Category Archives: politics
Nine Inch Nails monopticon Trent Reznor recently posted a list of awesome ideas for artists to get super-successful using the Web, and it makes a hell of a lot of sense. Anyone with a blog, YouTube series, webcomic, band, photoblog, or anything remotely creative should print this out and paste it next to wherever they do their creative interwebs stuff.
His points make a lot of sense. This really is a weird new world and, so long as you can create a solid base, you’re probably going to make a lot more money from merchandising than you are off of your actual artwork. Amanda Palmer recently blogged about a spontaneous Twitter conversation that led to the spontaneous production of a spontaneous CafePress T-Shirt that netted her about $19,000 in one night, although to be fair, she (and Mr. Reznor) already have a pretty solid fanbase, and it’s unlikely you or I are going to score mad cash off of our sweet new T-shirt slogan (“What Do Fratboys Wash Their Hair With? Natural Bro-tanicals!”) until we, too, amass an army of screaming teenagers in black tights.
Anyway, Janko on GigaOM weeded through The Trent’s original post, and came up with Five Important Points that make as much sense for YouTubers or Flash artists as they do for bands. You’re not going to make any money off your content, you’re going to make your money off of a fanbase that likes your content enough to support it by buying t-shirts and things. The Brothers Chaps were able to quit their jobs and spend all day making Strong Bad and Homestar cartoons because people kept buying their schwag (I’m thinking of them because I’m wearing my old Strong Bad shirt today.) And you’re going to build a fanbase by giving your stuff away for free. Crazy, right?
Except… hasn’t public broadcasting essentially operated off of this principle for years? We’ll give you quality programming for free, and if you like it, you’ll support us with your donations, and you’ll “buy” our tote bags and This Old House mugs and DVD collections of Miss Marple. That’s right, fellow New Englanders – Fritz Wetherbee and Elaine Pasternack over at New Hampshire Public Television were doin’ the new media revenue thing twenty years before anyone. As Trent says, any song you could possibly want is only a click away, so music and media are now free no matter what we do. You want to make money as an artist? Embrace it.
You know, there’s a vast difference between throwing red paint on people with fur coats, or sneaking into an animal testing facility and setting all the monkeys free, or holding up a picture of George W. Bush with a Hitler moustache drawn on…. and, well, pretty much anything your average right-wing extremist has ever thought of doing.
I bring this up now because of what happened last week to Dr. Tiller, and what happened two days ago at the Holocaust Museum. I bring it up because of what the Department of Homeland Security said earlier this year, when they said that the combination of “financial crisis” and “first black President” could spark a surge in acts of violence committed by scared old white men and luckless bull-headed neo-Nazi boys. I bring it up in particular because of Rush Limbaugh’s instant reaction to the DHS report, which was to ridicule it, and I bring it up because of his current reaction, which was to blame it all on the liberals anyway.
Yeah, Rush, it’s one of those liberal/Nazi conspiracies we’ve been hearing so much about. See, all the liberal Jews in Hollywood got together and decided to hire a guy to shoot a security guard at the Holocaust museum, because that all makes sense.
People actually buy this crap.
I have to catch a bus in like ten minutes, but seriously, I had to post this.
This is an anti-gay marriage ad produced by the wonderful people at the National Organization for Marriage and shown in New Hampshire. Please: enjoy.
Yes, if marriage is opened to include same-sex couples, your kids might say all sorts of adorable tolerant things. PLEASE, SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
(Oh, and at the end? Where the little boy says “I’m confused?” Don’t think these people don’t know what the subtext is. If gays can get married YOUR KIDS WILL BE GAY. Wow. I mean, wow, you evil hateful medieval jackasses. Way to go.)
This Modern World, by Tom Tomorrow, is one of many syndicated alternative comics dropped by Voice News this month, in cost cutting measures due to the recession.
Luckily, several people have spoken out on Tom’s behalf, including one Mr. Eddie Vedder of Seattle, WA. Good on ya, Ed. He says some really nice things about political cartoonists in general over at the Ten Club blog, and it’s worth a read.
See, this is why no sitting President has ever appeared on a late night talk show before.
In the middle of an innocuous discussion about the President’s bowling game (what is it with this guy and bowling?) President Obama said something dumb about the Special Olympics.
Take a look-see before NBC takes this down:
Now, I think the President was referring to Jay’s faux-condescending “That’s GREAT, Mr. President,” because in the Special Olympics, everyone’s a winner. That’s how they roll, and good for them.
Still, get ready for false outrage from people who seriously think this sort of thing is offensive and relevant.
Waaaait a minute….
A cursory survey of the usual suspects finds most right-wing pundits and bloggers saying things like “it was dumb, this is why he needs a teleprompter, but it’s no big deal.” So, again, we’re in a situation where the big story is “The President said something silly – WHAT WILL THE RIGHT WING SAY?” when, in fact, they’re saying nothing.
Look, they brought it on themselves. And by “they”, I mean “the chattering class in general, left and right.” Over the last twenty years, this is what would happen: A Democrat would say something dumb, and the right would feign outrage. Or, Bush would say something dumb, and the left would feign outrage. Knee-jerk responses to something the other “team” did. That’s all it was. We’ve come to accept it now. So, now, whenever (Representative of Party X) says or does something offensive, the media immediately reports that (Representatives of Party Y) are outraged. It’s lazy and it’s telling.
So…. did the President say something offensive about the Special Olympics? Does this mean he hates developmentally challenged people, people in wheelchairs, and by proxy AMERICA ITSELF? I dunno. I’d rather hear it from the Special Olympics or handicapped people themselves, rather than from Michelle Malkin (or, more accurately, from Keith Olbermann telling me how Michelle Malkin’s going to feel.)
If you’re a fan of ER, which I haven’t been for about ten years, then you know that tonight, George Clooney, Eriq LaSalle, and Juliana Marguiles are all returning to the show. I say good for them – it’s important to remember where you came from, and to pay your respects to the place that made one-third of you a star.
What you may not know is that PETA wants to make George Clooney flavored tofu. I would give anything – anything – to be making this up. See, apparently, they got hold of Clooney’s gym towel, and are able to synthesize a “Clooney flavor” in the same way that artificial chicken flavoring is made. Now, if I had the power to do this… I still wouldn’t. But if I was the sort of person who was in the position to make Clooney-fu, and actually wanted to, I’d do it with the most reasonable of motives by which one would ever produce tofu out of Dr. Doug; namely, because it’d be funny.
However, PETA says they’re doing this in order to spare the life of a poor innocent animal from having to suffer the horrendous fate of being eaten, because PETA never has fun reasons for doing anything. Their hopes are that some pig, or cow, or chicken will be able to live another day happily wallowing in their own poop, knowing that, come suppertime, the American people will be tucking in to bean curd garnished with George Clooney’s gym sweat.
PETA’s in the same category as community theater productions of The Laramie Project and late 90s, Ticketmaster-is-bad era Pearl Jam. By which I mean: I get what you’re trying to do. Heck, I even support what you’re trying to do. But sometimes, you really need to just stop.
Mr. Clooney, for his part, has put the kibbosh on the whole scheme, and good for him. Clooney tofu won’t discourage people from eating meat. It would probably be expensive, for a start, it smacks of cannibalism, and at the end of the day, it’s still tofu. Tofu only tastes good when you pour lots of soy sauce on it, which deadens the palate and prevents one from truly savoring the subtle notes of George.
But that’s the thing about PETA – they have the best of intentions, but their actions sometimes make me question their ultimate views. Did they think this was a good idea because it’s a publicity stunt, or because, by using Mr. Clooney’s sweat without his permission, it draws attention to the circumstances animals are sometimes placed in without their consent? Or did they do it because they see no difference between a human life and a chicken? I’m worried that it’s the latter.
For the record, I rarely eat beef or pork – most of my protein actually comes from peanuts, eggs, or fish. I never eat veal or rabbit. I eat chicken, but chickens are stupid. I don’t know why that makes things better, but I feel much guiltier about eating an animal that has some capacity for reason and emotion, which is why I rarely eat pig products. Chickens, on the other hand, are so independent of their brains that… well, you ever heard the expression “running around like chickens with their heads cut off?” Like most cliches, it is firmly based in reality. I detest animal testing, or any other form of cruelty to animals. Greyhound racing disturbs me. Heck, the Westminster Dog Show disturbs me. But there is, I believe, a certain hierarchy, and call me cruel, but George Clooney isn’t on it.