bruce Willis in the meteor pic. Click here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The School ReSegregation Movement

Here's a trailer from the latest Robert Greenwald and the Brave New Foundation film on the role of the Koch brothers, their organization Americans for Prosperity, and school segregation courtesy of Crooks and Liars.  Notice the code words, things like "neighborhood schools."  Ahh, who could be against neighborhood schools?  That sounds so sweet and everything.  As someone who studies media, crime and racism, I've learned that you always have to look behind these words, to the policy, its inducements and the pressures it produces, to see what they mean in reality.  Throughout the 80s and 90s we heard (and still do) similar code words on crime.  Words like "thug," "urban," "gangster," and "crackhead" served as replacement words for black, hispanic and asian youth because using those words is not pc.  Instead, code words are used to generate support for policies that in practice will further institutionalize racism and other forms of discrimination.  Racism through the back door.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Crime Cameras and Crap

Does anyone know what's going on with those crime cameras?  I heard there was a law suit or something.  I gut busted three times for speeding.  It sucks.  It'd be one thing if I was going unreasonably fast, but I really wasn't.  I won't drive on Henry Clay anymore, got busted there going like 40 in a 35 or something like that, twice.  I don't think that's unreasonably fast.  You can't really go fast on most of these roads, they're too small and full of pot holes, it's like built in speed bumps,  Go too fast and you'll get messed up.  The ticket I got today was on Jackson and something.  I don't even know, I just said 'shit' and looked at the amount.  $75.00.  Maybe that will help the city fill the killer pot hole out in front of my house.  There's been an orange cone there for like 2 months.  Anyway, I switched my car insurance the other day and I asked about speeding tickets counting against me, and the agent mentioned something about a court case.  Does anyone know anything about this?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Ok, since millions and millions of people visit this blog everyday, I have a question.  I'm a mountain biker. Not mountain dew level of extreme.  I just like to ride my bike.  I ride on the levee, which is great, but I'm looking for something off road.  Any suggestions?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Decarceration: State Prison Closings

Marc Mauer and the good people at The Sentencing Project just came out with their latest report on decarceration.  Since the late 1960s this country has seen the number of people incarcerated increase from about 200,000 to 2.4 million, placing the US. on top of the world in both pure numbers of people it locks away and in the rate (per 100,000).  Most of this increase had to do with tougher drug penalties, as well as tougher penalties for things like parole violation.  It's also due to a greater number of people being sent to prison for offenses that would not have landed them in prison before, as well as a greater number of people staying behind bars for longer periods of time.  See the chart below,

In Keeping with the Spirit of the Season

As we celebrate this debt ceiling raising season...courtesy of the folks at Crooks and Liars.

btw, "Who's Your Baghdaddy" sounds hilarious.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


NJ Governor Chris Christie on his appointment of Sohail Mohammed to the State Bench.

Check out the video.  He's answering questions at a press conference....tears it up.