It’s been reported that since progressive radio network Air America filed for bankruptcy on January 25th, 2010, everything has been for sale in the companywide liquidation that’s followed. The auction began today at 11:00 EDT.While there may be something poignant about that for fans of the network, there’s one thing on the auction block that’s likely to bother them more than the broadcast equipment and cubicles: Their e-mail mailing list, which auctioneers are billing at “intellectual property.”
Nancy Pelosi will undoubtedly go down in history for a whole host of achievements: health care reform, being the first female Speaker of the House, and revolutionizing the government’s approach to welfare among them. But according to Rebecca Dana of The Daily Beast, Pelosi should be given equal credit for her “perfect manicure,” “neatly coiffed hair,” and “lovely shoes.” Dana even goes so far as to call Pelosi’s power suits “remarkably on trend.”
Don’t think the Tea Partiers are unaware of the recent criticisms cast at them regarding their potentially violent protest behavior. They’ve heard the complaints loud and clear and are taking a “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” approach to the negative coverage, possibly triggered (no pun intended) by Sarah Palin’s advice to “reload” rather than acknowledge that they have been worryingly excitable lately. Today’s battlefield is the few feet of space between Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan’s home lawn and the sidewalk before it, where Big Government’s Jim Hoft defies Carnahan to prove the protesters put a coffin on private property.
Hoft, who participated in a prayer vigil in front of the Congressman’s home for his soul and the “millions of babies that will be slaughtered” under Obamacare, is accusing Politico of lying about the location of a coffin the anti-abortion protesters took with them to the vigil. “After our prayer service,” he explains, “we took our coffin and went and prayed on the sidewalk outside of Russ Carnahan’s home.” Politico reported that the coffin was placed on Carnahan’s lawn. Or, rather, Hoft is fuming at Carnahan’s people for Politico’s choice to report the story. Apparently, the coffin actually only touched the sidewalk in front of his home, not the lawn as reported in the headline of Jake Sherman’s piece:
Russ Carnahan is so frightened to meet with his constituents after his very unpopular vote that he is now lying about a prayer service. This is despicable. Russ Carnahan never said anything when his SEIU supporters beat, kicked and stomped on Kenneth Gladney in a parking lot outside one of his events. These were the same supporters he was sneaking into one of his staged town halls. Instead of apologizing for his supporter’s violence, he is making up stories about peaceful tea party protesters at a prayer service.
Attacking Carnahan for this is a predictable move, but judging from the complete text of the Politico article, it doesn’t seem that Carnahan’s office spread the supposed untruth that the coffin was placed on his lawn; the Congressman’s spokesman only said it was being exhibited “near his home.” The spokesman did tell other news outlets that the coffin was placed on the lawn and left there, but these statements were not reported in the piece Hoft is complaining about. Sherman took the liberty of claiming the coffin was on the lawn without citing evidence for that. Even if the assumption turned out to be true, Hoft’s argument would be greatly strengthened if he took the time to cite other sources to prove the lawn comment came straight from the horse’s mouth.
You know what else would greatly strengthen Hoft’s argument? Not bringing a coffin to a health care protest in front of the private residence of a member of Congress. Yes, melodrama is often a powerful and effective tool to convince others that your point of view is correct, but the Tea Party movement is already plagued with a reputation for being frivolous and dismissible. They should be doing everything in their power to rehabilitate that image into one of legitimacy. The image at the top of this article of a crowd of people chanting at a coffin and holding Solo cups in front of a Congressman’s private residence, is not anywhere near the definition of legitimacy.
Focusing on the very specific location of the coffin isn’t helping matters, either– the real question is why there was a coffin present at all. It adds nothing but a circus atmosphere to what could have been a serious event, and ranting the next week about the SEIU because someone botched the prop’s location plays right into the radical left’s stereotype of the “rabid teabagger.” For the sake of the reputations of everyone on the right, let’s hope the health care reform protesters pick their battles better next time.
It’s hard to remember it now, but a year ago, Twitter was still hovering on the fringes of the mainstream. Before Oprah, before Ashton vs. CNN, before Kim Kardashian was selling out in 140 character bits — a year ago, Twitter had yet to really make it. It was still being pronounced self-consciously by newscasters, Maureen Dowd still thought she was above it, Ev & Biz still had last names, the word “tweeting” still made us all cringe. That’s almost a lifetime ago in Internet years: before ghost-tweeters, before #IranElection, before Tiger. Before all of that and more, there was Twestival.
Thanks to the ubiquity of Twitter, we’re now used to the adorable “tw” words for events and people and things that matter to the 140 generation (you know, your tweeps!). But in early 2009, Twestival did something incredible: It raised over $250,000 for charity in a global campaign, entirely through the power of Twitter. “Twestival” stood for something new and innovative, the very best of what this nimble and amazing new platform had to offer, even if it sometimes sounded silly talking about it.
That was then, this is now. Words that start with “Tw” still sound goofy (sorry, tweethearts) but the power of Twitter is beyond dispute. In this lightning-fast real-time medium, information is shared, word is spread — and money is raised. That’s where Twestival 2010 comes in.
Tonight in over 175 cities worldwide, Twestival 2010 will kick off in a global chain of parties fueled entirely by social media, with 100% of ticket sales going to Concern Worldwide, an international humanitarian and anti-poverty organization, for their efforts in childhood education. Thanks to the goodwill of sponsors, the enthusiasm of volunteers and the generosity of — yes — the Twitterverse, hundreds of thousands of dollars will be raised for Concern. Last year, over $250,000 was raised for charity:water. This year, we are are going to top that.
Now the pitch. YOU CAN STILL GET YOUR TICKETS! PLEASE COME!
There’s a good chance that wherever you are reading this has a Twestival tonight. (And if you’re reading this in Stockholm, your Twestival will also come stocked with tall attractive blonde people.) I am one of the organizers of NYC Twestival (New York City, yo! Cue Empire State of Mind), and our Twestival is going to be what the kids call “off the hook” — with prizes, a performance by high-energy Brooklyn funksters Shinobi Ninja, a giant interactive Origami bird (really), still more prizes, and highly attractive people with faces not only for the Internet, but for Internet TV (one of sponsors is Boxee, yo!). The grand total: $20/ticket — enough to send a child to school for 2 months with everything they need! — unless you are feeling like a big spender, in which case the VIP ticket is $100 and you get a sick gift bag. Up to you, fancypants.
If you’re in another city, like San Francisco or LA or Chicago or Fresno or Rochester or Toronto or Boston or Milwaukee or Austin or Vancouver or Murfreesboro or Honolulu — or Manchester or Mexico City or Paris or Auckland — you can do it up there, too. As Ke$ha would say, the party doesn’t start ’til you walk in; as Joe Biden would say, it’s gonna be a big f**ing deal.
Events like this don’t happen without the generosity of sponsors. This is the part that most of us tune out but I never will again after pounding the pavement trying to drum some up. Our sponsors have shown leadership and generosity in supporting not only Twestival and Concern Worldwide, but the online community and the power of social networks. They get it. They’re it-getters. And we appreciate them so much. They are: PepsiCo, our lead sponsor (which has also shown such amazing leadership with its Pepsi Refresh social good project) plus Bing, CNN, PopChips, Foursquare, Boxee, Rypple and Syncapse — plus our media sponsors include the home team at Mediaite Styleite and Geekosystem. I don’t like to brag, but our sponsors are awesome.
Twestival is awesome! And tonight will be, too. So now that you have no excuse &mdsah; not even being in Murfreesboro — please join us, and all the other tweeple spending twenty for a twonderful twelebration. So, don’t be put off by the goofy moniker — like Shakespeare said, a rose by any other name would still smell as tweet.
See you tonight!
NYC Twestival [Amiando]
Twestival Global 2010 Raises Funds for Social Good Tomorrow [Mashable]
New York City Twestival 2010 [NYCTwestival]
NYC Twestival [Twitter]
NYC Twestival Event Page [Facebook]
Twestival Global 2010 [Twestival]
Kim Kardashian, 7th Most Popular on Twitter in the World [Twitterholic]
Update: Rachel Sklar is the Editor-at-Large for Mediaite and is also part of the @nycTwestival organizing team. You probably figured that out but still, disclosure.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor has been a very vocal opponent of the recently passed health care reform – the very policy that has lead to reports of threats towards Democratic members of congress and increased security. Well it appears that at least the threat of violence is now bipartisan, as Cantor just revealed during a press conference that, last night a bullet was shot through the window of his Richmond, Virginia office. Further, Cantor blamed the Democrats for “fanning the flames of violence” by using the threats as a political tool.
Cantor said “It is reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain.” A question for Mr. Cantor – isn’t blaming the opposing political party for using threats of violence as dangerous, in of itself the very reckless thing that you are blaming them for?
Do you ever find yourself dreaming of a simpler time? You know, a time before you had the high-pressure responsibility of paying off your mortgage, when you feared the Russians more than crazy right-wing political commentators from your own country, and when you didn’t have to put on 3D glasses every time you went to the movies? Ok, seriously, since Avatar was released, a 3D film has ruled the US Box Office on a weekly basis, and that trend seems destined to continue this weekend with the release of Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon. But yes, if like me, you yearn for the simpler days of yore, I invite you to check out this weekend’s instant classic release at your local cineplex, Hot Tub Time Machine.
Four simple words in that title. Four words that seemed like they were destined to join each other in cinematic history…it was just a matter of time. If only I had a time machine and I could go back in history and write this movie myself. Then again, silly me, I never realized that a hot tub was destined to be the state of the art mode of time travel in 2010. Deloreans you say? Hah, so 1985. Just get me to the nearest ski lodge with a case of Red Bull and I’m all set. Although, I must say, hot tubs have always made me feel like I died and went to heaven, but perhaps that’s too much info.
Ok, if you haven’t guessed from the title, Hot Tub Time Machine is one very silly movie. If you are the type of person who has pondered and analyzed to death the time travel dynamics on display each week during Lost, this movie probably is not for you. It’s like that old adage, it doesn’t matter how you go back in time, it’s what you do when you get there. Wait, haven’t heard of that one? Ok, I just made it up, but wonky logic aside, this film still strictly adheres to some of the basic tenets of time travel set up way back in 1985 in Back to the Future. You know, one little change to the past can create a butterfly effect that will irrevocably change the future. Serious stuff. Thank goodness then that this is a raunchy comedy primarily concerned with mixing its gross out humor along with making fun of all things 80’s, especially and most importantly 80’s cinema.
Yes, what makes this film stand out in my mind is the instant cinematic nostalgia trip it provides. In fact, it’s possible to just watch this movie and play a game of spot the 80’s film reference. Such cable classics such as Better off Dead, One Crazy Summer, Red Dawn, Sixteen Candles, Real Genius, Say Anything, The Karate Kid, and of course, Back to the Future, are either directly or indirectly paid homage to during this time travel trip, all to wonderful comic effect. And of course, the ultimate 80’s reference on display, is the fact that Hot Tub stars John Cusack in a role that is a direct cinematic tribute to his early screen classics (go ahead, try and tell me that Better off Dead is not a classic. “I want my 2 dollars” indeed). Seriously, since the 80’s ended, Cusack has always seemed more concerned with appearing in serious, arty fare (films like The Grifters, Eight Men Out, and, of course, 2012 – I kid) rather than embracing his former teen dream days. But here we have the Cusack as everyman that captured our hearts all those years ago. Welcome back Johnny. We missed you.
Though to be honest, this film belongs to one of Cusack’s co-stars, Rob Corddry. Prior to boogying in this Hot Tub, Corddry was best known to audiences for his stint as a commentator on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Rob, prepare to meet your destiny as our latest film comedy superstar. Corddry owns this film. His character provides the heart and soul of the film, propels the action forward, and most importantly gets the biggest laughs. Keep an eye out for a scene involving a sports bet (as Corddry’s character is from the future and has learned the important life lessons from Biff in the Back to the Future series, i.e. knowing the outcome to sporting events from the future can make you rich), a possible bathroom sex act and liquid soap. Saying any more would not only ruin the joke, but quite likely make you sick.
If you have noticed, I really haven’t even touched on the plot of this film. Let’s just say that’s intentional and not because I’m afraid to spoil some deep dark twist. This film is all about the ride and reveling in 80’s nostalgia. It makes me wonder if 25 years from now there will be a time-travel movie that makes fun of life in 2010. No doubt there is much to be made fun of, even if today it makes most of us want to cry. I’m working on a draft of Ipad Time Machine right now, I’ll keep you posted.