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Dear Facebook, I hate you

So, about a month ago, I decided to give FB and Twitter a try.  I've been pretty vehemently anti-FB before this, but it was starting to get annoying that various people in my life were only announcing meetings, posting photos, etc. via FB.  So I joined, making a deal with myself that I'd try FB for a month and see how I felt about it, and as long as I was joining FB, I decided to give Twitter a whirl, too.

Omg, you guys, I hate FB so much.

The thing is, it's such a drain on your time - the messages, maintaining your own status, trying to keep up with friends.  I don't have that much time to spare as it is (as evidenced by my erratic LJ posting), so I don't really want to devote a ton of time to keeping up with FB.*

The bigger problem, for me, is that fact that it just seems like a platform for voyeurism and hypocrisy.  I mean, within 24 hours of opening my account, I had friends requests from 10 different people that I haven't spoken to in 10 years or more.  Srsly, ppl?  We weren't friends 10 years ago, I have no desire to know what's going on in your life now, and don't particularly want you to know what's going on in mine.  It all kind of pushes privacy boundaries for me.  I'd rather use my LJ to talk about my life - I feel like it's a healthier community.  (LJ: It's the thinking person's FB.)**

Long story slightly shorter, I've deactivated my account, and am going back to feeling vaguely superior to all the plebian folk who FB. 

On the other hand, I'm freaking in love with Twitter!  Anyone else?

*Yes, I know that there's no reason that I need to stay on top of what everyone posts, or even really maintain my own info.  But it seems kind of pointless to have an account and do nothing with it.
**Yes, I also know that I can adjust my privacy settings, not accept friends requests, etc., etc.  But what's really the purpose of FB if you do that?

Henry Jenkins, you rock

"Fan fiction is the way of the culture repairing the damage done in a system where contemporary myths are owned by corporations instead of owned by the folk."
Henry Jenkins, Director of Media Studies
Massachussetts Institute of Technology

Indeed.

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Oscars!

Taking a break from protest updates for a few thoughts on the Oscars:

I think James Franco was stoned during the telecast.  Seriously.  The blank stares?  The pasted-on, zoned-out smile?  The poorly delivered jokes?  All the times when Anne Hathaway was the only one on stage?  He was horrible.  But on the flipside, I thought Anne was *adorable* - fun, real delivery (loved the "drink at home"!), great energy, nice song, and she looked amazing.  I vote for Anne Hathaway and Billy Crystal to host next year's show.  Anyone else?

Also, it's a great day for Newsies fans!  Not only did Christian Bale win, but he delivered a lovely speech.  As cymbalism219 said, "that was seriously the most humble and human and *normal* I've seen him be."

Updated to add: Colin Firth's speech was awesome.  Hooray for that wonderfully dry British humor!

We're still here

This is what the 75,000-100,000 protestors in Madison's Capitol Square yesterday looked like:



It was the biggest day of protests yet, numbers that are rivalling the historically infamous Madison protests during the Vietnam War.  Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary) sang - for someone like me, raised on folk/protest music , that's amazing.  Bradley Whitford (of The West Wing; a Madison native) spoke.  And every one of the 49 other states featured some sort of rally to show support of WI.

The new development in the protests this weekend?   Law enforcement was ordered to clear the Capitol several times this weekend, and the police (thus far) have refused to take action, issuing a statement that they stand with the workers.  Walker first told the police to clear the Capitol on Friday - but guess what group was scheduled to spend the night in the Capitol that evening.  The police officers union.  Oops?
  
Today the Capitol was again slated to close at 4:00 pm "for cleaning" (note: the unions, esp. the Teaching Assistants Association union, have been scheduling waves of volunteers to clean the Capitol daily, and it's in remarkably good shape, though it reportedly has taken on a "locker room funk").  4:00 came and no one was forcibly removed from the Capitol.  People inside the Capitol re-formed the drum circle, and the police joined in singing "We Shall Overcome" and "This Land Is Your Land."  Supporters outside the Capitol rallied and linked their arms to ring the building.  Most importantly, not only did the police arrest anyone who refused to leave, but police officers and firefighters who were not on duty themselves stood with the protestors, saying they're willing to be arrested as well. 
 
Attention Scott Walker: When police and firefighters are willing to be arrested, YOU HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM.

This is still developing - some sources are reporting a punch thrown from a protestor at a Fox News reporter.  If true, this is the first violence we've seen in two weeks of otherwise wholly peaceful protests.  In addition, some sources are reporting that a Republican Senator has just flipped his vote and will not support the bill.  (To defeat the bill, we need two more Republicans to flip.) 

On Wisconsin

The protests in Madison continue into the second week.  I highly encourage everyone to watch the two vids below, put together by Madison-area videographer Matthew Wisniewski.  They're truly beautifully done - I was near tears as I watched them.

</lj-embed>
Further updates about the protests behind the cut...Collapse )

Unions

A few quotes about unions, from impressive sources:

"If I went to work in a factory the first thing I'd do is join a union."
- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt


"The labor movement is people. Our unions have brought millions of men and women together, made them members one of another, and given them common tools for common goals. Their goals are goals for all America - and their enemies are the enemies for progress. The two cannot be separated."
- President John F. Kennedy


And my personal favorite:

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower (who was, let me point out, a Republican!)

Forward

As many of you know from my incessent rambling about how much I love my state, I'm a proud Wisconsin citizen.  The last week or so has been a week in which I've been even more proud than usual.  This was this inside of our Capitol on Thursday:



I'm sure most of you have heard what's going on with the budget protests in Madison.  The response to the governor's dangerous and cruel budget bill has been amazing - there were approximately 80,000 protestors in Madison today alone.  EIGHTY THOUSAND.  Many protestors have been staying all day and night, sleeping in our Capitol.  They come from around the state and the Midwest - Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) teachers, Madison teachers, high school and university students who have marched and staged walk-outs to support their teachers, members of WEAC (the union that I, as a teacher at a state technical college, am represented by), nurses, prison guards, other state employees, and professors and TAs from the UW Madison campus and the UW campuses around the state (shout out to harmonyangel!  Hope you don't regret making my state your state!).  Other unions not affected by the bill have turned out in solidarity, including the police and firefighters unions.  People have been waving signs, chanting, beating drums, singing songs - and it's all been peaceful.  Even today, when the Tea Party organized a counter rally and the the protest groups were in the same spot, the police did not have to make a single arrest.  No soakin' the scabs for us!

Here are a few key things to know, if you happen to be discussing the protests with people who are on the fence or persuadable:
- A common response from those who support the bill and oppose the protests is that members of the private sector workforce have had to make large contributions to their own benefits for years and have seen those requirements increase with the recession.  Those in the state's employ, they reason, have had it easy - they say state workers have a "gravy train" or a free ride.  HERE'S WHAT THEY'RE NOT SAYING: State employees in WI make, on average, 5.8% per year less than private sector employees in the same position (per outside, non-partisan sources), yet require far higher levels of education.  So you have someone like my father, who is an engineer for the State and has over 40 years of experience , and makes what an engineer in the private sector makes in an entry level job.  The only way for the State to compensate for the severe difference in salary has been to offer really strong benefits - without them, the State would never be able to compete with the private sector.  (And we want them to be able to compete, since we want the State to be able to draw the best and brightest to, oh, make sure we have clean drinking water and guard our prisons and support one of the top universities in the nation.  This engineer/author explains really well why the cuts will have devastating long-term effects.)  So there has been no free ride, and because of the cuts that have been made in the last few years to try to save the budget, many state workers are already handling workloads that should be split between two or three or even four people. 
- Despite this, unions have been releasing statements saying this is not just about the money, it's about the loss of our right to collectively bargain.  Today when state workers/unions made this clear to Walker, telling him that they're willing to take the hit to their pay and benefits in concession to the difficult economic times as long as they retain the right to collective bargaining, he refused it.  (Check out a nice evaluation of Walker's plan to emasculate unions here.)  This is not a man willing to compromise, nor is it a man who is purely interested in balancing our budget - this is rather a man who is waging a blatantly partisan attack on Democrats and doing everything he can to bust unions.
- Our Democratic Senators have taken a lot of flak for boycotting the vote on the bill and crossing the state border into Illinois in order to prevent a quorum.  This was a brave and remarkable move for them, and really what they're trying to do is to buy us time.  Walker and the Republican majority will force a vote and win w/o discussion if they have a quorum - there is a majority of Republicans to push it through (there are 19 Republicans and 14 Dems in the WI Senate).  What the Dems are hoping is that the demonstration of how strongly they feel about this will encourage moderate Republicans to step back and say that they at least want to discuss this.  There's this quote from the musical 1776 where one of the reps in the Continental Congress votes for discussion of independence by saying something to the effect of whether you're for or against breaking from England, there should not be anything that's so dangerous it can't at least be talked about and discussed and debated in a rational manner.  That's essentially the problem here - the Democratic Senators are asking the rest of the Senate to think about what they're doing and debate it instead of pushing it through IN A MATTER OF DAYS.

I never thought I'd actually feel like I was living in Newsies!  If you want to keep up with the state of the protest, I encourage you to visit the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal website and the WISN website; both have been doing a awesome job of covering it (though the JS's coverage has been a bit more partisan than I'd like).  I especially recommend the photo galleries to give yourself a sense of just how big this is.

(Edited b/c I apparently forgot how to spell Capitol.  Whoops.)

ten-day meme: day three


Welcome to day three of my ten nine-day meme.

Today, seven things that cross my mind a lot.Collapse )

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you'd never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.

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ten-day meme: day two


Welcome to day 2 of my ten nine-day meme.

Today, eight ways to win my heart...Collapse )

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you'd never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.

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ten-day meme: day one... or two

So, posting's been pretty sporadic for me of late.  I'm hoping this ten-day meme that I ganked from cymbalism219 will encourage me to get back into a regular posting schedule...

Okay, but I suck, so I'm skipping to day #2.  (Seriously, I just don't have 10 things to say to 10 people for day #1, or, more accurately, everything I thought of was too personal to post online.)  So we'll make it a nine-day meme and skip right to day #2.

Nine things about yourselfCollapse )
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you'd never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.


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