07 April 2010

Onyx Wednesday

Please allow me to introduce myself:

  • Please offer up some sympathy for the librarian. Now if only he preferred a workable (and, ironically enough for a Brit, less US-centric) classification system than Dewey, with its nineteenth-century flaws that put entire law libraries between 340 and 347, to name one obvious flaw... But the best line comes from a corresponding piece in the Times, in which he proclaims

    When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser.

    Or, as the case may be, refuge from the church.

  • The Republican Party has more than one kind of moral bankruptcy, such as insufferable pride at the top. Like this is a surprise; or all that different from political parties everywhere... as anyone who has actually engaged any of them in conversation could attest, and they at least are elected-official versions. But being proud of only being able to say "no" without offering a constructive program of one's own is more than a bit much.

    Mr Steele, I don't hold you to a higher standard on the basis of your skin's melanin content. I hold you to a lower standard because you've chosen to be a politician... and you're still not meeting even that.

  • Meanwhile, there's substantial handwringing over the FCC's loss to ComCast in front of the DC Circuit (PDF) that "strips" the FCC of the "power" to "regulate the internet." As much as I think the FCC should have that power — and over precisely the kind of things that Comcast has chosen to do, which are not bandwidth-controlling so much as they are content-controlling for a regulated monopoly — I long ago concluded that the enabling statute probably didn't reach that far. And even if it did, Messrs Powell's and Martin's ideological shenanigans as Chairmen under George III demonstrated that the FCC, more than most agencies, is subject to agency capture in an unusually blatant fashion. The statute definitely needed substantial revision anyway... and after the Janet Jackson case, this one ain't anywhere close to over.
  • The Toxic Avenger (original film poster)But the FCC's agency-capture problems aren't as bad as the Olympics... or figure skating. Just faaaaaaabulous! Yet another celebrity bio that we really don't need, don't want to read, and takes up the acquisition and marketing budgets for a dozen more-worthwhile (and, ultimately, more likely to be profitable in the long run) books. At least it's not just another needless Hollywood remake, although it's unlikely to be any more original.
  • As a further demonstration that the named plaintiffs in the GBS litigation are inadequate to the task (both philosophically and, dare I say as an experienced plaintiff's side class action advocate, legally), the American Society of Media Photographers plans to file its own suit today... after the GBS named plaintiffs denied the ASMP a place at the bargaining table so they wouldn't lose control (and so their lawyers wouldn't have to share fees, but that's a sideshow present in every class action).