- From Paul Krugman of the New York Times, The President Is A Lousy Negotiator. I am inclined to agree.
- From Sky News, Arrests Made After Iman al Obeidi Burst Into Tripoli Hotel To Make Rape Allegations. Good! It's a start.
- From @Ali_Davis, Palin 2012 and Peer Pressure. Interesting piece. Excerpt:
[If] Bachmann runs for President – and, though she is an unbalanced, completely uninformed dingleberry, political analysts are beginning to take the possibility of her run seriously – she will leapfrog Palin’s rank automatically.
Which would leave professional political analyst Palin to comment wisely on Bachmann’s campaign from the sidelines.
I cannot imagine a world in which Palin has either the perspective or the self-control to let such a thing stand.
- From Roll Call News, Reid: CR Talks Have Been Broken Down. Take your time, folks. My junior enlisted and husband and I will just hope that we'll keep getting paid. *scowls*
- From Charlie Brooker at guardian.co.uk, How to tweet bile without alienating people. Or making 13-year-old girls cry. Right on, Charlie. Excerpt:
Not so long ago, if you wanted to issue a 13-year-old girl with a blood-curdling death threat, you had to scrawl it on a sheet of paper, wrap it round a brick, hurl it through her bedroom window, and scarper before her dad ran out of the front door to beat you insensible with a dustbuster. Now, thanks to Twitter, hundreds of thousands of people can simultaneously surround her online screaming abuse until she bursts into tears. Hooray for civilisation.
That's in effect what happened the other week in the Rebecca Black "Friday" affair. In case you're not aware of it, the trail of events runs as follows: 1) Parents of 13-year-old Rebecca pay $2,000 for her to record a song (and video) called Friday with a company called ARK Music Factory, a kind of vanity-publishing record label specialising in creepy tweenie pop songs. 2) The song turns out to be excruciatingly vapid, albeit weirdly catchy. 3) It quickly racks up 40m views on YouTube, mainly from people marvelling at its compelling awfulness. 4) Rebecca is targeted on Twitter by thousands of abusive idiots calling her a "bitch" and a "whore" and urging her to commit suicide. 5) She gets very, very upset. 6) Thanks to all the attention, the single becomes a hit. 7) Rebecca becomes an overnight celebrity, goes on The Tonight Show, and donates the proceeds from Friday to the Japan relief effort. So the story had a happy ending, at least for now. But it marks a watershed moment in the history of online discourse: the point where the wave of bile and snark finally broke and rolled back.
God knows I enjoy a helping of bile. But only when it's crafted with flair. One of the most disappointing things about the slew of online Rebecca Black abuse is the sheer poverty of language involved. If you are complaining about a banal pop song but can't muster a more inventive way to express yourself than typing "OMFG BITCH YOU SUCK", then you really ought to consider folding your laptop shut and sitting quietly in the corner until that fallow lifespan of yours eventually reaches its conclusion.
- From Inside Higher Ed, 'An Unwanted Consequence' A trans dude and misogyny, but not trans-misogyny in this case.
- From Vanity Fair, The Origins of the First Arcade Video Game: Atari's Pong. Neato!
- From lovefromgirl, TRUE ROMANCE: Finding love in the midst of anti-gay 'reparative' therapy. Awwww. Just... awwwww! :D
- From splodefromcute, a very cute tiny owl! :D
- What "turn the other cheek" really means. From dharmagates.com.
Also, clicky: the animal rescue site, the child health site, the literacy site, the rainforest site, the breast cancer site, the hunger site, and