Monday Links

Here are some of the stories and videos I’ve been reading, watching, and following over the weekend:

  • Christine Becker has a pointer to David Carr’s analysis of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s planned 10/30/10 rallies in Washington, DC.  Carr does a good job of tracing out the challenges that both comics face in transitioning from media satirists into something closer to genuine political figures.  Carr surmises that Colbert, who can continue to operate within his carefully-crafted persona, may have an easier time pulling off his “March to Keep Fear Alive.”  Meanwhile, the Christian Science Monitor asks whether the rally will have an effect on the election.
  • An interesting discussion in the Chronicle of Higher Education: several college and university libraries have decided to purchase Netflix subscriptions to make films available to students and faculty, and Netflix is crying foul, suggesting that the libraries’ subscriptions violate the user agreement.  I kind of like what the libraries are doing here.  Although I usually encourage my students to pay for a Netflix subscription as a cheap alternative for watching the assigned movies in my film course, I realize that not all of them an afford the extra monthly fee.  One cool alternative might be for Netflix (or some other service such as Mubi) to create institutional accounts that would allow libraries (or university film studies programs) to subscribe.  Seems like a good way to recruit future customers, as well.
  • There is a new issue of the open-access journal, Transformative Works and Cultures.  Check out the TWC blog for more details.  Especially relevant to my readers is a discussion of fan filmmaking in several of this issue’s articles.
  • Inside Redbox discusses details of an article that suggests that the kiosk company may not have streaming video on its horizons.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Redbox stayed out of streaming.  After all, there are so many other video rental services that already stream, and most of them have much deeper catalogs than Redbox; streaming seems like an unnecessary complication of their existing approach.  Just a hunch.

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