Wednesday, 7 November 2007

la cebolla

One of my favourite comic creations, The Onion's "point/counterpoint", is back again:
Cats are Better than Dogs.

Some shit is going down in Pakistan, which is important, but in also important Radiohead News: "More than six out of 10 fans worldwide — 62 percent — who downloaded "In Rainbows" between Oct. 10 and Oct. 29 paid nothing for it." The average overall per download worked out at $2.28, approximately fuck all.
But all that money goes to Radiohead, not a record company, so perhaps it's about the same to them. And they hardly need the money anyway, I would guess.

Also more important (sic) than political emergencies in nuclear-armed dictatorships, is Prince, who has threatened to sue fan-sites over use of his image etcetera. That won't make him popular. He was also questioned by police about illegally shooting birds this week... or not.
Here's a video of the artist formerly known as Prince hunting Jockeys:

Simon Tisdall, in the Guardian, notes the world has started to forget about Burma again. After the insipid facebook groups and blog "free burma 4th October" campaign, the ever moving online world has moved on. Doesn't it make you feel proud? I neither joined the blog campaign or facebook group, as I don't see them as effective. It's easy to click on a link "to show support" - but it doesn't DO anything. Does the Burmese Military give a shit what a bunch of facebook users think? Don't kid yourselves: they don't care.
Tony Blair didn't listen to a million people marching on his own streets, a foreign government certainly won't listen to foreign citizens doing sod all on the internet.

Old style protests, like petitioning your own government to pressure the the "international community", have more impact.... but takes more effort than pointing a cursor. It's good that people want to show support for the oppressed, but it has to be in an effective way. Citizens need the weight of their governments behind them to have an effect. Sometimes people "on the internet" seem to forget this.


Ann said...

Have to disagree that the Facebook Burma group didn't DO anything. It certainly raised awareness of Burma issues amongst those who didn't know much about it before, and the group along with the blog campaign were certainly supplying the most up-to-date news, getting it hours ahead of The Guardian or BBC. They also kept the Burma issue in the mainstream news as people demanded information...
Also the facebook way was an excellent way to find out and coordinate protests going on (I couldn't find anything going on in Warsaw for ages, searching on google in shitty Polish for ages, then I saw something on facebook).
Things are (maybe) changing in Burma, albeit at a snail's pace (,,2208393,00.html); partly due to September's protest being in the media limelight (OK, for a short time, but still).
'Do the Burmese Military give a shit what a bunch of facebook users think?'. Um, not sure, but if they're anything like the Chinese authorities then yes. They are very very media savy and adept at controlling information, and that's why they turned off the internet ( towards the end of the protests.
Interestingly the membership of the facebook group hasn't diminished at all since its peak, indicating that people are still interested in what's going on, and lots of protests are still going being organised on there. I still see Burma on the Guardian's main page about once every two weeks, and think that the Blog campaign and facebook group have something to do with creating and maintaining interest.

Ann said...

the above in conclusion: people don't 'live' on the internet (not even me), they use it as a tool to organise/do things in real life.
The Blog protest/FB group caused more people to protest on the streets = more media coverage = more pressure on the Burmese junta to at least pretend to try and look reasonable.