Tuesday Links

Just wanted to mention a few items that have caught my attention in the last few days:

  • First, newcritics will be hosting a comedy blogathon the week of of November 6-11, to coincide with the New York Comedy Festival. I’ve been a total slacker about participating in blogathons, but this one sounds like fun. Plus, I’ve been an occasional contributor over there, something I also need to get back in the habit of doing. As always, everyone is welcome to participate.
  • Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post has an interesting editorial on the Tyler Perry media juggernaut. Perry’s films have largely flown under the radar, but few actor-directors can open a film quite like him (his latest film opened with box office totals of $21.5 million). I’ll admit that I’m not really a fan of Perry’s films, but I think Robinson’s take on him is about right: “What Perry does is depict black Americans as people relating to other people — not as mere plot devices and not as characters defined solely by how they relate to the white world. The rest of the movie industry would do well to take note.”
  • Keith Olbermann featured an interview with Frost family last night on Countdown, in which they respond to the absurd right-wing smears of their family and the importance of SCHIP. The House is scheduled to vote on Thursday to try to overturn Bush’s veto. Local reps Etheridge and McIntyre originally voted against it, so if you’re in the Fayetteville area, give them a call and ask them to reconsider.
  • Finally, via the CHE blog, a creative video promoting a piece of legislation promoting a bill passed House Democrats that would save students as much as $4,400 by cutting interest rates on federally-guaranteed student loans. The video features an anthropomorphic dancing check in what might be an update of Schoolhouse Rock’s “Just a Bill” for the viral post-YouTube age.

Update: I forgot to mention the Los Angeles Times article reporting that YouTube has come up with a method for detecting and deleting videos using copyrighted material. I think there are some real problems here in that many of the videos that would be subject to removal would fall into Fair Use categories (videos by Brave New Films would fall into this category). More on this later, hopefully.

Update 2: Here’s another SCHIP ad, “Meet Bethany,” which details the story of Bethany Wilkerson.  Because Bethany was born with a serious heart condition, private insurers refused to help her, and SCHIP stepped up to the plate.  I realize I’m hammering on this issue quite a bit, but I simply don’t understand what’s so offensive about providing children with adequate health care.

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