Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Esquire's 75 Most Influential . . . Dudes?

As Esquire magazine celebrates its 75th anniversary with a fair amount of hoopla and some rather silly technology, they seem to have forgotten that behind, to the side, and in front of every great man (at his, um, best) is an often greater woman.

This wasn't lost with the ladies at Dame Magazine who took the gray dudes to task in a recent blog. It's easy to see why if you peruse Esquire's page turner of a list—the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century. Honestly, when you produce a list like that, you're asking for a fight. But when only 11% of the entries are women, that's just a further example of the oftentimes warped world view of an industry that desperately needs to diversify across a few areas.

I love that Danger Mouse and MIA (the obligatory cool factors to make old squares feel in touch) made the list, and it's hard to argue against the Google guys, Steve Jobs or even George Clooney. But less than 10 women on the whole list? That seems more like the 20th Century, fellas.

Lastly: While this list—and Esquire's editorial, in general—is pretty solid, their website needs work. Besides the 75 list's clunky navigation confounding me midway through, I couldn't even find the MIA story to post its permalink. It goes to show how far old media (still) has to go to catch up with a sharp 22-year-old and a high-traffic Wordpress blog. It will take much more than 'E-Ink' to bring this legacy title into the 21st Century.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

'Knocking Out the White Man': 10 Reasons Obama Still Loses in Middle America

From my recen HuffPo rant — Barack Obama and John McCain squared off tonight for the first presidential debate. All through the night my Facebook page was blowing up with congratulatory posts and chest-pounding status updates. But among the self-congratulatory excitement was a palpable sigh at the heavy reality that is settling in. The question now looms: Is it enough to simply be the better candidate? I say no, and here's why.

1. Attention Obama fans: He already has your vote. This isn't the primary; it's the general election. You need to remember that this is now mostly a fight for the heartland, aka the red and pink states. The so-called swing voters are not disenchanted Hillary supporters. Those we can count on to do the right thing, even the P.U.M.A.'s. Middle Americans are corn-belt Reagan types--or as they're usually called, 'hard working people.' They don't believe in a Bush III presidency, but a slick Shepard Fairey poster doesn't sway them either. Obama needs to tell these folks they've been sold a bill of goods by the Republicans for the past eight years and lay it out for them in stark detail. He's got to remind them that it wasn't the Democrats that failed to fund the war; it was George Bush failing to fund the Veterans Administration. It wasn't democrats who allowed the economy to tank, it was the so-called party of the fiscally conservative that watched it all come barreling up to this point. And he needs to paint the slippery maverick with a big bulls eye and not let him slink aboard the Circular Talk Express, as Jon Stewart described it.

2. Democrats are still wusses (so tempting to say what I really think). At least that's the view in Middle America. Why did Obama recite all of his military arguments as a solo act? Why didn't he quote any of the many generals and military folk that support his campaign and ask McCain to counter them? What about his support from former secretaries of state or veterans? He looked like only slightly better than a typical Democrat over compensating for his nuanced positions on foreign affairs and military policy. What about using the words of Colin Powell, who just the other day pretty much blamed Conde and George for being asleep at the wheel while Georgia spiraled towards conflict with Russia? Why not toss McCain's 'We're all Georgians' back down his throat? Dozens of military leaders would probably echo Obama's more careful stance with Russia and aim sharp criticism at the reckless Georgians. Why not ask McCain how he hopes to get his Republican machine in line, the same ones who mangled almost every step of this war and occupation since the jump?

3. McCain was wrong about Pakistan, and not just in the pronunciation of its president's name. When McCain challenged Obama for pushing for raids into Pakistan territory in pursuit of Al'Qaeda, Obama needed to push back hard. It isn't enough to clown McCain for his 'Bomb Iran' song--Iran is an enemy of America, according to popular opinion, so only bleeding hearts care about war drums for them. Instead, why didn't Obama mention the raids that are already happening (at least according to the Pakistanis) courtesy of the Bush administration? Our soldiers and helicopters are already engaged in firefights with the Pakistani army, under our current president. Why not force McCain to criticize his commander in Chief for real time operations--a political plank walk--as opposed to letting him beat you up about your hypothetical declarations?

4. Aaron Sorkin will not get you elected. This isn't The West Wing. At this point, Mr. Obama, your presidential poise is becoming a liability. Time to break a sweat and get some blood on the fists. Forget the angry black man tag, the once dynamic new thinker is in danger of just being another young, good-looking politician. And the Democrats lose with those all the time.

5. Sarah Palin doesn't matter. Get over it. No, she only obliquely came up in a quick McCain comment tonight, but she's never far from Obama supporter's arguments. Yes, even some conservatives know she's a tool. But continuing to attack her only makes he stronger. Leave her alone and let her fail/fall/fumble on her own. The VP debate is just around the corner. If she doesn't go down then, she'll never wilt under a thousand late night jokes and mean political cartoons.

6. Love doesn't get people elected. Fear does. Sorry, but that's the cold truth. Obama has gotten this far on the backs of our love for him, his spirit, the hope he inspires, and how he makes us feel. Unfortunately, that hasn't won an election since 1960 and it barely worked then. A better make-up job on Nixon and we'd never have heard of John F Kennedy. We're a lot more cynical society today and there are two wars raging, terrorism fears and near financial collapse. What's love got to do with all that?

7. Hillary. Obama could have utilized Hillary several times during the debate. For one, McCain mentioned her by name as an example of his bipartisan budget cutting. Then a few minutes later, he cut down Obama's health care plan as some sort of socialist government program. Hello, that's Clinton's plan too--and it comes with 18 million hungry voters. Why not take that straight to McCain while Clinton's name's still fresh in the room? Mr. Obama, please use these Hillary voters to your advantage and talk to them whenever you can. And never let your opponent co-op her name.

8. America knows Obama opposed the war. A big part of the reason he captured the nomination was because he won the battle of good judgment long before the middle of the country had finally grown sour on Iraq. But now he finds himself sounding like a broken record in a room where the mood might have more recently changed. The war now looks less important, if not 'winnable' to many. So when McCain accused Obama of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, it has an effect, especially among those heartland voters he needs. No matter how unfortunate and inaccurate this view is, it's a defining characteristic of defeatist Democrats. (And, by the way, citing Biden as evidence of your military experience just plays into the hands of critics who think you chose him simply to prop up your foreign policy deficits.)

9. Obama is still too defensive. He answered several of McCain's attacks with agitated counter attacks. This style might please the ringside cheering crowd, but it doesn't feel presidential to me. I wanted to see him rise above McCain's jabs and use his statements as a launching pad to his hopefully more sound solutions. Then, after he's decimated his opponent's presumed weaker or hypocritical positions, he can come back and finish him off by dismantling his statements.

10. Still standing is winning. Unless you're Obama. Chris Rock put it best: You can't beat white people; you can only knock them out. Replace 'white' with 'standard bearing gray-haired legacy candidate' and the rule applies. Applying this to the presidential race means is that it isn't enough for the contender--Obama--to just stay in the ring. When you're fighting the presumptive heir to the championship belt, you need to knock them completely to the mat. Kerry didn't do it and neither did Gore. Obama needed to leave McCain lying in a pool of Republican contradictions and failed Bushisms. But like the nightmares I have when I'm swinging at an attacking opponent and just not connecting hard enough to make a difference, I kept shadow boxing on my sofa as Obama took admirable swings but landed insufficiently. He needed to send McCain tumbling (Hell, I'd settle for grumbling or mumbling). It didn't happen tonight.

Stay tuned for the next round. I hope I'm wrong about all of this.

P.S. Also check out former US Weekly/Star editor/HuffPo blogger Bonnie Fuller's most excellent pre-debate rules of war for Obama.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Colbert Puts His Show in Suspension

Showing his solidarity with presidential candidate John McCain, The Colbert Report went on temporary suspension until the financial crisis can be averted. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza examined it in detail.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

OK, It's Official: I Have A Crush on CNN's Campbell Brown

For the record, I have not been a big fan of CNN's rising political anchor Campbell Brown. I've probably been a little rash in dismissing her as network couch candy, but she's not been the best at dispelling this in the past. In fact, during the Democratic primary debates, she earned a place on my dismissed list for failing to pick up on a crucial line of discussion around health insurance, allowing Hillary to slide into a commercial break just when the details were getting, well, detailed.

But that's all behind me after today. Brown showed true grit, spitting out a special comment about the cocooning of Gov. Sarah Palin from the media. (And this follows up on a Palin smackdown she dished out to a McCain spokesperson last month). The cynic would say she is becoming CNN's Keith Olbermann, but the network already has that in the dead serious Wolf Blitzer sidekick Jack Cafferty. Good looks aside, I will definitely be paying much more attention to see what Brown can do for me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates 2007 Interview: Love is in the Air (Video)

A 2007 interview at The Wall Street Journal's D5 Conference, with the two most famous computer folk in the world—Apple's Steve Jobs and Microsoft's Bill Gates. Hell, maybe most famous of all time (and in Gate's case, definitely richest). And regardless of which side of the 'I'm a PC' or 'I'm a Mac' stereotype you are, it's nice to see these two pioneers on the same stage. Makes you think we could even solve this Iran/Israel thing if we put our heads together.

That Zuckerberg Kid (The Wall Street Journal Video)

Facebook founding whiz kid and all around uncomfortable-seeming human Mark Zuckerberg sits for an interview at The Wall Street Journal's D6 Conference. Along with COO Sheryl Sandberg, he discussed all things Facebook, which, as an admitted addict, I always find interesting. (For the record, Zuckerberg's public speaking is improving.)

Part 2

If you want more thoughts and somewhat of a transcript, here are the session notes in their entirety.

Facebook in Real Life? I'll Stay in Second Life, Thank You.

This hilarious video poses the question: What if Facebook was real life? Answer: annoying as fuck.

Caught this on The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital site.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Former Blink 182 Drummer Travis Barker and Celebrity DJ AM Survive a Fiery Plane Crash

From CNN -- Former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and disc jockey Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein were in critical condition with extensive burns Saturday after a jet crash that killed four people, authorities said. Check the story at URB.COM

Friday, September 19, 2008

Microsoft Fights Back. And Scores.

Apple has been having its way with Microsoft for a while now, but the one-sided televised fight for tastemaker supremacy has just gotten interesting. Microsoft, after taking it lying down for what seemed like an eternity, hired hotshot ad shop Crispin Porter & Bogusky (think Volkswagen, Burger King and the Truth campaign) to even out the playing field. And if this effort—light years better than the funny but predictable Seinfeld/Bill Gates spot—is an example of what's to come, it's going to be a lot harder for "I'm a Mac" to say it all.

CP&B was brought on to take a little wind out of Apple's sales (intended), but it remains to be seen what kind of listening Mac users will be capable of. We're an elite bunch. The agency is known for recharging sagging brands through sharp, unconventional brashness, typically inventing memorable new themes or characters in the process. To get PC users feeling less inadequate, and Mac users less mighty, it will take a gifted campaign. In a Fast Company article, Crispin figurehead Alex Bogusky put it like this: "What Crispin has been able to do consistently is not just produce breakthrough work, but actually create new audiences for brands." It may be the perfect time for a new PC audience.

Let's face it, we live in a moment where the same forces that brought the once written off underdog Apple (yes, there was a time, kids) into stylistic prominence—along with 14% of the U.S. market share—also exist for the other side. This shift—the rise of the creative class—can effectively be used to promote PCs since this strata exists in all professions and social groups. Whereas when I started my magazine on a Macintosh 18 years ago, my defiant claim was Apple was the tool of the creative vanguard. The company had already put that seed—an accurate claim back then—in hearts and minds with their groundbreaking Ridley Scott '1984' commercial. And I was the living embodiment of that hammer-swinging rebel in the ad, an indie publisher, creating something with technology that wasn't even available a few years before.

More importantly, I felt that Apple was building machines specifically for me, my generation. And PCs, not entirely by their own fault, fell easily into the 'your dad's computer' pile. everything from the way Macs were designed, to their packaging, to the vendors that sold them, was fresh. And when you looked around, even in those early days, Apple users were pushing the envelope in creative ways. I wanted in. Apple spoke to me. PCs weren't ever even a consideration.

The brand new Microsoft commercial takes dead aim at this presumed hegemony. By brilliantly confronting the Apple spots (produced by LA-area Media Arts Lab) head-on, Microsoft has pushed back hard against their PC-mocking assertions. It's the kind of ad a) you'd expect from CP&B and b) that Microsoft had to do if they were going to make any noise at all. Call it their Palin moment. By utilizing a vast array of individuals, from the famous (Deepak Chopra, Pharrell, Eva Longoria) to the un-famous, but original (a black astronaut, a graffiti artist, an animal activist), the spot shows what PC users have probably all wanted to yell out: We're cool too.

Now, a commercial can't change the world. You still won't find me on a PC anytime soon--though I'd love to try out a Zune one of these days. Apple is also great at reminding you—and many a PC user will grudgingly testify—that Mac's are still ahead in terms of ease and intuitive design (here's a fine example). Not to mention, to many, trying to paint PCs as the tools of change, is like putting John McCain's face on the Obama 'Hope' posters. And the elegance of Apple's design, their innovation and the genius of lord/guru/god Steve Jobs is going to continue to produce the most coveted plastic and aluminum around. But if a commercial can say something something 85% of U.S. computer users have probably felt at one point, it's that Microsoft can bring as many counterparts to John Hodgman's character as the Apple side can. As a die-hard Apple fan, I got the message.

Check the reactions this post got on the HuffPo.

DIGG me.

The Vanishing White Person

From the San Francisco Chronicle — If Sen. Barack Obama's candidacy has indeed placed race in the spotlight again this election season, then the Census Bureau's new projections that white America is fading into minority status much faster than previously thought offers a glaring view of the fissures that continue to spider web our republic . . .

But the increasingly rapid erosion of the white population in America raises the stakes considerably no matter who wins the White House. The question transcends what the occupant of the Oval Office looks like and becomes whether whites are ready for the accelerating changes that will result in an America that no longer looks like them, sounds like them or necessarily embraces their cultural tastes.

The answer, as it stands now, is almost certainly "no."

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Al's Fair in War and Politics

Al Franken brings it home

I don't mind this ad (below), a hard hitting spot by the Democrats trying to win the Minnesota Senate race. If you're not hungrily following Minnesota politics, you might not know that comedian/commentator/writer Al Franken is running as the Democrat. Yeah, that guy.

In the commercial, an older couple is remembering their son, who was killed in Iraq. They lay the blame squarely at the feet of President Bush and his crony congress starring Republican Norm Coleman. It's blunt, heart wrenching and—some will argue—completely over the line.

Personally, I think we've sanitized this war and the conversation surrounding it enough. Our media quietly obliges the Pentagon by not showing the bodies of the dead upon their return to the U.S. That Orwellian practice is all part of the inoculation against any public outcry reaching critical mass. War is—to be cliche—hell, and I expect to do my part by not turning away. I don't just want the packaged HBO version on Generation Kill, I want to study the reality up close on PBS and at discomforting range. And daily. I don't want to be polite about this war. Ever.

Thanks to The Fix for the tip.

Woah, I'm an Official Blogger/Dork

pure/ROKER is officially joining Technorati. From what I can tell, the site is some sort of blog index that links you to a gazillion other folks—or it's a secret Dick Cheney mainframe that will plant cookies in everything I touch. But I've been told by my girl Thuy that something about Technorati is beneficial, so feel free to educate me too.

They insisted that I plant this secret code:

Technorati Profile

Hip-Hop's Perez Hilton?

From URB.COM — Hip-hop hopefuls used to pass through the pages of The Source, XXL and maybe even this magazine on their way to big budget videos and bright lights. Today, rappers go nowhere unless Eskay says so. His chronically updated NahRight.com is the site for hip-hop news, videos and empefrees. This shift in the powers of hip-hop media can really be summarized in lines from two Brooklyn MCs. Biggie once said “And she loves to show me off of course/Smiles every time my face up in The Source.” Today, Brooklynite Skyzoo—who built his buzz on the web—says, “So ya’ll can go and type what ya’ll like/Comments is comments, I rather go and surf through Nah Right.”

Get the full interview here.

MySpace Much? You Might Again.

From URB.COM — If DeWolf and Anderson have their way, running a record label (and MySpace) could become cool again. This past spring, plans were announced for MySpace Music, a joint venture between the social network and the major labels that takes a 360-deal, and offers it not only to the world’s biggest artists, but to the users at the other end of the pipeline. The plan seems obvious—bring streaming and downloadable music, ticket and merchandise sales, and brand sponsorship dollars, all under the umbrella of the most unavoidable music site on the planet.

Get the full article here.

Hillary Spotted. Too Bad it was Just a Joke

Now, Ms. Clinton, ahem, Amy—who's actually leaving SNL—can you actually join the Obama campaign? And, you, in the media, can you do as 'Ms. Clinton' asked and 'grow a pair'? In other news, I think my Tina Fey crush was irreparably damaged after this impersonation.

Thanks to Green, Grown & Sexy for the clip.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Finally—Hockey Moms for Truth Come Out Against Palin

The Governor's been swift-hockeyed

Thanks to Chris Cillizza's The Fix for this scoop.

So Much for Retiring the Term 'Baby Daddy' Anytime Soon

Bristol Palin's baby's father or an 'aspiring rapper'?

Oh, and there's more.

Obama and the Angry Black Elephant in the Room

Found this excellently written editorial on Time.com, touching on a lot of what I've written about or considered since Obama began his run. There are growing rumblings about race starting to really mean something as the campaign tightens and it's apparent that one or two percentage points will decide this thing.

In the Time piece, writer Michael Grunwald reminds us that America has never warmed to the angry black man (or angry Hispanic, Asian, et al for that matter). This makes the calls for Obama to summon that righteous rage—something I've been conflicted about—seem shortsighted at best, and a volatile recipe for failure at worst.

Grunwald also speaks about the racial code wording ('flashy', 'uppity') rife in the campaign and as part of the public lexicon. How this will translate on election day is beginning to worry me and a lot of Democrats, especially as the opposition continues to appeal to middle American largely on cultural issues.

In an early URB editorial, I cited Obama's electoral improbability as a chief reason for my lack of support for his candidacy. Iowa went on to change my mind for the positive after his unexpected victory in a 95% white state. Fast forward to six weeks before the election, and I'm concerned all over again. Waking up from my Obama dream isn't something I want to do, but I'm preparing myself for it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Yeah, WTF, Hillary? Speak Much?

Forget Sarah Palin's answers to nowhere with Charlie Gibson. There has been a deafening silence coming from the soon-to-be second most powerful woman in America, if she doesn't quickly get off her ass. Yeah, I'm talking about you, Ms. Clinton. With all due respect, where the hell have you been?

Loved, loved, loved your speech in Denver. You had the perfect pitch and said all the right things. And, while we're on the subject, Bubba's was great too. But that was three weeks ago and what have you done lately, now that the whole campaign-like-hell-for-Obama thing would really help?

For the record, we can both probably agree, with 20/20 hindsight, that you'd have been the better pick in a screwy up-is-down post-Palin world. Sure, even Obama can probably admit that now, but the fight is real, and this Democratic sure thing seems like it could slip away. So let's talk about what you can do now! How about some press conferences outlining why Ms. Palin doesn't speak for—or deserve the votes of—your constituents. That would be a lot better than a fresh run of 'Sarah Palin is a Cunt' T-shirts.

HuffPo blogger Lisa Gans had this to say about you stepping up and taking the fight to Alaska—and I couldn't agree more. But time is running out. McCain is already masterfully playing this final end run, tossing out anvils and oil slicks all across the bridge to nowhere and the Dems are appearing like the hapless Coyote minutes before the end credits. Please, Hillary, speak now, speak forcefully, and speak effectively.

If you don't—and I really didn't want to go here . . . again—we'll all have to give in to our stubborn, persistent suspicions that you were never really backing Barack, and that you can't wait to get to 2012. Say it ain't so, girl.

P.S. Ms. Clinton—If you insist on a more dramatic concession by the Obama camp, there's always this approach. Obama-Clinton 2008!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Her Candidacy is a Festering Insult

From a recent Bob Herbert editorial in the New York Times — "How is it that this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket? How is it that so much of the mainstream media has dropped all pretense of seriousness to hop aboard the bandwagon and go along for the giddy ride? . . . John McCain, who is shameless about promoting himself as America’s ultimate patriot, put the best interests of the nation aside in making his incredibly reckless choice of a running mate."

Check the full piece here.

Also, in today's nytimes, this editorial, an even harder hitting condemnation of this joke/insult of a ticket. The shame of this entire episode isn't so much the hapless Governor. It's McCain, whose judgment has been reduced to a pure calculated insanity of the most insidious kind.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

1000 Words

A (girl) friend just sent this to me. My first reaction, was 'Hey, chicks don't like that word.' But then I thought: 'Desperate times call for desperate measures.'

Has it come to this? Should it? What do you think?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lo-Fi Allstar: Wayne's Lollipop Looks Better on Daily Motion

I've recently re-discovered Daily Motion, which might just mean I'm slow like sizzurp, or just spending too much time online. In any event, if your Y-O-U-T-U-B-E keys are all worn out, and you're still left unsatisfied, consider this hi-fi video channel a healthy alternative for your nightly strokes (Hey, focus!). Still all the embed code you can eat, plus screens that seem 50% bigger and light years more sharper. They even have HD programming if your laptop's got enough stamina. As for the sound and overall impact, just compare what's above to the competition's version of 'Lollipop.'

But getting seen through the blinding crush of YouTube is like rolling a TV set up a hill (I'm metaphorically challenged, sorry). Wayne's smash single clocks in at nearly 18 million plays on the video leader, while Daily Motion gets a limp 700k views. This just proves that the mantra of the web still holds true: It isn't about the quality of your content, it's the power of your sitemap.xml. Or something like that. And the consumer typically takes speed, breadth and ease over harder-to-find quality. We've become an insatiable lo-fi nation and we love it. Or do we?

Yo, MTV Finally Blows up the Television for Real

from URB.COMCourtney Holt is somebody I personally know (guess that's full disclosure), but I kinda forget he's actually the man. High in the silver towers Viacom built in New York's Time Square, we caught up virtually with MTV's Executive VP of Digital Music & Media—a title so long, it takes two cards to fit it. Our own Brandon Perkins talked to Holt about the future of content, the 'Long Tail,' (No, that's not a new reality show) and why after almost 30 years slanging trends, MTV continues to find gold at the end of the rainbow. Check the full interview here, because our 'Power Issue' only has a snippet.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Will You Vote?

My girl (Ms.) Danielle posted this the other day. It reminded me that even on this so-called 'change year,' you can't take voting—or that your peers will naturally be doing it—for granted. Every election cycle you hear the naysayers bemoan (or revel in) the fact that young people don't actually make it out to the polls come election night. People blow it off for a myriad reasons, including lack of knowledge on the issues. Danielle posted several great sources to remedy that excuse moot:

Register to vote here
Official site of John McCain
Official site of Barack Obama
Official site of Ralph Nader

And so you can play the informed skeptic and impress/annoy your friends:
Fact checking Obama
Fact checking McCain

And don't forget the very important congressional elections. Sometimes those are even more important since they can really swing the balance of power, regardless of who gets in the White House. Try the League of Women Voters site for the best info.

What you have to remember is that this time, no matter whose side you're on, this is now a 50 state race. The way our electoral process has evolved has made it where 'blue' and 'red' states are more purple than their native primary colors. This means you DO make a difference, even in states like California and New York. We may not be the next battleground like Ohio, Michigan or Florida, but we are far from off the hook.

Without being partisan here, I'll just say this: Vote. Vote for the person you believe in. Don't vote because your friends are egging you on, or you feel guilty. Just vote because you can. Vote because it will feel good. Be selfish about it. Vote because it's one of the only things guaranteed in civil society these days. Vote because if you don't, you just might hate yourself in the morning.

UPDATE: Shame on me for forgetting the courageous and bold Cynthia McKinney. She's a historic candidate (who we keep forgetting too in this monumental year). Check out the media-shunned green party here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thomas Friedman: Making That Green Green

From The New York TimesRenewable energy driven by technology plays to American strengths: great laboratories and entrepreneurs, a start-up culture of risk and reward. If the United States gets serious, it will dominate, creating not just jobs but also whole new industries.

Thomas Friedman is imagining America leading—and winning—the livable technology race. And, maybe more attractive to us capitalists, making that green on green. Instead of fighting over carbon credits, China's dismal environmental record or the Republican's Neanderthal-like mantra, "Drill, baby, drill," we could be focused on the next industrial revolution starting on U.S. soil. Friedman thinks energy technology (ET) can be our next great revolution and financial windfall. It will be up to America if it elects (take that literally, this November) to really get in the race.

Catch a transcript and video of Friedman's 9/7 Meet the Press appearance.

Where in the World is Morgan Spurlock?

We did this interview with the Supersize Me/Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? director during the DNC. The crew and I caught up to him at Shepard Fairey's Manifest Hope Gallery in Denver's Five Points district. Be sure to check our DNC/Manifest package on iMeem dot com (here). Tons of great video, interviews and photos around the event.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hey, Republicans, Take Kwame. Please.

From the New York Times
Kwame M. Kilpatrick, the charismatic mayor of Detroit who has been embroiled in legal problems stemming from a sex scandal since the beginning of the year, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and resigned his office Thursday morning as part of a deal with prosecutors.

So, I've been half-jokingly posting on my Facebook that I can't bear to see black people embracing the Republican Party. Obviously, in some ways, black Republicans are as much the sons of the civil rights struggle as Barack Obama is—and the historic legacy of the Democratic party was hardly kind to blacks—but I'm still not buying it. Not this year. This is a landmark time for black people in this country. And it might not be PC, but unless these darker Republicans know something I don't, their home is supporting the first qualified non-white candidate with a chance at the White House. More importantly—waving my finger at my fellow brown folk—the Republicans will eventually show you where you stand, so don't delude yourself. How many of you got to speak at the RNC?.

But I've decided, the right can have one of our brethren: We gladly turn over Kwame Kilpatrick. Once called the ''hip-hop mayor" by some, this idiot fell far and hard from grace. And he didn't even do it honorably, fighting and denying all the way, even as the evidence was comically clear. He betrayed the trust of the people of Detroit, who need solutions, not some dick in a bad suit, fucking his aide and then firing some cops to cover it up. So, he's yours, McCain, Bush and Co. Given the past eight years of Republican sex and ethics scandals, former Mayor Kilpatrick will fit right in.

Michael Moore's 'Slacker Uprising' Trailer (Video)

This will equally fire up Democrats and Republicans. And you can start the fun with a free download here.

When She's Right, She's Right. Laura Ingraham on 'Old Media' (Video)

To say I'm not a fan of Laura Ingraham (She sucks so good, it hurts) is an understatement. But you can't argue with her accuracy in this video from a recent Huff Po new media panel. I'm obviously not above giving her (vomit in mouth) props. She does provide a good summary of the fish-or-cut-bait media world these days.

Please don't miss that clip of her prepping for her canceled Fox show. The Line to listen for is "Don't come in my ear." (at 7:08). Don't worry, Laura, we won't.

GOBAMA! (The Greatest Rapper Alive)

I took a stab at describing the Obama phenomenon in the latest URB. In only about 1500 words, that ain't easy. It does touch on the areas I thought were important—such as his swagger and international appeal. And check out the Lil' Wayne ink we applied to our lifted Rolling Stone cover model (That was our editor's idea, Your Honor. He was, um, trying to equate Obama's generational appeal to a rapper's, sir.). It's all part of the URB cover story featuring Jay Z and Pedro Winter (aka Busy P). Yeah, cool.

P.S. Please don't sue us, Jann Wenner!

Rider on the Storm: Legendary Drum & Bass DJ Released from a Dubai Prison

If you know about the British DJ scene or care about drum n bass, you know the name. It's been synonymous with hardcore club music culture in Great Britain since the late '80s. Grooverider (born Raymond Bingham) was released early off his 4-year drug possession sentence. Check the full story here.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Huffington Roasts: Diddy and Dupri on the Candidates

Jermaine Dupri (Mr. Jackson, if you're nasty) wrote a great editorial in the Huffington Post the other day. Take a read for yourself and tell me (or him) what you think. I personally love what he had to say and couldn't have summed it up any better—though I did an OK job in the recent URB or check out my Obama awakening from February.

This contrasts to our man Diddy (not his damn government name: Sean Combs. Or his Macy's name: Sean John). His discombobulated video rant. He's been doing these lately, usually to much better effect (Check his previous heartfelt (pr)Obama vid). Sorry, Sean, I definitely want to hear you preach on it, but the spinning camera and disjointed diatribe had me dizzy. One commenter mentioned something about having to stop eating his lunch.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Breaking News: Black Folk Spotted in Alaska! (Video)

I wasn't sure brown folk made it above Ottawa, but a quick Youtube search yielded this, as well as the rap video below (that's an Alaskan hip-hop show, y'all, or so it claims). I guess we're ready for Vice President Palin after all. E-40 doesn't quite count as Alaskan citizenry, but perhaps he qualifies as an endangered species?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Behind The Scenes: Coachella 2008 Was When Pigs Flew (Video)

This excellently produced video time lapse is the backstage story of that infamous Coachella Pig that went flying during this year's Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd, if I must add) performance. Turns out yours truly actually hired the LA graffiti artist SLICK to do the painting. I've known this now world-famous painter since the dayglo '80s when we were both starting out with aerosol.

Also, check out some of the live show — definitely my 9-year Coachella highlight.

What if the 17-year-old Bristol Palin was a black girl?

(From my recent Huffington Post editorial) — Presidential nominee Barack Obama might have declared Sarah Palin's daughter a non-issue for his campaign staff, but he doesn't work for the media. With all the hoopla surrounding the VP hopeful's daughter's out-of-wedlock pregnancy, one delicate piece of hypocrisy seems to have blown by with Gustav's winds. What if the 17-year-old Bristol Palin was a black girl? And what if she was, instead, the teenage daughter of Michelle and Barack Obama? . . .

Monday, September 1, 2008

Amy Goodman Arrested at the RNC (Video)

Not quite democracy now.

The End of Passwords?

Saw this article in the New York Times. Beyond identity theft issues, moving to a radically more secure way to log on to websites is an imperative if we ever hope to have online voting — which has been tossed around for a few years now.