Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Good marketing is partly a matter of following the rules.
Great marketing often happens by breaking the rules.
- Philip Kotler

Irony of mother of ironies ... Wristbands sold to raise money for a campaign against world poverty are made in Chinese sweatshops in "slave labour" conditions. Anti-poverty wristbands made in sweatshop

If tax can be sexy, international tax structuring is the glamour end of the industry. Glamour follows dollars, and the international financing deals into and out of Australia are where the dollars are: in deals and salaries. They reckon a tough tax system has spawned some great tax talent by Allesandra Fabro: 21/05/2005 Tough tax system spawns great talent

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: An audit of the Australian soul
I want you to call to your mind the film Seven Samurai — Akira Kurosawa’s masterful depiction of a Japan rent to pieces.

Remember how, in response to the depredations of bandits, the villagers hired as protectors seven itinerant warriors. Hold in your imagination the wind, which before our eyes tore at trees, at branches, which plucked at the cloth and bones and minds of men. In its breath, this wind carried a key message: in the absence of law and the authority of the law, only force, devastation, madness and death prevails.
Kurosawa’s villagers were fortunate that their samurai protectors embodied the ideals of nobility and sacrifice. The samurai epresented what was right: stability, security, an obligation shared between rulers and the ruled encapsulated in just law.
Yet these same villagers could equally have been ‘saved’ by a gang that hesitated not to impose malevolent rule. The rule of law, yes, but bad law and bad government.

Human rights: fixed or fluid? [Keating is onside - Beazley ; Proposed changes to our industrial relations law by Tim Dunlop: Because they can ; The Profit of a Free-for-All ]
• · Memoirs of a Failed Diplomat by Dan Vittorio Segre published by Halban 'I used to collect real information about Israel to throw like crumbs to French journalists, while avoiding giving them the key to the stupidity of certain decisions taken by the Israeli Government.' Munching on Memories ; Primo Levi called it "taut and illuminating… memorable… written with the humility of he who confesses himself and with the honesty of he who bore witness" Sequel to Memoirs of a Fortunate Jew
• · · Power to the Media Dragon, sang Common Dreams in 2005 Say You Want a Revolution: Start with the Silent Warriors; Greg Barns How Howard's Party takes revenge on true liberals; John Quiggin As usual Tim Lambert does the heavy lifting
• · · · Webdiary: Was Cornelia physically or sexually abused? ; From my kitchen table, by Christine Rau
• · · · · I never served in the military. Before my son unexpectedly volunteered for the Marines, I was busy writing my novels and raising my family, and giving little thought to the men and women who guard us. My attitude has changed. I did not choose to change. I was forced to Fathers, Sons and the Lessons of War ; Caspar Weinberger, WSJ
Friendly Fire: War's Most Tragic Consequence - Of all the terrible consequences of military combat, perhaps the worst are losses caused by that awful euphemism, "friendly fire."
• · · · · · An officer who was suspended and faces dismissal from the NSW Police claims her only offence was to have complained that she had been raped by a fellow police officer Officer who cried rape fights for her job ; Cynthia Gorney, NY Times Magazine A Mothers' War ; Somebody get Jacque-strap a le hanky French Voters Deliver a Crushing Defeat to European Constitution

He still receives royalties from the "Jeopardy!" theme, which he wrote in less than a minute. "That little 30 seconds has made me a fortune, millions," he crowed. How much exactly? "You don't want to know." Please, Mr. Griffin, do share. "Probably close to $70-80 million In the Chatting Olympics, Look for Merv Griffin

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: More Fun With Distribution Models
There is nothing so pleasant as to give oneself trouble for a person who is worth one's while. For the best of us, the study of the arts, a taste for old things, collections, gardens are all mere ersatz, succedanea, alibis. In the heart of our tub, like Diogenes, we cry out for a man. We cultivate begonias, we trim yews, as a last resort, because yews and begonias submit to treatment. But we should like to give our time to a plant of human growth, if we were sure that he was worth the trouble. That is the whole question: you must know something about yourself. Are you worth my trouble or not? Marcel Proust, Le Côté de Guermantes

Neil Gaiman blogs that his new novel, Anansi Boys, will have four simultanously released distribution methods: hardcover book, download, audio CD and MP3 CD. I hope we see some numbers on the relative performance of these formats. Release date is September 20.

Literary Curve [Online news items have a lifetime of just 36 hours Fifteen minutes of fame? ; Round Up by Magnificent Matilda Weekend Round-Up #22 ]
• · Three of Salon's most popular stories in the last few weeks have featured those words, says editor-in-chief Joan Walsh. "I still think that affinity relationship is the key to why people actually pay money to support Salon -- they value us, the relationship, and increasingly they value one another," she says. Thoughts from Jay Rosen, Samir ("Mr. Magazine") Husni and others. Future of magazines: Net could empower readers ; Fitzsimons: A lesson in making history alluring
• · · Half the literature, highbrow and popular, produced in the West during the past four hundred years has been based on the false assumption that what is an exceptional experience is or ought to be a universal one. Under its influence so many millions of persons have persuaded themselves they were 'in love' when their experience could be fully and accurately described by the more brutal four-letter words, that one is sometimes tempted to doubt if the experience is ever genuine, even when, or especially when, it seems to have happened to oneself. -W.H. Auden, The Protestant Mystics Kokoda Trekkers Haverleigh ; For Søren Kierkegaard each person was engaged in an individual quest for truth in the stages along life’s way. Fear and Trembling
• · · · Umberto Eco has made a name - and fortune - for himself in the role of thinking man to the masses. Not that we understand what he is going on about most of the time. Nigel Farndale asks him to explain himself Heavyweight champion ; We should not use public money to support the further destruction of human life Life is Seen as Precious, Depending on the Issue
• · · · · Czechs are obsessed with kangaroos even a soccer team is named after them and now Bohemian musicians want to live among kangaroos; Tomas Strnad
• · · · · · Tuna salad...the new Anthrax? ; The Online Magazine for Writers and Book Lovers

Monday, May 30, 2005

Order seems to come from searching for disorder, and awkwardness from searching for harmony or likeness, or the following of a system. The truest order is what you find already there, or that will be given if you don't try for it. When you arrange, you fail.
-Fairfield Porter, letter to Claire Nicholas White (April 13, 1972)

Blogging takes us back to the roots of newspapers: In the blogging world, says Washington Post Co. CEO Donald Graham, there's one person who's Ben Franklin and 100,000 people who think they're Ben Franklin. Wonkette's Ana Marie Cox says blogs that have served as watchdogs on the mainstream media now look more like that segment of the media themselves: They're cliqueish, they're arrogant, they get things wrong
Blog search engine One site does all the hard search work

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Web is Drowning Snobery

There is, writes Virginia Postrel in her column on Forbes.com, 'something about blogs [that] makes a lot of respectable journalists hyperventilate. News pros seem terribly threatened by online amateurs.'

As an illustration she quotes a Los Angeles Times columnist, David Shaw, an über-hack who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for his media criticism. Blogging, Shaw writes, is a 'solipsistic, self-aggrandising, journalist-wannabe genre'. Bloggers are 'practitioners of what is at best pseudo-journalism' and 'many bloggers ... don't seem to worry much about being accurate'.

Journalists must stop being in denial: bloggers are here to stay [Journalism is politics by another name ; via Hugh Martin Measuring the Impact of Blogs Requires More Than Counting ; Best, worst, and everything you wanted to know about ]
• · What Professional and Citizen Journalists Can Learn From Each Other - In America, many bloggers from the political right wing have turned MSM into an insult Evolution from the lecture model; How many entries does the average blog produce on a daily basis? Second, what is the size of those entries? Analyzing the A-list of the blog world
• · · Blogdigger Local new service will find blogs by geographic location; Why? On July 27, 2004, I began to Blog. I’ve had a ball. My “constituency” has had a ball I’ve had my Best Year in 20 Years!; This is the most secretive administration in recent memory, writes Eugene Robinson. If you say inconvenient things out loud, with your name attached, you get frozen out. Unnamed sources are a necessity. Journalists would rather have an on-the-record source than an anonymous one, he notes, but without unnamed sources, we -- and you -- would be less well-informed. To cite just one example, Watergate would be nothing more than the name of an expensive apartment building overlooking the Potomac. Unnamed sources are a necessity when covering Bush admin
• · · · Tim the Blogger of SBS fame Blastradius rocks ; There's a revolution underway in recruiting communications Seeking release
• · · · · The Amazing Rise of the Do-It-Yourself Economy ; Hacker Hunter
• · · · · · What is the least damaging way to tax the media and entertainment industry? But wait. Why not find the most damaging way? P.J. O’Rourke has some advice Here's a Tax We Can All Agree On ; You'll get burned playing the anonymous source game "I don't know how many more times the American press is going to put its hand on that stove before they say, 'It's hot, don't touch it,'" says newspaper consultant Tim Porter. U.S. News & World Report editor Brian Duffy adds: Everybody who's in the business and is drawing breath has realized it's gotten out of hand. Off the record, newspapers have a problem

Artist are cockroaches, you just can't kill us."
-Chris Latham

Sydneyrella is filled with cockroaches and creative minds. The city’s light, the Sydney Morning Herald, is the savviest newspaper the world is watching closely. On 30 May 2005 the Herald launched a campaign to fix, to heal, to mend, Sydney. A campaign to fix its water, air, urban development and transport. It is time for a boldness lacking for 50 years. Robert Whitehead

Art of Living in the City of Exiles: Power to the People
Sydney is in desperate shape. There are many signs, but you only have to look at the weather to see something is badly wrong.

By any account April was an extraordinary month in our Indian summer - hotter than March for the first time since records began. It was dry, too, with only 33 millimetres of rain, a quarter the monthly average.
Rain fell on just eight days; most of it uselessly went down the drains into the sea.
Dam levels have dipped below 40 per cent capacity for the first time, and there are fears Sydney's weather patterns will have far-reaching consequences for our water, food and gardens. People cannot control the weather, but there are things that are within their control.

Crowded, polluted and a mess – the fix list for Sydney [Cheeks of the Devil, Charms of an Angel City in Crisis ; Building liveable communities is vital to retain a creative workforce Do the myths: now is time to create the knowledge city ]
• · Car use forecasts put quality up in the air ; Keep writing those books, Bob, and the trains will fix themselves : Off the rails: the suburbs where the car rules
• · · Be mad if you will, but at yourself The south-west is wheezy, while the east breathes easy ; Fifty years ago the American economist John Kenneth Galbraith observed a paradox in advanced economies - how private wealth grows alongside public squalor. Frustrated commuters might think he was writing about Sydney in 2005. Despite unprecedented private riches, much of the city's public infrastructure is deteriorating. Once debt-ridden, now run down

Sunday, May 29, 2005

When I remember bygone days
I think how evening follows morn;
So many I loved were not yet dead,
So many I love were not yet born.
-Ogden Nash, The Middle

Some people are born creative. Others are born with drive. Others still have an entrepreneurial nose. At the Sydney Writers Festival one and all of these characters were there. Characters who do not know the meaning of boundaries. I was lucky to chat with Morry Schwartz as well as David Suzuki. A river of opportunities runs through these characters...
Politics and the Novel session was one of the most impressive thanks to speakers who spoke in reverse alphabetical order - Christos Tsiolkas, Gillian Slovo, Eva Sallis, Caryl Phillips. As Christo noted: Artists need to create beauty to give moments of optimism and hope, but also think it is important that we be honest about nightmares. I think [nightmares] are just as important to art because that is part of human experience and part of human culture. This is a moment of darkness. It is dangerous, ugly time in Western Culture. Like Cold River, Dead Europe, does not want the postcard view of Europe.

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: A River Ran Through Sydney Writers Festival
Among the audience at the festival was a group of the world's leading publishers has descended on the Sydney Writers' Festival looking for authors to take to the international market

POWER to the people, sang John Lennon in the 1980s. If he were alive today he would see his dream coming true but not quite in the way he imagined. People are deserting established politics and resorting to social activism to get the changes they want in society. Almost every week brings new evidence. This week the Sydney Writers' Festival is sold out with people wanting to attend sessions and hear from overseas activists and polemicists such as Tariq Ali, David Suzuki and Jared Diamond. Explore international coversation:
CANADA - Iris Tupholme, V/P, Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, HarperCollins Canada
KOREA - Eric Yang, CEO, Eric Yang Agency
NETHERLANDS - Martijn David, Mouria (part of Veen, Bosch & Keuning)
UK - Marion Lloyd, Marion Lloyd Books, Scholastic UK
USA - Judith Curr, (not Lisa) Executive VP, Publisher, Atria Books, Simon & Schuster
USA - George Gibson, Publisher, Walker Books
USA - Sharyn November, Editorial Director, Firebird & Senior Editor, Puffin Books & Viking Children's Books, Penguin
Hat tip to the students at the UTS for making the coverage of the festival so colourful. As Anna Funder noted - Student talent isn't just the tip of the iceberg. Production of the daily newsletter, Festival News , radio program, video documentary and website for the Sydney Writers' Festival is an example of the many projects undertaken by UTS journalism students who are under the wing of Wendy Baker.

Catherine Rey credits two events in her life with making her an author -- being given away by her mother when she was a baby and moving from France to the fringes of the harsh Australian desert almost 40 years later.
Say you want a revolution: start with the silent warriors [Festival Club is a very intimate venue where Mandy Sayer showed a very special slide night of her family life. She not only took us into her family album for a night of pictures from the past but also tap dancing to a drum filled with her father’s ashes Mandy Sayer’s Pictures from Life ; The Saturday evening highlight .. wine and cheese on the Master and Commander type ship: Cockfighter's Ghost Wine Tasting with winemaker Patrick Auld - The wines of legend..... Behind every wine is a story - Cockfighter, the lead horse, became bogged in river quicksand and despite all efforts, drowned. A fateful night that gave birth to the legend of Cockfighter's Ghost.... Named after a ghostly steed, said to reside upon our vineyard, Cockfighter’s Ghost is unquestionably the best]
• · I missed a tribute to Czeslaw Milosz because it clashed with another session: A Certain Maritime Incident. Tony Kevin gave an extraordinary speech which he taped in case media attempts to twist his words around. He certainly gave audience an insight into the dealing with the press, defence, police and ministers. In October 2001, over 400 asylum-seekers departed from Indonesia in an overcrowded, unseaworthy boat bound for Australia. In the deep oceans between the two countries the boat sank and 353 people drowned. Tony Kevin asks what responsibility we have for the tragedy and exactly who knew what and when. Tony Kevin, author of the book A Certain Maritime Incident and well-known campaigner for a judicial inquiry into the SIEV X sinking, was awarded the Community Relations Award in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards, which are attached to the Sydney Writers Festival Story of Siev X : The longest applause went to Tony ; There were many other goodies, but I am too tired to detail so czech out the Big Pond streams at SWF
• · · According to Google: Free eBooks ; Lloyd Grove with the latest buzz
• · · · Note to You Liberal Weenies -- Yes, the Right Really Can Write; If you can't actually get to a writers' festival then the next best thing is for someone to bring it to you. And that's what BigPond have decided to do by providing a live streaming feed from the Sydney Writers' Festival this week. The Lovely Bones
• · · · · Head & Heart: Why don't we Muslims grow up?; There was a time when the big names in mystery writing turned a cold shoulder to romance
Chick lit heroines, humor give glam makeover to mysteries

• · · · · · If you are travelling to Blava czech out this website run by my naughty but nice cousins Bratislava also known as Pressburg or Pozsony ; Jobs in corporate social responsibility are growing as businesses try to do the right thing Debt to society

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Keep an eye on reaction to Corby’s case and million other subjects by using the thoughtful Hungarian-type search machine by the name of Mr Sapo [Conflict of interest - I liked the site on the first sight]

A drug smuggling case that has swept Australia like an out-of-control bush fire, and created almost as much heat and rage, came to a climax Friday when a 27-year-old Australian woman was found guilty of trying to carry nine pounds of marijuana into Bali inside her bodyboard bag Bushfire in the theatre of the Absurd

A theatrical system of law: Bali Determine to Stay on the Radar
Andrew Collis recently wrote about Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Marty Natalwgawa, who criticised Schapelle Corbys supporters for making her drugs trial into “theatre”, presumably by holding up placards calling for her acquittal. I watched Ms Corby make her impassioned plea for mercy on a television broadcast the other evening. One of the presiding judges was reading a book, while none of the judges were using interpreting services. Apparently the learned judges were handed a transcript of her plea at a later time.

Bear in mind, this is the same court that has tried many of the alleged Bali bombers. These individuals were brought into the body of the court, allowed to scream slogans of defiance, punch their fists into the air, acknowledge their supporters at the rear of the court and leer at the families who lost loved ones in the bombing. Was this not black theatre of the worst kind? To make matters worse, the chief judge in Ms Corbys trial, Linton Siriat, is quoted making public comment on the very trial that he is presiding over. Ms Corby would have every right to think that that was|“theatrical”, wouldnt she?
We in Australia can be thankful that although at times people complain about the “ills” of being colonised by the British, we were left with two great legacies, a system of law and a system of government, that for all their failings are still the envy of the world.

Anybody is is a somebody in the foreign policy sphere is well aware that Corby’s trail is part of a large picture. It is about national interests. There is no real friendship between Indonesian and Australian governments and even the nationals interests are part of the East Timor theatre of the absurd. As a blogger johnboy observed yesterday: Longer sentence than the bali bombers? That's your priorities for you.
• Can judges go against the government in a regime where the concept of the separation of power is at best misunderstood or ignored ... Furor down under over drugs case [Google Tearfully facing her bleak future; Google Corby's lawyers likely to accept QCs' help ]
• · Bali bombers and Editorial: Corby case not ours to decide ;
• · · Need to respect law of the land even if the law is ass? Then came the avalanche of terror and disbelief which Ms Corby had struggled in vain to control. There was pandemonium. Her family and friends screamed and it was almost too painful to watch. The tension rose by notches and when finally the verdict was delivered it was stretched like piano wire ; Google Labor asks for Corby pardon: Rudd
• · · · Corby case shades $4380 pay rise announcement; How the Corby case unfolded
• · · · · Merrick and Rosso scored the big laugh of the night when they advised the Premier: Keep writing those books, Bob, and the trains will fix themselves Durable Carr is given a roasting

Friday, May 27, 2005

Schapelle Corby dried her tears behind the walls of Bali's Kerobokan jail tonight, vowing to fight her drug smuggling conviction and 20-year prison sentence. Both sides to appeal 20-year jail sentence ;
Elisabeth Lopez analyses the online reaction to the verdict and sentence in the Schapelle Corby drug smuggling case Bloggers say boycott Bali - The media could not get enough of her. She was young, attractive and accused of a terrible crime. She steadfastly maintained her innocence. Everyone had an opinion on whether she did it or not. But publicly, she never cried. The national verdict: lock her up. That is what happened to Lindy Chamberlain 25 years ago, when her daughter, Azaria, disappeared and she was accused of murder. And, though the Schapelle Corby case may never enter the realm of folklore as the dingo-baby mystery has done, the author, journalist and lawyer who wrote the definitive account of that saga finds echoes of media overkill and public obsession in the drama unfolding in Bali. We'll go for whom the tears flow - Google and the world unite Australians express outrage at Corby verdict

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: GE 2005 Citizen Report
The degree to which corporations should also benefit society—corporate social responsibility—is a much debated topic, but giant GE has expressed firmly what it believes.

It’s a citizen of the world, and people have a right to understand how the business thinks about and acts upon on such topics as greenhouse gas emissions, offshoring, and globalization.
That’s the message in the company’s first “On Citizenship” report issued in mid-May, which aims to provide transparency on these and other issues. The seventy-eight-page document, available from the GE Web site in pdf format, will become a widely studied (and debated) model for how companies report their CSR programs.

The rising rates of concerns is a sign of our healthy integrity and compliance culture [Lloyd George caused a stir in Parliament when he did the sums and found that, according to the body counts announced by the British Government, they had killed more Boers than the entire Boer nation contained Good(?) News from Iraq ; Big companies understand the importance of brands. Today, in the Age of the Individual, you have to be your own brand. Here's what it takes to be the CEO of Me Inc Personal Branding ]
• · A new history of "losers" in American business, researched in part at Harvard Business School's Baker Library, explores the tension between the American Dream and those who fail to achieve it. The myth of the American Dream—from bootstraps to billionaire, if that is what you are capable of achieving—has been well explored. But what of this nation's losers? If we live in a country where anything is possible, then what do we think of those who don't succeed? What do people who fail think of themselves? Losers and the American Dream ; Plogress keeps track of what your senator or congressperson is doing; daily updated lists of bills and legislation, and an RSS feed Plogress.com
• · · Gaping hole means budget is dead on arrival: Brogden ; Take our ports, says minister
• · · · Brave face belies Corby's turmoil within
• · · · · It's judgement day for Schapelle Corby. Neil McMahon looks at the highly public making of an unlikely marty Indecent exposure
• · · · · · Dontshootschapelle.com moderator, a Sydney blogger who uses the pseudonym "Weezil", got straight down to business: "Fundraising is a very good start. The Corby family are almost certainly going to be either staying in or commuting to and from Bali. I'm betting Mercedes & Wayan will be there for the long haul Someone has to feed Schapelle

The Man from the Cold River will spend the entire weekend at the Sydney Writers Festival & Nippon-type Clubs ;-) Those unlucky to reside interstate or overseas might care to visit the Big Pond as tomorrow night a debate of biblical proportions will take place: David Suzuki and Peter Garrett

This link is for the love of my life who lets me spread my wings other males can only dream of ;-) The one who must be obeyed introduced me to many finer things in life be it ballet, yorkshire pudding, and the taste of authentic Mediterenian cooking [There is not one issue of any gourmet magazine which features Mediterenian cooking that Lauren has not kept or filed inside her cooking manual - more and more yellowed by time]

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Marketing & Reading at Risk: drip, drip, drip
Ever wonder who declared granola to be healthy?

Do you believe that there's a person named Betty Crocker? What explains an $80,000 SUV? What justifies a $125 pair of sneakers? According to a new book, we buy what we buy because we believe in 'the story'.

• All marketers are liars How the Goddes of Marketing is Improving Cold River [ Every man I meet is in some way my superior - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American author, minister, & activist Something to consider: Everyone knows something that you don't. Take advantage of that and allow them to teach you Leading Ideas: Take Advantage of Others ; It's Not What You Say ... It’s What You Do - Follow-through is the critical piece in any change initiative Why is this night different from all other nights ]
• · The King is dead, and a large part of Australian television history has gone with him. Graham Kennedy's death from pneumonia early this morning has taken one of the biggest talents this country has seen from TV TV legend Graham Kennedy dies ; Carr death threat link to cathedral blaze
• · · The goal of this collection of essays from some of America's younger or emerging novelists is to disprove the dire warnings regarding the disappearance of a reading public. Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times; Matilda: Weekend Round-Up #21
• · · · While Ten's Big Brother attracted around 1.5 million viewers to its shows this week, a new kind of reality tv is winning the votes in Britain, according to The Age. Five men were invited into a West Sussex monastery to live with the monks for 40 days and 40 nights, being filmed by BBC cameras Monastery attracts the viewers ; Everything Bad's Not Bad ; New 24/7 chap on the block! Reindeer Company
• · · · · What happens when young people are trained in globalised consumption from babyhood on? Is there room for the self between commercialism and mass commodities? The "Coolhunters" exhibition in Karlsruhe looks at youth culture, from cheerleaders to cool rappers, from computer games to teenage suicide News from Teenyland; An archaic parliamentary rule today prevented a pregnant NSW state Labor MP from leaving the lower house chamber to use the toilet. Nasty moment ... for Parramatta MP Tanya Gadiel ; Age bias is about as common as coffee in the workplace, but there are signs that may be changing as a small but growing number of companies seeks to attract older workers Which companies are reaching out to older workers?
• · · · · · Experience beats youth hands down this season! Second novels are sprouting up everywhere. Poet Thomas Kling, who died far too young, has left us a final masterpiece. Non-fiction can't escape the dark shadow of World War Two but there's plenty of talk of a life without work as well Cold River this Season ; Once almighty arbiters of American taste, critics find their power at ebb tide. Is it a dark time for the arts, or the dawn of a new age? Critical condition

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hugh Martin: Jozef Imrich is a prolific researcher. This kind of blog can become a trusted source of links; effectively he's editing the web for readers interested in the media - When are bloggers journalists?

People's No. 1 question is How do I find stuff? Most advertisers who survive know that - The advertising business is undergoing an upheaval, forcing marketers to try desperately to stay ahead of technological innovations Advertisers Want Something Different

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Always on Google

Kudos to Google for succeeding to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Integrated Media Systems Center [ A new sensation is piggy-backing on the phenomenon that is the iPod: podcasting Come One, Come All: The Rise of Podcasting ; Corporate blogs have become something of a norm Another twist in blogging's fate]
• · Blogebrity: A to C list ; Ali, Rafat ; Ace ; Chris Allen
• · · Blogs Are Just the Medium, not a Profession ; What makes a blogger a blogger?
Being a blogger is a bit like being an alcoholic: if you say you are one, you are
What makes a blog a blog?
• · · · BitTorrent Creator to Launch Search Engine ; How Old Media Can Survive In a New World
• · · · · Are Bloggers Setting the Agenda? It Depends on the Scandal ; Why is it worth having a debate about whether blogging is journalism? Because, for one thing, as James Packer points out today, online companies such as Google and Yahoo! have market valuations of $US55 billion ($A72 billion) to $US60 billion while "media behemoths" such as Viacom, News Corp and Disney are capitalised at $US50 billion-$US55 billion. The dollars will follow the eyeballs
• · · · · · 'All time Greatest Aussie Bloopers'; We are at the end of the beginning in terms of the internet Online the way to go - Packer

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

As you can tell, it's the time of year for all kinds of statistical scorecards for 2005-2006. The real meaning of the forecasting season can be found in the Orwellean language: Forget land tax. The big promise in yesterday's state budget was that nobody would go more than five minutes without hearing the phrase strong and detailed plan. Since February, this has become the preferred cliche of Labour MPs Do not take our word alone: strong and detailed plan

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Why I'm Still a Liberal
I am, in most things, liberal because to my mushy eyes, the American "welfare state" has been (mostly) a success. Not a big fan of government, but a believer that some things are best done together, rather than individually.

History is quite clear about what happens when the "haves" don't bother to take care of the "have nots," or even the "have somes": Rule by the rich, the few, who will, eventually, lose control, often violently. But as diehard conservatives insist we move from America's New Deal ethic into Ayn Rand Adventure Land — minimal taxes; everyone out for themselves — I can't imagine why they think our (far from perfect) system has been so awful.
After all, since Roosevelt, the United States has won the only war that really mattered, blasted into the economic stratosphere, raised standards of living, cultivated the middle class (that powerful antidote to pluto-oligarchy), become a technological Godzilla, and built the most dominant (if excessive) military in history

Margo Kingston: Lib MPs 'stand up for human dignit Rebel Liberal backbenchers Petro Georgiou and Judi Moylan today pledged to present and vote for two private members bills to overturn their government's mandatory detention regime and grant refugees on Temporary Protection Visas permanent residency.
Gee, what a trainwreck [ Once again labor leaders are debating new approaches to organizing In Need of Lifeline, Labor Must Rethink its History and Future ; Tweed Shire Council Council sacked after property corruption probe]
• · ASIO doesn’t need all the emergency powers it was given two years ago, write George Williams and Ben Saul Will the PM welcome a compromise this time around?; The rise of the Christian right might suit the moderate Liberal leader's next election campaign Brogden a chance for the top job if he can ride the factional cycle
• · · In Robert Bolt's play, A Man for All Seasons, Sir Thomas More is confronted by Richard Rich, whose perjury will lead to More's execution. More's son-in-law, William Roper, urges More to arrest Rich. More answers that Rich has broken no law and is free to go. And go he should if he was the Devil himself until he broke the law! Saddam's Underpants are not the Issue. But the Law is ; President Bush said the other day that the world should see his administration's handling of the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison as a model of transparency and accountability. He said those responsible were being systematically punished, regardless of rank. It made for a nice Oval Office photo-op on a Friday morning. Unfortunately, none of it is true Patterns of Abuse
• · · · Ross Gittins: Take the Michael Egan out of Bob Carr and you're not left with much in the way of financial discipline. They've lost the plot, along with their nerve ; The world's dumbest tax has killed the property market in NSW and driven investment to Queensland, Victoria and even Bob Carr's preferred investment location, New Zealand Brogden attacks high-tax approach
• · · · · No-one even blushed, let alone admitted that last year's land tax changes had been a political misjudgement of the first order. A spectacular backflip with not a red face to be seen ; It was hard to know who was happiest at noon yesterday - Bob Carr, celebrating his 10th anniversary as Premier; Andrew Refshauge, celebrating his first budget as Treasurer; or his predecessor Michael Egan, tucked snugly asleep in his bed somewhere in France Left, Right, the Carr battalion marches on
• · · · · · Politics is not a profession for the weak-hearted Balmain Boys Do not Commit Suicide ; Put aside the issues of increased debt for infrastructure and the 10-year pay-as-you-go policy it reverses Like Carr's record term, a budget adding up to little

We believe that in the best American tradition of helping others help themselves, now is the time to join with other countries in a historic pact for compassion and justice to help the poorest people of the world overcome AIDS and extreme poverty The circle of One

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Bridging the Digital Divide
Anne Daly presents data from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing to highlight the low levels of computer and internet usage by Indigenous Australians.

One possible way of addressing the digital divide between capital city dwellers and other Australians is through the development of community online access centres. Factors that are likely to make these centres more successful include a strong commitment by the community to the development of a centre and a close integration of the centre with community activities, and the budgeting of significant funds for training all involved including centre staff and community members

Lack of community leadership: Online opportunities and threats: strengths and weaknesses [It involves no less than the dream of all librarians since the creation of the Alexandria repository in Ancient Egypt ... Google Print, or knowledge is power ; The new publishing tool, Bubbler, provides web publishing with the ease of blogging Bubbler Drag and Drop Web Publishing]
• · I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity. The left is no longer progressive — Keith Thompson is leaving the left. Angels, Aliens and Bloggers — The blogging Right are all over this article today, entitled Leaving the left and written by one Keith Thompson Leaving the left ; via Memeorandum
• · · Conservatives Are Losing Their Monopoly On Complaints About Media Bias The Media in Trouble ; For all of us who rely on, and want to trust, our newspapers, television networks and news magazines, this has been a tough couple of years Yet Another Wake-Up Call
• · · · Now, everyone agrees that Republicans make the rules today in U.S. politics Sticks and Stones and the "Secular Left" ; How much of a pipe dream is it to be an effective 'media reform activist?' Most of us are skeptical about real opportunities for mere mortals to do anything to stanch the flow of life from an increasingly sold-out, wimpy, self-censoring, corporate-owned fourth estate. Winning the Media Wars
• · · · · The National Conference for Media Reform held last week in St. Louis was a smashing success in generating the momentum that the organizers from Free Press hoped for. Bill Moyers' powerful sermon of a speech during the closing session on Sunday morning was aired on C-SPAN and hurtled through cyberspace faster than that proverbial speeding bullet Why We Need a Media and Democracy Act ; Bush Lied, and Press Can't be Bothered to Report on it
• · · · · · Back in 1882, a woman named Elizabeth Jane Cochran changed her name to Nellie Bly and invented investigative reporting. She posed as a sweatshop worker to expose working conditions in factories. In Mexico, she wrote about poverty and political corruption and was thrown out of the country for it. Back in America, she committed herself to a psychiatric hospital and exposed the horrible conditions there What Happened to Watergate? Exposés, muckraking, stings, enterprise journalism ; A re-enactment of "The Emperor's New Clothes - The updating of the children's fable showed me that there is an alternative to bowing and kowtowing to the tin pot Caesars of Washington, D.C., who have nothing in common with the rest of us but much in common with the equally privileged plutocrats, the K Street lobbyists, who service the senators with money and obsequiousness in exchange for access It's No Fairy Tale: Truth-Teller from Across the Sea Exposes Senators' Lies

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

We give them money, but are they grateful?/No, they're spiteful and they're hateful No one likes us, I don't know why....

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Soul of the Senate
There's a new documentary on Sen. Robert Byrd's life story "of strength and fortitude" debuting this week. It's called "The Soul of the Senate" (website to be launched soon ). The Sunday Gazette-Mail reports:

Soul of the Senate highlights moments in Byrd’s life from his graduation as valedictorian from Mark Twain High School in Stotesbury in 1934, to being congratulated by President John F. Kennedy as he received his law degree at American University in 1963, to chairing major committee hearings in the U.S. Senate.

The Life and Times of Robert "Sheets" Byrd [Alex Robson demonstrates that every dollar the government raises in tax has a cost. He calculates the total deadweight loss of taxation could be as high as $61 billion per year – more than the federal government spends on health The costs of taxation ; Leigh, Andrew: Do income taxes levied at a state or regional level affect the after-tax distribution of income? DP 490 Can redistributive state taxes reduce inequality? ]
• · In a paper to be published by the University of San Francisco Law Review, Professor Mirko Bagaric and Julie Clarke of Deakin University make a case for legalising torture. Their argument fails morally and practically, write Sarah Joseph and Marius Smith Torture is inhuman, illegal and futile ; The international convention against torture needs to be strengthened, argues Ben Saul Law needs refining
• · · Scott Brenton examines data from the 2003 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes and the 2004 Australian Electoral Study, in considering whether there is declining confidence in Australia’s democratic institutions. He examines issues of democracy, government, politicians, parliaments, the legal system and public servants - Democratic Audit of Australia, Australian National University (PDF file) Public confidence in Australian democracy ; Poverty rates by electorate ; This study is examining the impact of Australia’s unique social and cultural environment on the next generation Growing up in Australia ; Was there another story behind this yarn in The Australian on Friday about electoral roll errors? What's going on with the electoral roll? ; Electoral Fraud And Multiple Voting
• · · · Does a university education make people more inclined to have an empathetic view of the world? David Burchell critically examines this view in his reappraisal of what he describes as the ‘empathy wars’ of the past decade, in which attitudes towards Indigenous people and refugees acted a marker of social divides The trouble with empathy ; In June 2004 the Liberal Party’s Bill Stefaniak introduced the Charter of Responsibilities Bill into the ACT Legislative Assembly Bills of responsibilities: is one needed to counter the ‘excesses’ of the ACT Human Rights Act 2004?
• · · · · Jo Barraket reports on a preliminary analysis of Australian third sector, or non-profit, organisations’ attempts to mobilise citizen engagement using online technologies. She reviews recent debates about the impacts of online technologies on citizen engagement in order to identify the significance of these technologies to third sector organisations. While the organisations reviewed are using online technologies to present information about their offline activities, they are less consistent in using these technologies to mobilise civic engagement in new ways Australian Centre for Emerging Technologies & Society Online opportunities for civic engagement? An examination of Australian third sector organisations on the internet ; ASIO’s questioning and detention powers
• · · · · · Do Australians surround themselves with like-minded people and what unites and divides them? Colliding worlds of people unlike us ; Does Peter Costello have something to learn from Prince Charles? Michael McGirr reports on three events and what they meant in southern NSW Last Tuesday, this Tuesday

If a prisoner has gold teeth, he’s a drug dealer, if he’s reading Wittgenstein, he’s in for fraud. Now literary fraud is rather different... An imaginary “scandal”

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Bohemian Barista
Celebrating their visas to Australia, newlyweds Signor and Signora Bocconcini went for a last ride in the country of their ancestors. Just look at it carefully.

Who Says I Can't? Abandoned as a baby in Canada, Catherine DeVrye was adopted by loving parents. When she was twenty-one, they died of cancer, within a year of each other. An only child, Catherine packed her bags for a 3-month working holiday in Australia, arriving jobless and near penniless. If you’ve ever felt alone and hopeless, laugh and cry through Catherine’s story and become more empowered to turn your own stumbling blocks into stepping-stones.

Oy caramba [It’s brutal, the poetry world. Corruption, back stabbing, fraud – much of it exposed by a chipper and rather dangerous librarian How a Web site purporting to uncover fraud shook up the world of poetry contests ; Strange, wonderful, how we need to know why - In the end we, as human beings the world over and in our own way, love. We believe. We seek to eat, to have shelter and safe beds to sleep in. In all the tiny corners of the world, torn by war or party to it even if just by deed of our being human, we each head into sleep at night while within us somewhere deep or near the surface is the fundamental question we all ask. Why do we hurt, harm, kill? Why we ask...'why?' ]
• · I view life as a journey of initiation for death, Batya told a journalist a year ago: A person lives, suffers, dies. All the rest is grace. And love is grace. Writing is grace `Warm and wise' writer Batya Gur dies ; If we expect celebrities to be perfect, we are going to be continually disappointed Highs and lows for role models
• · · Snake River Brewing Company ; Human folly is often entertaining, but even its the most ardent connoisseurs have limits to their appetites. What biographers find in other people's mail ;
• · · · He was a strange and great human being Say it loud – it's Schiller and it's proud ; If Russia were ever to solve its problems, three groups would suffer most: corrupt traffic cops, oligarchs, and satirists... Adventures of a True Believer
• · · · · Microsoft & MEdia Dragon: 'There falls the Curtain that ruined my life.' There is not a lot more to say, except 'Thank You For Reading'; How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, a book by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble: Naked Conversations: Naked Coincidences: Naked Ambitions ; Deep Blog: Creating passionate readers in every corner of this small, small, world - Cold River: a survivor's story Sex Degrees of Separation Surfaced on the Web; Did you know that if you type my surname Imrich in any version of the Word (a.k.a. Gates-Scoble Microsoft) the spell czecher (sic) suggests the word Embrace Be Different! Creative Teaching and Spilling
• · · · · · The circle rippled outward to include the police divers fishing the river and the complete strangers who volunteered to comb meadow and fen. Police helicopters flew low over outlying villages and countryside as far as the county borders, truck drivers were alerted to keep an eye out on the motorway, and the army was brought in to search the fens, but none of them -from Amelia screaming herself sick in the back garden to the Territorial Army recruits on their hands and knees in the rain on Midsummer Common -could find a single trace of Olivia, not a hair or a flake of skin, not a pink rabbit slipper nor a blue mouse Case Histories revolve around three family tragedies; If you want to know what’s coming next, the answer starts here Far too many titles slip passed me - this is why I'm especially happy that Case Histories surfaced

Monday, May 23, 2005

Australia's elected representatives have shown just how ugly IT cost-cutting exercises can become if users are not consulted. An opt-in option has produced an uneasy truce over attempts to force-march senators onto electronic documents and away from paper Parliamentary paperless coup aborted (courtesy of Catherine the Great ;-)

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: V-E Day
Prague's World War II commemorations, as usual, all but left out a band of heroes who saved the city

Good progress, this year" said a colleague at Czech TV who had been monitoring the Czech press and TV coverage of the V-E Day celebrations — also 60 years after the fall of Nazi Prague — for references to the Russian Liberation Army, the ROA, aka "Vlasov's army" after its leader, the renegade former Soviet general whose troops turned on their Nazi sponsors and made possible the liberation of Prague without the massive bloodbath and destruction that would have undoubtedly happened otherwise.

Rewriting history [Political Affairs, on the “ultimate bullshit” which has deformed American politics since the beginnings of the cold war “Totalitarianism” or “Bullshit” ; Open Democracy, a look at the hidden history of the United Nations. The hidden history of the United Nations ]
• · David Starkoff’s blog The merits of torture ; Why Freedom? The Castle in real life
• · · At least 56 police officers are facing the sack for allegedly committing crimes such as rape, making up evidence and break and enter 56 cops face sack over crimes CityRail's train breakdowns are driving commuters insane Driven insane: 1242 train breakdowns ; Tomorrow's budget is expected to include infrastructure spending that will top last year's $7.5 billion. State budget aims at voter confidence
• · · · Via Scoop: Craig R. McCoy, Jennifer Lin and Mario F. Cattabiani of the Philadelphia Inquirer detailed the relationship between state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo and the bank he heads PSB Bancorp Inc. has served one man especially well: its chairman, Sen. Fumo ; Ames Alexander of the Charlotte Observer investigated the relationship between lawyers and judges in the North Carolina’s judicial district that is most lenient on drinking and driving. Judges Under the Influence
• · · · · Mike McAndrew and Michelle Breidenbach of the Syracuse Post-Standard analyzed records from New York’s Empire State Development Corp., which offers businesses tax breaks and other incentives to create jobs State gives away millions for jobs that never come ; Andrew Conte and Mark Houser of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review created a database from paper campaign finance filings in Pittsburgh’s mayoral race, finding that “about $1 million in campaign donations has come from people who live outside the city,” more money than came from people living in Pittsburgh Campaign dollars coming from afar
• · · · · · Lise Olsen of the Houston Chronicle compiled information on deaths at oil refineries from various sources to find that “BP leads the U.S. refining industry in deaths over the last decade, with 22 fatalities since 1995 - more than a quarter of those killed in refineries nationwide.” Fifteen of those deaths occurred in a March accident at BP’s Texas City facility BP leads nation in refinery fatalities ; Karen Augé of the Denver Post used state records to show that “nearly every agency, contractor and department that touched the state’s new $200 million computer benefits system in some way contributed to its debacle Blame aplenty in benefits mess ; Anne Applebaum The Torture Myth

Dan Okrent Confesses Failure And Leaves The Building 13 Things I Meant to Write About but Never Did

The Blog, The Press, The Media: If I were a rich man, and now I am!
I’d normally being reporting on an interesting story posted by Adam L. Penenberg at Wired on an upstart Hong Kong Chinese blogger who is setting up a blog network modelled on Gawker Media, but there is one line in the article that changes the whole tone of the this post: “no one has gotten rich off blogs in the West”
really. Well Adam, define rich!

Sure, there are no Donald Trumps or similar in the blogosphere, but to say that no one has has gotten “rich” in the blogosphere sets the bar to high... And in my terms, if you can make a confortable living from blogs, you are rich.

Challenge to Wired: define rich [Traders selling on eBay will be required to include the applicable GST in the price of their listings next month eBay GST wrinkle gets ironed outc ; The news industry is having trouble keeping its audience. Maybe it should try using sex to sell it? Extra, Extra... Sex Sells ; A Blogging Revolution? ‘Give Me a Break’ ]
• · Are profit and public service incompatible? ; Today Google Labs released Google's New Personalized Homepage. It currently allows you to choose from among a discrete range of sources (gmail; news from Google, New York Times, BBC, Wired, Slashdot; weather; driving instructions; maps) for display on your homepage. Features will be expanded to include feeds from more sites. (Note: you need a Google account to use this feature. More info in this SFgate.com article.) Personalize Your Google Homepage ; Bloglines CEO promises top blog search by summer
• · · More on bullying at the ABC ; Sam Don't Tell Us About It Janet ; New York college student, Simon Ng, was murdered May 12 and remarkably blogged about his murderers presence in his house just prior to being murdered Victim blogs about his murderer
• · · · Bloglines Blog Search a-Comin' ; Max Kalehoff: Wikipedia and Search; Dragons are out: Cows are in: report - Those rebellious Web write-ups go corporate ; Google News takes in more blogs
• · · · · Secrets Of Getting Web Traffic ; How do top ranking sites achieve their high rankings?
• · · · · · AdSense Ads Appearing In RSS Feeds; Most bloggers excluded from Adsense RSS advertising

Sunday, May 22, 2005

As a party servant, he looked a most unlikely premier. Now Bob Carr's unbroken stretch at the top is about to hit the history books - As good luck would have it Bob Carr Holding the Fort as Marcus Aurelius

For the Left, the wrongful deportation of the mentally ill Alvarez has been an apocalyptic journey into the heart of darkness, where stone-heart racists impose cold immigration laws with all the flexibility of Hitler's SS. Harry Freedman. George Newhouse had also spoken to NSW Premier Bob Carr's chief spin doctor, Walt Secord, another mate. As an immigrant with an accent, the Canadian-born Secord was horrified at the idea he would have to carry his passport around to avoid being deported by federal agents Behind the battle to save Vivian

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Brogden attacks Carr's on infrastructure
The NSW government cannot be trusted to deliver on promises of increased infrastructure spending, the opposition says.

Treasurer Andrew Refshauge is expected to announce major increases to infrastructure spending in Tuesday's state budget.
More money is expected to be pumped into significant public transport projects and capital works in the areas of water, power and ports.
But opposition leader John Brogden said the Carr government had a record of making "lots of promises that are either never delivered, delivered late or over budget".
Mr Brogden released a list of 25 key infrastructure projects, including major transport works and hospital upgrades, which were promised in the 2002 NSW State Infrastructure Strategic Plan.

He said six of the projects had been abandoned, the costs for 13 had blown out and 11 had been delayed
• Many of Bob Carr's promised projects have been abandoned, buried or are simply languishing in the assessment stage [Canberra is tough and ambitious on industrial relations and infrastructure but is decidely cautious when it comes to health Howard tightens his grip and pokes Labor states in the eye ; Google: I couldn't have beaten Howard: Carr ]
• · BOB Carr yesterday performed one of his greatest political backflips, ruling out Keno in hotels within 12 hours of it being confirmed by government sources as going ahead Carr denies plan to extend Keno to hotels; Faced with surging demand for power-hungry air-conditioners, the NSW Government is preparing to approve the extension of a coal-fired electricity plant near Lithgow and has cleared the way for more coal power stations Greens condemn coal power plants
• · · Just in case … the city steps up its terrorism-proofing ; Thousands of items of fake designer sportswear, sunglasses, watches and children's toys were seized Police raid market stalls
• · · · NSW Treasurer Andrew Refshauge's first budget on Tuesday will bury the Carr Government's previous aversion to big spending on infrastructure with a program of projects covering public transport, water, power and ports Refshauge's first budget to look at the big picture; Political donations plan raises corruption fears ; Schapelle Corby Meet the Corbys: dad busted for drugs
• · · · · Inverell has galvanised behind this American Christian group's attempt to beat immigration restrictions Town unites to save its model immigrants ; Right means might for state Libs ; Performances in the teatre of the absurd Loyal hardliner takes in his new view
• · · · · · Andrew Metcalfe PM's man tipped for ASIO job ; British tabloid publishes photos of Saddam in underwear ; Alvarez on police files

What is the current size of the Web? At the time of this writing, Google claims to index more than 8 billion pages, MSN Beta claims about 5 billion pages, Yahoo! at least 4 billion and Ask/Teoma more than 2 billion The 'visible' or 'indexable' Web is more than 11.5 billion pages

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Stuff That Matters: We want to burn witches
Starbucks Real Estate Learnings:

Like McDonald’s, Starbucks is a concept driven as much by real estate as it is by coffee and the coffee experience. These days Starbucks opens at least three new locations a day somewhere in the world. It has taken a lot of real estate to open up 9,000+ Starbucks locations and it will take even more real estate to reach their stated goal of 30,000 global locations.

• Tom Peters, comes a very promising new blog, TPWireservice [ Blog as if your life depended on it (for the next three months, anyway) ; Book by Bill ]
• · Renee Blodgett pointed us to an interesting conference coming up, BlogHer. Shameless Plug: Get Your BlogHer Gear Right Here!; via Bill Ives ; Jeff Jarvis' New Life: I just quit my job at Advance.net to do lots of new things -- a damned career smorgasbord all related to changing news and to citizens' media
• · · Hugh Martin - The Albrechtsen/MediaWatch/blogger stoush continues in the Oz's Media section today. As David Salter points out, it's all very petty. Media Watch versus The Oz: Media Watch has attacked Janet Albrechtsen for supposedly inflating the "journalistic credibility'' of Arthur Chrenkoff's round-up of good news from Iraq. Part Four: Fairfax corporate interests ; Part Three: Marr's Grand Prix crash
• · · · David Starkoff’s blog Barrack Room Gossip ; Part One: Janet Albrechtsen's Good ; Part Two: The Hookes' bouncer error
• · · · · In Commentariat Site for would be bloggers?; Here's a cool remix of the news, in a new service called Buzztracker. Using Google, the site gives a visual representation of news on the net Buzz tracking, globally
• · · · · From the ASIO archives. I smell a rat . . . I really can't believe that ASIO thought these things about Paddy McGuinness. Watch it ; I'm not a pundit. I'm not an authority on the Mideast, Congress, or taxation. I'm not a crusader or an apologist. Keillor says his feature will instead be "an odd amalgam" of the sensibility of local columnists and national columnists as he discusses the big-picture meaning of small current events. I can't begin a day without a newspaper in my hand
• · · · · · Gannon's story left critics tarnished, too Blame bloggers?: All news now requires quotation marks; We really used a two-pronged strategy -- one, try to get ahead of the daily developments, particularly the investigations of the newspaper by various federal government agencies. There also are a series of lawsuits. And then the second approach was to dig into -- what happened here? How Newsday reporters covered their paper's circ scandal ; Jim Schutze is a reporter for the Dallas Observer, where the local daily is caught up in a circulation scandal of its own

Saturday, May 21, 2005

What makes Desperate Housewives compelling, apart from the snappy dialogue, is that it is about where we live – the suburbs:
‘In the slums, I reflected, they had a fetish about keeping front door-knobs polished, but here in the 'good' respectable suburbs the fetish was applied to cars and to gardens, and there were fixed rituals about this, so that hedges were clipped and lawns trimmed and beds weeded, and the lobelia and the mignonette were tidy in their borders, and the people would see that these things were so no matter what desolation or anxiety or fear was in their hearts, or what spiritless endeavours or connubial treacheries were practised behind the blind neat concealment of their thin red-brick walls.’
The only skeletons in our closets are the ghosts of the suburban dead - A man can't be too careful in the choice of his surburban enemies; Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much - Oscar Wilde A Matter Of Shire Reputations

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Like the ‘surburban song’ says, I live in the Shire of Tactful Meyers
I have made only one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.
- Voltaire
Winston Churchill said somewhere or other that there are few things in life more exhilarating than being shot at without effect. I thought of this utterly characteristic remark a few hours ago as I watched a wizard from Ms Mac Consulting wipe the hard drive of my iBook and reinstall the operating system, an experience which I imagine to be not unlike watching in a mirror as a neurosurgeon pokes around in your head with a scalpel.

“'There is no man,' he began, 'however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man—so far as it is possible for any of us to be wise—unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be preceded. I know that there are young fellows, the sons and grandsons of famous men, whose masters have instilled into them nobility of mind and moral refinement in their schooldays. They have, perhaps, when they look back upon their past lives, nothing to retract; they can, if they choose, publish a signed account of everything they have ever said or done; but they are poor creatures, feeble descendants of doctrinaires, and their wisdom is negative and sterile. We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you are not the result of training at home, by a father, or by masters at school, they have sprung from beginnings of a very different order, by reaction from the influence of everything evil or commonplace that prevailed round about them. They represent a struggle and a victory. I can see that the picture of what we once were, in early youth, may not be recognisable and cannot, certainly, be pleasing to contemplate in later life. But we must not deny the truth of it, for it is evidence that we have really lived, that it is in accordance with the laws of life and of the mind that we have, from the common elements of life, of the life of studios, of artistic groups—assuming that one is a painter—extracted something that goes beyond them.'”
-Marcel Proust, A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs

No problem in literature, perhaps, is less instantly soluble than the question of reputations: the bewildering process by which, in the years after their deaths, one writer's stock soars while another's sinks into bankruptcy. The only real judge of a book, Martin Amis once remarked, is posterity
Undeservedly obscure [It takes some courage to back down and give your computer to Mac Doctors ;-) Ms Mac Consulting ; A book is a mirror; if an ass peers into it, you can't expect an apostle to look out -G. C. Lichtenberg Unlike Media Dragon, Ken Loach rarely does sex. He's English, after all, and there are some things a chap doesn't ask actors to do. But in bohemian ‘Ae Fond Kiss,’ his star-crossed romance set in Glasgow, the sex is dramatic, an act of truth True colour of love as cultures clash ]
• · As Australian companies compete for workers - paying for visa applications, raising perks and wages, increasing training - some German employers have begun auctioning jobs online to workers willing to accept the lowest pay: Jobs for sale, and bottom dollar wins; Rise in number of sick police leads to inquiry
• · · Just the name 'subversive literature' has a provocative, candle-under-the-bedcovers feel. In communist East Germany -- perhaps the most spied-on nation in history -- however, almost everything fell under that dicey rubric. Poetry about freedom? Anti-utopian sci-fi? Political satire? All blacklisted. Now, 16 years after the Soviet puppet state crumbled, two former citizens have unearthed the vanished nation's hidden literature and -- adamant that it no longer be submerged in anonymity -- are pushing to get it published The Bloody Scalp of Literature: Uncovering East Germany's Vanished Literature ; Everyone was amazed when Robert De Niro piled on the kilograms for Raging Bull. Imagine the willpower it must have required for Christian Bale to lose 28.6kg for The Machinist. Is he mad?Weight for just the right part; Frida Kahlo is the only artist who gave birth to herself, a friend of hers once said. The sentiment could almost seem literal Daughter of the revolution
• · · · Discount hotels in Prague ; Wran had an extraordinary ability to play both sides of the street: This is the third time I read Neville Wran’s biography; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers…. There is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death: When death becomes real, or when deep disillusionment with the possibilities of experience overtakes the being, then one can no longer avoid the confrontation with fundamental questions Why is there suffering? I had a very vivid nightmare last night that Neville passed away and as Russell Banks noted ‘Luck can't last a lifetime unless you die young’
• · · · · Sherlock Holmes has had one of the most enduring afterlifes in all of literature. Holmes has become a one-man entertainment complex. He has been the subject of at least 100 movies and nearly as many plays and radio dramas, and he has inspired an entire library's worth of books. There have been countless sequels and knockoffs... Holmes - The Case Of The Enduring Detective: We have met the enemy, and he is us ;-) ; Last year every publishing trend piece talked about nonfiction and political books. So this year it's fiction's turn Summer should provide plenty of stories ;
• · · · · · Remember, the greatest gift is not found in a store nor under a tree, but in the hearts of true friends - Cindy Lew Absinthe & Cookies (a little bit bitter, a little bit sweet); Book reviews should inspire reading. They should excite, stimulate, agitate and empower readers to discover new books and avoid bad ones. They should turn you on to undiscovered authors, prompt you into finally reading the writer you have never quite got round to, and make you wonder at the world of delights that remain unread. But let's be honest. They don't, do they? What's Wrong With The Modern Book Review ; What We Really Want In Books - Get Happy! Our hunger for happiness books is virtually unslakable. It seems to be an American phenomenon. We buy can-do books that teach us to fix our problems. It's like having your own personal life coach, and it's less expensive than seeing a shrink We are just so into how-to-be-happy books

Friday, May 20, 2005

Journalists thrive on conflict - Conflict emphasized because it's believed to increase audience DC reporters hype political battles

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Was Newsweek Doing "Trust Me" Journalism?
Blogger and journalism professor Jay Rosen has the ultimate analysis of the Newsweek Koran story fiasco. His conclusion: Newsweek was doing Take-Our-Word-For-It journalism.

And, increasingly, it seems like Jay Rosen is right.
Trust Me Journalism is a kind of journalism that boils down to this: trust us because we're reporters. Trust us because we work for a prominent news magazine that has given you reliable information in the past. Trust us because we had to pay incredible dues to get where we are to edit and report in these positions (unlike you guys in pajamas at your computers).

Trust me.... [ Jay Harris says at ethics forum Don't lose faith
in journalism
; In case you haven't noticed, (having suddenly awakened from, say, a persistent vegetative state) the blogosphere is officially "hot." So hot that there are now at least ten million web logs in the world -- one third written in English, but one fifth in Japanese and another fifth in Korean -- with more on the way every day Craigslist for Media? ]
• · This Conversation Hour with co-host Andrew McIntyre Jay Rosen and Virginia Haussegger ; Will blogging make journalism better? Media Futures ; Gary Sauer-Thompson: Forum on the media
• · · Red Light, Green Light: A Plea For Balance in Media Ethics ; Journalists address media credibility
• · · · Single Document Publishing; Good intentions cannot replace good communication What Is Going On In Newsrooms?
• · · · · Hugh Martin: Media Blog ; Prediction: Mainstream press will open archives
• · · · · · Bill Ives Business Blogs: A Practical Guide is Now Available ; CEO Blogs -- Where Angels(?) Fear to Tread Where are the CEO Bloggers – USA Today