• mike daisey the agony and ecstasy of steve jobs

    Mike Daisey and the Uncanny Valley of Fiction

    I recently became a fan of “This American Life” and finally got to listen to the “Retraction” episode (see reference). Long story short, they ran a excerpt from Mike Daisey’s theatrical monologue about visiting China’s Apple factories. Afterwards, there was fact-checking, and it turned out a number of Daisey’s purported experiences (guards with guns, 12-year-old workers, underground unions meeting at Starbucks) could not be corroborated. This fascinates me because I love TAL’s documentary nature, and it’s so rare for a journalistic organization to admit they made a mistake. But not only that, TAL dedicated an entire episode to it, and gave everyone a chance to make a statement. When Daisey…

  • I Can’t Talk About Rape, So This Entry Contains Nothing About It

    UPDATE: Please read this too. Jim C. Hines, who keeps getting more and more fascinating, has posted another entry about rape. He used to be a rape crisis counselor, so he knows a little better the reality of rape, rather than this collegiate newspaper. I can’t talk about it because one out of four women have been raped. If you haven’t been raped yourself, then that number is lower. If you have been raped, then that number is higher. So let’s say it all averages out to 1/4. That means either my mom, my sister, or my wife has been raped. If it’s my wife, I must have done it,…

  • superhero mash-up

    Heroes vs. Villains

    So here’s some thoughts that have been rolling around in my head. Last week at In-Law dinner, we started talking about Michael Jackson. My father-in-law starts ranting, as he often does, about how people could still be worshiping him when he’s a proven pedophile, a drug addict, and overall questionable person. He repeatedly brought up the example, as he often does, of what if you had a priest that was well-known for doing good deeds in the community, donating to charity, overall great guy who did so much, but he’s a pedophile. Of course, I didn’t argue with him then, because he’s one of those types of people who are…

  • The Cliches of Africa

    How to Write About Africa Here’s an excellent satire about writing about Africa. I think its point is more that Africa is always painted with the same brush, whether in fiction, non-fiction, movies, news, or other media, but it also has some good points about writing cliches. While reading this I thought a lot about Romancing the Stone, the Lion King, and even Shaka Zulu. I recently had a conversation with my father-in-law about why all these celebrities are suddenly involved in African charity – Bono, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Madonna, and the associated B- and C-listers like Randy Jackson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Alicia Keys, and on and on. We…