Editorial

Simon Cowell Blogger Gets Police Caution

Music Video CodeIt seems you have to be careful what you say when it comes to blogging about music video codes and American Idol judge, Simon Cowell. It appears one UK blogger has been given an official police caution following some of the remarks which he make about Cowell on his internet blog, and has had to issue a formal apology.

American Idol is certainly something of a hot topic amongst pop culture bloggers all over the world, but especially in the US. Cowell is famed for his blunt and critical style of judging, which have become a popular topic with online writers. Even fans of the show who might only watch occasionally, are frequently keen to hear about Cowell’s latest comments, and to share their own opinion of such remarks online. Of course, there is a fine line between such opinions and factual statements, as was discovered by one UK blogger recently.
Continue reading

Number of View :1610

The Casa d’ Geek

Even if you don’t like computers or play computer games there is a world worth looking into, even if for only the social relevance. A large portion of the population uses computers now a days. And while the majority of the population looks at the small band of true geeks as some anti-social band of misfits who interact only on a byte sized level, you might learn something by watching how people interact with their computers and what happens to their inner self when confronted with a virtual bad guy. Is this person just a under-socialized misfit who took to computers rather then girls? Or can you tell something about their personality by pushing a few buttons?

Living in ZacLand, I partook in quite a few wasted days of computer gaming. In college I would spend my days fixing computers, teaching other how to utilize them for their intended purpose… Continue reading

No Right Turn on Red

By Zac Elston

 

1. The Traffic Violation.

The cited violation was for failure to obey a posted sign (no right turn on red) which I do not deny. I did not see the sign as I was lost and was looking for street signs to get my bearings. I stopped at the red light and did check for on-coming traffic. Seeing that the path was clear, I proceeded to turn right (still not exactly sure where I was but sensing this was the correct direction). At this point I received a ticket.

2. The Ramifications.

Not to undermine the authority of the Maryland Police department or the laws and responsibility that come with driving a motor vehicle, but the offense was not a malicious violation or in any way purposely executed. Rather, it was simple human error from which no harm was incurred, a fact which hinders humans every… Continue reading

Memorial Day

By Zac Elston

We all take off the weekend and plan our first real crack at enjoying the summer. We get together with friends, have cookouts, and generally relax for a short time before getting back into our daily grind. It got me thinking though, that Memorial Day is about war. We mark our calendars but most of us forget what exactly this day is about. The TV plays war movies with our favorite heroes, the theaters bring out blockbuster movies in preparation for the crowds, and the malls mark off a percentage of their prices. What happened to the war part?

I know, holidays and the like are changing with the time; more commercialization, less thought, more brand, less content. But isn’t the act of war something that should get more then a passing glance from the population and certainly more then a ceremony or two from our government?… Continue reading

Block, Francesca Lia

“The reason Weetzie Bat hated high school,” begins Weetzie Bat (1989), the first in this Los Angeles novelist’s remarkable series of beautiful and bizarre paeans to growing up weird on the West Coast, “was because no one understood.

They didn’t even know where they were living.” Weetzie lives in a fairy-tale L.A. in which commodities and fetish objects cohabitate shamelessly–a lyrical land of sunshine and shamanism. Block’s four Weetzie Bat novels address adolescent fears and passions with a sassy brand of magical realism and private language.

Number of View :683

Fraternity hazing

Nineteenth-century tradition increasingly threatened by political correctness and its own well-publicized excesses even as frat membership reached an all-time high in the ’90s of nearly 500,000 (up from a 1972 hippie-era low of 149,000).

Thanks to groups like CHUCK (Committee to Halt Useless College Killings), more than 35 states now have anti-hazing statutes, but enforcement is often limited to after-accident punishment and civil lawsuits.

With most national fraternities clamping down on school chapters (in part out of necessity to qualify for insurance purchasing collectives), initiation rites are now as likely to include date rape sensitivity training or alcohol awareness seminars as they are strippers, toxic levels of Jägermeister, or blackface slapstick.

Recent hazing accidents include the May 1994 death of a pledge at the black Kappa Alpha Phi chapter of Southeast Missouri State (he was “body-slammed”), which led to a major lawsuit exposing such practices as “bringing the knowledge” (in… Continue reading

Fourth Reich

California skinhead sect busted by the FBI in July 1993 for an elaborate plan to incite a race war in California through strategic acts of terrorism against Rodney King, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, and other public blacks, Latinos, and Jews.

Fourth Reich also pled guilty to pipe-bomb attacks on the Spur Posse for “degrading the White Race.” The leaders, aged 20 and 17, were sentenced to a combined total of 13 years in jail and a psychological reconditioning program dubbed “Operation Grow Hair” that forced them to watch Schindler’s List (1993) and meet with prominent L.A. blacks and Jews.

Number of View :1039

Flynt, Larry

Strip-club owner turned porn publishing magnate (chief title Hustler magazine) who achieved international renown as the subject of the 1996 bio-pic The People vs. Larry Flynt. In the movie Flynt was portrayed (by the unrealistically handsome Woody Harrelson) as a bombastic, but ultimately charming, rags-to-riches hero of First Amendment rights.

The film revolved around a 1988 Supreme Court decision to overrule a 1984 jury award of $200,000 to Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell for his “emotional distress” at Hustler’s publication of a parody concerning Falwell having sex with his mother. The ruling protected the parody as political satire.

After The People vs. Larry Flynt opened to almost unanimously good reviews in late 1996, one of the few dissenting voices was Ms. magazine founder Gloria Steinem, who, in a New York Times editorial, pointed out that the film neglected Hustler’s “images of women being beaten, tortured, and raped, women subject to degradations… Continue reading

Fisher, Amy – Scandals

In 1992, Amy Fisher’s affair with auto mechanic Joey Buttafuocco and her attempted murder of his wife created a new paradigm for the American media. The combination of underaged sex, violence, and working-class mores turned this Long Island couple into celebrities, further dissolving barriers between news reporting, infotainmment, and plain old sleaze.

The burgeoning tabloid TV industry had a field day with the Fisher story, dragging more esteemed news sources along for the ride; one week in winter 1992-’93, three different networks aired “Long Island Lolita” TV movies, two starring authentic ingenues Drew Barrymore and Alyssa Milano.

Fisher was convicted and sentenced to 5 to 15 years; Joey did 6 months for statutory rape, but not before parlaying his fame into countless invitations to quasi-jet-set parties and one small film role. (He was fined in 1995 for soliciting an undercover policewoman in Hollywood.)

Amy and Joey were eventually forgotten, but… Continue reading

Earth First!

Radical environmental movement that debuted in 1981 when founder Dave Foreman (b. 1946) and others unfurled a 300-foot roll of plastic sheeting down the Glen Canyon Dam in northern Arizona. From a distance the dam appeared to have cracked.

EF!’s glory days came during the “Redwood Summer” of 1990 when hundreds of activists pounded spikes into tree trunks and sat in the limbs of redwoods to block logging in the Pacific Northwest. Its low point was a year earlier when Foreman and four others pled guilty to a reduced charge of conspiring to sabotage nuclear power plants and other facilities in Arizona, California, and Colorado.

Foreman soon disavowed the eco-terrorism or “ecotage” espoused in the influential Edward Abbey novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, and in his own Eco-Defense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching. Most of the deep ecology movement in turn disavowed Foreman for welcoming AIDS and Third World starvation… Continue reading