Friday, June 29, 2007


I am so happy here. Coastal SC. It's my home, my heritage, my history. I don't want to go back to Atlanta. Ever. One day I plan to do just that -- never leave home.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lowcountry Ways

And yeah, some video will be coming soon, filled with tales of nefarious Intercoastal pirates, ruined plantations and the natural wonder of what is the ACE Basis.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Power Down South

I'm going off the grid, moreorless, for a couple of weeks. I want to reconnect and commune with the beach, the mountains, my daughter, and friends and family outside of Georgia. If I can't incorporate such extreme basics of my existence into what I do as I move forward in business and media endeavors, then what's the point? I want to do some serious thinking-on about The South too, about where do southerners come into the Big Picture of a transforming media landscape? And for what purpose?

I woke-up thinking some oddly positive thoughts about one day not prefacing everything regarding The South with those catch-all phrases trotted out in the news about us, such as "lagging behind", "catch-up to the rest of the country", "dead last"... you get the point.

The sobering reality was that I turned on the morning radio news and was immediately blasted a national news story about the soaring infant mortality rate among blacks in Mississippi. This after having just read a long piece in the excellent Southern Cultures Magazine about South Carolina chronically "lagging" (there's that annoying word again) in economic development due to its chronically undereducated populace.

S.C., as futurist at least, seems to be unable to envision an educated populace; thus state government continues to cut education funding for the sake of low taxes. For instance, less than a quarter of the adult population holds any kind of higher education degree, undergrad and beyond. On the other hand, S.C. does have one of the lowest taxation rates in the country. Around 10% paid to the state per resident.

Then there's always race... In a recent interview with the Charleston paper, The Post and Courier, as she departs for Seattle's school system, Charleston's school superintendent, Ms. Goodloe-Johnson, a black woman, spoke frankly about race and the legacy of slavery on the education process in the South.

Q: You've lived in Texas, Colorado and Nebraska. How does Charleston compare?

A: It's by far the most segregated and racist, and I think that's a function of the South, too.

Q: How would you say the legacy of slavery, particularly in this community, affects the school district?

A: I think it had a dramatic impact that sometimes isn't seen. Because there's a lot of times I would say to my husband, 'That is plantation mentality.' And by that I mean that people tend to be too complacent. They sit back and allow things to happen to them, and that's slavery. I would tell people all the time, 'Slavery is over. Nobody is controlling you. Nobody is telling you what you can't have. Don't allow people to disrespect you and tell you what you can't have.' That's plantation mentality, and it's so obvious here. But I don't think people see it.

Q: What's an example?

A: Let's talk about failing schools. We should not be in a situation anywhere where kids are not given what they need because they don't have parents who have voice or who have political clout or come to school board meetings and make noise. We have a responsibility to ensure that poor kids, that black kids are educated well. We shouldn't have the kinds of divides that we do. And that's all about people not having voice. Just think about, if everybody had voice, how different the school district would be. Because people would not have sat back and settled for things. Or, people wouldn't allow for schools — why do we allow schools to fail for 10 years and then fight to keep the structure? Help! I just want to scream! Don't fight for failure. Fight for what's right for kids. Fight for excellence. Fight to be at the table to be a part of the conversation. Nobody is enslaved anymore. This is 2007. You can go and do anything you want to.

The complete interview with Ms. Goodloe-Johnson is here.

With so many regionalized, crushing issues coming into play for The South, who's to say where we go next? Backwards or forwards? I just know it all needs thinking-on from those who can and from those who do -- think about The South that is, and from the social media perspective while we're at it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Art of Paige Adair

One of my favorite, local artists, Paige Adair, has new things to show you. I love Paige's work because it captures an inherent southerness so immediately you almost can smell pine trees and gardenia blossoms wafting off her colorized photos.

1st Annual K Mae Art & Stalker Beach
Open House Summer Sale
704 English Avenue NW Atlanta, GA 30318

Saturday, June 23
4-9 pm
Sunday June 24
12-6 pm

The show will also feature the art of Shea Kelly, Rachel Faucett & Kathy Mae, plus Lilybands by Jill Newman

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wanna Go To Mrytle Beach, Matey?

Best think twice about that brilliant idea... here's how Sassy Gordon-Walker (my TrueGritz partner in crimes) recounts her recent visit to beach-hell:

"There was some confusion over which “Dune” we were staying in, and even though we knew we were on the 6th floor, we erroneously decided to check into the Ocean Dunes Hotel that only had three floors. This is what happens when you hit the Myrtle Beach city limits. All common sense is sucked out of your head like a riptide.

After checking into the proper hotel, we head to the room and I’m immediately grossed out when I realize the elevator has been freshly painted. There’s only one reason an elevator ever needs to be painted – to cover something up. And in a beachside hotel you better believe it’s something NASTY.

As we break the seal to the hotel room, I expect to see half-naked spring breakers having sex on the balcony, funneling tequila shots off each other’s asses, with ‘The Real World’ blaring on the TV. Instead we encounter the aroma of parties past - stale beer, sweaty sex & salty cigarettes.

The fact is, beachside hotel rooms in Myrtle Beach are not pampered by their guests. These rooms are rode hard and put away wet. Literally. If scanned by the Dateline black light, these rooms would light up like a circus. No matter the day of the week, every nite in a beach side motel room is like a 1989 Poison after-show party.

The balcony doors are thrown open to air out the room and we promptly head to the hotel bar for an adult beverage. The hazy hotel bar is empty and disgusting at best. The instant we walk in I feel a layer of “sticky” cover my body. We perch ourselves on ancient wicker chairs that have hosted a plethora of half naked, thong-clad asses over the millennium. The wicker barstool groans under my weight but is grateful for a fully-clad arse."

Total saga on 9 White Street, the blog, here.

It's Election Day In The 10th. Draft Wyc Orr!

Is the thought of checking a box next to a Dale Cardwell or a Vernon Jones just not doing it for you as the Democratic U.S. Senate choice from Georgia in '08 -- to challenge Saxby Chambliss? Hopefully you'll have a chance to check for Wyc Orr, a prominent N. Georgia Dem lawyer and former State House Rep.

Jon Flack, founder of the comprehensive GA political blog, Tondee's Tavern (and my sometime partner in Internets communication crimes; he pops up here, in white shirt, and in this video here) has started a Draft Wyc Orr for U.S. Senate campaign. Mainstream media has already taken notice. You can sign the draft Orr petition here.

Jon is one of those amazingly rare types who does not mess around; dude just gets 'r done -- with minimal lip flappage. And he seeks opinion and input from those around him to make any effort of his even that much better. I can easily picture Jon in Washington one day. He'd be an terrific communications person, Chief of Staff-type for any Georgia politician. They'd be lucky to have him.

On the matter of Wyc (Where do our GA politicos get these names: Wyc, Saxby, Newt??? Jeez.)... while messing with live streaming of the North Georgia Democrats' For The People Rally recently, Orr's fiery, booming rhetoric jumped through even the techno cluster-fuck I was totally immersed in at the time. The guy has all the makings of a genuine leader with a genuine message and mission. He makes Vernon and Dale look like school boys by comparison.

Orr seems he could be a formidable challenge to the spectacularly unspectacular Saxby, too. I look forward to getting to know this possible Democratic candidate, and possibly helping do some Internets for him too.

If you're in the 10th, go vote today. For James Marlow. Run James run! Win James win!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Take It Outside

More I think about it, and after reading Jim Long of Verge New Media's post about the power of social media, I really would like to see a pro like Jim take on the likes of that lipflapper Andrew Keen as he, Keen, gets limo-ed around the country to debate, big surprise here, other armchair media lipflappers about his tree-killer, The Cult of The Amateur. Hon, that boy Keen needs to get out on the social media street. Word.

Leave comments on Keen's yawner of a blog/book-pimping preening tool here if you think he needs a bit of calling-out.

Never Met A Rule He Didn't Like

I know this little boy, Andrew Keen, is just a Br'er Rabbit Tar Baby, itching to be thrown into the briar patch so he can sell some books, but ok... let's throw him in and scratch away! The only way to even begin to preserve what only the few really care to preserve at this point, Keen's clarion call to defend the honor of MSM, would be via massive levels of government cultural intervention... to the point of banning anonymous commenting on blogs, apparently.

Really, Mr. Keen doesn't resemble so much the contentious Br'er Rabbit as he does Laura Mallory, a person clamoring to be taken seriously, through benefit of that perceived "unbiased" media lens, by restricting some thing that has become part of the cultural mainstream on their watch, but of course without their permission. At what point did Keen or Mallory become anointed from on-high to go about and do the nation's cultural morality business? There is garden-variety narcissist; then there are these culture-sensibility clowns.

As we head to the July 11 premier of The Order of The Phoenix, let us not forget that Umbridge-esque behavior, that hyper-zealous drive to preserve a crumbling status quo, will drive people not only to despair, but to desperate action. To write laughably outrageous books as well.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

That Thing That Chicken Does

How To Talk To Your Child About Rednecks

Riding along in the car yesterday...

Kid: "Mom, what's a redneck?"

Mom (me): "Hmmm, let's see. A redneck is a derogatory term, for the most part. One people use to describe a person, a southerner, who talks slow and sounds dumb when they do. Doesn't necessarily mean they're dumb, just that they sure sound like it whenever they open their mouth. Or a redneck can be used to describe people who live in the country, and, uh, don't go to fancy restaurants all the time like we do in Atlanta. They don't have Whole Foods on every corner... stuff like that."

Silence from backseat. Then...

Kid, very indignant, near tears: "Well, Grammy (my mother) lives in the country and she's not dumb! She used to teach school!"

Me: "Yeah, she shops at Whole Foods too."

Another long silence...

Kid: "I don't think I know any rednecks."

Sometimes, it's best just to say nothing.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Throw Another Celeb On The Fire

Reason #67,361 why we hate celebrities: They really must seriously believe they're in control of something.

There Is No Freedom -- From Paranoia

Or just laugh your ass off and be the best machine feeder you can be!

You Might Be A Journalist If...

... the House Judiciary Committee says you are, not The Media, whoever the f they are nowadays. From the Washington Post:

Many media organizations have favored a narrow law on the theory that a federal shield law could garner sufficient support only if it applied a limited group of people. The Senate bills of the past several years reflected that view, defining a "journalist" as a person who "for financial gain or livelihood" is engaged in newsgathering or news reporting "as a salaried employee of or independent contractor" for one of several specific types of media organizations or another "professional medium or agency." To qualify as a journalist, the organization for which the work is being done must have the "processing and researching of news or information intended for dissemination to the public" as one of its "regular functions."

Although it remains to be seen how the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 will fare in Congress, the sponsors of this bill rightly view journalism as an endeavor that belongs to all of us.

Weirder Than You, So There

Furthering my long-held belief that fiction writers are all psychotic, here's the saga of one really batty lady. The snake-oil shrinks who encourage their sociopathic tendencies by telling 'em to "write it out" outta be prosecuted.

From today's NYT:

Ms. Albert’s (the writer being sued) lawyer, Eric Weinstein, began his own remarks with the memorably understated line, “Laura (Albert) is a complicated person.” He said she was physically and sexually abused as a child. He said she was institutionalized in psychiatric wards and in a group home as a ward of the state. He said she was in therapy for 13 years with a psychiatrist whom she spoke to by telephone while posing as a teenage boy named Jeremy, an embryonic version of JT Leroy.

By the time the psychiatrist advised her to write, the persona of the teenage boy had become engrained as Ms. Albert’s alter ego, what Mr. Weinstein called her “bridge to the world.” Ms. Albert herself, in conversations before the trial, called JT “her respirator,” an unreal, though entirely necessary, entity that allowed her to breathe.

When Media Die and Copyrights Become Illegal

It might happen. Wouldn't bother me. Maybe a few almost-Pulitzer nominees and their kind, but not me. Fascinating concepts, but this vid could have been made deliciously ominous with better VO and the right music. I mean, if you're gonna spew propaganda, at least make it as Rovian as it should rightfully be.

BlabberMash Update

Not so fast... BlabberMash isn't launching today. Yesterday's announcement was a little premature. Kinda like you used to be way back when, eh? Look for site to go live later in the month. In the meantime, enjoy a little extended foreplay on the BlabberMash YouTube channel. She'll like you better for it. Especially if you win the dough offered in the O-Face contest.

Hmmm... now there's an extra bonus feature Shelby could get outta that chicken costume!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

BlabberMash Coming June 15th

"Licking someone cross-eyed is an aquired skill."

Gawd, just wait 'til rocks the online video world. Should happen next week, or so says the video grapevine. In the meantime, enjoy a preview of things to come. And come. And come. And come! Multiple O's all around as we head to the June 15th launch.

Fashion Retarded?

Are our young girls so brain-dead, lemming-like, and uncreative that they need a video from the world's top modeling agency on how to make... a ponytail?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nice Ride!

From the James Marlow For Congress blog:
(Athens) Standing before a group of Tenth District voters and members of the Georgia press corps today, James Marlow offered Jim Whitehead a free ride to a meaningful debate anywhere in the district. In the past week alone, Whitehead skipped two significant debates - the Athens Press Club debate on June 6 and the Atlanta Press Club/Georgia Public Broadcasting debate yesterday.

Who's says politics cain't be funny?!

Gator - Your Days Is Numbered

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Atlanta, GA. ITP 'necks available fer gator huntin' on the 'Hooch. From Carp Circles Media:

Despite our claim of having no knowledge of the origin of this animal (gator), we would like to show ourselves good citizens of this fair city. Due to our expert handling of drink and high powered rifles, we offer ourselves for whatever duty Mayor Franklin may require. We will even provide the necessary firearms, rafts and coolers.

No matter who is responsible for this menace, and once again we ain't saying we is, it must be eliminated toot sweet! Clean up the 'Hooch so city 'necks can get back on the hooch!

No yuppies need apply.

Summer Morning Tableau

Ain't My Cousin Did That

Ok, 'fess up. Who's country-ass redneck relations are dumping gators in the Chattahoochee? Bet it was someone YOU know!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Beat The 11 O'Clocks: 10th Cong. TV Debate

Techno Swoon

Culture Swoon

I can't even see straight I'm so deep into this pop culture apex: Tina Brown on Princess Diana. Brown's book, The Diana Chronicles, is out soon. I'm positively stupid with anticipation. Get me to a B&N quick! NPR's interview with The Right Reverend Culture Mistress (Brown) on the most dazzling pop culture icon ever (Diana) is here. More yummy online goodies such as a book excerpt are there too.

As if that wasn't enough, Jim Long's "new media style" MSNBC package about how to cover Pentagon global photo ops in seven days is here. I gotta ask... the package is tons of fun, but it really points to the elephant in the room: where's the beef? All that network money for a bunch of glamor video shots of Sect. Gates? Where were the live bloggers with the real news? HINT: on Twitter, maybe?!

NOTE TO SELF: Get better highlights. Pay out the ass for 'em if you have to. Buy hair gloss too.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Think Outside The Keyboard

To Go Tuesday

Couple of cool things happening in the ATL Tuesday, June 12th.

1.) APC hosts a debate for the 10th Congressional special election candidates at GPB at 2pm. More details here.

2.) Peel, an Austin band named for famed Brit music master John Peel, plays Smith's Olde Bar at like... like 8pm maybe. I have no earthly idea if this band is any good; I just like their choice of name, although their artwork/photography of a box cutter with "Let's Roll" written pretty in Sharpie is vaguely disturbing.

Read the definitive John Peel obit from Atlantan Tom Roche (a friend of the original Peel) here. This obit is marvelous; originally published in Stomp & Stammer.


Bloggers Just Rock! Do It On Live Small TV

We made a little Georgia politico-techno mashup history yesterday at the For The People rally with those wacky N. Georgia Dems. Managed to stream the event live via broadband for the whole freakin' planet. I can safely say we were the first to bring Dale Cardwell (below) to a global audience.

(At one point, we had 36 viewers watching!) Blog for Democracy live-blogged the event, and has some great snaps of the production team, complete with one producer and her fat butt., the online service we used to make the rally live, has simply amazing customer service. They weren't able to help us get that annoying hum outta the line (that was on my end, and Lordy knows the Verge New Media staff was generously calling-in expertise and time to help too), but they were there, live, to email back and forth with and take our calls. What a company! They've got extraordinary vision for the future AND amazing, responsive customer service. Snap the heck outta some shares if they ever go public.

And the audio booth dude at the Georgia Mountains Center there in Gainseville was just as kind and patient with us bloggers as anyone could ever be, which is considerable when you think of how many backs have, quite literally, been turned dismissively on some of us as soon as we dare say, "I blog." Thanks so much, master audio dude, for helping us patch-in.

A fine, seriously NEW media time was had by all! Thanks to GAPN for posting the release today too.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Morning Cappuccino

Faulkner Was A Cartoonist

Who knew? Guess Mike Luckovich squirrels away such juicy tidbits, but not me. From Ole Miss' Center for the Study of Southern Culture (where, when I'm finished channeling Rupert and Ted, I hope to retire quietly for a civilized course of study; there or UNC's southern studies program. Have yet to decide between the two. But I've got miles to go before I rest with such academic indulgences)... Anyways, back to the quote at hand:

Prior to the beginning of his career as a novelist, Faulkner as visual artist was already bringing together some of the issues of sexuality he would probe so deeply in his fiction: the male “gaze” as a form of sexual objectification, the “blackness” of sexual mystery, the interaction of heterosexual and same-sex dynamics.

Not only does Faulkner explore multiple forms of sexuality throughout his work, he also studies their implications within various social, economic, and racial concerns. Quentin Compson’s obsession over decaying social standards in The Sound and the Fury is complicated by the incestuous desires seemingly designed to purify what he regards as sexual violation.

Read more prime yadayadayayda here. If you want to geek-out in what must surely be world's geekiest of literary geek fests, this year's "Faulkner's Sexualities" Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference is July 22-26, 2007. More info on that gem here. I can only imagine the sort who arrive at these sort of things, gauche rolly luggage in hand. And we wonder why Faulkner pondered female indifference too...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Seeds and Stems for June 8, 2007

1.) I liked moderating. I really did.

2.) Amber's APC Flickr stream from last night's event is here.

3.) The head of the German Newspaper Publishers Association says only real journalists can commit real journalism. Such amazing dino-speak makes me think of someone telling Amber only professional strippers can pole dance. That story here from BuzzMachine. (Or straight from the ass' mouth if you read German.)

4.) Take Grift's little quickie quiz to find out if you've got that traditional journalist right stuff. Results may shock you.

5.) Mark your calendar for old Atlanta fogey reunion show, for a good cause: a variety of (thoroughly grey) Atlanta musicians, including Jeff Calder and Bob Elsey of The Swimming Pool Qs and Tom Gray of Delta Moon and formerly of The Brains, will perform at the Mark Richardson Memorial Benefit Concert Saturday, June 16, at Club 29 in Decatur, with proceeds going to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. (Peruse photos here for ideas on what to wear.)

6.) Oddly enough, we survived, even flourished, in this first week on our own.

7.) More than the word "nosh" I think I hate "HuffPo" even more. If that's possible.

8.) Jim Whitehead spent $327,046.59 on what? Keeping his mouth shut?

Shout-Out To MY Social Network Peeps

I wish I had thought at the event last night (see below entry) to point out that not only do I read my social network peeps' blogs before I read "real news" (and I was able to make that point at least), but that these blogs matter to me in the greatest way possible because they ARE... my social network.

And we all know, no newspaper or TV station or magazine can really rival a person's unique social network... no matter what the age or the generation. And when these media outlets (and investors?) understand that, then we can all move forward, kindasortamaybe, together. But the peeps always go first.

That bring me to another point I must make... I can't begin to tell you what it meant to me to be standing nervously at the front of a room filled with all kinds of writers and old media and journalists and PR folk, and be able to see my social media support team right there in the front row. That is simply immeasurably value that goes so deeply beyond the incessant "monetization of blogs" yadayadayada.

Then again, it can always be measured in the value we place in the bonds of strong friendship.

Thank you guys. Y'all being there meant the world to me, and was the reason the event was so successful. Here's that blogroll that's worth anyone's daily drop-in:

Being Amber Rhea
Radical Georgia Moderate
Drifting Through The Grift
My Urban Report
Narcissistic Graffiti
Going Through The Motions

Atlanta Press Club New Media Podcast

The podcast is here for last night's Atlanta Press Club event. Many folks enjoyed a lively, very open, un-conference style discussion about all-things-new-media. We barely scratched the surface. Fortunately, APC will be holding a series of discussions on New Media in media.

Southern IQ Test

(I love these things!)

1. Calculate the smallest limb diameter on a persimmon tree that will support a 10 pound possum.

2. Which of the following cars will rust out the quickest when placed on blocks in your front yard? 66 Ford Fairlane, 69 Chevrolet Chevelle, 64Pontiac GTO?

3. If your uncle builds a still that operates at a capacity of 20 gallons of shine per hour, how many car radiators are necessary to condense the product?

4. A pulpwood cutter has a chain saw that operates at 2700 rpm. The density of the pine trees in a plot to be harvested is 470 per acre. The plot is 2.3acres in size. The average tree diameter is 14 inches. How many BudweiserTallboys will it take to cut the trees?

5. If every old refrigerator in the state vented a charge of R-12 simultaneously, what would be the decrease in the ozone layer?

6. A front porch is constructed of 2x8 pine on 24-inch centers with a fieldrock foundation. The span is 8 feet and the porch length is 16 feet. The porch floor is 1 inch rough sawn pine. When the porch collapses, how manyhound dogs will be killed?

7. A man owns an Tennessee house and 3.7 acres of land in a hollow with anaverage slope of 15%. The man has 5 children. Can each of the children place a mobile home on the man's land?

8. A 2-ton pulpwood truck is overloaded and proceeding 900 yards down asteep grade on a secondary road at 45 mph. The brakes fail. Given the average traffic loading of secondary roads, what are the chances that it will strike a vehicle that has a muffler?

9. A coal mine operates a NFPA Class 1, Division 2 Hazardous Area. The mine employs 120 miners per shift. A gas warning is issued at the beginning of 3rd shift. How many cartons of unfiltered Camels will be smoked during theshift?

10. At a reduction in gene pool variability rate of 7.5% per generation, how long will it take a town that has been bypassed by the interstate to breed a country-western singer ?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Eighties Style

Jim Long's 80's hair (see Twitter) inspired me.

Above: with my dearly beloved Daze

Above: Hanging at Cath's. When our 1st lives were as good as any 2nd.

Above: off to Six Flags, 1983

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Of Helicopters, Hell and Help

I've been thinking a lot about heles lately (as Jim Long calls 'em... see dude in photo below with Chinook in background). I once had this whole plot for a novel about this chick who, in a post-apocalyptic setting in Georgia/SC, manages to convince some dude working for the only people left with licensed chopper "priviledges" outside of law enforcement, the local news stations, to set her down behind "sanctioned territories" so she can help save her family trapped there.

Of course she has to give pilot-dude a blow job to get there, but then she comes back, later in the book in the action part, and ties up the dude and punishes him real bad, while stealing the station's chopper out from under him, of course.

(NOTE: If you're some greasy little screenplay "writer" and try to steal this plot line, I will come and get you. Note Creative Commons licensing logo now on this site. And I'll come to get you in my hele too. Send my lawyers in one at least.)

Anyways... enough from the depths of my little mind, and post-apocalyptic has soooo been done to death lately. See Children of God, Cormac Mac and Charles McNair for instance. It's soooo last-century male really.

But if one was the paranoid kind, a chopper would really be the way to travel, likely the only way to travel, if our interstate system is somehow destroyed. Airspace would be under heavy, deep shit rules and regs, but if you could commandeer your own hele and bribe the shit outta the right people, well... off you go to save the planet!

Cindy T. got me thinking again about the value of chopper time with this great column of her. Maybe she'll want to go halves-zies on a JetRanger III? (Damn that's a pretty thing.) I know she must have plenty of rural people too.

We can always land in Bernita's yard!

Activists To Converge On The ATL

The U.S. Social Forum, think G8-style protest crowd kinda theater-esque activism, is scheduled to hit the ATL in late June. Atlanta City Council is already running scared and writing-up rules and regs and ordinances as fast as they can for increased crowd-suppression techniques for APD to freely make use of.

Bloggers are organizing as fast as they can. Stay tuned to this unfolding event as we head to June 27th.


War On Drugs Dangerous - For Our Wallets

Is hunting down redneck weed growers in million dollar machines with millions of dollars of OUR state revenue really worth all this utter nonsense? Especially when law enforcement resources are so desperately needed elsewhere? Get what you go looking for I suppose... mere crash and burnage. From the Georgia AP:

CEDARTOWN, Ga. -- A helicopter being used to spot marijuana fields for the Gov.'s Task Force for Drug Suppression crashed Tuesday afternoon in northwest Georgia, injuring three people who managed to escape the wreckage and hobble away just before the chopper caught fire and exploded, the Georgia State Patrol said.

Polk County chief deputy Al Sharp said the helicopter, one of several choppers used by the patrol for the joint state-local task force, was based at McCollum Field in Kennesaw. (Larry) Schnall (GA State Patrol) said Polk County and neighboring Haralson County are "hot spots" for marijuana growing.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Oh There He Is!

That's our Twitter boy, Newmediajim! His full blog post about the press trip to Afghanistan here.

We Don't Need No F-ing FCC

From Reuters:

A U.S. appeals court on Monday (June 4, 2007) overruled federal regulators who decided that expletives uttered on broadcast television violated decency standards, a
major victory for TV networks. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, in a divided decision, said that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission was "arbitrary and capricious" in setting a new standard for defining indecency.

Full story here, but the best analysis and conversation taking place right now, in terms of new media useage too, is over at new media guru Jeff Jarvis' blog, BuzzMachine. As one commenter points out, the 1st Ammendment reads, "The Congress shall make NO laws..."

"It also does my heart good to see babyfaced FCC Chairman Kevin Martin having a hissy fit of cursing over the ruling.

No, Mr. Martin. What you say is bullshit. (Click to BuzzMachine here for all the bullshit.) It’s fucked up. It’s fucking stupid. I wish you would stay the fuck away from our First Amendment.

There is absolutely nothing sexual or scatological in what I’ve just said — first, because I can’t imagine saying anything involving Kevin Martin that is in any way sexual (though I guess some might say he’s kinda cute), and second because what I have just made is a political statement.

Here is my defense of bullshit as political speech a year ago. It’s just plain wrong to say that these words are sexual. And it’s worse for a government official to put himself in the position of judging our meaning, motive, and context to see what he will allow as a government censor. They’re just words, Mr. Martin. And the world did not collapse when you used them."

So FU, FCC... seems no one wants your "arbitary and capricious" governernment oversight anymore. Another blow to the dinos. And takes a little wind out of the sails that WSB-TV so puffed out about having to bend over so to the FCC that there's no way they could seriously entertain genuine citizen journalism, or letting in Joe Public so to speak, when we last met up with them.

Free Book At APC Event Thursday!!!!

Come get your free book and jump into the New Media, uh, discussion. Lord knows what this event will end-up looking like. Hopefully nothing like the WSB one last week. I promise to be on my best good girl behavior... for at least the first 10 minutes. Lemme dupe over the APC press release for you:

It's no secret that the way news is gathered, reported and disseminated has changed in recent years. What is not clear is the impact of these changes. Do "new media" trends have staying power? Could they eventually lead to the decline of traditional reporting?

The Atlanta Press Club will hold a series of monthly programs in 2007 that examine the way traditional journalism is changing with the times.Join us for our first program in this series on Thursday, June 7. We'll look at the phenomenon of citizen journalism.

So far confirmed panelists include: Lea Donosky, Atlanta Journal-Consitution; Mark Bauer, WSB; Grayson Daughters, Way South Media, Inc. More panelists will be listed soon.

This is an evening program that is free to APC members and $10 for nonmembers. Networking will be 6-7 p.m. and the program 7-8:30 p.m. The program will be in The Commerce Club building, 18th Floor. Go to to register.

People who attend this program will get a free copy of Manning Selvage & Lee's 2007-2008 Atlanta Media Guide.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Chaos In The 'Burbs

This is appalling, children shooting children at a pool party. I'm sure social media tools helped swell the crowd at this particular event, too. And expect cell phone video and pics to surface. Get to Facebook now, AJC and local TV stations. Now's not the time to be wondering WTF is Facebook all about. Duh...

Social media -- embrace it for better or for worse. In good times and very bad times. I really feel for the families who should be commencing a summer of fun instead of a summer of grief. For all the most stupid, stupid reasons. From today's AJC:

Eight other youngsters were wounded in the 'total chaos" that broke out at the party. "People were just peeling out of here. They were running, screaming, carrying on," said Pete Cox, 38, who saw teens scrambling after the melee at the St. Ives Crossing apartment complex in Stockbridge. Cox lives near the apartments' clubhouse, where the graduation party was held. Police said attendance may have swelled to 300 teens before a fight broke out and shots were fired. Police said the two slain teenagers were shot.

Full story here. There's a link to a WSB-TV video package too, but who knows where that lives at the AJC. Not on the story page I see

Another angle for local media and bloggers to work that could incorporate citizen journalism is how will, if at all, Grady Hospital factors into this chaotic crime scene? This is a great opportunity to put the face of immediate reality, particularly in the 'burbs, onto the ongoing story about Grady.

The Soda Fountains Are All Gone Now

A goodbye podcast for Doug Monroe, or Peachtree Screed, is now online. Comments within are from Rusty, Amber, TrackBoy1, Catherine, and DriftGrift. And me.

Trackboy referes to Doug as "our Yoda." It's true. I seem to be constantly calling him for advice or emailing him for an answer to a, typically, Atlanta-based question you weren't exactly going to find by Googling around for it. Doug always knew the insider answers.

At one point, I tried to get him to install IM-ing so I'd have even more instant access to The Mind of Doug Monroe. He never was keen on techno stuff, but it wasn't necessary as he never failed, at any point in time, to make himself 100% available and accessible to, well, anyone who needed his time, mind or attention.

What is kinda funny though is that I'd just bought a gi-normous Yoda Pez dispenser for Doug's going-away present. Only thing is, I've become so attached to it, I think I'll just keep it here by the computer. That way, when I need a fast answer to something Georgia-oriented, I'll just ask Yoda The Gi-normous Pez Dispenser. I ain't Doug, but that's what I'm left with.

I put a milk carton next to it so you can get some perpective on the size and scope of this dazzling Pez dispenser.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Why We Heart The WWW. Reason #7692

Jesus might have died to save us from our sins, but Al Gore invented the Internets so that site like this one, A Legal Tabloid, can now exist for pleasuring us little peoples. Their subsite, Legal Eagle Wedding Watch, which evaluates the marriage announcements, found exclusively in the NYT's infamous society Weddings section, of attorneys betrothing to other attorneys, is sheer clever clever clever fun at its snarky-delicious finest. Frighteningly delicious lines of withering copy such as this abound:
Although Eve and Richard have apparently eschewed kitchen-related wedding booty, Google reveals that you can make a donation in the couple's honor to MassEquality, an organization working for marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. (Isn't that a bit like joining Augusta National and asking your friends to make a commemorative donation to NOW? We're just sayin' -- we can think of more impressive displays of commitment to the cause.) rates the happy, over-achieving couples by which associate is obviously marrying up and which one is really marrying down, according to not only their pedigrees, but their law degrees. You don't even have to be Jewish, or a lawyer, or even a Jewish lawyer to appreciate the fun to be had.

Site comes complete with happy couples' gift registry links, and even takes you to the very homepage for certain select couples' personal wedding planning sites. They've thought of everything at -- so you don't have to. Right down to the finest detail of the wedding announcement for the ATL's precious TB lawyer, Andrew Speaker. (Guess that "extended" European honeymoon got a little de-extended, eh?!)

Since Our ATL Media Love Lists...

Here's one the local papers won't want to miss. If I haven't totally scared away local broadcasting by now, just insert "Big TV" where you see the word "newspapers." Just jam it in there good if it won't fit exactly the way you want it to.
10 obvious things about the future of newspapers you need to get through your head.

The Goo Gone Days

Once, I needed only hair-splitting levels of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll to make it through a rough day. My how things change. Now all I need is coffee and my Goo Gone.

I first encountered Goo Gone when my camera-wiz pal Allen recommended I get some for a piece of lovely gear I'd just purchased and then immediately managed to trash with gunk. It worked like a charm.

He reminded me, "You've got a kid, you'll need some around the house anyway." Boy, was he right. I've used the stuff almost daily. For instance, this morning I woke up with my arm literally stuck to the bed sheets. But no, it wasn't pinned under some snoring drunk I barely knew.

Since I'm a responsibility-laden soccer mom now, I woke up, alone, again, with my arm hairs adhered to the sheet by chewing gum. Somehow, I'd slept in gum. (If you have kids, this will come as no surprise.)

So I didn't roll back over, but fell back asleep. I knew the Goo Gone was going to help me work it all out, at some point in another long day.

Intro To Street View

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bloggers Are Everywhere

Here's a fave Twitter King, Jim Long of NBC News and Verge New Media, blogging at 35K feet with the Pentagon press corps. What a dude!

Street View

Of course this isn't in Atlanta yet, and since our local media fails to grasp that technology like Google Maps exists, but if we did have Street View, and I'm just saying if, then everyone could see what I look like when I go to the window for the zillionth time and yell for my kid to come inside and take a bath. It ain't pretty either.

Better yet, I could see right in the window of that boyfriend who didn't have any curtains on his windows at all and see who he's boinking now.

Soon though!

WaySouth Media Production Assistant Ops

WaySouth Media needs a PA for Georgia-based shoots:
June 9th and 10th

The shoot on the 9th is for the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper's annual Chattahoochee River Race and Festival. Come prepared to work, play hard and get wet. Duties include holding mics, corralling interviews, and having new media fun. Dress accordingly.

Shoot on Sunday the 10th is in Gainsville, GA at the North Georgia Democrats For The People Rally. Duties there include: communing with lots of Georgia Dems, holding mics, corralling interviews, and committing new media fun, including doing live, broadband broadcasting TV. Dress accordingly.

These are both non-paying gigs since they are for the non-profit/public community. I can provide transportation and lunch and a reference source though.

If interested, call WaySouth Media at 404-216-0387 before June 8th. Thanks!

Still Ze Party Rages On Into The Night

Day Four of the Second Battle of Atlanta, or the First Cyber Battle (of Atlanta), seems to have moved here.

Things Change

Let me recount a little story a dear friend of mine told me about when she was a reporter for the AJC and used to cover technology, back when they actually cared about technology...

Friend said she had "sent herself", late nineties I assume, to a biggy music industry conference, just as the music industry was starting to have some serious shifts in their tectonic plates. Napster was running loose through the industry, and the industry was fighting back hard... in all the wrong places. At some point in the Biggy Conference, the head of the RIAA stated that the industry would go digital and drive themselves totally off the industry farm via the MP3, and I paraphrase here, over her dead body.

At that point, a young indie music techno type stood up and yelled towards the titans at the front of the room, "You're a fucking dinosaur, lady." Others took up the chant. All hell broke loose, and my friend, always the intrepid reporter, ran off to call the AJC desk in excitement to say things were just completely in chaos in, gee, of all things... the little 'ole recording industry, and that she needed a LOT of room, like maybe the front page even, to tell this kind of story the way it should be told.

The utterly disinterested (editor) voice on the other end of the phone told her, "You can have 10 inches."

I recount this tale only to warn of times here in a town long run by Cox Plantation Enterprises, and one other alt publication, that the music industry fought and raged against the new, digital machine, and they lost. Their entire industry is in turmoil. And as we move towards what the APC so quaintly calls "New Media" here in the news biz, don't be surprised if we too experience a few You're a fucking dinosaur moments of our own. It's not so much "New Media" as it is an industry-smashing tsunami.

As I mention over at Radical Georgia Moderate, it is a sorry day in hell when journalists like Doug Monroe, who at this point in a fine career should be running papers, are run out of town, and the papers are left to be run into the ground by the likes of Ken Edelstein and Julia Wallace.

Then again, with arrogant, clueless jerks in charge of papers, we have nothing to fear. They’ll only help steer an entire industry right into the ground… just like a lot of aging dinos did with the music industry. As if all the people watching ‘em crash and burn, here on the ground going digital, could care less.

I hope they don’t ask us to come and haul their derisive, dismissive, divisive, arrogant butts out of the wreckage either… we’ve got new media product to keep on cranking.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Je Suis Tres Peturbed

Wonder me this… if I sent Sonny a podcast of my precious little APS rising second-grader speaking French with that fabulous tres authetic accent she now has, thanks to her brief stint of foreign language training with a real teacher, would he consider returning funding for elementary school foreign language classes back to the budget?

Precious Angel really did learn a ton of French last year, more than I ever did as a high schooler in the South Carolina public education system, I can safely say. (Yeah, yeah. I hear ya… “that’s not saying much!”)

I promise to make Sonny’s podcast more, uh, respectable than this one here. But it only comes in English because I, again, was a product of the public educational system, and I never did learn me up no foreign languages. But hey, at least I can blog.

On The Wings Of A Gulfstream Full Of Poodles

Silly me, I've been so wrapped-up in my fantasy world of committing new media, I completely and utterly failed to acknowledge the passing of a Cox Media Plantation belle, Barbara Cox Anthony. Hon, Mrs. Cox Anthony could "do boards" like nobodies business!

My favorite Mrs. Cox Anthony story is how she had one of the numerous family jets fly a load of her poodles over to meet up with her in Paris. Men may come and go, and Lordy how they came and went from Mrs. Anthony's splendid life, but a real lady knows the value of a snappy little lap dog to an aging, weary heart. And Dear Reader, ladies' hearts, be they rich or poor ones, all get a little saggy as the years go by.

Thinking on the Cox's bags of billions, I do have to laugh a bit when people wonder if new media is "monetizable." Honey, all information is pure gold... to those who can make it come to life. Just ask a Cox heir. I think there are still a few left around this town.

The Perfect Going Away Present

PS, you might not need a car in Brooklyn, but you will want to have those nice Yankee folk over for some good southern-style BBQ. Trust me, you'll be the first brownstone on the block with one of these cookers in the back yard. Click on picture for more info.

If I Crawled Through Glass

Paging Peachtree Screed! Paging Peachtree Screed! I doubt there's much I can do to hold you back and convince you you're making a terrible mistake to uproot your entire being as a Southerner and move amongst those Yankee people. I'm only one weak little whiner of a hard and bitter woman with a chip on her shoulder the size of Stone Mountain.

BUT... I think I've found the perfect position for you that will keep you here to lead us as we good bloggers face the onslaught of the Old Media forces who rage on through the dark and stormy night against us Little Media folk.

Click here for dream job!