Moving on from this blog

I’ve decided to move on from this blog.  As my intellectual and political interests have shifted, so have my needs for writing.   My goal was to try and build a successful blog that I would want to read, and I think I finally did that towards the end.  I started this adventure in the middle of summer and got up to around 15k hits with some off and on posting, and I consider that a success.  I hope to someday return to doing political journalism/blogging.

The blog had two flaws in my mind:

1. A poor name.  can’t lie, it kinda sucked.

2. No organizing theme – it’s mostly about my life and random thoughts, but with a pretension of something bigger.  My pretense was bigger than my writing could handle day-to-day.

I’m keeping the blog up as a monument to a very interesting time in my life that saw a lot of personal, political, and intellectual development.  I hope to continue that elsewhere, but I don’t think the precendents set on this particular site best serve what I’d like to do with my writing during an important time in my life.

Onward.

Dragging Down Obama

Check this: Karl Rove is trying to lead a challenge to Eric Holder’s nomination as AG of the US. I don’t think Rove or any other part of the GOP cares particularly about Eric Holder per se, they care about Holder’s connections to Clintons, who they would like to tie to Obama.  It’s an effort to re-inscribe the partisan frame around Obama and his Administration  – and points out the risks O took in bringing so many Clinton-types into the fold when building his Administration.

Arundhati Roy on Mumbai

Ooops, forgot to post today.  Busy busy.

In the meantime, read this excellent article by Arundhati Roy on Mumbai, and the historical background to the terrorist attacks there.

Study Breakdown!

Was dope as fuck.  Great turnout, lots of fun despite a few sound hiccups.

Check the TBNYU! blog for a word from the folks who made it happen.

And, a shoutout:

pic-0130

The New NYT, Trying to Save itself

newnytI’m actually kinda down with the new features on the NYTimes’ “Extra” homepage, which essentially lists related blog/web content for each story on the Times homepage.  It’s clearly not a full-fledged project, but I think it signals an important transition in the way the NYT does news coverage, becoming a site that sorts and prioritizes other content in a kind of ‘curation’ role. The Times is particularly well suited to trade in on its cachet, large circulation, and status as the ‘paper of record’ for much of the US, turning its good rep into a position as the sorter and curator of record.  This is essentially a way for the Times to set the agenda for the rest of the web, and make itself the new record-maker for web journalism.

Beautiful News from the Guardian UK

I don’t know why this all happened at once, but I came across 2 really dope articles, that give me heart that the world isn’t totally awful:

US Agency Posts ‘Most Wanted’ List for Eco Crimes – Now, normally I would expect that this list would be of so called ‘eco terrorists’, with associated absurd rhetoric.  However, the list is actually of polluters who have dodged their fines or punishment.  Quite novel considering the overblown fanaticism that is the Green Scare.

No new coal – the calling card of the ‘green Banksy’ who breached fortress Kingsnorth – Someone just walked into a giant coal-fired power plant and turned it off.  Seriously, that simple.  They didn’t climb anything, no drama, just found their way in, and jammed a turbine, and left a message why.  Really dope.  Part of the message seemed to include a statistic claiming shutting the turbine reduced UK CO2 emissions by 2%, which points out how easy it could be to target a select number of companies/producers and vastly reduce carbon footprints.

First the ‘Surge,’ then the ‘Reboot’

ctrl-alt-del. from corture.freaks flickr

ctrl-alt-del. from corture.freak's flickr

I love the recent electronic/electric metaphors flying around US foreign policy these days – first the Bush “Surge” metaphor used to describe the war, now the Obama “reboot” metaphor for his approach to the ‘Muslim world’ (btw, what is the ‘Muslim world’? This term probably needs some unpacking too…).

The ‘Surge’ was such a great metaphor – it invoked a jolting, devestating pulse of energy that was simultaneously momentary and fleeting – a lot of bang for your buck, so to speak.  It reduced a complex military operation to a word (more condensed than the played ‘Desert Storm’ type names), and got the ball rolling for making the escalation happen.

The ‘reboot’ metaphor does other equally interesting things – it isolates the problem in US-Muslim diplomacy as a glitch or virus that can be wiped away with the flip of a switch, it invokes the technology that will be a prime medium for the policy shift (and echoes Obama’s tech cred),  and its inward-focused, almost repentant sound.

The real question is what a properly-operating US foreign policy OS would look like – Obama seems to think there is something inherent that the ‘Muslim world’ should see in the US, and I’m interested to know what his ‘Safety mode’ boot would look like.