THE INSPIRED AND INANE

Hope everyone had a nice weekend! Now, of course, I’ve been essentially using Twitter to update as writing big posts in such nice weather is kind of, well, time-consuming. But, alas, I’ve got to make with the posting here.

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS DINNER: Remember a few years back when Stephen Colbert made the Single Greatest Speech Ever at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner (essentially a collection of America’s elite journalists, businesspeople, writers and actors for one night… looks like a pretty good time had by all, must say)? How can you not — it was one of the single most subversive, funny and nasty speeches ever done without Bush Era vetting and press control. It was awesome to watch. Like, transgressive awesome.

Anyway, it’s three years later and there’s this, um, new guy in the White House. And guess what? He’s actually very, very funny and self-deprecating, in addition to being a thoroughly strong leader during a time of unprecedented fiscal/housing/resource/economic crisis in America. Honestly, is there anything Obama can’t do? Here’s the first clip of three in his actually-pretty-funny speech:

WEBBY AWARDS: It was announced last week, but it’s worth mentioning again — a former colleague at Golden Words (I worked there for a small stint back in 2000) has won a Webby for his terrific blog, 1000 Awesome Things. It’s a regular visit for me and should entirely be a part of your regular web visits. It’s funny and so very true in observations. Congrats to Neil!

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: Why don’t they just make him a permanent cast member on SNL? Seriously, they threw *everything* into this latest JT-hosted SNL. Even cameos by cast members of Star Trek (which I’m dying — DYING! — to see and it sucks I have not yet seen it)…

Of course, there’s one inane topic here…

TV VS. PORN: What a strange story by Gawker.

WELCOME TO AMERICA, V. 2.0: NOW WITH EXTRA SOCIALISM!

Just in case you needed another reason to feel uneasy to start off Monday: President Barack Obama has said that it’s likely more banks are going to fail in the U.S.

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Of course, this doesn’t change the fact there’s strong indications the Obama Administration will likely be nationalizing a number of banks to protect taxpayers and rebuild trust in America’s moribund banking system. When Obama says that he doesn’t expect to get elected again if he can’t turn this situation around before 2012, you know it’s gotten pretty damn serious. And vaguely socialist in terminology. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… just saying.

So, what’s going on after one of the best Super Bowls ever (The Boss made it all the better)?

* Congress is trying to delay – again – the switchover to Digital Television. At the risk of hyperbole, this writer places blame squarely on you – the do-nothing Congressional members.
* Google Earth is now under the Sea. Under the Sea. No, no Disney characters will show up here (thank God).
* A very good article about the potential benefits and risks involved in Facebook Friending your boss. A must-read for, well, anyone on Facebook.

Oh, and lastly: I was involved in the creation of an event for Journalists For Human Rights and the National Film Board of Canada’s CitizenShift web site a few years back. Basically, it was a collaboration between the two organizations in submitting films based on Human Rights. The project has been resurrected by JHR and the NFB once again! I have nothing to do with it this time, but it’s nice to see an idea of mine put to good use once again. Good work guys!

ALL OBAMA, ALL THE TIME

Apologies for the lack of posts the past few days; it’s been a bit crazy at work and I’ve been occupied with a few other tasks. In the spirit of renewal that is 2009, I’ve been working out now five days a week and significantly changed my diet. I’m thinner now than I’ve been since Queen’s.

I know I’ve said on this blog before about losing weight – it only gets harder as you get older to stick with it and to make it happen in its entirety. That being said, it’s kind of important for this to work this time. There’s too much at stake for it not to.

Anyway, enough about me. In the post-Inauguration glow, it’s quite honestly All Obama, All The Time now on every MSM outlet everywhere. Even Anderson Cooper seems to have fallen in love with Obama and his family. Some noteworthy stories today:
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* It’s pretty cool that President Obama is a tech-savvy President, for he really made excellent use of his web site and social networking tools during his election run. Now he gets to keep his BlackBerry, which is likely armed to the teeth with encryption and security features us ordinary folks will never, ever get our hands on.
* The Inauguration featured the highest level of online video consumption ever. Looks like it may be time for Akamai to increase capacity, no?
* Obama’s using the Web to pledge openness and accountability in government. He’s posting legislation online for feedback from the public and the White House’s URL has been given a snazzy new look. So, um, wouldn’t suppose the Prime Minister here might consider this? Oh wait, that’s *never* going to happen.

MICROSOFT: It’s not easy these days going onto news sites and seeing non-stop bad news about the economy (although the non-stop negativity isn’t reversing the situation either, IMO). Still, when Microsoft – the lone voice of the PC-Is-Rad Mantra – is cutting 5,000 jobs because of the economic woes in the U.S., all you can do is just shake your head and do some deep breathing. I’m not sure what else will change this trend, save for Obama’s economic stimulus package (which will take at least six months to work its way into the system to encourage credit flowing again).

THE ROUND-UP & BUSH’S PAPER TRAIL

So tomorrow I turn 31 years old. I’m starting to turn interesting (after all, 30 is the new 20, as I’ve heard) and tasty. Mmmm, Welsh…

So what’s new today? Other than it’s now eight sweet days until Obama is sworn in as President of the United States (and we might finally be able to move forward on the looming problems America will be facing in the months ahead… almost three million out of work in one year. That’s just… I have no words *shakes head*)…

* Hey! Obama and our kinda-sorta Prime Minister Harper are both nerds! Obama even loves comic books! Harper’s a Star Trek nerd! Here’s hoping future British PM David Cameron won’t beat them up in the school yard after class.
* The Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas is a decidedly downbeat affair this year in lieu of the economic mega-slowdown. Thankfully, Julia Allison showed up to the CES, so Non-Society has plenty o’ content for awhile.
* Wired has released the most anticipated new games for 2009. All I’m going to say is: BioShock 2. That is all. And yes, I fully intend to do my best impression of John Lennon with The Beatles Game.
* The ever-insightful Michael Geist has released his column on the new strategies being used by the music industry in Canada regarding digital music. Needless to say, Canadians love their MP3s. And by love, I mean steal. Hard and lots of.
* 24 is back. The series has been rebooted after two extraordinarily lame prior seasons. The new setting in Washington is a nice touch (and the abundance of Canadians in the cast? Love it!).

THE BUSH PAPER TRAIL: While the New York Times might be on life support right now, it still produces the best journalism and column inches in America. Bar none.

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Frank Rich has written a column outlining, once again, the Memory Hole/Abyss/Black Hole of Money/Decadence that has been the Bush Administration. Thank God he’s gone soon.

Thing is, there’s a big, looming Elephant in the Room here: Bush and Co. have been meticulously destroying paper and electronic evidence of their dealings. Didn’t hear about this? No, you probably wouldn’t. After all, this is Bush and he’s in the midst of doing the whole Cover Your Own Ass business so he’s not a target for trials on war crimes/war profiteering/corruption/violation of the U.S. Constitution/The List is Endless.

I’ve been thinking: why not have a Republican-chaired Commission into the Bush Administration’s crimes? That way there’s no claim of partisanship and it could restore dignity to an office that Obama’s going to have to work damn hard to restore. Just a thought.