Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No talent required: fame from infamy
Lindsay Lohan’s name stays in the news because she makes the news

LOS ANGELES, CA—Lindsay Lohan posted $100,000 after a California judge issued a warrant for her arrest after missing a May 20th court hearing. Lohan claims her passport had been stolen while in Cannes, France but had been photographed on the French Rivera lounging on a yacht the day of the hearing.

The 23 year old pop star and actress has been arrested for DUI and drug charges on different occasions and according to close friends is unable to control her addictions.

So why write about Miss Lohan? Well, because she’s in the news. No, we don’t know what Miss Lohan is famous for, only that she seems to be famous for her infamous behavior—her shenanigans keep her name circulating in the news. And that is precisely what’s most curious about western pop culture: giving someone face-time and name recognition not because of great talent, but bad behavior.

Yet again, we find ourselves in the position of agreeing with Team Obama. When Miss Lohan offered herself to assist in Obama’s campaign, an unnamed source told the Chicago Sun-Times that Lohan was "not exactly the kind of high-profile star who would be a positive for us."

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Privacy and social networking
Privacy concerns of social website users are hard to reconcile

THE INTERNET—Privacy concerns about social networking sites are causing some users to logout for good. Facebook has seen an estimated 25 to 50 percent drop in new accounts because of privacy concerns that have been raised over the past few months.

When new users register an account with a social networking site like Twitter, they are typically asked to enter their email address, name, location, and create a username. This is familiar to anyone that has accessed their checking account online, paid bills online, or started a blog.

Perhaps what is most curious is why are there concerns by users? In law, one would certainly not cite logging onto Internet sites as extending a “reasonable expectation of privacy”. After all, is that not what the Internet is for? Sharing information?

Consumers would think their financial institution would keep any and all personal information private, but a site that users voluntarily post personal information? If a social networking site user posts information about their favorite places to shop or favorite spot to eat on MySpace for dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of others to see, what privacy do they expect?

A clear dichotomy exists when a user willingly registers with a site, posts content and then expects none of that information to be disseminated.

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You give tasers a bad name
In a nation obsessed with pop culture and political correctness, we overlook substance

CITIZENS BANK PARK, PA—Tasers made their Major League Baseball debut during a May 3rd game when a 17 year-old male wearing a red Phillies shirt and khaki shorts ran into the outfield looping about.

It is presumably the first time a taser has been used during an MLB game but not the first time a taser has been used to subdue someone perpetrating a criminal act (it is against the law to run onto a field during play of a game and the youth will be charged with criminal trespass).

Tasers are an alternative to much more brutal force, yet they have a stigma attached to them as being cruel or unnecessary. What seems to be overlooked is the actually totality of events—if the seventeen year old had run onto the field and was pepper-sprayed, would the tone of reporting be different? Or is he was piled-on and put into a choke hold?

Its an interesting thing to see how the story is reported, the focus put on the instrument rather than the criminal behavior. Of course bad behavior makes for good copy and tasering a hell of an image—especially when there is video footage.

-- Killswitch Politick


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Conan O’Brien breaks his silence
Mr. O’Brien’s treatment underscore the unraveling of NBC

In an interview with 60 Minute’s Steve Kroft, former Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien speaks about NBC’s decision to replace him with the host he replaced, Jay Leno and moved his spot back to 11:35 EST.

Though we here at KP are not big fans of Mr. O’Brien’s humor, we certainly know the comedian was treated poorly—and what’s more, his audience. After just six months of hosting the Tonight Show, NBC yanked the rug from under Conan, announcing Jay Leno would return as host; the reason? NBC claimed it was losing money for the first time broadcasting The Tonight Show.

Mr. O’Brien doubts this assertion as would anyone skeptical to NBC’s motives and its handling of the whole affair which put Leno in his own disastrous 10pm timeslot only to heave O’Brien in and out of the Tonight Show’s host seat.

GE, NBC’s parent company has had its share of missteps, doing business with Iran among the most notable. And NBC’s programming under Jeff Zucker hasn’t kept up with the competition. NBC’s green programming format hasn’t garnered more audience; in fact, NBC continues to lose market share.

We wish Mr. O’Brien well and hope his new cable show on TBS will find success far beyond what NBC did not give him a chance to earn.

-- Killswitch Politick