My iPod has taken a dump on me. Last night it just started skipping songs, so I reconnected it to my laptop and went through about 3-hours of "restore" tips from apple, all to no avail. It just drives me crazy how computers and their peripherals can suck up hours and hours of your time when they go wrong. I would seriously love to see a study that actually evaluates time-saved vs. time-lost by technological "developments". I have a sneaking suspicion that the net total would be in the negative numbers.
Either way, I'm seeing this as divine punishment for asking my mum to take back the iPod she bought me at Christmas. If you were here for the first post of the year, you'll remember that I felt kind of bad that I didn't want the shiny new one but at the same time had no "use" for the additional functions. Well, now I have no functions. So that showed me.
After 1yr apple won't even repair it for you. They basically say, send it back and we'll send you a replacement for $249 + $6 shipping fee. Um, yeah. I can get a new, upgraded version for $100 more and a refurbed upgrade for $199 including a 2-year warranty. I guess this is the point, they want to you purchase a new one which of course then requires you to get all the new accessories because they moved the headphone jack or something equally as random to make all your existing accessories useless. It's all a sick, captialist ploy.
I sure am regretting the $88 I spent on tank tops about now (although the brown and white spotted one I am currently sporting looks and feels rather nice.) Sigh.
The fall-out from Imus. Never in a million years did black rappers expect that the firing of some aging white, right-wing shock-jock would put their feet so close to the fire.
Cable news continues to run with story of the growing movement aimed at censoring rap music for its degrading treatment of women. Def Jam's Russel Simmons is now wading into the debate, calling on rappers to restrict their use of such archetypal rap prose as the "n" word, "ho", "bitch" and the like.
This is becoming an interesting debate highlighted by some comments from various rappers in the story. While some rappers said they would think twice about their language but doubted if their peers would do the same (in other words, I'll follow the majority), others argued that they are simply a mirror of the culture and society that they talk about in their lyrics not a creator of it. Some. like Ne-Yo, made some very good points about the responsibility of parents to bring up their children appropriately, paying attention to what media they are exposed to, as opposed to censoring artists in potential contradiction to the first ammendment.
It was actually very refreshing to hear some intelligent and eloquent thoughts from rappers whose lyrics typically stretch no further than stories of pimps, hos, homeys, sex, drugs, and murder, interspersed with four-letter words. And it's certainly not an easy, or new, debate. The question of whether art immitates culture or visa versa, and how far society's definition of "free" stretches in our philosophy of "free-speech"... these are all very gray areas with no easy solutions.
Although I have typically thought that Americans often mis-use the first ammendment and continually contradict it in practice, one thing I am beginning to see is how much society itself polices this. "Free" does not mean free of consequences. Imus' firing, while on the surface appearing to contradict the doctrine of free speech, demonstrates that public opinion steps in when the line of what is "socially acceptable" is crossed.
There is beauty in this because that line is ever-changing, moving and morphing with our society itself, but then I also recognize that many great things (artistic, political, societal) have been achieved because someone was willing to cross that line. In addition, it's worth noting that those who control the mass media still control the message (although this is becoming less the case with the internet), and if the media silences controversial voices, that in and of itself is a restriction of our first-ammendment rights.
It would have been more constitutionally appropriate to let listeners vote with their radio dials - if you don't like what Imus says, simply don't tune-in. If his ratings go down then he gets axed anyway. Similarly, if rap continues to decline in popularily, eventually rappers have to change to keep sales up or face extinction.
All very idealistic.... and I could go on forever, around-and-around in circles in this big grey area. But, anyway the point is that it's not a simple issue and it's actually a pretty interesting debate, bringing up memories of my degree which was in Media & Cultural Studies. It occurs to me that my degree actually applies to something in real life after all....who knew?