Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Don "Traficant" Cornelius?

Soul Train's response to a teen's web petition indicates someone over there has lost his or her mind.
In a response Zamora says was sent to him on August 9 from the's Webmaster email address, the entertainment site alternately suggested that Zamora's Internet campaign be called, "I'm a f*cking loser, I'm not talented or successful, I don't know sh*t about the music industry and I need to get a motherf*cking life!!"

A call to Don Cornelius Productions, the parent of Soul Train and, was not returned.

"I think they're just mad," says the still even-tempered Zamora of

In addition to being emailed personally to Zamora, the blistering response, which also called out the "white-owned" for publicizing the teen's effort, was posted for several hours on August 9 on (No such page currently can be found on the site. Zamora includes what he says are screenshots of those pages on his own Website, The Untold Truth [unable to locate via google search -- c-dog].)

In a message about the petition that currently can be found at, the Website seems to concede it blew a gasket. "We are no longer angry over what has been a turmoil of insults," the unsigned statement reads.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

On Justice

Thought provoking article on liberalism and rationality: John Rawls and the Liberal Faith. (via Arts & Letters Daily)
"By cloaking its political conclusions in the mantle of disinterested and universal reason, A Theory of Justice insinuates that many opinions heard in public debate--on welfare reform, on abortion, on affirmative action--don't deserve a place at the table. They are, in this view, unreasonable. Such a view can all too easily feed the illiberal conviction that left-wing progressives are separated from centrists and right-wing conservatives not just by opinions (over which reasonable people can disagree) but by a gulf akin to the one that separates civilized people from philistines and barbarians [emphasis mine]."
My knowledge of Rawls is totally secondhand, from articles like this one, and his influence on the writing of Ronald Dworkin. I'm energized now though to pick up and start delving into his work as it appears he is perceived to be arguing the same thing I've felt intuitively all along -- that anyone to the right of me on the political spectrum might as well put on the clown shoes because they're effing insane. (Kidding. Sort of.) What intrigues me is the description of Rawls's "original position" (discussed in the article) from which the concept a just society is derived. I'm curious to learn more about how Rawls, first, argues his derivation, and secondly, and perhaps more relevantly, what means he advocates for working towards the just society he envisions. It seems like a good part of the debate in the comments here and at Cheek over matters of social justice is rooted in fundamentally different positions in regard to what the individual's response to social injustice ought to look like, whether indeed injustice ought even to be identified and addressed. Are we to live as paragons within our familial sphere and leave the rest of the world to its own devices? Or, do we seek to apply the moral principles that we live our personal lives by to larger social systems, if only by means like angry debate and public condemnation of the individuals and institutions that seek to deprive ourselves and others of personal liberty?

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Nothing Gets Out Vampire Stains Like Tide

It's not just the music industry that's up in arms about digital recording ... TiVo and ReplayTV have barely penetrated the market and are already causing folks like Turner Broadcasting's chief to imply that if you skip the commercials, you're stealing tv shows. My prediction: it won't be long before we see a return to tv shows incorporating sponsorship into the programming. Remember how Carson used to pimp dog food before the commericials? Expect to see more of that. As the consumer becomes more able to filter out commercials automatically using PVRs, the producers will just start grinding them further into the shows themselves. Buffy's got a stain on her sweater from staking a vamp? Soon she'll have a box of Tide in hand extolling its virtues as a lead-in to the commercial break.

Thursday, August 8, 2002

Wild Kingdom

"We hope you enjoyed your behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium. Next on the agenda is a tour of the zoo where we'll get a great view of a grizzly bear mother and her new cub as we cross the bear habitat on a rickety rope bridge ..."

[Somewhat related follow-up: this too cool photo of a leaping shark seen over at Chapel Perilous.]

Wednesday, August 7, 2002

Thursday, August 1, 2002

Shaken Not Stirred: Rollercoaster Guy

Thanks to Q-Bot technology, I was able to endure the oppressive heat and ride the Superman 4x yesterday, in addition to 5 other rides, all in a 7 hour span while eating only half a hot dog and a few fries ($10.29) for sustenance. Last night and this morning I had one of the worst headaches of my life. Still, ditching work to go to the theme park: good stuff.
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