I picked up the latest James Blunt CD last night at HMV. His first album took me by surprise and held the top spot in my collection for a while. There is no jinx for this sophomore as his second album is just as moving as the first. Somehow he finds a way to sing directly from his soul and grip me with the melodies. Unlike a lot of modern songwriters, he doesn’t write to merely rhyme. He is a true poet. I recommend this one if you have the opportunity to take a look. 10 solid tracks.
September 28, 2007
September 24, 2007
As a child I watched my fair share of historical movies that documented man-kind’s inability to get along, its recurring tendency towards mob mentality, and its succession of powerful ignoramuses. I used to watch these movies through the comfortable lense of “thank God we aren’t like that anymore”. Unfortunately, it seems that we still fail to grasp the concept of acceptance, we still tend toward mob mentality, and there are just as many ignoramuses in our ranks as ever before.
If you have been following the American news at all over the past couple of days you would have been hard pressed to avoid the news of Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s talk at Columbia University in New York. My first thought was “wow! what a great opportunity to engage this guy in dialog, before the powers that be turn the wheels towards war”. I figured that the media, as life-time advocates of free speech would agree. I was wrong.
All anyone* in the U.S. has been talking about since this announcement is how irresponsible this is of the University to allow this “holocaust denier” to speak at such a prestigious university. There were protests, and many were calling on the University to cancel the talk. What were they afraid of? Were they afraid that people would listen to his talk, then start walking around believing that the holocaust never happened? Or were they afraid that he might actually make some sense and thwart the media’s efforts to depict him as a monster? If this is the case, then their fears came true on this day. Ahmadinejad came across as a man who was trying to do the best thing for his country. He did not sound like a monster. He did not sound insane. The President of the University, Lee Bollinger, came across as star spangled bully; choosing pat himself on the back for his demonstration of free speech while introducing Ahmadinejad as an “evil” man and a “petty and cruel dictator”.
Ahmadinejad called it right when he noted that Bollinger seemed to be attempting to vaccinate the audience against Ahmadinejad’s evil ideas even before he had an opportunity to say one word. There was nothing gracious about this introduction. Perhaps I expect too much from an Ivy League university. I would expect that they would show respect for a speaker that they have invited to speak at their institution - no matter who that speaker is. A few minutes into Ahmadinejad’s address, CNN cut away to interview their Arabic correspondent for his opinion of things “so far”. When the correspondent suggested that Bollinger had issued a “frontal and personal assault” on the Iranian president during the introduction, he was cut off immediately by both news anchors arguing that “don’t you think he was justified in doing this”. I could almost hear the lynch mob forming behind the cameras if the correspondent had even insinuated that this attack was unjustified.
In my opinion, Lee Bollinger embarrassed himself and the American people by exposing his fear of free speech while hypocritically claiming to be a proponent of it. He served to incite hatred and increase tensions rather than open new dialogue.
As for Ahmadinejad’s talk. There were some comical portions, like the part where he denied the existence of homosexuals in Iran.
I think it is important for all of us to watch the climate of hate as it slowly engulfs our society. After this talk, I am franky more scared of the potential of America’s “hate” than I am of Iran’s “evil”.
September 22, 2007
I may have crossed some lines in this one… so bring on the hate mail.
1. Britney Spears
2. Marie Antoinette
3. Vancouver City Council bans mixed martial arts
September 17, 2007
In this episode I discuss reality TV shows, and vigilante justice.
It ain’t easy being both the talent and crew of a show. We ran into every technical road block imaginable in trying to produce this episode. You may notice that I’m a little frazzled at the beginning.
Thanks to my lovely assistant Beverly Wu for helping with the filming and editing.
September 10, 2007
Here is installment number 2 of the Steve Hannah show. Topics include Dog fighting alternatives, politically correct musical terms, and some controversial web sites.
Note that the bit about the dog fighting materialized during a trip to Penticton with Rick, Alfonso, Ian, and Justin. The concepts presented are the result of much group deliberation.
Leave your comments.
September 8, 2007
I have finally decided to add some Digg and Reddit links to my site next to each article. If you like any of the articles, please feel free to Digg them or up the Reddit score on them so that others might find out about them.
September 3, 2007
I recently came across a this post on slashdot entitled “Why are so many nerds libertarians?”. There are a number of comments on this article, some more interesting than others. Here are some of my thoughts.
First off, it is worth noting that the author of the article didn’t have any statistics that would indicate that nerds tend to lean libertarian, aside from a slashdot poll that was conducted some time ago, which only tells us that most Slashdot users are libertarians.
But let us assume that the hypothesis is true - that most nerds are libertarian. Let let us pose the question “why”? Let us begin by first defining what exactly it is to be a libertarian.
Wikipedia defines libertarianism as “a political philosophy maintaining that all persons are the absolute owners of their own lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish with their persons or property, provided they allow others the same liberty.” (a future article may discuss why most nerds trust wikipedia as a reliable information source).
It will also be helpful to define what it is to be a “nerd”. Wikipedia defines nerd as “a person who passionately pursues intellectual or esoteric knowledge or pastimes rather than engaging in social life, such as participating in organized sports or other mainstream social activities.”
The intersection of these two definitions yield the answer to our question almost trivially. Since nerds refrain from social engagements and prefer to be left alone it only makes sense that they would adopt a political philosophy based on being left alone, as libertarianism is.
When I first read this article, I felt a little pigeonholed, since I read slashdot and develop computer software, and yet am not a libertarian. Reading these definitions, however, clears things up considerably. The reason why I am not a libertarian, evidently, is because I am not a nerd.
September 2, 2007
I decided that it would be easy and kind of interesting to try to record my own little talk show. So I went out and bought a 2nd digicam, some lights, and a pair of tripods - reinstalled Final Cut Pro, and went straight to filming.
I’m not sure the direction that I will take the Steve Hannah show, but I would like to at least bring in some guests to discuss interesting issues with technology or local issues.
Now that I have everything set up I hope to be pumping one of these out once every couple of weeks. Also watch out for a series of instructional videos on Dataface and other web related topics.
Enjoy, and do comment if you have suggestions about what you’d like to see on the Steve Hannah show.