Spare Us the Elvis-Michael Comparisons

Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley

The cultural contributions and significance of Michael Jackson pales in comparison to that of Elvis Presley. While he made great music and sold more records, Jackson ’s place in musical history cannot be in the same pantheon of 20th Century musicians who altered everything that came after them. In addition to Elvis, that would include [...]

Michael Jackson: The BADDEST Entertainer of Our Generation

Michael3

Our hearts have been heavy for about over a week now since the news broke that pop star Michael Jackson died suddenly from a heart attack (of some sort). Everything, and when I say everything – I mean EVERYTHING, has been bumped from the news cycle. Not just the 24-hour news cycle, or even the [...]

Missing Home on July 4

donuts

July 1 was Canada Day and, on Wednesday, The New York Times asked 11 Canadians living in the States what they missed most about their native land. Turnabout is fair play and I started thinking about what I miss about home, having lived in Toronto since 1991. Here are a few things that come to [...]

Tips for Celebrating the Fourth

fireworks

First off, get a jump on your neighbors. Don’t wait till Saturday, when “independence” will be so day-before-yesterday. Today, rush down to your neighborhood fireworks stand, grab a small family pack, and wait till dusk. Then go out to your driveway and light up a few to celebrate the 233rd anniversary the Congressional resolution of [...]

A Homegoing for My Father

father-and-son

Welcome to my father’s homegoing! He was a simple man with an extraordinary life, A Georgia boy, born and raised in a wooden shack in Augusta, In the heart of Jim Crow, With segregation all around, And with lynchings always waiting just around the corner, Born to a Black Mama, And his old man was [...]

Minnesotan Nightmare Ends, Job Openings Available for Right Wing Hate Headline Writers

Minnesota U.S. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. (AP Photo /Craig Lassig)

Yesterday, Minnesota’s senior Senator Amy Klobuchar won the over/under wager of before July 4th and the nearly 8-month-long nightmare for Minnesota’s voters came to an end. For 237 days, she served as Minnesota’s only Senator, handling the work of both since the battle to see who won the November 2008 election began with multiple recounts [...]

Music Video On A Shoestring: Heat Stroke, Heart and Social Media to the Rescue

Music

A while back I posted a commentary and review on Indie music as a soundtrack and metaphor for troubling financial times. In today’s atmosphere of music industry giants swallowing the little Indie guys and the news about Ticketmaster’s Echomusic shutting down the websites of 200 mid-level artists with barely a “slam, bam thank you guys [...]

The Politics of Mourning Michael Jackson

michael_jackson_2

With the passing of Michael Jackson, I am 12 years old again and rediscovering the subversiveness of living authentically. Now, Michael Jackson is not a “John Lennon.” He never used his celebrity status to aid controversial causes like ending a war or freeing political prisoners. He never had a corrupt US president attempt to deport [...]

What’s With Cable’s “All Jack-O All The Time” News Coverage?

michael-jackson

Yesterday’s solemn, over-the-top, wall-to-wall, commercial free coverage of Michael Jackson’s death left me wondering if Archduke Ferdinand had been shot a second time. Yes, Jackson once was an entertainment and music genius but he hadn’t done anything in years, yes, and his parents doomed him in childhood to a miserable life. But Prince is a [...]

Dylan Ratigan?! Really MSNBC, Don’t We Have Enough Ranters Already?

dylan_ratigan

On June 29th, Dylan Ratigan, the former host of CNBC’s Fast Money, will premiere his new show, The Meeting With Dylan Ratigan, to air Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. on MSNBC. The show will address a variety of topics spearheaded by Ratigan, its pugnacious fast-talking star, who as the video below will demonstrate, offers [...]

Empathy for the Common Man

Raul and Brisenia Flores

I was going to try to write something in a humorous voice about how Darth Limbaugh was directing Emperor Cheney’s imperial storm troopers, dressed as Senators Graham and Boehner, out to savage and malign Sonia Sotomayor. I figured that there must be some workable pun in the idea that they can take the white sheet [...]

Jingoism Isn’t Journalism! Why I Don’t Trust CNN & Corporate Media To Cover Iran

iran-protests

As a critic of media, in particular of cable/satellite “news,” I’m troubled by American corporate-media, in particular CNN’s near non-stop coverage of the turmoil in Iran. Not because the story isn’t important. It’s critically important and warrants the personal coverage it’s getting from the Iranian people as they bypass corporate channels to tell their stories [...]

The World Should Be Thanking Nico Pitney

Nico Pitney

More than MSNBC, BBC or CNN; more than The New York Times or The Independent; more than perhaps any other news outlet, the world should be thanking Nico Pitney. For seven days, his live blogging at Huffington Post of the Iranian election uprising has kept the world informed of what is happening inside Tehran and [...]

Ticketmaster Takes Artists’ Web Content and Runs

Travis Tritt

Fans of up to 200 mid-level artists and lower tier musicians hosted by Echomusic who went to check out touring schedules on their websites in the last few days may have found a darkened site or just a note that the site was under reconstruction. What happened? In a move that is under-reported in comparison [...]

Walter Cronkite Gravely Ill

Walter Cronkite

The most trusted man in America is said to be gravely ill and nearing death. Walter Cronkite, once The Most Trusted Man In America according to a Gallup Poll at the time, is 92 and TVNewser reports that CBS, which began updating his bio last week, is preparing a special on his life and career [...]

From Analog To Digital: Nothing’s Free Anymore

tied2tv

Last week, the federal government moved forth with allowing public airwaves to be transitioned from the analog transmission to the newer, advanced digital forms of communication transmission. Now understand, we all must realize that everything must change. NOTHING remains the same. The advancement of technology has changed everything about television, making them larger, thinner and [...]

A Requiem for My Traveling Pants

old-blue-jeans

We calculate time by different methods, beyond the persistent ticking of a clock. Some measure it by seasons, when autumn leaves turn to rainbows and fall from the trees; some by the growth of their children with height marks that rise steadily up a kitchen wall; and some by the longevity of their favorite jeans. [...]

The Curious Incident of a US Extradition in the Night Time

Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon of Crouch End, North London, was branded a ‘cyber-terrorist’ by the US government. In 2002, he was arrested for hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers. The US Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security Departments have been fighting a seven-year-long extradition battle to the USA under the 2003 UK Extradition Act. They want him brought [...]

Right-Wing Sedition

Abigail Adams

In 1798, during the Quasi-war with France, Congress, with President John Adams’ support, passed the Sedition Act. Outraged by attacks on her husband, Abigail Adams supported the act, which was opposed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, among others. “Let us not establish a tyranny,” wrote an alarmed Alexander Hamilton to an ally in Congress. [...]

Joan Walsh Is Right: Bill O’Reilly Is Vile

Joan Walsh, Salon.com

The good news about Fox News blubber mouth Bill O’Reilly is that he speaks to only a teeny, tiny percentage of the country; the bad news is part of that small and dwindling group actually thinks he makes sense and then goes out and kills people because they believe his vile, hate-filled rhetoric. Much as [...]

Rioting “Fans” Taint Lakers Win

As Los Angeles teeters on financial ruin, with the possibility of municipal workers being laid off or forced to take unpaid leave, unruly crowds turn a night of celebration for the city into a night of destruction following the Los Angeles Lakers’ 99 to 86 NBA Finals victory over the Orlando Magic. Witness for yourselves [...]

Glenn Beck Spins the Holocaust Museum Shooting

beck_hitler

Wednesday afternoon, Glenn Beck and two of his guests argued that Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party were “left wing”; that “political correctness” led the committed white supramacist, James Von Brunn, to shoot a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC; and that ultimately President Barack Obama is the one responsible for the [...]

Public Rejects Newspapers’ Survivalist Rhetoric

dying newspapers

arkos Moulitsas, whose DailyKos helped shift the nation’s politics leftward, once noted that newspaper circulation began its steady decline in 1993, well before the rise of the Internet, and that “what the newspaper industry is trying to save right now isn’t ‘journalism’, it’s ‘shareholder value’.” Moulitsas created a site that regularly produces critical news “missed” [...]

Hot Docs in Cool Toronto

hot-docs

Its better known, slicker cousin, the Toronto International Film Festival, attracts celebrities, glitterati, paparazzi, red carpets and searchlights arching the Canadian night sky. Held in September, TIFF kicks off the industry’s festival season that continues until Cannes, which just concluded. Coming first means that, over the years, TIFF debuted numerous major motion pictures, as Hollywood [...]

When Will The New York Times Stop Believing The Pentagon?

gitmo

The so-called newspaper of record – and Judith Miller and Jayson Blair – did it again. Someone at the Pentagon leaked a report about how many former Guantanamo detainees were released only to become active in terrorist activities. Citing the study, the New York Times warned front page readers on Tuesday that fully one-in-seven former [...]

Award-Winning “Journalism” Targets Obama’s Head

Obama_Target

Meet one of the “winners” from the Association for Alternative Newsweeklies 2009 awards. The above inflammatory PW cover art is for the AAN award-winning article Hater Nation, an article on an anonymous letter received by the PW threatening Obama’s life. (hmmmm, could troll Aaron Proctor be the author of this letter?? he and Joe were [...]

Why TV Is the Pits

advertising

I am increasingly distressed by, and unhappy with, BBC Canada. And BBC America isn’t any better, based on the program schedule on its website. When BBC Canada launched as a stand-alone subscription service several years ago, it offered a truly remarkable array of programs. Now that it is established as part of a multi-channel, want-one-take-’em-all, [...]

Wait, Wait, and The Party of the Psychotic No

prejean_axelrod

The Republican Party needs an intervention. When a comedy news quiz show makes them apoplectic with rage, I worry that their stressors to try and remain relevant – big movie trailer voice here – “in a world where only 20% of the people identify with them …” are overloaded to the breaking point. As a [...]

Joe Wright’s “The Soloist” Exploits The Skid Row Community

(Photo by Linda Milazzo)

Two Fridays ago on the first day of its release, I went to an early afternoon screening of the film The Soloist. I’d been eager to see it since it focuses on the real life relationship between Los Angeles Times journalist Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a homeless member of Los Angeles’ Skid Row [...]

LA Progressive — May 4 to May 10, 2009

Who Mourns the Confederate Slave? Forget “truth”: As John Brown and Claus von Stauffenberg found, you can be right during the day, and hanged by nightfall. Yes, you can. –Jonathan David Farley The Consent of the Governed. We can restore majority rule in California, but only if we keep it within the context of the [...]

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