Hard News by Russell Brown


Effectively Friday

I was thinking what a shame it was to have to hang on to Republican is the New Punk until Friday, because something so strange -- so "magnificently retarded" as Instaputz puts it -- could only be a Friday blog treat.

But then I realised that, of course, it effectively is Friday. I didn't have to blog about infrastructure! I could just quote from Doug TenNapel's thesis on the way that Obama's election ("Never before has rock been so central to the inauguration of a president") has neutered the rebellious spirit of rock 'n' roll by forcing it into the mainstream:

Now that the art nerds and punks just became the football jocks and prom queens, a new rebel is emerging from the wilderness. They are the new anti-establishment. One minority force bands together against every other branch of government swallowed by the Democrat octopus. The last evidence of a check or balance against the popular people are now the Conservative Republicans.

Woo-yeah! Pass me that Ted Nugent album!

If you want me to unite to your cause, then end abortion, give the people back the money they earned, fight terror, keep your hands off free speech on the radio and enable job creators to make more jobs. Until then, screw your hope and screw your change.

Fuck yeah! Enable job creators to make more jobs! I'm getting that tattoo!

TenNaple's treatise is published on Big Hollywood, the new venture by Drudge collaborator Andrew Breitbart. It's Breitbart's response to the same fear expressed by Rush Limbaugh in his recent interview with Sean Hannity (I watch these things so you don't have to) that "we", meaning conservatives, "have lost the culture", meaning Hollywood, pop music and everything else at all cool.

While Limbaugh's solution appeared to be to declare bloody war on the culture till it comes to its senses, Breitbart wants to beat it at its own game by hiring some cool Hollywood right-wingers to write for his new site. Breitbart and Drudge know how to turn a dollar off the internet, they know viral, but I think they'll struggle to hold back the lameness here.

Example: BH was also kinda late in expressing the appropriate amount of hurt and outrage over that Young Jeezy/Jay-Z video. And when it did, there were comments like these, which read like responses in David Haywood's out-of-control Your Views parody thread, but are in fact real and non-ironic:

ALERIC - January 21st, 2009 at 10:51 am
And this is why they will NEVER get a cent of my money. Also the reason I have a concealed carry permit and I use it every day.

JOAN OF ARGGHH! - January 21st, 2009 at 10:57 am
So, I guess all the white folks gonna finally know what’s been being said behind their backs since forever.
Will it be comparable to our understanding, finally, that Islam could care less how much we love and understand them and desire friendship?

But there are some things we can all agree on. I'm with Breitbart in believing that the RevoLucian remix of the leaked Christian Bale nutting-off tape is awesome:

RevoLucian also created one of the better remixes of the infamous Bill O'Reilly nutting-off tape. You can find his YouTube stuff here.

As county police undertake the spectacularly wasteful work of a criminal investigation following the News of the World's publication of pictures super-swimmer Michael Phelps taking a bong hit, TMZ goes to Tommy Chong -- who points out something that's obvious when you think about it: Who'd be next in line to Phelps for the bong? The dude must have crazy lungs.


But seriously, we recorded another Media7 last night, with a panel on Fiji and the media (David Robie, Barbara Dreaver, Robert Khan) and one on the Section 92A stoush (Pat Pilcher, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith and Ant Healey), where we discussed the hot-off-the-wires Draft Code of Conduct produced by the Telecommunications Carriers Forum. It goes some way towards easing the worst problems with the section (although the "guilt upon accusation" principle still seems in place).

But what struck me is that it's another example of the major music copyright lobbies passing up a chance to vouch for the public good. I've mentioned previously the bewildering hostility shown to libraries and archives in the RIANZ/IMNZ submission on the copyright bill. This time, APRA has offered essentially untrammelled backing for Section 92, and Ant described criticism as "an attack on our songwriters".

But you get to the draft code and you find something from the big ISPs and telcos that just hasn't been heard from the creators' lobby: a sense of social responsibility. A section in the code (you can read the words "Folele Muliaga" between the lines if you squint) commits the carriers to social responsibility and not cutting off "vulnerable" customers.

Ant, Campbell, everyone else: when Telecom shows you up on grounds of basic humanity, don't you think you might be doin' it wrong?

Anyway, it was nice to have the show end on a shot of Bronwyn and Ant talking. As someone with many links into both camps, I find the standoff over copyright, and both sides' reluctance to acknowledge goodwill in the other quite vexing.

The show screens tonight on TVNZ 7 at 9.10pm, and there are relevant links in my blog on the Media7 microsite.

The TCF draft code is here, and the InternetNZ response is here.

Also: in tonight's show, look out for Sarah Daniell's story on Waitangi Day 1984 -- the year of the hikoi, and of important events that have strangely slipped out of most of our memories.

PS: Just a word of support for TypeSHED11, the international typograhy conference which is on all next week in Wellington. You can still register. It looks very good. Wellington seems to do these things well.

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