Wednesday, January 18, 2012

If You're a Good American Don't Read This

I'm shamelessly copying this from my friend Terri at A Girl in the South. SOPA is bad, m'kay? However, I'm not going on strike, because ... who suffers from that besides me? It seems to me that we would only be striking against ourselves, which is kinda nuts. Also, I don't know if I can get through a day without the Internet.

Because Censorship Is Never Okay
No recipes for Wednesday.

In solidarity and protest against SOPA and PIPA, A Girl in the South is joining the big wigs of the internets like RedditWikipediaBoing Boing and hundreds (if not thousands) of other sites and blogs by going on strike tomorrow, January 18th from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) could have a devastating effect on numerous websites, even little ones like ourselves. We are taking a stand against Censorship and urging everyone to educate themselves on this bill and contact your representatives if you agree that SOPA is a really bad fucking idea.
Why is it so bad? (Excerpt taken from here)
The broad definitions in the bill create tremendous uncertainty for nearly every site online. This sounds like hyperbole, but it is not. Defenders of the bill like to claim that it is “narrowly focused” on foreign rogue infringing sites. Nothing could be further from the truth. While PIPA targets only foreign sites, the mechanism by which it does so is to put tremendous compliance and liability on third party service providers in the US. SOPA goes even further in expanding the private right of action to domestic sites as well. We’ve already seen how such laws can be abused by looking at how frequently false takedown claims are made under the existing DMCA. Of course, under the DMCA, just the content is blocked. Under SOPA all money to a site can be cut off. Under PIPA sites will just end up in court. Or, with both laws, an Attorney General can take action leading US companies to have to effectively act as network nannies trying to keep infringement from being accessible. None of this is good for anyone building a startup company these days. The massive uncertainty around this, combined with the need for a huge legal department sitting in “the garage” as a startup begins, will certainly slow down the pace of innovation in the US, while likely driving it elsewhere.
While it’s true that our President has said he will not allow the SOPA bill to pass (but PIPA is still alive and kicking), it’s important that our government realize that we will not tolerate their efforts to take away our freedom of speech. Copyright infringement is a shitty thing, without a doubt, but these two bills are the absolutely dead wrong way to handle this.

List of sites joining the strike - here 
Joining in the blackout? Register here We encourage anyone who wishes to participate to join in the blackout.
Find more information about SOPA herehere and here. Oh, and even though this is and not meant to be taken seriously, here is a very funny and alarmingly true possibility with PIPA/SOPA.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Own Best-of 2011

And now, a personal list:

Favorite New Book: Bossypants
Favorite New-to-Me Book: the Canal House Cooking series
Biggest Disappointment: Cooking 1-2-3 by Rozanne Gold

Favorite Current Show: Community
Favorite New-to-me Show: Party Down
Biggest Disappointment: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  It was never highbrow, but it's gotten so disgusting I can't even watch it anymore. Runner-up: The Norm McDonald Show.

Favorite New Movie:  I Am Love, though admittedly it's mostly for the sets and the clothes.
Biggest Disappointment: TIE! Bridesmaids--I probably shouldn't have built it up so much in my mind beforehand. The scene in the wedding dress shop was unwatchable, and the rest was pretty uneven. Midnight in Paris--Straight out of the disappointing Woody Allen cannon of misogyny and white people problems. You have to keep reminding yourself of the good times...

Favorite New Documentary: Bill Cunningham New York. [Was this the only new documentary I saw? I mean, it was fine, but not really thrilling.]

Favorite New-to-Me Documentary: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Biggest Disappointment: Art 21. Big snoozer.

Favorite New-to-Me Record: Jeff Weiss' Passion of the Weiss: Candy Cane Children mix of White Stripes B-sides, live performances and other "rarities."

Favorite New-to-Me Drink: Torrontes wine (from Argentina)
Favorite New-to-Me Food: The Fine Cheese Co.'s Charcoal Crackers

Favorite New-to-Me Beauty Thing: Maybelline Define-a-Brow pencil in Dark Blonde.
Biggest Disappointment: Avene Retrinal .05 joined a long line of products that have failed to change my life.

Favorite New-to-Me Shoes: I tried Birkenstocks this year and haven't looked back.

Favorite Like-New Magazine: Martha Stewart Living with Pilar Guzman as editor.

Favorite New Website: Pinterest
Favorite New-to-Me Website: The Last Psychiatrist. I don't always agree with him, but his posts on mental hygiene, in particular, are absolutely fascinating.
Biggest Disappointment: Google+. A huge waste of time that broke up my sharefam on Google Reader. G+ will be dead within a year, but things will never go back to the way they were; an object lesson in leaving well enough alone.

Favorite New-to-Me Parenting Thing, Part I: Listening to Disney Radio. I am alarmed and ashamed at how much I enjoy this. The music is garbage, but I love watching the kids get excited about it, and watching them dance.
Favorite New-to-Me Parenting Thing, Part II: Ms. Twixt: Positive Experiences for Tween Girls has me actually looking forward to the next few years instead of dreading them
Biggest Disappointment: Family Therapy. Not moving the ball forward.

Favorite New Kid Movie: The Muppets, obvs. If I asked my kids they might vote for Chipwrecked (which I, mercifully, did not see); then I would have to disown them.
Favorite New-to-Us Kid Thing: The Muppet Christmas Carol-- I guess I watched it 100 years ago, but I was surprised at how good it was when we watched it last month (six or eight times).
Biggest Disappointment: I'm putting The Secret of the Kells here because while I loved it, it scared the shit out of Emmet; he barely watched any of it and he still had nightmares about it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

On Not Letting Go Too Soon

I think the entire month of January should be given over to end-of-year lists from December. I never have time to enjoy all of those during Christmas. [Also, in case I haven't mentioned it lately, it's a PET PEEVE that people take down Christmas on New Year's Day, or worse, December 26. The last day of Christmas is Epiphany, which is today. So what I'm saying is, slow down people. You're missing some of the good stuff.]

Some I've been enjoying:

Washington Post's In/Out List for 2012--Couldn't care less about Ryan Gosling, but white whiskey came up three times in one week of conversations; also I love Elizabeth Warren, but I'll need a place to hide through the wide-leg pants resurgence. And holy hell am I glad to know about Gary Clark, Jr.

The AV Club's Best Non-2011 Pop Culture We Discovered This Year--But have I ever mentioned that another PET PEEVE is the phrase pop culture? I absolutely loathe those words together.

Read It Later's 'Most-Read' Authors List

Roger Ebert's Best Films of 2011-- I usually agree with Roger Ebert, but the only film on the list that I saw (Midnight in Paris) was a piece of shit.

Roger Ebert's Best Documentaries of 2012-- I've only seen one of these, but I think he's on a much better track here.

Time magazine's 50 Best Websites of 2011--Click bait of the lowest sort, but I was glad I looked through it because there were a few I hadn't heard of, and Lord knows I hate being scooped by f'ing Time.