Just Say No… to Downloading

From Boing Boing:

The RIAA has just released a back-to-school propaganda video called “Campus Downloads” that is full of lies, half-truths, omissions, and intimidation aimed at convincing students to stay away from file-sharing.

This is so utterly reminiscent of the Just Say No campaign of the 80’s and the pre-Bush-era policy of educating the youth on the importance of safe sex. I just began taking a grad school course on DRM and copyright in the Internet age, etc, taught by Cory Doctorow, who opened the class by screening the aforementioned video, interspersed with his own p.o.v., the facts and a brief introduction into the saga of DRM and emerging copyright implications and developments in technology and the internet.

A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal of all places pointed out the utter ridulousness of these so-called “legal” file-sharing systems to which access is purchased by Universities, and of course then factored into students’ tuition fees.

Assuming you haven’t already seen this scare-piece — produced by the RIAA’s own campus outreach propaganda wing, stylishly named CampusDownloading — at freshman orientation, it is provided below in the spirit of helping the blood-money-hungry RIAA (though they did drop their suit against a dead man) in illegally disseminating their BS.

And just in case they come for you, Grant Robertson recently published “A Layperson’s Guide to Filesharing Lawsuits.”

Smithers: Not Gay?

This breaking news just in from LAist:

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation released a study today about the decline of gay characters in network television, the LA Daily News reports, and the results are shocking. Apparently GLAAD does not consider long-time Simpsons regular Waylon Smithers a homosexual man!


Tony at LAist proceeds to list several examples of Smithers flaming homo-mediocrity. Here’s the online guide to Smithers’ sexuality. Quite frankly, I’m shocked… could poor Waylon Smithers be asexual?

The controversy continues here. More Smithers audio here.

Music Got Soul

The Unger Report was brilliant this morning. Brian Unger, who was an original contributor to the Daily Show (pre-Stewart), absolutely railed on the cable news networks for their “breaking news coverage” of what John Mark Karr (the suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey case) was eating, drinking and wearing on his Thai Airlines flight into LAX yesterday. Listen to it Below.

After making a mix for a friend yesterday, I realized that I have deprived my readers of much great music that has been (or soon will be) released this summer. WOOZradio has had its strongest listenership ever with thanks to some strong music contributions/submissions sent in from around the world. SecretSquirrel has a zip file for you to collect the goods ranging from Kelis to Bob Dylan to Belle and Sebastian to the Roots for your downloading pleasure. Enjoy — and support these artists by seeing them live and buying their music! Check it (90mb)

And now, check out Unger’s madness for the day: Continue reading “Music Got Soul”

Explosions in Middle East Pop Culture

Two very well-read articles were brought to my attention today, both published in the relatively new World Politics Watch online daily.

Guy Taylor writes of an intense interest in pop culture and reality TV in the face of bombing in Lebanon. He alludes specifically to Star Academy, the Lebanon Broadcasting Corp.’s reality show/contest now in its 3rd season and Super Star, a show allegedly based on the British show Pop Idol.

I heard a song on some NPR program yesterday, can’t seem to dig it up via search, but it was a Palestinian song with words altered in support of Hezbollah / Nasrallah and I can?t get it out of my head. According to Al Jazeera, the number one hit song of the summer on the streets of Ramallah has been “The eagle of Lebanon,” a tribute to Nasrallah. Good chance it can be heard on any of these Gaza/West Bank-based online radio stations.

Juliette Terzieff provides an in-depth update on the latest in Iraqi reality TV. Despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the U.S. on transplanting notions of Western democracy on the Iraqi public, ?it has been the localized versions of “American Idol” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” that captured the hearts and minds of Iraqis.” Programs including “Construction Contract,” “Fame or Fortune” and “Congratulations!” are aired regularly on Al Sharqiya TV (watch live), a privately owned satellite-based channel.

My question is, when is Murdoch going to announce an initiative to penetrate the markets with his monster MySpace social network?

Here’s 15 minutes of “Star Academy.” More video clips can be found at Yahoo! Video.

Thanks to John Brown for passing along info on these two articles.