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Happy Birthday, Lisa May Terwilliger
I hope you get tasty chocolate chip pancakes.

So a sad thing: Josh's grandmother died and yesterday was her funeral. She was a holocaust survivor who lost her whole family save her brother in the camps. Her fiance also survived and they married shortly after liberation in Budapest. She cooked a wicked chicken Paprikash and had a loving relationship with her husband until he died about 3 years ago.

A not sad thing: Josh is in town for a few days and I get to see him.

Yesterday was the first flashmob in Toronto but I did not attend. It sounded kind of weak, actually, and there was way too much pre-press.

I feel like this whole phenomenon peaked after the hotel clapping episode in NYC. Ever since then it seems that it has become a commodified trend for media hounds. And that makes me sad. It feel less about edge and reinvention and more about "Everyone in flashmob".

But alas, who am I to say something is irrelevant just because it feels "played". I am the worst fashion victim because I will only laud something if it feels like fresh meme circulated by a pocketful of cool people. Which is bullshit, really.

OK, so online community advocate and author Howard Rheingold was on the CBC this morning. I feel happy that he is getting mainstream coverage and wincy that the coverage of a set of ideas I find legitimately cool now runs the risk of becoming media mulch in a matter of months.

Maybe this extra cynicism towards PR hype stems from reading yet more about the fiasco that is Private Jessica Lynch.
We all know the different truths out there, and it would take an illiterate luddite to not catch the absurd, gangrenous whiff of PR spin the US military pulled on this story.

But Hollywod is still going ahead with a movie about her 'dramatic rescue" where she "fought for her life".
A quick google of the doe-eyed 19-year-old reveals these stories.
  • The BBC
  • a great investigative article in The Toronto Star
  • and even war-o-riffic

    Smartmobs, flashmobs, independent thought. I am not so sure what I am going on about here. What is the unifying Friday theme? That we need to continue think critically. That we need to act on what we find irksome. That we can use things like wireless technology to galvanize people to act in a way they have never acted before. The cool factor can be the best and worst thing about it. That mob mentality of any sort can make us forget our initial independently-arrived-at intention.

    On a less pedantic note, here is a wireless message I received from Rich this morning:

    Subject: 2 things

    1. someone farted in the revolving door

    2. while waiting for the train, a woman takes her dentures out. Then puts them back in. Repeats 3 times.

    All for now.

    - rich

    via palm pilot

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  • 8.8.2003
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    Cassette Players Were A Pain, But There Was Nothing More Romantic Than A Mixtape

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