31 Jul 2006 1 Comment
30 Jul 2006 Leave a comment
This piece is about the future. The author describes how pundits like Hannity, Coulter, and the rest of those bloviating dullards on Fox (and its imitators) get face time on the TeeVee, and how the emergence of blogs and blogging will act as a crucible, separating out truly valuable analysis (Berubes, Wolcott, Gitlins) from mere noise (Limbaugh, Chris Matthews, armpit-farts, etc.).
I like speculation about the future, articles about blogging and hope and is all three.
Let me put that in context…
Perhaps one of the side benefits of the blogs will be the re-emergence of the public intellectual. Such people, usually specialists in one field but writing much more generally, once provided a great deal of the context for public debate. You might say that they provided the parameters for the public sphere (if you can stand the alliteration). Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, John Dewey, B.F. Skinner–just to create a random quartet–all had influence on the debates going on in diners and living rooms. In many ways, their influence was greater outside of their areas of expertise, though it was those that gave them the gravitas needed in those days in order to be taken seriously elsewhere.
Today's pale imitations of the old public intellectual are not people who have proven themselves in particular pursuits. Chris Matthews, on his Hardball TV show in late July, kept telling Ann Coulter that she writes well. So do David Horowitz, George Will, and the dozens of others who have taken upon themselves what really have become public pseudo-intellectual roles. Unlike the real public intellectuals of bygone years, their achievements rest only on facility of comment. Few of them show accomplishment elsewhere.
That's the advantage of coming into the public sphere with a reputation already established in intellectual pursuits: one has something to protect, so is a bit more careful with what one says than, say, Ann Coulter or David Horowitz. The reputations of these pseudos come through media only, and not through contributions to any fields of study.
Over the next few years, such pundits should start to find themselves pushed aside, as the Michael Berubes, Todd Gitlins, Juan Coles, and more start to have greater influence within the public sphere, providing a real intellectual background to the debates. The blogs are the perfect arena for the new public intellectuals, for they for a contextual web themselves, something the real intellectuals are quite comfortable working with.
The blogs: providing once again the context for our discussions that public intellectuals gave us in the days before the rise of the professional media punditocracy.
(Read complete post here.)
28 Jul 2006 2 Comments
28 Jul 2006 2 Comments
Via my good friend Mr. Funk:
For some time now, a few companies in the sex trade have been offering rubber doll rentals. A service that, for want of a better description, has been going down very well indeed – despite the relatively high price and potential hygiene problems.
However perhaps not surprisingly, this demand for dolls has resulted in the opening of a downtown establishment for silicone sex seekers. The difference being that rather than having the dolls shipped out to customers, LaLa rents out private rooms that are furnished with a bath, toilet, and most importantly, a latex lover.
The shop currently has a staff of 17 ‘ladies’, with a going rate of 12,000 yen (60 pound) for 90 minutes. A price that obviously doesn’t deter many potential customers, as the store’s manager claims that, “On a really good day we get as many as 30 customers.” In regards to the kind of patrons LaLa attracts, he says that they “age from teens to men in their 60’s. For the most part they appear to be quiet, timid types, who probably feel more at ease with a doll than a young woman. Some bring along shopping bags with a couple of extra costumes. I suppose they enjoy dressing up the dolls and taking snapshots.”
27 Jul 2006 3 Comments
Having pursued acting, producing and – most memorably – space flight after ’N Sync went on hiatus in 2002, Bass now is looking ahead to new beginnings. He is in a "very stable" relationship with model-actor-Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl, 32, and is developing an Odd Couple-inspired sitcom pilot with Fatone in which his character will be gay.
Mostly, though, he’s just enjoying the relief that comes with the culmination of a long, at times emotionally fraught journey.
"The thing is, I’m not ashamed – that’s the one thing I want to say," he explains of his decision to come out. "I don't think it's wrong, I'm not devastated going through this. I'm more liberated and happy than I’ve been my whole life. I'm just happy."
As for why he's talking about this now Bass says, "The main reason I wanted to speak my mind was that (the rumors) really were starting to affect my daily life. Now it feels like it's on my terms. I'm at peace with my family, my friends, myself and God so there's really nothing else that I worry about." More.
Well, good for him. And now Lance is getting poked by hottie Reichen Lehmkuhl. Congrats! But Lance isn't really all the cute anymore, don't you think? I mean, the boyish good looks are gone and the manly handsomeness hasn't come in yet so he's in that post-boy-not-quite-a-man stage. Poor thing. Well, whatever. I wouldn't kick either one of them out of bed for eating crackers.
27 Jul 2006 3 Comments