February 2008 Archives

From G's to Gents: "Slip of the Tongue"

Though the show is 40-minutes in length, watch up to approximately 6 minutes for the ways in which difference is disciplined and is persuaded to crave discipline, correction, and regulation.

Season 2/Episode 3: "Slip of the Tongue" (24 February 2009)

On Television As a Medium for Reimagining "American" Urban Landscapes

Below is a good short, critical piece on television as a mode for reimagining "American" urban landscapes of the '70s. In thinking about mediated ways into urban landscapes, Catherine Opie's work, "American Cities" comes to mind. In the past, Opie has produced images of transgendered subjects. Recently, her work attempts to represent "American" cultural landscapes. Also powerful, the "Urban Exercises" project of friends, Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber, as well as their 2005 "LIVE LIKE THIS!"

From In Meda Res: A MediaCommons Project
"Revisiting Regionalism: Place-ing the Prime Time Past"
By Victoria E. Johnson, University of California — Irvine — February 25th, 2008
Curator's Note: Victoria E. Johnson

Through the 1970s, academic considerations of TV typically defined the medium negatively, theorizing it according to what it was not. Specifically, theories of TV that emerged from art, architecture, film, theater, and literary studies in this period conceptualized TV as not art, not public, not “masculine? or spectatorial, not interactive, not literate, and not market-transcendent. The Rockford Files (NBC, 1974-1980, Universal TV/Cherokee Productions) is one of several series airing contemporaneously with such writing that explicitly challenged these understandings of TV’s “essential? properties. It suggested a broader televisual field of place-specific, city-set series that actively engaged and reimagined the urban landscape of 1970s America.

How might the contemporary era encourage viewers to “time travel? through the streets of America’s urban centers, given past series’ new life on DVD? What new ways of theorizing television (with an emphasis on the “mobile? in “mobile privatization?) might open up if we consider how even the most popular of national network television is not necessarily synonymous with “placelessness,? “non-space,? or the “death? of public life in postwar America?

The opening titles sequence of Rockford—designed by Jack Cole with musical scoring by Pete Carpenter and Mike Post—features Jim Rockford navigating Los Angeles’s freeways (explicitly identifying the 10 freeway, the 101 Hollywood/North, and the 134 to Pasadena), and the city’s surface streets in his Pontiac Firebird (featuring Jim traveling eastbound on Hollywood Boulevard at night, and in Chinatown). Interspersed are shots of Rockford in action as a private investigator and in quieter, everyday, domestic routines.

I submit the opening titles of The Rockford Files to ask: What of the “better view? of mobility and the city offered on television—a view that, as Ernest Pascucci once suggested, might encourage or enable subjective relations otherwise unavailable to the viewer?

Excerpt from The Three Trillion Dollar War


By Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes

“Assuming that Congress approves the rest of the $200 billion war supplemental requested for fiscal year 2008, as this book goes to press Congress will have appropriated a total of over $845 billion for military operations, reconstruction, embassy costs, enhanced security at US bases, and foreign aid programmes in Iraq and Afghanistan.�?

“As the fifth year of the war draws to a close, operating costs (spending on the war itself, what you
might call 'running expenses') for 2008 are projected to exceed $12.5 billion a month for Iraq alone, up from $4.4 billion in 2003, and with Afghanistan the total is $16 billion a month. Sixteen billion dollars is equal to the annual budget of the United Nations, or of all but 13 of the US states. Even so, it does not include the $500 billion we already spend per year on the regular expenses of the Defence Department. Nor does it include other hidden expenditures, such as intelligence gathering, or funds mixed in with the budgets of other departments.�?

From the web site of the Democratic Caucus

“Because there are so many costs that the Administration does not count, the total cost of the war is higher than the official number. For example, government officials frequently talk about the lives of our soldiers as priceless. But from a cost perspective, these 'priceless' lives show up on the Pentagon ledger simply as $500,000 - the amount paid out to survivors in death benefits and life insurance. After the war began, these were increased from $12,240 to $100,000 (death benefit) and from $250,000 to $400,000 (life insurance). Even these increased amounts are a fraction of what the survivors might have received had these individuals lost their lives in a senseless automobile accident. In areas such as health and safety regulation, the US Government values a life of a young man at the peak of his future earnings capacity in excess of $7 million - far greater than the amount that the military pays in death benefits. Using this figure, the cost of the nearly 4,000 American troops killed in Iraq adds up to some $28 billion.�?

“Another example of hidden costs is the understating of US military casualties. The Defence Department's casualty statistics focus on casualties that result from hostile (combat) action - as determined by the military. Yet if a soldier is injured or dies in a night-time vehicle accident, this is officially dubbed 'non combat related' - even though it may be too unsafe for soldiers to travel during daytime.�?

“In fact, the Pentagon keeps two sets of books. The first is the official casualty list posted on the DOD
website. The second, hard-to-find, set of data is available only on a different website and can be
obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. This data shows that the total number of soldiers who have been wounded, injured, or suffered from disease is double the number wounded in combat. Some will argue that a percentage of these non-combat injuries might have happened even if the soldiers were not in Iraq. Our new research shows that the majority of these injuries and illnesses can be tied directly to service in the war.�?

“From the unhealthy brew of emergency funding, multiple sets of books, and chronic underestimates of the resources required to prosecute the war, we have attempted to identify how much we have been spending - and how much we will, in the end, likely have to spend. The figure we arrive at is more than $3 trillion. Our calculations are based on conservative assumptions. They are conceptually simple, even if occasionally technically complicated. A $3 trillion figure for the total cost strikes us as judicious, and probably errs on the low side. Needless to say, this number represents the cost only to the United States. It does not reflect the enormous cost to the rest of the world, or to Iraq.�?

(c) Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, 2008.

Joseph Stiglitz was chief economist at the World Bank
and won the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics in 2001.
Linda Bilmes is a lecturer in public policy at the
Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

Whiteness in Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories

Is Eminem subsuming, neutralizing, or rejecting difference? Is he answering the hail to white working class masculinity or simply exposing the contradictions inherent in notions of liberal universality?

8 Mile: The Final Battle/B-Rabbit vs. Papa Doc/02:03

B Rabbit VS Papa Doc - The funniest videos clips are here


-Population: 43,021
-Median income: $129,453
-Racial demographics: 87% White, 7% Asian, 4% Black, 1% Latino

-Population: 951,270
-Median income: $129,453
-Racial demographics: 82% Black, 11% White, 5% Latino, 1% “Other?


"8 Mile Road forms the boundary between the city of Detroit, Michigan (and Wayne County) and Detroit's northern suburbs in Oakland and Macomb Counties" (Source: NationMaster).

Mobb Deep "Shook Ones Pt. II"/4:24

The Hills: Episode 301/approx. 13 mins.
Lauren and Heidi land in a screaming fight outside of Les Deux after Lauren gets wind of rumors being spread about her on the internet.

Rock of Love "Meet the Parents" (Season 1)

Act 1

Act 3

Act 4

ANTM: Cycle 8 The Final Episode

Part I: Opening Elimination (8:34)

Part II: The Runway Show/10:03

Part III: The Final Judging (10:08)

From the Baltimore Sun "25 Education Protesters Detained"

At State House, students, teacher call 'historic underfunding' of schools a 'crime'
A protester with the Algebra Project from Baltimore is arrested along with several of his peers near the steps of the Maryland State House in Annapolis. (Sun photo by Glenn Fawcett / February 6, 2008)

By Ruma Kumar | Sun reporter
7 February 2008

Twenty-five protesters, most of them Baltimore high school students, were detained yesterday after they charged up the steps of the State House demanding that Gov. Martin O'Malley be arrested for not addressing what they called a "historic underfunding" of Maryland public schools.

The demonstrators were handcuffed as they lay still, as if dead, before the bronze doors of the building. They had pressed past more than a dozen police officers, strung crime-scene tape along the stair railings of the State House and called O'Malley's budget proposal to slow the rate of education funding increases "a crime."

The detained protesters, including a Baltimore public school teacher and two dozen students from high schools and colleges in Baltimore and Washington, were held for about an hour by Department of General Services Police before they were released.

The demonstration, organized by the Baltimore Algebra Project, a student-run tutoring and advocacy group, involved about 150 high school and college students who said inadequate education funding has led to juvenile crime and the killing last month of one of the Algebra Project's members, Zachariah Hallback, who was shot in Northeast Baltimore during a robbery.

They lay a coffin symbolizing Hallback's death before the State House while loudly reciting, "No education, no life."

"We are identifying this place as a crime scene," organizer Christopher Goodman said to the protesters, who gathered before a bronze statue of Thurgood Marshall. "Every year, they underfund our schools, they kill us."

O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said in an e-mail, "The governor has met with representatives from the Algebra Project in the past, and he shares their commitment to improving public education in our state."

O'Malley's proposed budget provides "a record $5.3 billion for K-12 education - an increase of $184 million over last year," Abbruzzese said.

O'Malley's proposal would change the way education funding is calculated in the landmark Thornton law, a move that, coupled with other formula adjustments, means Maryland public school districts would receive about $133 million less than they had expected.

Baltimore school officials have estimated that the city school system would receive about $45 million less over the next two years in state aid than it would have had the Thornton formula stayed in effect.

O'Malley's plan has sparked concern among teachers unions and superintendents, but the backlash had remained fairly muted until the demonstration yesterday.

Demonstrators - some as young as 11 - said they considered a provocative protest necessary to draw attention to their cause.

Charles Waters, a 16-year-old junior at City College, smiled as he sat in handcuffs on the sidewalk.

"This is beautiful. This is exactly what we wanted," he said. "We've been ignored for too long. All we're doing is fighting for our schools, our education, our future."


Copyright © 2008 The Baltimore Sun

A Question of Equality (excerpt from Show 1)

Arthur Dong, Director; Isaac Julien, Senior Producer (1995)/2:53

"The Eye of the Beholder"

The Twilight Zone

Originally titled "The Private World Of Darkness"
Season 2: 1960-1961 ~ Episode #42
Director: Douglas Heyes
Writer: Rod Serling
Air Date: 11 November 1960

The Canary Effect

Video clip from the documentary (5:06)

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