{ thinking out loud about the things i care about }

Archive for November, 2009

Journalist “Moderates” Comments, Teacher Loses Job

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Privacy on the internet, folks. Being anonymous online is harder than you think.

To sum up: Kurt Greenbaum, a journalist/editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (and — laughingly — is also the Director of Social Media there, which I’m betting the higher-ups at the St. Louis Post are regretting right about now) posted an article to the Post-Dispach’s blog entitled “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten? And did you like it?“. Unsurprisingly to anyone who’s read comments on the internet before, one reader responded with the obvious: “pussy”. Mr. Greenbaum checked out the IP address, saw it was from a local school, and decided to call the school rather than delete the comment or block users from that IP from commenting. The school worked their IT magic, discovered the comment had come from one of the teachers, and the teacher resigned upon being confronted with the information. The following Monday, Greenbaum posted a boasting warning: post a vulgar comment while you’re at work, lose your job. The internet gets a hold of this and, predictably, responds with WHUT HELL NO (well, I guess predictably if you’re anyone but the Director of Social Media at the Post-Dispatch anyway).

Check out the comments on the Monday post and his follow-up post including several conversation about whether or not Greenbaum violated his own privacy policy. Some clever cogs snatch up kurtgreenbaum.com, and use it to redirect to kurtgreenbaumisapussy.com in order to hit Greenbaum in the SEO gut and provide a full summary of the events so far. Mainstream media has picked it up and things for Mr. Greenbaum are probably about to go down to tubes quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another job loss come out of this, depending on how bad and broad the publicity gets. The general consensus of pretty much everyone seems to be he went way too far (for the record, I completely agree).

This is a pretty good illustration of why my rule of thumb is to only post online things I’m comfortable with the entire world knowing. Anonymity on the internet is not quite a myth, but it is a more complicated thing than a lot of people realize, and that’s not yet something that’s been honestly and openly addressed by society at large or — probably more importantly — the legal systems. This is also a pretty good example of how important it is to have actual social media savvy people on the payroll. Several massive mistakes were made along the way here, from the phone call to the gloating after-post to the overly defensive and self-important tone Greenbaum takes with commenters who take issue with his actions. There is indeed a teachable moment at the core of all this, but it’s definitely not the one Kurt Greenbaum thought it would be.

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Waters of Mars: Ye Olde Reaction Post

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

First reactions: ZOMG AWESOME.

Coherent reactions: Honestly, I’ve been wondering and hoping we were going to get a crazy Ten arc (even a small one, which it looks like is all we get but I digress) because the build up with Runaway Bride then all of season four and even the little small things over the last two specials what with Ten refusing companionship… it just seemed to be heading in that direction. RTD, I am glad you do not disappoint or fake me out.

Ten has always been a little bit crazy in a way Nine wasn’t, especially since losing Rose the first time but even before that. The only thing that ever kept him sane were his companions, and what with this self-imposed loneliness over the last who knows how long, I’m not at all surprised to see him crack apart. The last ten minutes of this episode, watching him take on the laws of Time and abandon all his principles, was really excellent. And then his calm unrepentant arrogance with Adalaide at the end just before Time comes back and backhands him? Chilly. Oncoming storm indeed.

Adalaide was fantastic, and it was excellent to see him always running to keep up with her. From the time he lands on Mars, for maybe the first time in a long time, the Doctor isn’t in control and RTD played that beautifully. Every step of the way the Doctor is either battling with his own demons and completely unable to beat them down without someone, and even physically he’s constantly behind Adalaide, who has a date with fate and yet still manages to be in better control of the situation than the Doctor is.

His speech about fixed points and destiny? Really lovely. Inspiration and joy painted over sadness. Well delivered and well received. One of the things I love about this series is how most of the time the Doctor can change or meddle or adjust things except sometimes when it matters. Generally universes embrace one thing or the other, but this show manages to say that sometimes both are true and somehow that makes them both mean more. This special was about that, how some moments in time are necessary and important and unbreakable, and yet those are the ones he wants to change the most. You always want the thing you can’t have.

I kind of wish we could have more crazy Ten. I think a three or four episode arc of crazy Ten could be totally and completely awesome. But it doesn’t look like that’s what we’ll get, so I guess I have to be okay with ten minutes of it. Ten, I will miss your angst most of all. Who will lonely-eyes when you’re gone? I think maybe Ten invented angst. It’s probably an adventure we didn’t see. Someone fic it for me, ‘kay? :D

Also: unexpected Ood was unexpected. And weird. I’m assuming that will all make sense at Christmas, otherwise you can expect some sort of WTF OOD post at that point.

But ZOMG DONNA! I adore Donna. I want her back and I want her awesome so badly, and all throughout this episode all I could think of was how much the Doctor needed Donna. Not Rose, Donna. I hope somewhere Donna woke up and had an irrepressible urge to yell at someone.

And WILF! And platinum blond skeletor!Master. *cackles*

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Sunday, November 8th, 2009

I mentioned at work the other day that I felt there was a major Sci-Fi TV show hole gap in my life, what with Battlestar Galactica being over and it being a very Who-light year, and someone told me I should check out Sanctuary.

I have, and it’s awesome in a cracky kinda way. It’s one of those shows that draws from myth and folklore and gives prominent historical figures super powers and has secret societies, and I’m a sucker for that kind of thing. They don’t build most of the sets, but shoot a lot of green screen with CG rendered sets in the background, which is a little bit jarring but also gives it a unique look and feel that sometimes really works, considering the subject matter. The actor playing the lead male role throws me off because sometimes he looks and sounds like James Marsters and sometimes he looks and sounds like Tom Cruise, and it’s a strange mix of impressions. It also mixes up some gender roles which is interesting, putting female characters as aggressive and having them fill the roles of physical protectors and analytical scientific thinkers while the male lead is more intuitive, emotional, and plays less of a role in the Ass Kicking that happens in each episode. They manage to do it generally without making the males seem less masculine or the females less feminine, which definitely appeals to me.

Anyway. This show has exactly the kind of bait a show needs to lure in an unsuspecting Chelle. And lured in I have been.

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Maine Votes, Breaks LGBT Hearts

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

It’s happened again.

These days I am truly thankful to live in a place where the entire country has already long moved past the bulk of the controversy of same-sex marriage. It’s a done deal here, has been since 2005, and while various groups still occasionally flail against it, there has been only one real instance where any possibility of “repeal” existed, and in a free vote (for those not acquainted with Canadian Parliamentary politics, this means party loyalty is released and all MPs are permitted to vote along their own — and hypothetically their constituents — beliefs instead of “towing the party line”) the motion to re-open the issue was defeated in a Conservative government. Yes, even most of our Conservatives can’t stomach the idea of taking away rights granted, despite what their personal feelings may be about same-sex marriage, and I’d like to think the sentiment is echoed by Canadians in general.

I don’t understand the idea that rights given can be taken away by a popular vote. It just doesn’t compute. It didn’t make sense to me when it happened in California, and it doesn’t make sense to me now.

In the last two years the LGBT fight has become so much more real for me, and much more personal. Partly because last year I finally started to explore the greyscale of my own sexuality and partly because I have grown closer to the LGBT people who are my friends and my family, and they have graciously shared with me some of the most profound and personal stories of their life, both glorious and tragic, both related and completely unrelated to their sexuality.

Other reactions from people I respect: 51stcenturyfox here and rm here.

Also from rm, a link detailing an incredibly transphobic, sensationalistic article that appeared recently in Seventeen magazine, portraying transgender people as deceivers and liars.

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