Archive for the ‘media’ Category

Thursday, I got a ride from my isolating Corporate Woods office with lousy bus service to the neighborhood-imbedded College of Saint Rose, using up most of my lunch break, to film what will probably be a 15-second segment of a promotion for what appears below. It’s too bad that I had to go back to work, because my ride took us right past my house.

I was supposed to say something profound about why I blog, on cue. Yeesh. Ultimately, I rambled on about something to do with being a librarian and wanting to share information. (I think.) I know they’ll be showing the compiled video at the event, but if it’s otherwise available, I’ll make a point to share it with you.

The guy who picked me up I hadn’t seen in four or five years. I’ve talked with him regularly and e-mailed with even more frequently. But when he picked me up, he didn’t recognize me, because of the vitiligo. Heck, sometimes I literally don’t recognize myself.

Oh, one other thing: with the sheer number of participants, and the time frame, I can’t imagine just how this thing is going to work.

The upcoming Media 2010 event to be held Wednesday, March 3, at The College of Saint Rose, has sold out. We currently are accepting names on a waiting list.

Event: Media 2010: How blogs shape the new conversation
Date: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (ET)

Location:
College of Saint Rose
Touhey Forum, Lally Building
1009 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12203

***
Speaking of blogging, I seem to be spending more time deleting spam from my blogs. Except for this one, the messages don’t actually GET to the blogs; I use comment moderation. On this blog, though, I don’t, but I get an e-mail copy of whatever gets posted; I click on the link and delete the rubbish forever.

There seems to be particular recurring themes with these of late:
*the guy whose girlfriend, he’s just discovered, has been sleeping with his roommate/brother/uncle/father, and so, of COURSE, he’s inviting you to see nude pictures of her
*various schemes touting particular software
*the couple touting Louisville, KY
Plus the usual scams and stuff written in Russian and Chinese.
But the ones I don’t get are the ones that say something vaguely complimentary that are signed by Anonymous and DON’T have a link to an e-mail or website. What’s the point, exactly?

ROG

I do know and am quite likely to remember how I learned of MJ’s death.

Just as I remember when JFK died – fifth grade, Miss Oberlik’s class, Daniel S. Dickinson School, Binghamton, NY. Just as I remember finding out about the Challenger disaster – working in the back room at FantaCo Enterprises, the late comic book store store on Central Avenue, Albany, NY, while listening to Q-104, when Mary Margaret Apple interrupted the music to give the news.

This is not to say – lest you start to fret – that I’m making a comparison about the import of these events. I am talking about how memory works.

I was at the Albany Public Library, main branch, computer room, shortly after 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 25. I needed to write about my daughter for a blog post the next day. Then I heard someone say to the woman at the desk that Michael Jackson had died. WHA? So I went to CNN and AP, both of whom indicated that Michael had been rushed to the hospital but neither of whom had announced his death. Most sources indicated that TMZ, the Matt Drudge of entertainment sites, WAS declaring Michael dead, but that they were seeking independent verification.

About 15 minutes later, CNN notes that “multiple sources” have noted Michael’s passing. In the moment, I was more peeved that TMZ had been right in breaking the story, that this was a greater sign of the deterioration of the mainstream media, than the death of an entertainer who I’d watched, sometimes with tremendous admiration and other times in disdain, over the past four decades. Someone who, and I ALWAYS hate this, was younger than I am.

The death of Michael Jackson is this fascinating cultural and technological phenomenon. It slowed Twitter to a crawl and taxed much of the rest of the Internet as well.

Here’s what always bothers me about these types of stories. There are folks who say endlessly, “Why do people care about THAT? If people spent more time caring about (pick one or more) world hunger/the health care crisis/the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan/whatever, rather than some entertainer’s death, we’d be better off.” It’s often the same people disdain the use of television (they don’t have one or only watch PBS).

I’m willing to bet that if people spent as much time worrying about the health care industry as they did about Michael or Jon & Kate (who I must admit, I didn’t even know who they were until a month ago) or some other “frivolous” thing, it would have next to zero impact on the important issue. It is as though some individuals feel that passion for Off the Wall, Michael’s best album, could be somehow transferable to other, more “significant” things. (Speaking of which, apparently Michael’s soul has been saved, in case you were wondering.) Thank goodness ABC was planning repeats of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice last Thursday so they could preempt them for instant specials on Michael and Farrah Fawcett, who, not unexpectedly, had died earlier that day. (What, no special on Sky Saxon of the Seeds?)

So I will remember how I learned of Michael’s death, just as I remember John Lennon’s (heard it from Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football) or the shootings of Lee Harvey Oswald and Robert F. Kennedy (saw them on TV in real time). The intensity of the events will wane, but a piece of the recollection will likely remain.
***
Just discovered The Dead Rock Stars Club. Have only been in 2009, but it is quite detailed. Not does it have obvious choices such as MJ, Sky Saxon and Koko Taylor, but more obscure artists such as Viola Wills, and even folks you wouldn’t have thought of in this context: Gale Storm (I’m old enough to remember My Little Margie), Ed McMahon, and David Carradine, e.g.


ROG

One of the things I find that I need to do, as a citizen as well as a librarian, is to get summaries of differing points of view politically, delivered by e-mail because I’m not likely to remember to go to the sites. On the left, it’s Common Dreams which I find less strident, and less likely to get into internecine battles than, say, the Huffington Report, which, at this point I seldom read. On the right, it’s Human Events, which features some political heavyweights such as Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan; the latter is so iconoclastic that he sometimes gets criticized by people on the right end of the spectrum.

Now and then – OK, often – Human Events will offer up an ad, such as from the McCain camp. One recent one, from the National Black Republican Association is currently trying to get a lot of mileage out of the assertion by a niece of Martin Luther King, Jr, that MLK was a Republican. I don’t doubt it for a minute; my parents were Republicans, the party of Lincoln. Particularly in the South in the 1960s and before, the Democratic Party was the party of segregation; think George Wallace, Lester Maddox, and Strom Thurmond before he switched; lots of blacks in the South were Republicans. What’s bothering me is the implication that the GOP of 1968 is the GOP of 2008, and therefore, of MLK were still alive, he would still be a Republican. This, of course, is utterly unknowable.

Meanwhile, a Human Events contributor, whose initials are the same as Alternating Current, has been beating the drum on this John Edwards story for weeks that the National Enquirer “broke”. She has submitted that the story did not make it into the MainStream Media because of its liberal bias. One could make the case that it didn’t make it into the MSM because the original source was the National Enquirer. The Washington Post may have just felt uncomfortable trusting it enough to quote the Enquirer as the source of its stories. Also, the Enquirer story is still suggesting that Edwards is the father of his former lover’s child, something Edwards is still denying, even as he admitted to the affair.

Suddenly, all those stories about John Edwards’ $400 haircuts can be/will be spun into a symbol of his general narcissism. I’m just happy, in retrospect, that his candidacy never really caught on, though John McCain (and Newt Gingrich for that matter) have been accused of the same thing; having sex with someone not his spouse, while the wife suffered from various ailments.

This political season is getting really…interesting, and it’s not even Labor Day yet.
ROG

When I was on vacation in Virginia this past Sunday, I turned on the TV and happened to catch the last 45 minutes of Barack Obama’s Q&A with CNN on religion/faith/values. I thought he seemed most impressive and comfortable; I didn’t see Hillary Clinton. Then I catch the local news tease asking if the Dems have a “prayer” of dealing with faith issues. The story itself noted Clinton’s and Obama’s “struggle” talking about religion (in general, it was implied) and then showed the clips of Hillary and Barack talking about abortion (she said that the potential for life began at conception, Barack noted that he did struggle with this particular issue).

It seemed that abortion is still THE issue when it comes to matters of faith, at least according to that broadcast. A related issue in the media also seems to be that the Dems are FINALLY talking about religion in 2008, when, in fact, John Kerry for one was, I thought, quite eloquent in speaking about his faith and how he acts on it in a 2004 debate; since he didn’t talk about it often, and because he didn’t oppose abortion, he was perceived as somehow inauthentic.

So my questions:
1) Did you see or hear any of the Clinton or Obama pieces on race? If so, what did you think?

2) Regardless of whether you actually saw them, what was your perception of how they did based on what you read in the newspaper or heard on radio or TV? I’m interested in sources of your info, too, if possible.

3) How SHOULD candidates be talking about faith and religion, if at all?

4) I also caught much of the ABC News debate on Wednesday, and I thought they both were fine. Mostly it reminded me that either of them is a better choice than John “not so straight talk” McCain, who had ducked the faith debate. Did you see the Wednesday debate, and what did you hear about it, whether you saw the debate or not?

ROG

The Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago will be celebrating the 75th anniversary salute to FDR on July 2. FDR accepted his nomination at Chicago Stadium and announced his plans for the New Deal. If I were in Chicago, I’d be very inclined to go to this gig. Media! Politics! Robert Vaughn!

Also at this event, the organization will be announcing America’s top 100 political moments in radio and television.

Without thinking or researching, because thinking will just confuse things, and I wanted to go with my gut feelings, my Top 11.
In chrono order:
1. Al Smith, 1928. Not many people saw it, of course.
2. FDR, “Day of Infamy”, December 1941. Still respond to it in the ear.
3. McCarthy hearings in the 1950s.
4. JFK-Nixon debates, esp. the first one. I read somewhere that people listening to it on the radio thought Nixon won, while those watching TV would pick Kennedy. This would be #1, if I were to rank.
5. I Have a Dream speech (That certainly is political), August 1963.
6. JFK assassination. November 1963.
7. Cronkite dissing LBJ about Vietnam, February 1968
8. Democratic National Convention, August 1968
9. Watergate hearings (esp. John Dean), 1973
10. Reagan in Normandy, 1984
11. Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings (“high-tech lynching”)

Of course, there are the FDR’s fireside chats, the black power salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Jimmy Carter’s Moral Equivalent of War energy policy with the sweater, the assassination attempt on Reagan, Iran-Contra, and a bunch more, but the ones I picked just resonated more for me.

So, what would be your picks?

P.S. – Gordon, might you attend?
***
I should note St. Patrick’s day, since I’m Roger O’Green, but there’s already enough blarney in this post, what with media AND politics. The primary Albany parade, though, was postponed for a week because of the foot plus of snow we received overnight.

ROG

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