Kevin Werbach makes a feature request to the universe. Interestingly, the feature he asks for is one UserLand implemented in March 2002, however it's the kind of thing that won't really be useful until most aggregators implement it, and a non-aggregator vendor (a non-profit, possibly) runs the central component. It's also a perfect example of something that was much-discussed during Day 2 at BloggerCon — how to use the powerful communication systems we have to help the users express their wants to software developers. If you want to hear my evangelical plea about this listen to the Fat Man session. I think it's important. The only way we're going to move forward, is if the users are empowered.
Via Dave, I ran into a recent accusation of anti-Semitism against Gregg Easterbrook by Roger L Simon that resulted in Gregg getting fired by ESPN. Here is the paragraph from Gregg's post to his blog that caused all this:
Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice. But history is hardly the only concern. Films made in Hollywood are now shown all over the world, to audiences that may not understand the dialogue or even look at the subtitles, but can't possibly miss the message–now Disney's message–that hearing the screams of the innocent is a really fun way to express yourself. – Gregg Easterbrook
In response, Roger L. Simon posted this:
Thanks (but no thanks) to Meryl Yourish and Instapundit for pointing out the astonishing and hugely depressing example of anti-Semitism by Gregg Easterbrook in The New Republic (of all places). Mr. Easterbrook holds two Jewish movie executives, Michael Eisner of Disney and Harvey Weinstein of Miramax, responsible for the violent oeuvre of Quentin Tarantino, singling them out as Jews and making reference to the Holocaust in the defense of his argument. – Roger L. Simon
What I don't quite understand is exactly what constitutes anti-Semitism? Does it work like Jihad in that any Jewish person can accuse someone of anti-Semitism? Or does it work like the N word which can be used liberally by black people but not by anyone else?
In a way, I feel jealous because Semitism seems to have a very powerful forcefield that protects it where most other minorities don't. I mean accusations of anti-Kimchee or anti-Korean just doesn't have the oomph anti-Semitism have. Even worse, anti-Islamic sentiments are seemingly cheered on rather than frowned upon in America today.
Anyway, I would appreciate more education on this subject.
There's trouble brewing, or maybe it's already brewed and I'm tuning in late. A columnist for New Republic (and ESPN), Gregg Easterbrook, said something anti-semitic in a blog post, Roger L Simon, a novelist and screen writer with a weblog blasted him for it, he's been fired from ESPN, and Simon expresses his regrets, as does Easterbrook (although half-heartedly). This all appears to have happened in the last 24 hours. Even weirder, all the posts on ESPN's site from Easterbrook are 404, but they're in the Google cache.
Easterbrook: “Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence?”
In the NY Times, and widely syndicated, Bernard Weinraub says: “A senior editor at The New Republic has published a column on the Internet that deplores the violence in the film 'Kill Bill' and criticizes Harvey Weinstein, the co-chairman of Miramax, which released the film, and Michael Eisner, chairman of the Walt Disney Company, as 'Jewish executives' who 'worship money above all else.'”