… Check out my post about my experience on my hyperlocal neighborhood blog here.
The whole experience made me question what kind of journalist I want to become. I started the Albany Park Post blog under citizen journalist sentiments, and if I were to get a degree in Journalism, it would only be if I decided to become a serious, hard-hitting journalist – something I never thought I would want to be. I know whatever I am doing now, let’s call it a freelance writer thing, I am not doing it properly. I am still paralyzed by various personal fears – for instance, I’ve been sitting on a large story about a local art institution for months, and I haven’t finished it because I don’t want to be sued (the female in my story is a little odd, and the suing type).
“If you’re not pissing someone off, you’re not doing it right”… I get that. But growing up, I wanted to be a lot of things… and a hard-hitting news journalist was never one of them.
I don’t know what it is about Chicago and the new Millennium, but this city is determined to remain in the media spotlight. In two years, Chicago has tirelessly churned out nationally compelling news stories: Obama’s presidency, Blagojevich’s absurdity, the botched privatization of the parking meters, the failed Olympic bid, last years violent summer including Derrion Albert’s death, King Daley’s shocking retirement, and now, the latest, Rahm Emanuel’s right to run for mayor of Chicago. Read the rest of this entry »
GamersFirst CEO Joshua Hong is running for Governor this year as Arnold Schwarzenegger is ineligible to run again. The initial reaction on the internet has been skeptical, as many believe this is a PR move designed to get some free advertising. While the nay-sayers do have a point, considering Mr. Hong’s initial campaign pitch (on April 1st) focused on his company and his “Free2Play” idea, I don’t think he should be dismissed so quickly.
Asked if Hong is using a political campaign to simply promote his gaming company, Mukhopadhyay replied, “[The free-to-play business model] is where a lot of the inspiration comes from. It’s what he knows best, and he translates that to what would work best for the government.”
She added, “Yeah, there will probably be people that think ‘Oh, you can’t do that, it’s a gaming company versus a government and that just sounds ridiculous.’ But it’s more about using the experience that he’s acquired and using the inspiration from the GamersFirst company.”
Today’s current video game industry is a multi-billion dollar money-maker… so you cannot deny that any one from the industry would be out of touch, or without influence over the general public. If you read Mr. Hong’s 3 tenants for change and innovation in California, you see he is just applying his technological know-how to politics in general. Mr. Hong’s tenants make sense, like improving education, infrastructure, and government transparency by fulling utilizing modern technology.
This reminds me of President Obama asking Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to design a video game to fix the budget deficit:
The co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission is working on a video game to make plain what it would take to eliminate soaring deficits.
Erskine Bowles has discussed with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer a new game “that would enable anyone with a computer to take a stab at balancing the budget.”
And if you are still skeptical about using video games to save the world, I refer you to Jane McGonigal’s TED Talk “Gaming can make a Better World“.
Two days ago, New Hampshire state representative Nick Levasseur wrote this as his facebook status: “Anime is a prime example that two nukes just wasn’t enough” . (Click here to watch a video compilation of the local media’s take)
Nick appears to be around 26 years old. Nick looks like he watches anime. I think Nick was telling a joke. A really bad one, but nonetheless, a joke. Would you ever hear a Japanese politician joke that they should bomb Pearl Harbor again because they just can’t stand our summer blockbusters? Absolutely not.
This isn’t the first time Nicky has made really bad jokes though. Back in 2007, on his Myspace page he listed under his interests: “the hunting of neo-conservative Reaganites” and in 2008, also on his Myspace page, he described himself as “the magic mushroom. Shove me in a dark place, feed me a fist full of shit, and watch me grow!” This latest attempt at a joke, by insulting the Japanese tragedy, reveals his under developed sense of humor.
No other country in the world has been attacked with nuclear weapons, and if you know ANYTHING about Japanese history, or culture, you know to this day they still struggle with that happened to them (hello, Godzilla films?). Consider the new book, ” The Last Train from Hiroshima” or even this recent gem about Hayden Panettiere’s efforts to save dolphins in Japan:
As the group arrived, a truck of right-wing nationalists blasted slogans, saying Japan should not be singled out for whaling and dolphin hunts because Westerners “are killing cows.” They also demanded President Barack Obama apologize for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
–‘Heroes’ Actress visits Japan dolphin hunt town via Associated Press
Japanese society has long used the arts to deal with their nuclear past, and if you are going to include anime in this artistic realm, you have to mention the famous manga-turned-anime-turned-American-film Astro Boy. Astro Boy was born in 1951…. just years after the bombs were dropped. Astro Boy’s name in Japan is “Mighty Atom” and is a direct reference to the nuclear attacks. Astro Boy was made to appeal to little boys, perhaps to help the children cope with new post-war reality?
Sadly, this joke also reveals that Nick has never seen any good anime. Action movies tend to be really bad too, but I don’t go around advocating the bombing of Hollywood…. and every once in a while, an action film does comes along that I can appreciate (Fifth Element, for example…). The same applies to anime.
If you’d like to watch some good anime films, I’d recommend anything by Oscar winner Hayao Miyazaki, as well as the films Paprika, Ghost in the Shell (which Spielberg is remaking), and Perfect Blue. For anime series, I’d recommend Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Lain (though the last two do get creepy later on).
The race for Cook County Board President just got a little bit more interesting:
Little information about Sean Burke is available, but the Green Party is already in a tizzy. Green Party Watch went and wrote a piece about how the Democrats are “playing dirty tricks” and cited another example of a Green Party candidate being challenged in another district as proof. Further investigation on the internets reveals that in the second case mentioned the Democratic nominee is also being challenged. To add further fuel to this fire, Tresser went ahead and wrote on his blog why he was challenging Burke, saying:
The Machine has taken note of the Green Party and it’s entirely appropriate to protect the party from candidates who are running to mess with us. I and some of my mentors and Green Party allies believe that the party needs to protect itself from people who want to run as a Green but who do not hold to the core values of the party, are not reformers, are not fighters, who are serving the Daley-Stroger Machine and who actually want to damage viable Green party campaigns.
The whole thing sounds downright paranoid. If you scroll down the NBC link, Sean Burke made the first comment on the story, and the only reaction to his post was by another commenter making fun of Burke’s website and telling him “you’re full of crap”. This Burke is 24 years old, and I buy his switch, his disenchantment with the Young Democrats. The Green Party platform is an interesting mix of Republican and Democratic ideas, and I myself can understand the appeal. Everyone is always hammering on about how our two party system is broken, with the two parties we have bickering incessantly while slowly morphing into one another. Is it that hard to believe someone from the Young Democrats would want to join the Green Party?
By Tresser calling out Burke (who may have just put his name on the ballot for a whim, because why not considering the politicians that run Chicago?) he may have actually helped Burke’s candidacy while also alienating potential Green Party members. I campaigned for Ron Paul and later Barack Obama, but if I now decide to join the Green Party will I too be called a spy and saboteur?