The Following throws viewers headlong into an ultraviolent and tense program that walks a fine line between success and coming apart at the seams.
Fox is building up its reputation in the thriller genre with The Following, which follows (forgive me) in the footsteps of programming like 24. Starring Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy, an ex-FBI agent roped into the investigation of a killer he thought he put behind bars for good, The Following throws viewers headlong into an ultraviolent and tense program that walks a fine line between success and coming apart at the seams.
Where are all the music television shows in the UK?
by Victoria Aitken
I was recently at the Amsterdam Dance Event, the biggest and most amazing dance event in the world, which grows every year exponentially. Sadly, the growth and love for dance music doesn’t translate into television… or at least mainstream television, anyway. (more…)
Maybe the question isn’t really: “Does government investigation have a rightwing bias?” Perhaps we should instead be asking, “Should the government be investigating today’s almost uniformly non-violent leftwing movements at all?”
Rocker agitator Ted Nugent is no stranger to violent rhetoric about the President, so his inflammatory remarks at last week’s NRA convention were no surprise. Still, the level of vitriol stunned many Americans. In the now-infamous address, Nugent said, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year… If you can’t go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil America hated administration, I don’t even know what you’re made out of.” He added, “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. …any questions?”
The newfronts are highlighting the growing trend of partnerships for sponsored content. Advertisers and creators are making series together, interweaving brands with entertainment to create advertainment at an entirely new level.
The upfronts are a time-honored tradition of network media; in May, the biggest networks gather for a glitzy multi-day event in New York City to show off their new fall content. Advertisers flock to select the programming they’re most interested in pairing with, negotiating millions of dollars in ad buys, product placement, and tie-in marketing. Lots of booze, food, and money changes hands during the presentations as networks compete for valuable advertising dollars, and the upfronts have been going strong since the 1950s, even during periods of economic decline.
This year, the traditional upfront system is in for a radical change: Enter the Digital Content Newfronts, or simply the Newfronts. It’s the upfronts, but for digital content, and instead of being held in a cramped back room, it’s taking place under the bright lights previously accorded only to traditional programming.
This bill will absolutely have a chilling effect on free speech, as journalists and media entities try to work to keep the government accountable while a quarter-century prison sentence hangs over their heads.
“Since 1994, our country has been facing an increasing threat of espionage because of inadequate provisions in the 1982 Act. The foreign spies continue to steal our sensitive information in order to advantage their nations at the expense of advancement of South Africa and her people. The ANC government may never allow such undermining of our national security to continue.” - Siyabonga Cwele
The week before South Africa’s parliament passed the Protection of State Information Bill, a controversial bill that would punish whistleblowers and the media for possessing or disseminating sensitive information, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele delivered a speech in its defense at the National Assembly in Cape Town. He claimed that the public had given significant input into drafting the bill and that the authors of the legislation had taken their criticisms and suggestions very seriously. He thanked the public, and the consponsors of the bill, Nhlanhla Nene, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Ronnie Kasrils. In presenting the African National Congress’ rationale for the bill, he invoked section 198 of South Africa’s Constitution, which outlines the government’s duty to its citizens in upholding national security:
Many other Arab states lack the serendipitous unity of Tunisia and Egypt, making their hopeful democratic transitions more challenging.
Once Mubarak’s regime fell, and the celebrations in Tahrir Square subsided as Egyptians began to use Twitter to organize city cleanings rather than overthrow their dictator, the inevitable question of the hour became, “who is going to be next? Will the governments of the Middle East fall like dominos, one after another?”
Tunisia and Egypt have shown us that what was once inconceivable is now inevitable. However, many people have not acknowledged that Tunisia and Egypt coincidentally have remarkably similar populations. Both populations are overwhelmingly young, connected to the Internet, and most importantly united to overthrow the dictator that has presided over their country their entire lifetime. Their shared economic conditions and technological savvy fueled and expedited their respective revolutions. Many of the other Arab states lack this serendipitous national unity, making their hopeful future democratic transitions more challenging.
Sure, I might be robbed by super-literate jazz thieves, but systems like the Kindle demonstrate a much wider potential for instant mass disappearance.
“All I see is fireworks” – Drake
After spending much of the last year working as Global Comment’s music reviewer, I had an oddly discomforting experience of the ephemerality of digital media over the New Year. My partner and I had headed out in the late morning of December 31st, visiting a bookstore to redeem some Christmas vouchers and then on to lunch at the Mexican restaurant we had visited on our first date (I had embarrassed myself by pronouncing the Ls in “quesadilla,” thus dooming myself to immortal mockery).
When we arrived home, our apartment had been broken into. Our laptop had been stolen, along with jewellery, mp3 player and, bizarrely, toilet paper. It was at that moment that I discovered how much of my life I had been keeping on the laptop – most of a draft of a book I’d been working on, various academic articles, bookmarks of interesting websites, and last but by no means least, an astonishing amount of mp3s that I’d accumulated over the last couple years. Oddly enough, however, our small CD player and booklet of CDs was left untouched.
What we’re seeing with our changing notions of sharing and ownership might be a new hybrid of orality and literacy.
Social media isn’t going away anytime soon. Facebook and Twitter, blogging and the latest Google app are here to stay, it seems. But aside from giving us new ways to socialize, can these new communication methods give us new tools to create positive social change? Deanna Zandt thinks so.
A longtime technologist and activist, Zandt has written a book, Share This! How You Will Change the World with Social Networking, available now from Berrett-Koehler, to explain how sharing bits of ourselves online is going to change the world. She spoke with GlobalComment about her book, our shifting relationship to property, the news, friendships, and more.
Sarah Jaffe: Do you think “sharing” online is changing our relationship, not just to media, but to property? We share music, stories, files, but are we changing how we think about ownership?
Deanna Zandt: One can only hope, haha. Certainly digitizing a good chunk of our knowledge has caused us to noodle around with ownership. It reminds me a little bit about comparisons between cultures that are oral (meaning, for example, their histories and news are all carried via word of mouth) and cultures that are literate (meaning, they write them down and that’s considered the gold standard). What we’re seeing with our changing notions of sharing and ownership might be a new hybrid of orality and literacy. (Incidentally, the name of a very cool nerdy book by William Ong.) (more…)
But it’s those little moments when you feel like you might actually be creating a movement that sustain me.
I made the Hunter S. Thompson joke as we circled the Strip in the airport shuttle.
If not for the connection to the Good Doctor, Las Vegas would seem an incongruous place for a left-leaning convention. The place pumps enough energy into glittering, flashing neon lights to warm half the globe, and feminist bloggers enjoying cocktails served by scantily clad waitresses just, well, doesn’t seem right, no matter how pro-sex we feminists are.
I was in town for a brief two and a half days for Netroots Nation, the convention formerly known as Yearly Kos and maybe a little misnamed. I expected lots of panels about media, about writing and Web tools, and instead I got candidate after candidate for office.
Of course, I also got Van Jones. I got some new friends. I got a panel on new Civil Rights movements that featured the fabulous Tim Wise driving home the point that economic insecurity is a racial justice issue; that the social safety net was dismantled in the U.S. when it became coded as handouts to black and brown people instead of something that we might all use when we’re down on our luck. And yes, dear readers, I got a little drunk. (more…)
If there were a showy way to use cyber weapons to effect death in the “kinetic” world, then terrorists may harness it.
Two weeks ago, Secretary of State Clinton issued a statement on Internet rights for all, pledging to file a formal State Department protest regarding this month’s alleged Google China censorship and hacking. Now that there exists a real potential for damage in the physical world as a result of attacks in the cyber world, what makes us call something an attack, or an act of war? There are constant probes occurring online against private and governmental targets; our concern or lack thereof will determine our national response. (more…)
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