Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I love WikiLeaks for restoring distrust in our most important institutions. - By Jack Shafer - Slate Magazine:

We shouldn't be surprised by the recurrence of scandals, but, of course, we always are. Why is that? Is it because when scandal rips up the turf, revealing the vile creepy-crawlies thrashing and scurrying about, we're glad when authority intervenes to quickly tamp the grass back down and re-establish our pastoral innocence with bland assurances that the grubby malfeasants are mere outliers and one-offs who will be punished? Is it because our schooling has left us hopelessly naïve about how the world works? Or do we just fail to pay attention?

Information conduits like Julian Assange shock us out of that complacency. Oh, sure, he's a pompous egomaniac sporting a series of bad haircuts and grandiose tendencies. And he often acts without completely thinking through every repercussion of his actions. But if you want to dismiss him just because he's a seething jerk, there are about 2,000 journalists I'd like you to meet.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Harold Meyerson - How Germany got it right on the economy:

It's quite a turnabout for an economy that American and British bankers and economists derided for years as the sick man of Europe. German banks, they insisted, were too cautious and locally focused, while the German economy needed to slim down its manufacturing sector and beef up finance.

Wisely, the Germans declined the advice. Manufacturing still accounts for nearly a quarter of the German economy; it is just 11 percent of the British and U.S. economies (one reason the United States and Britain are struggling to boost their exports). Nor have German firms been slashing wages and off-shoring - the American way of keeping competitive - to maintain profits.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

5 steps to taming materialism, from an accidental expert | Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist:

I quote Daniel Gilbert all the time about how we can adapt to anything. Gilbert says that we think some changes will be terrible – like losing a limb – but in fact we are great at adapting to circumstances that don't change. This is true of putting stuff in storage. You quickly learn to live without it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Photos: How Your TSA Pat-Down Will Look On Opt-Out Day - Gothamist:

Leading the outcry in NYC is Council member David Greenfield, who has introduced legislation to ban the scanners at all NYC buildings, not just airports. In an op-Ed in today's Post, Greenfield recalls that after last year's failed Christmas underwear bomber, "Michael Chertoff, former secretary of Homeland Security, was trotted out before the national media to proclaim that if these full body scanners were deployed they 'would pick up this kind of device.' What Chertoff neglected to mention to the nervous American public, while shilling for a machine that wouldn’t have stopped Abdulmutallab, is that, as the head of The Chertoff Group, he was now being paid as a lobbyist for Rapiscan, a company actively pursuing a contract for these scanners. Within days, Chertoff’s client received an astonishing $173 million to manufacture and install these machines in airports across the country."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mike Daisey leads panel on “The Beautiful Struggle: Art and Commerce” Friday 11/19 | The TOC Blog | Time Out Chicago:

Sorry for the very last-minute notice, but I just got word about this myself: Brainy populist monologuist (and admitted Time Out Chicago favorite) Mike Daisey will be in town Friday morning for a presentation in the Arts Engagement Exchange Open Forum series. Titled “The Beautiful Struggle: Art and Commerce,” Daisey’s manifesto (no ironic quotes necessary there) will address the intersections and frictions of art and marketing in the modern age: “Touching on horror, comedy, theory, and practice, Daisey peels back the layers to reveal the rich heart of our artistic exchange in a candid and frank talk about the crossroads where we find ourselves at the opening of the 21st century.” He’ll be joined for a panel discussion by: DanceWorks Chicago CEO Andreas Bottcher; Henry Godinez, artistic director of Northwestern University’s Theatre and Interpretation Center and artistic associate at the Goodman Theatre; Fifth House Ensemble member and director of artistic programming Adam Marks; and urban planner/coordinator of arts programming for the University of Chicago/visual artist/performer Theaster Gates. The free event takes place at 10am at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater (77 East Randolph Street); registration begins at 9:30.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

'Colin Quinn Long Story Short' -- Theater Review - The Hollywood Reporter:

While full-length stand-up acts tend to jump from place to place, Quinn and Seinfeld have worked with skill to shape the material into a fluid discourse in the manner of monologists such as Spalding Gray or Mike Daisey.

The connective tissue, unsurprisingly, is the U.S., "the bouillabaisse of fallen empires." Quinn digresses frequently throughout the show to consider the ways in which the modern world has picked up bad behavior patterns from history. International skirmishes are wryly compared to bickering families trying to get through the holidays.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

What really happened between HP ex-CEO Mark Hurd and Jodie Fisher? - Fortune Tech:

When Hurd was displeased, he let people around him know, and one person who was always around was Caprice Fimbres. A former public relations account executive, Fimbres was Hurd's "program manager," an aide with broad sway over the CEO's schedule.

Fimbres took on the challenge of allaying Hurd's concerns. At some point, she began thinking about a television show she'd been watching. Fimbres was hooked on reality TV, and that summer she'd been following a particularly bad NBC series called "Age of Love." Its gimmick was inane, even for an inane genre: "Age of Love" pitted a group of female twentysomethings—the "kittens"—against a group of fortysomethings—the "cougars"—vying for the affections of a real-life tennis star.

Apparently Fimbres concluded that experience in a made-for-TV cat fight was the ideal preparation for playing gatekeeper to one of the most important corporate CEOs in the world. Whatever her rationale (she declined to be interviewed), Fimbres decided to recruit among the cougars, according to Nadine Jolson, a publicist for some of the contestants, who says Fimbres contacted her at the time.

At least two other contestants from the "Age of Love" discussed an HP role with Jolson. But the tech giant ultimately hired a 47-year-old divorced single mom from Los Angeles named Jodie Fisher to act as a greeter at events where Hurd met top customers. Her job was to gracefully steer clients, ensuring that Hurd spent the right amount of time with the right people.


Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Momentum of Doom by Brendan Kiley - Theater - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper:

Remember old police chief Norm Stamper, the guy who presided over Seattle cops from 1994 to 2000, left his office after the WTO debacle, and has since become an anti-drug-war warrior, speaking out for the need to "legalize and control" narcotics instead of letting the violent, chaotic black market ruin people's lives both north and south of the U.S./Mexico border? Well, he's in a play, a community-theater production of Brilliant Traces, in which a woman in a wedding gown crashes into the hut of an Alaskan hermit during a snowstorm. Over the course of the play, the woman (Melinda Milligan) and the man (Stamper) reveal their secret guilts and truths and kiss once or twice. It's a sweet little show, brought to sweet little life by the Actors Theater of Orcas Island. It probably won't change your brain or reorder the cosmos for you, but there are worse ways to pass an evening. recommended