June 11, 2002


REALITY BITES: Went to a Hoboken bar called The Quiet Woman on Saturday night to catch the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight, and I must say I'm glad that the boxing gods smiled and granted Lennox the thoroughly decisive victory. But the result is unfortunate for two reasons: Lewis is now left with no one to fight, and Tyson, as it has been demonstrated before, will never go away for as long as he's alive. If a rape conviction and the biting of two different opponents wasn't enough to end Mike's career, an ass-whooping like he got Saturday certainly won't— Tyson will always be boxing's biggest name and draw, and thus will continue to collect large purses for as long as the crooks who run boxing continue to dole them out. And no great heavyweight has ever ended his career at the right time— for exhibit A look no further than this week's disturbing news that over-50 Larry Holmes will fight Butterbean in July.

ROCK SHOW: Sunday I went up to Foxboro, Mass. for WBCN's annual River Rave concert, the inaugural event for CMGI Field, the brand-spankin'-new stadium for the World Champion New England Patriots. It's a hell of a concert venue as well, as it played host to the good (Outkast, the Strokes, Tenacious D), the middling ("The Middle" singers Jimmy Eat World) to the downright unlistenable (P.O.D., Papa Roach, and Drowning Pool). There was also a shocking, unannounced appearance by Public Enemy (!); Chuck D is looking quite old, but I'm happy to report Flava Flav looks exactly like he always did.

A BABY, NOT A PAYCHECK: Outkast's standout set (albeit delivered to an audience consisting almost entirely of Bostonian white people) reminded me of one of the funniest CNN segments of all time, which aired in March (on the eve of the Grammys). The segment on "Newsnight With Aaron Brown" focused on Outkast's hit single "Ms. Jackson," which was nominated for Record of the Year even though it had been released 18 months before. Big Boi and Andre 3000 were interviewed by Brown about the song, which is told from the viewpoint of an out-of-wedlock father wanting to see his child— first the rappers were asked about their own experience both as out-of-wedlock fathers and sons, and then Brown interviewed a support group for out-of-wedlock fathers— all of whom loved the song. Basically, the entire segment was handled with an incompetence that can only come from Ivy-educated TV producers who have never listened to hip-hop before in their lives.

AND WHILE WE SPEAK OF CLUELESS ELITE MEDIA...: The New York Times checks in with a story about blogging and, predictably gets it all wrong. The piece focuses on the feud between the "original" bloggers, the techies who actually developed the technology to create blogs, and the "war bloggers," those who have emerged since 9/11 to commentate on the war, who the techie group accuses of hogging all the credit for revolutionizing blogging. The Times piece, of course, completely neglects to state that thousands of blogs exist that have nothing to do with either the war or intricate computer stuff, or that do-it-yourself blogging is enjoying an explosion of popularity (Blogger.com is not mentioned). It's also wrong in that most of the prominent politically-oriented blogs (AndrewSullivan.com, KausFiles, Instapundit) were well-known well before 9/11.
If nothing else, the techies vs. warbloggers battle makes me wish Marshall McLuhan was still alive. Paul Levinson's "Digital McLuhan" (the most hagiographic biography I've ever read) already established that McLuhan was nothing less than a prophet when it came to foreseeing the digital age; the media/message implications here are astonishing.


THE SILVER MEMO: Yea, the Phoenix memo gets all the attention, but I wrote the following to a friend on May 22, 2001:
"Did you hear that the Taliban in Afganistan is making non-Muslims wear identication now? Why the hell don't we go in there and overthrow them? We used to do that all the time in the '70s."
Now if I'd written that to the president and not to my friend...

Posted by Stephen Silver at June 11, 2002 01:38 AM
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