The Academy

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Saturday, May 17, 2003
Poker in L.A.

Here is a very good article about Poker in Los Angeles and attaining the American Dream.... A very good read.

Friday, May 16, 2003
Anti-Circumvent This!

I am so tired of reading about the Digital Milennium Copyright Act and all this anti-circumvention suing! Now this came to my attention. I have sympathy and patience, to a degree, for copyright proprietors, but I gotta say - LET THE PEOPLE CIRCUMVENT! My favorite part of the linked article is where the attorney for the copyright owners says: "Fair Use has never been a constitutional right". Oh, lick my balls - it is a child of the Constitution, and it is part of a federal statute (and in pretty plain english). And, the argument isn't that "fair use" is a constitutional right (oh, except for that pesky 1st Amendment instruction that Congress must not have meant to trod upon when cooking up that sloppy Copyright Act!). The argument, if I understand it correctly, is that "fair use" is granted by the Copyright Act and then effectively castrated by the DMCA. I would have made that attorney write an essay on lame arguments!

Now, riddle me this guardians of the copyright gate. Do we really believe that most people buying new dvds or cds, are circumventing and making 40,000,000 copies of whichever and selling it to complete strangers? People are far too lazy for such widespread nonsense. I have a itch in my fat ass that tells me that substantial, non-infringing use is about all most people who have the money and room to buy such devices have on their minds. Think photocopiers and VCR's and keep those Napster and Corley images out of your head, and if someone is on a rampage selling loads of protected garbage - throw the book at them. Leave the manufacturers alone and someone burn me an illegal copy of the new Matrix movie!

Wednesday, May 14, 2003
J-Lo must be stopped - she's a bad ass influence.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Willy Explains...

that there's some history of this sort of thing in Texas. He referred me to this link for more info. When asked about the dem's holed up in Oklahoma, my ultra-Republican father announced, through snorts of laughter, "The only way this could get better is if it turns into another Waco."

Another lovable right-winger who is a friend to the Academy proclaims that the time is ripe for regime change in Oklahoma. After all, the Okies are harboring the "Texas dems who are themselves Weapons of Mass Obstruction."

It gives me great pleasure to air all sides of this public debate.

And When They Came For the Democrats....

Finally, they've found something for those Texas Rangers to do in the lull between prison breaks. House Republicans have dispatched the Rangers to go get the Democrats, who walked out and, remarkably, are now holed up in a motel in Oklahoma so as to escape Rangers jurisdiction.

Now, when I left Texas, I had a sneaking suspicion this kind of thing might happen someday. I thought the Rangers would come for me due to my utter failure to apply enough hair spray to increase my hair mass, my inability to walk in espadrilles, and the depletion of my hosiery stocks. Did I speak up? No, I fled. Now, the Rangers come for the Democrats. Who will speak for them?

I'm troubled by the international incident that is brewing. Will the Rangers invade Oklahoma? What other recourse do they have if Oklahoma insists on giving comfort and aid to the Democrats????

Monday, May 12, 2003
Blairgate at the Times

Could I be more fascinated with the way this story is unfolding? Is it because my passion for all things meta is undying? Could be. That's why I found this article in the Sunday New York Times reporting about the reporting in the New York Times so riveting. Also fascinating is this commentary on that reporting in Slate, and this column by William Safire about the whole mess.

Jayson Blair, you're something else. I have to say, though, I'm really glad I wasn't doing anything important when I was 27. Luckily, I was only responsible for making sure celebrity athletes got enough cold cuts at their commercial shoots. I don't think I was as much of a mess as this kid, but at least I was not in a position to do this kind of damage. Has anyone else noticed that we simultaneously extend adolescence into the late-twenties while looking to younger and younger people to define the dialogue of the day? I had a friend who used to call these twenty-somethings the YMD's -- Young Media Dreadfuls. Jayson Blair looks to me like the personification of that nickname.

I'm distressed because until now, I thought YMDs were confined to fluff publications (see Bob Ickes), record companies, pr firms (see Lizzie Grubman), and talent agencies. That's where they all were when I walked amongst them, at least that's what I thought.

To be clear, I'm not saying that Jayson Blair is too young to be responsible for his actions. Oh, he's responsible. The kind of things he did, though, are just the kind of things that high school kids do. Cheating, cutting corners, daring authority figures to catch him. What did he have to gain from all of this? Career advancement? I guess. But it sounds more like he just didn't like to travel very much and preferred to stick around Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Maybe another reason it just seems adolescent to me is that it shows a lack of reverence, a lack of respect, for what journalism is supposed to be all about. It reveals a kind of cynicism that you see in faux-jaded teens when they are explaining why they don't care about voting: Its all lies anyway, so who cares. Grrrr.

Sunday, May 11, 2003
Today's Tip: Do Not Threaten the Federal District Judge Who Is Sentencing Your Husband

This link describes what happens if you disregard that awfully good advice. I'm grew up in San Antonio. I can tell you that's a place where they take the threatening of federal judges pretty darn serious-like. What with Woody Harrelson's father killing Judge John H. Wood in the Judge's own driveway and all. If you ask me, Mrs. Wade got off easy -- sexist comments are icky, but withstanding a few is still lighter punishment than federal prison.