Knock Knock: For-Sale Forbes Gets Jesus? Meanwhile Bono Would Profit

Forbes Magazine is for sale and if the sale goes through the majority shareholder, private equity firm Elevation Partners, stands to do quite well for themselves. One of the partners in Elevation Partners? U2′s Bono, singer, spokesperson and activist.  In 2006, reports Fortune Magazine, Elevation Partners became a minority shareholder in Forbes, pouring $246 million into the media company. But Elevation’s shares are preferred stock, meaning when the sale goes through, they are paid first.

Meanwhile, Friday I got emailed this screenshot of Forbes by a friend. I duplicated the result myself, googling the same string: Forbes, Pulse, Miami. (Pulse is a major Miami art fair).

The quote is from Luke, a quote from the Sermon on the Mount:

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

It’s a little weird to see a quote from the New Testament on a business magazine, though that just may be me since I think of business as a secular thing. It seems Forbes.com puts up a quote of the day as their site’s entry portal, something inspirational or motivational from a variety of sources: Sigmund Freud, Winston Churchill, Norman Vincent Peale, William James, Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust, Kurt Vonnegut (wow, it’s pretty much a sausage fest over there in the Forbes quote section; thankfully Tallulah Bankhead and Dorothy Parker pop up now and again, I was beginning to think only white men ever said anything of note).  But the New Testament seems a little preachy, and well, evangelizing to me. To be fair they do offer one quote from Mohammed:

A man’s true wealth is the good he does in this world.

but there are six from Luke, seven from Matthew.  Mark Twain outpaces Shakespeare in the number of quotes on the site.

Today’s quote from Luke is poignant, given that Deutsche Bank is reportedly desperately looking for a Forbes buyer, they want someone to knock at their door with cash in hand. The company would sell for about $400 million. Elevation has written off their investment by about 75% already, according to Fortune. But seeing the company sold could make for a beautiful day.

 

Late Night: New Years Day!

My past few New Year’s Eves have been really, well, not the best way to start the new year.  But sorry to argue with Bono and U2–this year something changed on New Year’s Day!

SURPRISE! Like always, New Year’s Eve companionship (when I had it, because sometimes I escaped parties early and stayed with the dogs, may they rest in peace, so they wouldn’t freak out over gunfire) was excellent; but this year somehow got off to a more optimistic start and has stayed that way. Men revealed themselves to be gentlemen, as opposed to men who were uncovered as lying cads (those new years holiday 2005/2006 and 2009/10 sucked); women were kind and more beautiful than ever. Plus there was a high speed chase through the Valley televised around 9:30 as I rested at home after six-course dinner (amuse-bouche; oysters with caviar and champagne foam or truffled eggs for appetizer; followed by the temptation of either house smoked/cured sea trout or the best steak tartare I’ve ever tasted; a choice of butter poached lobster or prime New York strip; and to finish either cheese or chocolate pots de creme. yes, I went chocolate. (Best of all, my friend Skip was cooking along with Chef Tim at Papilles, which is my local dining hall, so it was pretty cool).

Skip’s wife Stacy runs a company called Iconic PinUps, and I boldly had her and her partner Carol shoot me as a pin up girl for my Krampus gift to myself (To offset the meals at Papilles, I now work out 3-5 days a week, and now have three part time jobs as opposed to one, so maybe the whole Obama economic recovery thing is actually working!).

I overheard the best thing last night as I waited for my dude roommate Mark Ebner to pick me up after my return to Papilles for the New Year’s Eve toast. A couple walked by me outside and the guy said:

And then she tore the bow tie off my face and I was ‘What the fuck?!’

Uh, maybe you shouldn’t wear a bow tie on your face?

It got weirder in England where:

A spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary said: “Police are seeking a group of four people, two of whom were dressed as Oompa Loompas, who attacked a male on a night-out.

“Two of the males were dressed as Oompa Loompas from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory with painted orange faces and dyed green hair and were wearing hooped tops.”

The spokesman added: “One of the males in the group then pushed the victim to the floor before he got up.

“He was then hit on the head, fell to the floor and hit again.”

Ahhh, when Ooompa Loompas attack….

I always make Hopping’ John, black-eyed peas (coins) with greens (folding money); other friends have pancake breakfasts (pancakes being “gold coins”). Here are some other New Years Day superstitions. Do you have any?

I just feel this is going to be a good year, and hope you all feel the same way. And that we’re correct in our beliefs!

Best of all, look at what 2013 backwards spells… And can’t we all use a little of that?

Bono, Edge, Usher, Lady Gaga Celebrate Bill Clinton

Superstars Bonon Edge, Lady Gaga and Usher will celebrate president Bill Clinton’s decade of charty work at the Hollywood Bowl on October 15. Proceeds benefit the William J. Clinton Foundation.

The Hollywood Bowl “Decade of Difference” concert will stream live on Yahoo! at 10pm Easter/7pm Pacific for free ,while tickets–ranging from $50 to $250–go on sale Monday September 19. (Yahoo!’s page says Sept 12, but Ticketaster who’s selling them sets the date for next Monday)  Unless you have an American Express card, in which case you can score the billets on Thursday the 15. The prices are very reasonable. There are also special packages ranging from $250,000 to $6,500 which include seats at Clinton’s 65th birthday party the night before. $250,000 gets you golf with Bill.

The William J Clinton Foundation focuses on treating global HIV/AIDS, creating sustainable farming in both Africa and Souht America, combatting climate change and childhood obesity, and creating  job opportunities through a series of initiatives. According to the foundation’s website, since its inception:

9,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; 4,300 African farmers have imporoved their crops to feed 30,000 people; 14 cities around the world are implementing energy efficiency projects to eliminate 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year; $20 million is being invested in small- and medium-sized businesses in Colombia; and 2.6 million people have benefited from lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications.

 

photo: creative commons  edenpictures

Movie Star Diego Luna to Obama: “Stop U.S. Guns to Mexico!”

Mexican actor Diego Luna–who lives part time in Los Angeles, stars with Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale in the upcoming Contraband, and was a lead in Y Tu Mamá También–is urging Obama to curb sales of guns that could end up in the hands of Mexican narcotics traffickers and other criminals tied to Mexico’s rampant drug-related violence.  In December the actor spoke to Americas Quarterly about Mexico:

Because of the lack of border controls, many weapons are entering the country. And corruption [shows] that money rules above all else. This is a country where many underage children work. That says a lot. With few opportunities, social resentment becomes an issue. And that contributes to the rise of quick and easy businesses. The problems we face are not unique to us.We are part of something much bigger. There has to be a market like the U.S. to fuel the situation. The guns have to be coming from somewhere. Money is moving and changing hands and not only in this country. Right now we are living the worst of it.

Luna joined activists Thursday in Mexico City as they launched a cross-border petition drive calling for

Obama to enforce the prohibition against the importation of assault weapons and parts manufactured in other countries into the United States — to prevent such weapons from being bought in the United States and illegally trafficked into Mexico. The spokesperson said that the petition also calls for ordering weapons dealers to report to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) the sale of multiple assault rifles to the same person over a period of five days. And it calls for increasing the regulatory capacity of the ATF in those regions of the United States that supply the weapons contraband to Mexico, especially in border states.

Drug related violence has claimed the lives of between 34,000 to 40,000 people in Mexic0 since 2006.  AsMexican gun laws are far stricter than those stateside, Mexican leaders have pointed out  many weapons used by hit men are smuggled from the United States.  In 2009, the United  States launched an investigation into the cross-border sales of weapons. The LA Times reports:

ATF officials have acknowledged that at least 195 weapons sold under the investigation have been recovered in Mexico, traced as a matter of routine via serial numbers after their recovery from crime scenes, arrests and searches.

Two guns involved in the investigation were found at the scene of a shootout in southern Arizona in December 2010, which claimed the life of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer Brian Terry . Neither gun, bought by Jaime Avila, an accused gun runner, has been positively identified as the weapon that killed Terry, and the U.S. Attorney General’s office has denied victim status to Terry’s family in the Federal case against Avila. USA Today reports:

The weapons were among about 2,000 guns purchased by unlicensed dealers who were subjects of a controversial federal gun-trafficking investigation launched in 2009 in which hundreds of the weapons were allowed to fall into hands of violent drug traffickers in Mexico and criminals in the U.S. The investigation, known as “Operation Fast and Furious,” was ended after Terry’s death in 2010.

In May, during their show at Aztec Stadium, U2 made mention of the gun running and drug violence. Lead singer Bono, who had earlier met with Mexican president Felix Calderon, spoke to the audience:

I want you to send a message of love along the border to the good and the great people of the United States of America. I want you to send a message to people of conscience. Ask them to answer the question:Why is it that all we hear on the news is that drugs are smuggled through Mexico to the United States, and we don’t hear about all the automatic weapons that are being smuggled into Mexico from the United States? More than 9,000 registered arms dealers on the other side of the border. Most of the murders committed here are from weapons sold in the United States of America.

before launching into a version of “Pride (in the Name of Love)” with the modified lyrics:
Late in the evening, April 15
Automatic round takes a mother and child.
Free at last, they took your life
A lioness and her pride
In the name of love….
Luna–who appeared in Abel and Havana Nights, as well as modeling  for Zegna–and his friend and fellow actor Gael García Bernal, have worked on behalf of indigenous people’s rights. The duo owns a film production company Cananawhich trains activists to put their causes to film. In partnership with partnered with Witness, a New York-based nonprofit, they  bring attention to human rights abuses in Mexico through documentaries. Luna told Americas Quarterly:

One documentary, which is currently being viewed in Mexico, is called Presunto Culpable, and it deeply disturbed me. It is a true story about a young man who spent more than 300 days in jail even though he was innocent. The documentary details the trial, as seen from his point of view. It makes you sick and ashamed…After Presunto Culpable was released, some judges changed their verdict, and the young man is now free. I believe this is what Witness is about. There is nothing more terrible than living a case such as this, but [even] worse is losing one’s will to get out, to fight, to set things right and fix life´s path. Video is a great mechanism and vehicle to attain this.

Canana, Witness and the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) have joined forces to produce a documentary about the murders of hundreds of unsolved murders of women in Cuidad Juarez.

 

photo of Diego Luna: video screenshot

Nelson Mandela Turns 93, U2, Morgan Freeman and the World Celebrate

While Nobel Peace Prize winner and former South African president Nelson Mandela celebrated his 93rd birthday in his home village with family at his home village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, the activist was celebrated aroudn the world. One party, sponsored by Time Magazine and Coca-Cola was attended by Morgan Freeman, who played the anti-apartheid activist in Invictus, and a slew of other celebrities including

Hoda Kodb, Ann Curry, Lester Holt and Al Roker to actors Anthony Mackie, Marisa Berenson, S. Epatha Meckerson, Ruben Santiago Hudson and Richard Belzer, Fox5′s Rosanna Scotto, Billie Jean King, Bob Jamieson, Barbara Walters, “Precious” screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, Brian Williams, and Time magazine’s editor in chief Richard Stengel

Four days earlier as the finale for the 360 concert in Philadelphia, U2 asked the audience to sing “Happy Birthday” to Mandela, using his South African name Madiba. The video was kept a surprise and released for his  birthday celebrations.

Mandela–who spent 27 years in prison for his activism and 67 years dedicated to peace in South Africa and around the world–was celebrated around the world, as people rejoiced in his message of peace and humanity, many participating in his birthday wish, relayed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Morgan Freeman during an appearance on the Today Show:

We’ll ask everybody to just take 67 minutes and do something. Do something that’s going to help someone. Do something that’s going to help make the world a better place.

 

The Lost Week Plus: Glastonbury and Beyond

 

On Wednesday morning July 22, I left for the Glastonbury Fest via JFK and Dublin to Bristol. An hour delay on the ground in New York and my flight to Bristol was missed, and I spent over eight hours in Dublin’s spiffy new airport. Well, it’s the old airport with lots more food courts and shops. (Post-fest back  in Dublin my iPad could get wireless, just not connect to any servers, so I was out of loop for a looong time. It was a bit disorienting).

From Bristol on Thursday afternoon, a one hour drive put me in my b&b, Angels at Tordown, a sweet house with heaps of crystals and other New Age ephemera. And badgers outside.  Glastonbury Abbey, a short walk from Tordown,  is alleged to be the place where King Arthur is buried, while the Chalice Well is supposedly the hiding place for the Holy Grail. Though since the latter story is circa 1200, unlikely. King Henry VIII personally supervised the tear down of Glastonbury Abbey. You can rent the room he stayed in for 100 pounds a night. I was happy at Tordown for half that!

On Friday morning friends picked me up and off we dashed to the  legendary Glastonbury Festival which began forty years ago as a folk music celebration until the Smiths played in 1984 and nearly caused a riot. Now all manners of music grace the stages, and this night U2–their only festival appearance ever would be playing. There were also rumors of a tax protest involving a huge balloon during the band’s set.

The whole day and night were muddy and wet, but fun. Access to the VIP food tents and VIP loos (which were much cleaner, though on Saturday, Christopher Shale, a British Conservative government official and close friend of the  PM  died in one after a memo he wrote critical of his his party was slated for release in the Daily Mail; no tin foil here…oh no at at all) helped with the overall experience.  Mud was thick, molasses-like and treacherous. I slipped a couple times.

The fest, attended by over 170,000 people in a two mile square collection of areas–including dance tents, alternative life style camps and my favorite, the Billy Bragg curated Leftfield–benefits Oxfam and Greenpeace. In Leftfield I spent time with the Bhopal Medical Appeal which was creating art projects to inform fest goers about the ongoing need for long term medical aid in the Indian city which was devastated by the 1984  release of poison gas from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal. Half a million people were exposed to gas, while 25,000 have died to date as a result of their exposure. More than 120,000 people still suffer from ailments caused by the accident. The subsequent pollution at the plant site has polluted ground water, and the site itself has never been cleaned properly, leading extreme exposure to mercury and cancer-causing chemicals. I’ll be writing more about Bhopal in the future.

I loved seeing Bright Eyes and Fleet Foxes play on the Other Stage, and then as night fell (around 10pm), the Pyramid Stage  exploded with a Damien Hirst video of skulls and butterflies for U2′s entrance “Even Better than the Real Thing.” The band played a  a two hour set of the best songs, and during an interlude Bono sang an a cappella version of William Blake’s “Jerusalem,” an ode to England’s green fields.

The Art Uncut planned tax protest deflated when Glastonbury security  shut down the air pump for the balloon. I never saw it go up, but there are photos. Basically a 24 foot high, 9 foot wide  balloon would have  blocked people’s view, and announcement of the protest got plenty of press, which, I suspect was really the goal, to drive dialogue and get people thinking. Otherwise why announce it? The element of surprise would have worked nicely, except then the issue would not have had months to marinate in ink and would not have drawn the attention it has…

Saturday July 25 I wandered again through Glastonbury, stopping to eat at Burns the Bread, an award winning bakery, and for a stroll to the Chalice Well Trust, which is actually two wells, one with “red” heavily mineralized water, the other white, or clear. Lovely and restful, and a few sips from the Red Well my jet lag and fest fatigue (12 hours of mud and rain and rock and roll) dissipated.

Dublin post-fest was awesome. Spirits were high over the results of We the Citizens, a self-governance initiative funded by Atlantic Philanthropies with regional roundtable discussions which culminated in a weekend National Citizens Assembly June 24 to 26. More details to follow this weekend on how the process worked and what came out as a result this weekend. Ireland has a population of 4 million–I wonder if such an process is possible here?

 

Coldplay, Maroon 5, Yoko Ono Raise Funds for Joplin Tornado Victims


The tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22 was the deadliest in American history, with (as of yesterday) 153 killed and millions of dollars in damage.  Spurred by the efforts of Joplin-born music manager Tyler Childs to raise funds for the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas and help rebuild his hometown, artists, sports figures, and celebrities like Coldplay, Maroon 5, Yoko Ono, Tim McGraw and Dave Matthews are providing once in a lifetime experiences and unique signed items in an eBay auction powered by Giving Engine.

Here are just a few of the amazing experiences and items offered:

  • An all-expenses-paid trip to Lollapalooza donated by Coldplay and a meet and greet with the band
  • Meet and greet with Maroon 5 and four tickets to any show (except NY or LA) on their US tour
  • 2 Tickets to the season finale taping of NBC’s The Voice
  • 64GB iPad 2 with 3G personally donated by Yoko Ono with a signed postcard
  • A visit to the set of NBC’s hit show The Office
  • 2 VIP tickets to the set of Fox NFL Sunday for an afternoon of football with Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan, Jimmy Johnson, Howie Long and the gang

The auction ends on June 20th.

Humboldt: You’ve Got to Dig from Week to Week to Get Results or Roses

Someone got kinda mad at me for writing about Paul Gallegos winning the Humboldt County Attorney’s race, an online writer named Rose who is virulently anti-Gallegos. On December 5, a week after I wrote the post about Gallegos’ win, Rose threw down cranky, ad hominem, gritty sandpaper neener epithets, which were pretty funny.

Despicable propagandist

is snappy, fer shur. But not as cool (nor anywhere as accurate) as when I was called a

voodoo hussy.

And that was to my face, in real life.

Still, nice use of the Word-of-the Day Calendar! Frankly I think

propagandista

would have been a lot cleverer. And one must keep in mind that propaganda is in the eyes of both the creator/creatrix and the reader/s.

Because this article was up on FDL, Rose wrote

It really must be about right vs left after all. /(sarc)

I covered Gallegos because there things he supports that I support, things I like about him–for instance,  he says he’s heard of Big Flats, and he also says he’s never surfed the mythic surf spot, nor does he claim to know where it is. And that means something to a lot of folks in Humboldt.

Rose  complained that the comments were closed on my post. Well, the comments on all my posts close after a certain amount of time. That’s just what happens.

So anyway, Rose does allow comments on her page:

Post a Comment

Comment moderation is enabled. This means your comment won’t show up unless or until it is approved. Shoulda done this years ago. This is primarily to limit the attacks on other posters. If you have something to add to the topic at hand, you should have no trouble. Thanks – and weigh in…

Gosh yeah, within moments someone did have something to add which was approved–someone who was more comfy posting anonymously:

Anonymous said…
She swallows. And i don’t mean koolaid.

Now that’s some weighing in on the topic at hand. Thar she blows!

(And when is swallowing a bad thing?)

Rose then posted her disdain for my lack of a university degree, making fun of my not having graduated college; mocked me like having had jobs and stuff; though by their fruits ye shall know them…grapes of thorns, figs of thistles? So Rose, seriously whatever.

My link alert, which is not super timely, and a friend in Humboldt who doesn’t really monitor watchpaul.org regularly, directed me over to Rose’s site Wednesday night, Dec 7.  I wrote what I thought was a very nice response, somewhat belatedly, but still…

Hi Rose. Posts on FDL close automatically after 48 hours; nothing cowardly about it, simply a way to prevent spammers and bots. Sorry you missed the window, but thanks for the linkage!

I find your views intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. You can read more of my despicable propaganda at http://lafiga.firedoglake.com.

which showed up after a mere three minutes.

And I posted about all of this on my Facebook page which got a lot of comments.  I thought in light of the current kerfuffle over anonymous/Anonymous, DDoS, WikiLeaks and Assange it would be timely on Thursday day to use Rose’s anonymous poster to illustrate a point about online anonymity.

Rose had posted the two following remarks after 9pm Wednesday night:

Rose said…

Lisa Derrick, You’re a tool. You got used here. You don’t know jack about the subject. You do your readers and yourself a disservice.

If this article is any indication of the accuracy of your writing, you ought to find another profession.

Did they pay you?

12/08/2010 9:08 PM

A few minutes later,

Rose said…

Tell you what, Lisa – open up your comments on that post. I’ll post the real facts. Then your readers can actually get a fair honest picture and make up their own minds – maybe they’ll prefer the fairy tale. But at least they’ll know the Emperor isn’t wearing any fine robes. Whaddya say?
12/08/2010 9:22 PM

Assange and personal commitments kept me away from watchpaul.org until Thursday night, December 9 when I responded between 6 and 7 pm, politely saying that again comments close automatically, but that I had made sure that people were getting directed to her blog as it is important to gain a variety of perspectives.

And then I asked her to define the “they” to whom she was referring. Because I’d love to know.

You’d think cooking foil companies would be subsidizing some bloggers–all that hat making!

My most recent response to Rose hasn’t shown up yet as of 12:27 am Saturday, nor have those responses from people who wrote me Wednesday and Thursday letting me know they have sent Rose their own views.

It strikes me that if one is going to moderate comments–especially after making an queried accusation of a sordid, scurrilous, damaging and  wrong nature–one should be monitoring and moderating comments for replies.

And if one is going to allow anonymous (yet accurate, though caged as a derogatory slam) remarks about a subject’s sexual behavior, one should allow for equally as rapid replies from those who use their names, pseudonyms and Anonymous covering.

Otherwise the blog in question just seems like despicable propaganda. But hey, it’s the holiday season and I’m sure Rose is really busy getting her picket signs ready for the AntiWin rally outside the Gallegos victory party.

Oh and Anonymous #1  of watchpaul.org: You’ll never have the pleasure.

For the record: No one I have ever written about has paid me to write about about them and junkets, tee shirts, meals, etc. don’t sway me. I did once write a piece about U2, Negativland, Fair Use and copyright. A while later I was paid before it was repurposed into a press release; the essay has also been excerpted elsewhere without recompense.

Eggnog, Assange and Anonymous

Detail: Boucher, Toilet of Venus

I’m currently mulling intellectual property law, the importance of copyright, and Anonymous, all whom I respect.

Prosecuting a granny for downloading songs: You’re doing it wrong. One Huge Industry Giant wrote:

Headlines about a grandmother being fined hundreds of thousands of dollars did not properly present the big picture, and they were terrible PR for the industry.

He’s right.  (America and businesses based here being huge bullies over Wikileaks is another post for another time).

Some Anonymous are getting very DdoSy via Operation Payback which to me seems a bit misplaced and possibly short-sighted. And there is no way Assange is gonna distract from OpPayback, so give up that concept! There are reasons copyrights exist, these reasons are tl/dr, but copying without permission or pay is an uneven social exchange:

I’ll give you my Space Food Stick if I can crib off your math test

is making a deal; lifting off someone’s page without permission (or attribution, or a processed food snack) is cheating. Residuals and royalties from legal sales and downloads create income streams which allow for a vital economy through employment, purchases, use of services and other businesses, trickle down. As the writers’ strikes proved in Los Angeles, when creative income stops, the economy suffers. Badly.

The studios, at least in Bollywood who admits to it, hired their own private DDoS service, which went and boasted on their gig, hoisting themselves on their own petard, only to fall like a T. rex toe-walking Chihuahua. The RIAA, BPI, MPAA and US Copyright Office have all been recent targets. OMG, WTF!? Somebody crashed the Copyright Office.

First off:  Media interpretation of “Anonymous” needs to be flexible; heck Anonymous is flexible, fluid. Anyone can be “anonymous” online in certain areas of the web, when writing old fashioned letters, or checking on Prince Albert in a can. Princess Di made anonymous calls to a lover. Imagine if she’d been able to organize HRHOPA* on 4Chan…

There may be some Venn diagram spillover of unnamed Anon sets opposed to breast censorship in Australia and sets who think cULtz R cR33PY but never leave the house; sets who raid Second Life; and sets who show up IRL EGF (oh hai!). They may not all interact on 4Chan, either; it’s not like that is the only sandbox. (Trying to shut down IRCs was pretty bush league.)

Sonny Bono is an interesting case. While a Congressperson, he extended creative copyright, benefitting him as a songwriter and his heirs–and members of his faith/a huge corporation by maintaining certain Top Skeret texts as copyrighted. Then he hit a  tree while skiing which was really freaky. I am wondering if it is ethical for a Congressperson to bring forth a bill that directly benefits said C’member. I wonder if Congress is allowed to set forth a law, or the IRS to proffer a deal, which benefits a specific religion over all others.

(Granted, with pressure from congressmembers with ears to the bar and restaurant industry, the Sonny Bono bill was amended to include the Fairness in Music Licensing Act, which exempted smaller establishments from needing a public performance license to play music).

I have a solution to this whole copyright Bobby i$$ue:

Make the telecom companies pay for carrying the transmissions, not unlike radio stations.

According to U2′s manager, Paul McGuinness who I quote above and below, that isn’t an option, despite free content being

part of the commercial agenda of powerful technology and telecoms industries. Look at the figures as free music helped drive an explosion of broadband revenues in the past decade. Revenues from the “internet access” (fixed line and mobile) business quadrupled from 2004 to 2009 to $226bn. Passing them on the way down, music industry revenues fell in the same time period from $25bn to $16bn. Free content has helped fuel the vast profits of the technology and telecoms industries.

Tax the means of delivery!  Like taxing the ships that carry tea, rather than tea.

Oh noes, but if the telecoms don’t liek the tax, then what? They are the t00bs, both of them. Recent activity–against Wikileaks and by security teams (click the lings, plox)– has proven that the clouds aren’t safe either, so dream on over that model.

And while we are on the subject of copyright, for it was copyright what brought forth the Freeweb Cruise, could DMCA be cited on Wikileaks? But do we as taxpayers technically hold part of that copyright? I wonder if the American govt could collect a royalty from the telecoms for each download, link, etc to Wikileaks and share the revenue with the embattled free speech fighters… ??? Profit!

Also I see a whole micro-industry springing up around searching the cables for keywords, dates, concepts.

Will keyword search for giftcards

Full disclosure: I could never figure out how to use Napster, Kazaa, or Pirate Bay and sorta thought they were scary and germy, and like, hard to figure out. I have no clue how to use a torrent, but someone gave me some music once from one of those keychain beer opener things that plugs into the side of the computer. I style several EFG masks and have seen some amazing U2 shows over the years, some for free. I also wrote an essay once about U2 and Negativland; later I got paid for its use, which was kind cool.  And I am prolly gonna annoy a bunch of people with this essay, but really if you can’t speak your mind, what is the point of existing? We are communicating creatures, it is our nature.

*Her Royal Highness’ Own Personal Army

Aung Suu Kyi Freed: Rock ‘N Roll *Can* Change the World

The release of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung Suu Kyi yesterday after spending 15 of the past 21 years in prison or under house arrest was thrilling, uplifting. Pressure on the Burmese government came from many angles, economic, diplomatic. And from the voices of people around the world lifted in song.

One cannot discount or ignore the power of that rock n roll played in Suu Kyi’s release. Over decades U2 has championed human rights, specifically through Amnesty International. For their monumental, astounding super-gianormous 360 Degrees tour which began in 2009 and continues through 2011, U2 staged a specific tribute to Aung Suu Kyi  and Amnesty International during the song “Walk On,” recounting her history as the democratically elected leader of Burma (Myanmar) and then as a prisoner of the military which took control of the country.  (wonder what they’ll do now for that part of the show?)

Weird side note: In his book Decision Points, George W. Bush recounts how he met with Bono to discuss financial aid for Third World countries. The twoo had a great chat, and after Bono left,  one of his staff asked if he knew who Bono was. Bush said that of course he did — he was the rock star who

used to be married to Cher.

U2′s 360 Degree tour set attendance records; in 2009 the show was seen by over 3 million people; the 2010 has been equally as well received. That’s a lot of people around signing postcards for Amnesty’s campaign to free  Suu Kyi.

U2 fan wearing Suu Kyi mask at concert

Amnesty International has storied history in Ireland; one the NGO’s founding members, Sean MacBride, was the son of Irish revolutionary–and muse of William Butler Yeats–Maud Gonne and Major John MacBride who was executed for his part in the 1916 Easter Uprising which led to the Republic of Ireland’s independence from England.

At 15, Sean MacBride joined the Irish Volunteers and was imprisoned in 1921. Released in 1924, he studied law and eventually became an Irish politician, and worked throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s for human rights worldwide. MacBride was appointed to number of positions at the United Nations including Assistant Secretary General,  President of the General Assembly, High Commissioner for  Refugees and High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Yeah, rock ‘n roll changed something in world. Well, many things.

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