During Mardi Gras 2006, Netscape had the chance to talk with Mardi Gras Indians Monk Boudreaux, Big Chief of the Golden Eagles, and David Montana, Second Chief of the Yellow Pocahontas, about their Mardi Gras Indians suits and what the traditions of Mardi Gras mean to them.
In an earlier post, NewsQuake covered the groundswell of support for California's Senate Bill 840 (SB 840), the Universal Healthcare Act. But that story is far from over. On August 11, the OneCareNow campaign hosted the biggest rally for universal healthcare in U.S. history. Several luminaries spoke in support of SB 840, which is cosponsored by State Senator Sheila Kuehl. Click on the first photo below to view the highlights of this historic gathering.
Among those speaking at the rally was actress Lily Tomlin, who delivered a routine in persona of her character "Ernestine" that was written expressly for the event. Click on the photo below to play video.
For the past three decades, Tipitina's has been a hub of the New Orleans music scene. Everyone has played at the uptown club, whose premises formerly housed a gambling den and a brothel. It comes as no surprise, then, that the place is playing a key role in rekindling the city's post-Katrina musical spark. The Tipitina's Foundation provides resources and assistance to local musicians returning to the city, and also offers music lessons to the next generation. In the accompanying video, we meet some of the folks behind the new push to rebuild New Orleans, note by note.
For more information on the Tipitina's Foundation, check out this article from the New York Times, as well as the foundation's own website. You can also watch a video profile Netscape did in March with Margie Perez, who is featured in the NYT article.
Since its release on July 29th, 2007, Michael Moore's documentary Sicko has created a nationwide buzz about universal health care. In the accompanying video, Netscape Anchor Alexia Prichard covers the action in Santa Clarita, CA, where a group of activists has been lobbying for the passage of Senate Bill 840, also known as The Universal Health Care Act.
Here is a link to a larger (640x480) downloadable version of the video.
With tonight's vox-pop-driven Democratic debate just hours away, it seemed like a good moment to ask a fundamental question: does our electoral system reward the most agile fudging, evasion, and outright fibbing? At the Milken Conference back in April, moderator Roger Ailes posed the question in somewhat different terms. "Can a presidential candidate advance serious and even unconventional ideas," he asked, "while unyieldingly telling the truth--and win the presidency?" In the video below, panelists Arianna Huffington and Ken Mehlman answer at length. Even more impressively, the high-profile progressive and the former RNC chairman come to similar conclusions about the role of honesty on the stump.
In May 1976, South African activist Steve Biko testified at the trial of nine of his colleagues, who were being charged with violating apartheid laws. At one point, the defense sought to clarify the origin of Biko's "Black Consciousness" movement, thinking this might help the accused. Like the American Black Power movement, Black Consciousness had been designed to combat demoralizing negative stereotypes.
Looking back to the previous decade, Biko recalled how he and his colleagues had decided that "they would no longer use the term Non-Whites, nor allow it to be used as a description of them, because they saw it as a negation of their being. They were being stated as 'non-something,' which implied that the standard was something and they were not that particular standard. They felt that a positive view to life, which is commensurate with the build-up of one's dignity and confidence, would be contained in a description which you accept, and they sought to replace the term Non-White with the term Black."
This simple tactic was remarkably effective in restoring some measure of personal dignity. It was the beginning of a process that led first to resistance, then to the Soweto uprising, and which eventually broke the back of apartheid in 1991.
On July 8, 2007, the opening day of the 98th annual NAACP convention, Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick presided over a mock funeral for the "N word." In the course of this ceremony, which included a horse-drawn casket, that controversial epithet was symbolically buried. The previous day, an identical ceremony took place in Houston. And back in April, on the heels of the Michael Richards and Imus fiascos, rap guru Russell Simmons called for a moratorium on the words "nigger," "bitch," and "ho" in songs played on the radio.
Even here at Netscape, we have software mechanisms to censor certain words. We've seen our users use them negatively toward others, and we want to do everything we can to ensure a consistently positive experience on our site.
The thing is: it isn't working. Not on our site, and not in society at large. Inappropriate verbal abuse continues to run rampant. Polemics abound, as we can see in the clip below from the 2007 Milken Institute Global Conference, and the NAACP and Russell Simmons weigh in, but nobody addresses the root of the problem: that we are all adults acting like spoiled, ill-mannered children. We need to stop. We need to reverse the tide.
Back in April, Netscape sent a crew to the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles. Over the course of several days, Alexia Prichard and Dakota Smith covered an assortment of events, most of them featuring heavy hitters from the worlds of politics and culture. In this first video installment of their coverage, the topic is the impending Super Primary in February 2008, and the participants cover what we might call the ideological waterfront: Mort Zuckerman, Arianna Huffington, Ken Mehlman, Bill Frist, and Harold Ford Jr. The moderator is the ever frisky panjandrum of Fox News, Roger Ailes. Enjoy!
As Apple's newest toy goes into its second day of release, iPhone mania continues to sweep the nation. If somebody told me that the shiny little slab could make breakfast and sort the mail, I think I'd believe it. In any case, I was at my local Apple Store on Friday night to chat with some of the devoted Mac users waiting patiently in line. Check it out...