Archive for July, 2010

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Apple Gets EFFed In Court While Al Greene Runs For Senate

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on July 26, 2010 by admin in Politics

Monday, July 26th, 2010

While both the EFF and Alvin Greene have scored their own little victories recently, we’re still waiting for the Alvin Greene Day & The Chipmunks mashup.

I love it when the day’s news converges in such a way that politics, pop media, copyright law, and comedy collide in an amorphous mass of inanely entertaining foolishness. Like today. While the EFF scored major victories allowing you to jailbreak your iPhone and remix YouTube video content, the PR firm “Frank Strategies” forced a YouTube takedown of the Alvin Greene campaign rap video because it used a few seconds of crappy Tea Party protest footage from one of their videos. Except it wasn’t actually Alvin Greene’s campaign video , and and you can still find it on YouTube, ironically on the Fixed News Channel, which parodies Fox News. If you haven’t followed this story, Alvin Greene is an unemployed felon who lives with his mom, who in spite of these minor handicaps was also the recent victor in the South Carolina Democratic U.S. Senate primary race. Many believe he was a GOP plant. Just another campaign season in America, I guess. Given the media mashup nature of this story, the biggest surprise here is that there still is no “Alvin Greene and the Chipmunks”* parody. Until then, the only Al Green video that gets my vote is featured below…. Read the rest of this entry »

CrimethInc – Anarchy For Fun & Profit

[ Comments Off ]Posted on July 25, 2010 by admin in Lifestyle & Culture

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

CrimethInc is one of the best-organized non-organizations you never heard of.

I’ve often lamented the demise or sellout of culture-jamming publications like Might Magazine* and Ad Busters, which was part of why I was a little intrigued a few months ago when I saw the anti-consumerism video The Story Of Stuff that was making the rounds on the web. That is, until I dug a little deeper and realized that its creator, Annie Leonard – who comes across as a woman who cares and is making a difference – had a book published by Simon & Schuster, which is ultimately owned by National Amusements and Viacom, and that she was really just cashing in on the very system she opposes. Especially worthy of note is that one of her few programs is an assault on cosmetics, a product that this Simon & Schuster promo video makes abundantly evident she does not consume with any enthusiasm. So as a latent libertarian and aging punk-slash-anarchist-slash-pop culture crybaby, I was excited recently when I ran across CrimethInc, one of the best-organized non-organizations I’ve come across in quite a while. The site is much deeper than it appears; use the search box if you’re not finding something of interest. Their latest articles are about the G20 shenanigans in Toronto, but I found the Steal From Work Day campaign from earlier this year much more amusing. The have lots of free downloads of posters, stickers and literature, but if you want to give them money, they’ll sell you things too. They somehow manage to make the idea of an “anarchist store” palatable by using the hippy-dippy e-commerce support of Portland, Oregon’s Preview some of their goods below. Read the rest of this entry »

Who Actually Uses Social Bookmarking Sites?

[ 2 Comments ]Posted on July 24, 2010 by admin in Technology

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Even though you’ve probably never used a social bookmarking site – and may not even know what they are – they have a tremendous impact on the sites you end up visiting.

Social Bookmarking SitesThere are two things that I find amusing about social bookmarking sites. One is that in spite of the fact that they can bring 10,000 new visitors to a site in a single day and leave the site with a durable increase in traffic from that day on, you rarely hear web “traffic experts” talking about the importance of them. The other thing I find amusing is that in spite of their awesome power and rabidly loyal users, no one seems to be using them! I asked exactly 10 friends if they used social bookmarking sites over the last two days, and exactly 10 of them said “no”, with seven of them saying “you mean like Facebook?”, two of them saying “yeah, I bookmark sites” (meaning in their browser) and one saying, in his typically paranoid fashion “are you kidding? I NEVER click on those things!” Which highlights another interesting fact: For many people, being on the web is like using their new home entertainment system – in spite of all the amazing buttons and features they could be messing with, they mostly just watch and change channels a lot. I’m convinced that all those little rows of bookmarking icons you see all over the web remain a mystery to the average user, and largely unused by people who actually use those sites. So for those of you who aren’t familiar with social bookmarking, we have a quick roundup of the most popular services below, and for those who are familiar with them, we have a very interesting data table that lets you sort them by Google pagerank, incoming links, or estimated dollar value as web properties. Do you use a social bookmarking site? If so, feel free to share some thoughts. Or better yet, bookmark us! Read the rest of this entry »

Dissociated Press Best Of 2010

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on July 18, 2010 by admin in Best of 2010

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Yeah, it’s only July. But this will sure make things easier in December.

After two years of daily articles about Lifestyle & Culture, Music, Politics, Pop Media, Technology, and Green Living , we’re taking a little break while we make some major site changes. In the meantime, whether you’re a regular visitor or have never been here before, there are over 800 posts for you to peruse, so we thought we’d round up some highlights from 2010 to help you get a feel for what Dissociated Press is about while we enjoy our little staycation. We’ll be back with a different format in the near future; learn more here if you’re interested. So here’s the best of 2010 so far…

A Better Apocalypse Through Technology

Having grown up with entertainment like Star Trek, Star Wars, 2001, Blade Runner, and the movie Brazil, I find a lot of entertainment in doom and gloom scenarios, and live in a constant state of technological ennui. That’s why I’m always eager to point out how too much information is making us crazy, and how the personal computer will bring the end of the world, with a little help from you and the Internet. Oh, and did I mention? Your robot sucks.

If You’re So Hip Why Aren’t You Rich?

If you were REALLY hip,
you’d outsource yourself

In spite of everybody I know being a sex god and social media guru or brand expert that’s completely aware of the impending demise of their ironic hipsterism, they still seem to be pretty clueless, masochistic consumers who are always too busy to just hang out, or at least trying to look that way so they can stay employed. That’s why we offer tools and solutions like how to disarm your enemies with psychobabble, and advice on how to outsource your life, because when smart bosses know the most productive employees are crazy and underpaid, who wants a job?

That Elephant In The Room Is A Fat White American

As you can see, a “dreadneck” is nearly
indistinguishable from a “redneck”

Unlike most pop culture/pop media sources, we have no idea why you care about how rich and famous people live (though we love the Famous & Fugly), which is why we like to get to the meat of the matter – which in this case means white meat – and why we did an extended series on the “real” white American, exploring things like the zen of being redneck and how there’s more to being a hillbilly than marrying your sister. We also tried to bring a little pride to white trash culture by giving it a more respectable name. And don’t forget that other white minority, Albinos.

How I Went From A Starry-Eyed Obama Supporter To A Teabagging Dick Tuck

If you’ve followed my articles about politics, you’ve watched me go from a liberal lifestyle, fiscally conservative, otherwise split ticket, starry-eyed Obama supporter to a Teabagging Dick Tuck in just over a year, as I learned about agency capture via Washington’s revolving doors, explored the joys of fictitious capital, and pondered not only where your tax dollars go, but showed you what a trillion dollars looks like. I also pointed out that if America were a hundred people splitting a hundred dollars, one guy is being a real prick about things. In the end, I’ve learned what more intelligent people knew along, which is that most people are too stupid to vote, and we may as well just watch them start the Red vs Blue Civil War. It’ll be good for a laugh. We Americans take politics way too seriously anyway. So as a concerned citizen of the Land of the Free and Home of the Brazen, I will from now on only ask the important questions, like Is That A Bomb In Your Underpants, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Up The Creek Without An iPaddle

Sometimes it’s easy to predict the failure of a major product rollout, like we did when we suggested someone notify Kin’s next of kin. But back in January, we awaited the as-yet-unnamed and mysterious new Apple product with breathless anticipation, pointing out that “iSlate” would be the perfect name, because it wasLate. So would Steve Jobs wear an iPatch to introduce one of these innovative iProducts? Well, it quickly became apparent that Apple is the new Evil Empire, and that the iPad was a marketing platform, not a cool computing tool. Which led us to ask What Do Kate Moss And An iPad Have In Common? And while the tech blogs tore the iPad to pieces, we came up with creative new uses for it, and suggested a list of iPad alternatives.

I’m With The Brand

I have no desire to be a music critic, so when I touch on music, it’s usually to share an obscure artist, talk about marketing, or rant incessantly about what litigious morons they are in the film & music industry. In the obscure artist department, we explained how Aussie punk rock bagpiper Cam McAzie gives new meaning to “down under” when he dons his kilt and combat boots, and took a look into Hungarian Hip Hop and American Hick Hop. We also exposed you to the Relentless Terror of Loituma’s Ievan Polkka. And regarding marketing, we took a look at the sad spectre of middle-aged white men from Ohio making a comeback, and realized it’s truly over when Iggy Pop Licenses “Lust For Life” to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

I’d Like To Get To Know Me But I Kind Of Make Me Nervous

[ Comments Off ]Posted on July 10, 2010 by admin in Lifestyle & Culture

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Sometimes self knowledge is the greatest obstacle to self knowledge.

My brain is actually pretty
easy to map lately

Many would agree that the first step in knowing anything about life is to know oneself, so it’s interesting that we don’t know who originally said “Know Thyself”. Many of us actually go through life with little self examination – some with great results, some not. Obviously if you’re “doing it right”, thinking too much can actually lead to bad choices. But probably more often, we avoid self examination because it’s simply too uncomfortable. The fact that many people seem to operate on a rather unconscious level is why one of my favorite lines from a movie is in Blade Runner when Harrison Ford says – referring to the the artificial human that thinks it’s a real human – “How can it not know what it IS?” I personally got an interesting and rather simple lesson in self-knowledge recently while talking to a life coach, which was: One of the greatest obstacles to self-knowledge is assumed self-knowledge. I’ve always been rather self-examining; perhaps to a fault. As a result, over the years I had built up a sort of “story of myself” that was based upon things that I had learned through self-exploration over the years. The problem? I had CHANGED in many ways through those years, but since I “had my story down”, I really didn’t know myself at all. And once I started digging in, I was a little surprised. My assumption that I was oganized and focused had allowed me to become disorganized and unfocused, as I started burning out on my work in web development, my “knowledge” that I was good at fresh starts helped me procrastinate on a fresh start, and my knowledge that I had a high tolerance for stress helped me let my life become an untenable mess of ungratifying work, financial struggles, and never-ending anxiety. So how did I fix things? Well, I haven’t finished yet, which is why I thought this might be a good time to share some things I’ve learned . I’ve touched on this more humorously before, asking If You’re So Rich, Why Aren’t You Smart? and Just Who The Heck Do You Think You Are? Both of those pieces have a lot of links to online tests for things like Howard Gardner’s concept of Multiple Intelligences and Myers-Briggs based quizzes. Just Google Myers-Briggs and you’ll find hundreds more of those. They’re not a bad start. But what I found was that in spite of apparently being an ENFJ (like Oprah, Reagan, Obama, and Abraham Maslow) I was paralyzed by indecision, anxiety, and a sense of futility. Which is how I found out what was really missing for me, which was a more spiritual approach. As a result, I find myself digesting what many would consider a bizarre library of books that range from the spiritual to the disturbingly “self helpy” to the “I wanna be a millionaire” genre. I’ve listed a few below. The funny thing was that it was a couple of the sources I’d least expect that opened my eyes the most – something highlighted in this PositivityBlog piece, which makes three simple suggestions, one of which is “do the unusual thing”. Often doing the thing that is what you least want to do is what you need to do most. Read the rest of this entry »

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