“Anyway, I ask you how ‘macho’ a Dodge Ram can be when their emblem is basically the female reproductive system with nostrils.”
“Anyway, I ask you how ‘macho’ a Dodge Ram can be when their emblem is basically the female reproductive system with nostrils.”
“Shit like this really sours me on the whole idea of punk rock, which I used to think empowered kids to take control of their lives. Now I realize how many people just use it as an excuse to be assholes.”
Also: “Once in third grade I told someone ‘Hey, no big deal, don’t have an orgy.’ I thought it meant something like temper tantrum. Learn your vocabulary!”
You Have Bad Taste in Music, in which a fellow named Eman Laerton visits Los Angeles-area concerts and tells fans that, well, they have bad taste in music. Profoundly rude, but quite amusing — particularly the Train, Adema, Timberlake/Aguilera, and Evanescence videos.
Enjoy the DIY-on-training-wheels vibe of ReadyMade Magazine, but wish it could appeal a bit more to your raging inner geek? Make, a new mag from O’Reilly, fills that void. “Make brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life. Make is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of your technology at home and away from home. This is a magazine that celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will.”
You may have missed it yesterday, but starting in 2005, July 28 will become the Cajun national holiday. Well, sort of.
You see, the Cajuns (a.k.a. my people) are the descendants of the Acadians, the French peasant settlers of Nova Scotia (then known as Acadia/Acadie) in the 1600s and 1700s. The French and British warred regularly over control of Acadia; the final settlement came in 1713 with the Treaty of Utrecht, which gave the land to the dastardly Brits.
The Acadians were a peaceful people; they just wanted to be left alone. By this time, they didn’t feel like taking sides, since the French and British had both screwed them over plenty. But the Brits insisted they swear allegiance to the British crown and be willing to take up arms against their fellow Frenchmen. The Acadians were, like, “Oh no, you didn’t!” And the British were, like, “Oh yes, I did!” This game of hip-hop oneupsmanship went on for a few decades until July 28, 1755, when a British governor named Charles Lawrence decided to play Captain Asshole and deport every Acadian he could find.
They announced a mandatory meeting of all Acadian men in a church at Grand Pre at September 5, 1755. That day, at 3 p.m., Col. John Winslow told them all they were all being kicked off their land and deported: “That your Land & Tennements, Cattle of all Kinds and Livestocks of all Sorts are forfeited to the Crown with all other your effects Savings your money and Household Goods, and you yourselves to be removed from this Province.”
The British set about breaking up families and throwing them on ill-assembled, overcrowded vessels headed for the 13 American colonies. Once there, they were forced to live in appalling conditions, often banned from working, and in many cases had their children thrown into a sort of slavery to Protestant locals. Acadians were shipped all over the world — the Falkland Islands, Guyana, Haiti, England, in some cases back to France — as families were further broken apart.
This whole process is known as Le Grand Derangement, or the Great Upheaval. Historians estimate about 8,000 of the 14,000 Acadians died or were killed in the eight years following Lawrence’s decision — mostly from diseases brought on by the squalor they were forced to live in or freezing to death when homeless during the winters.
Eventually, a group of Acadians, led by the great Joseph “Beausoleil” Broussard — who had led the armed resistance to the Brits back in Nova Scotia — negotiated with the Spanish government to allow Acadians to resettle in the Louisiana territory it had recently obtained from the French. The Spanish agreed, and word went out to Acadians around the world to head for Louisiana.
The word “Acadian” (ah-cah-DYANH) over time became “Cadian” (cah-DYANH) and “Cajun” (cah-JHAN), as a series of Anglos mispronounced it.
(I don’t mind telling you that I hate Charles Lawrence with an all-consuming passion, one unhealthy for someone dead for almost 250 years. When I was in Nova Scotia in 2000, I visited Fort Edward, one of Lawrence’s old structures and one of the sites of the deportation. I summoned up the phlegm of my forefathers and let loose a huge bolus of spit, smack on a sign that bore ol’ Charlie’s name. And it felt good, damn it.)
Anyway, I give you all this history because some Cajuns have long wanted a little apology from the Brits. I mean, killing off half of a people and stealing all their land and wealth isn’t, strictly speaking, nice. One man, Warren Perrin — a great man whose son Andy I went to high school with — has been fighting for more than a decade to get the British to say they’re sorry and to formally rescind the deportation order (which is officially still in effect — I’m technically a war criminal every time I enter British or Canadian property).
The Brits told him to buzz off, in effect, and said that it’s Canada’s problem, since Canada is the legal successor to British authority. Well, last December, the Canadians finally did the right thing, in this “Proclamation Designating July 28 of Every Year as ‘A Day of Commemoration of the Great Upheaval,’ Commencing on July 28, 2005.”
Our northern neighbors don’t exactly apologize. The proclamation recites the history and says the exile “had tragic consequences, including the deaths of many thousands of Acadians.” But instead of apologizing, all they do is “acknowledge these historical facts and the trials and suffering.” That’s good enough for me. There’s even talk that the QE2 herself may formally apologize next year.
Acadians from around the world will head to Nova Scotia Saturday for Congrθs mondial acadien 2004, the once-every-five-years global Acadian reunion. I’m sad I’m going to miss it. But I can promise you I’m throwing a hell of a party next July 28.
Jon Chait and Frank Foer coin a new journalistic term: ass-welt reporting.
Part of the problem is that journalism terminology glorifies “shoe-leather reporting,” whereby you pound the pavement so often you wear out the soles of your shoes. Yet there’s no widely used term of approbation for the other kind of reporting. For this very reason, my New Republic colleague Franklin Foer and I decided a few years ago to coin a phrase: ass-welt reporting. It means you’ve sat in your chair for so long reading books and documents that you’ve worn a welt the shape of your backside into your chair. I’m not saying that every news story could be reported without leaving one’s desk. (Bernstein: “Woodward, look! I found a clip from 1971 in which President Nixon tells the Omaha World-Herald he plans to order his goons to break into Democratic headquarters in the Watergate Hotel!” Woodward: “I’ll cancel that meeting with Deep Throat.”) I’m simply saying that, sometimes, laziness can be the better part of valor.
I am so in love with this concept.
You know, it appears Lance Armstrong didn’t much enjoy life in Plano, the “soul-deadening” Dallas suburb he grew up in:
“It was the quintessential American suburb, with strip malls, perfect grid streets and faux-antebellum country clubs in between empty brown wasted fields,” he writes. “It was populated by guys in golf shirts and Sansabelt pants and women in bright fake gold jewelry, and alienated teenagers.”
If you were not upper middle class or a football player, he writes, “you didn’t exist.”
As the son of a secretary, who raised him as a single parent, and as an aspiring athlete with little hand-eye coordination and no skill at moving laterally, he was neither.
“I felt shunned at times,” he recalls in the book. “I was the guy who did weird sports and who didn’t wear the right labels.” Kids in the “social” group made fun of his Lycra shorts.
When school officials at Plano East High won’t let him take off time from school to train, he says: “I knew damned well that if I played football and wore Polo shirts and had parents who belonged to the Los Rios Country Club, things would be different.”
Good to know we Planophobes aren’t alone!
I would like to point out that Dean Smith — the longtime men’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina — has been named the greatest coach of the last 25 years by ESPN’s “expert panel.” Dean’s longtime rival, the disturbingly rat-like Mike Krzyzykwekzyzyzewski, was knocked to a lowly third.
The “expert panel” — which one assumes does not include Ken Jennings — has not yet ruled on the best human beings of the last 25 years. I presume Dean will fare well on that ranking as well.
Our back-to-school education section ran in today’s paper. (It’s available in PDF form at that link.) One of my contributions ended up getting cut in a last-minute putsch (it’ll run in the Texas Living section in a few days), but my other piece did run: Texas celebrities talking about the most important childhood class they took. The best answer prize goes to actor Larry Hagman (a.k.a. J.R. Ewing on the TV show Dallas): “Typing. That’s where the girls were.”
Caught the Democratic convention last night. Barack Obama is a real political talent.
Stigmatics sometimes aren’t really stigmatics. Shocking, I know! My favorite fake stigmatist remains former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, who during a 1980s campaign complained about the forces arrayed against him by smearing ketchup on his palms and assuming the crucified position at a press conference. Only in Louisiana could a state full of Catholics still elect him.
I’ve been half meaning to go visit old Edwin, who used to live about five miles from my house and is now in federal prison in Fort Worth. I could go bring him some crawfish.
James Janega at the Chicago Tribune appears to have made the most thorough investigation yet into the most secret secret society in the world of journalism: The Order of the Occult Hand. (Previously mentioned on crabwalk.com here.)
I’m back in Dallas. A quick recap of my vacation’s end:
- Took the train down to Philadelphia to see Fiona. Had a cheesesteak, walked around the old city, saw the Liberty Bell, and roamed around Independence Hall.
- Rented a car and started the trek across Pennsylvania. Started out with the admirable idea of taking the back roads (the Lincoln Highway). Quickly abandoned that idea after realizing it’d add three or four hours to my drive. (Quaint’s nice, but speed’s nicer.)
Making it all the way to Pittsburgh seemed like too long of a drive, so I randomly picked out a point on the turnpike map to stay for the night. I picked Breezewood.
Notice to future Pennsylvania Turnpike travellers: Don’t pick Breezewood. Only later did I learn that the town’s nickname is (literally) “The Town of Motels.” What a pit. When I pulled into my overpriced Best Western, I asked the woman behind the counter: “So, what is there to do fun in Breezewood?”
She laughed at me. She didn’t even follow it up with a “Not much” or a “It’s pretty quiet around here.” She just laughed and kept silent.
I asked where the nearest movie theater was. 45 miles away, she said. Well, at least I can catch HBO, right? Nope — they were having cable trouble. Perhaps I could check my email. Oops, there aren’t any local dial-up numbers for any ISP, and long distance calls are $2 a minute.
Plus, the waitress at the Denny’s (“the best place in town,” said the hotel clerk) was really rude when I ordered the Moons Over My Hammy.
- Got back on the turnpike as soon as possible and headed for Pittsburgh. Now, I’m a fan of western Pennsylvania — it’s a lovely stretch of land. But I wasn’t prepared for how nice Pittsburgh is. Liveable indeed! Spent a lovely day with my friend Nancy and her family and friends.
- Headed back on the road the next morning, bound for Columbus and the final stop of the Listening Tour. Spent a wonderfully calm weekend with Kelly. Perhaps too calm for Kelly’s liking — I was pretty sedate at times. (She rightfully complained that she’s always the last stop on these east-to-west journeys I occasionally take, leaving me a little beat down by the time I arrive on her doorstep. Next time I’ll go west to east.) Watched a few movies, had some fine meals, and finished up the trip by missing my flight back yesterday and getting home three hours later than expected.
One final Columbus note: the local CBS affiliate has a campaign called Commit To Be Fit which encourages Columbusites to exercise and eat healthful foods. The only problem: The campaign is sponsored by Donato’s Pizzeria. The campaign has a TV commercial in which the station’s news anchors sit in a park and talk about how important fitness is — then suggests celebrating your new fit lifestyle by having a whole Donato’s pie! Something of a mixed message there.
Anyway, a big thank you to all of you who provided couch space, meal companionship, or just general happiness during the crabwalk.com Northern Tier Listening Tour 2004. It’s much appreciated.
Two random notes:
- I’ll be speaking to the monthly meeting of the Evening Exchange Club of Greater Dallas Thursday night. Whatever that is. Anyway, should this site’s readership and the Exchange Club’s membership overlap, Venn diagram-style, come by and say hello.
- It appears I will be in Louisville, Kentucky, for work on September 10-12. I know no one in Louisville, Kentucky. If you are a resident of Louisville, Kentucky, or perhaps the region surrounding Louisville, Kentucky, and would like to have a beer when I am in Louisville, Kentucky, drop me a line.
A few items before another day of museum-roaming:
- This humble blog (and that last post) were both mentioned in the blog of D Magazine, the Dallas city magazine, yesterday. Sez blogger/editor Tim Rogers: “Benton can type a whole lot better than you’d ever guess from reading his byline in the News. Some newspapers — the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Enquirer [sic] — actually let their reporters write. The News doesn’t. And the city is poorer for it.”
I suppose I’m flattered by the thought that vicious DMN editors are actively suppressing the public good whenever they touch my stories. (Actually, that line could come in handy during future editing battles: “Oh, sure, you could cut those five paragraphs about child development theory from my story. But the city would be poorer for it.”)
Then again, the other way of looking at it is: “Josh, your DMN stories are crap.” I prefer not to look at it that way.
Tim enumerates two interesting things about this blog in his post. I’ll offer up a third: It is, as far as I know, the only local blog to have one of its posts turned into a D Magazine piece! This post from May 2003, about Dallas’ own monkeyphonecall.com, became a D item, as detailed here. (The D story has since fallen off their website.)
- The CD Mix of the Month Club reunion was awesome. The bar was nice and the turnout was terrific — about 30 people, swapping CDs and swapping stories. (Alas, no swapping of spit. I had this dream of bringing CDMOMers together in sexual congress so that they might produce a new race of Super Mix Makers. Maybe next time.) It was terrifically nice to see all these people whom I’ve known for the last several years only through their email addresses. And it made me feel good about the hundreds of hours I spent folding liner notes, addressing labels, and stuffing envelopes.
There’s also talk about the NYC mix traders going on without me. While I find that vaguely disempowering, I’ll pass along information as I learn it.
- Went to the American Museum of Natural History yesterday. In the Asian cultures section, the museum has assembled little dioramas showing what various Asian cities might have looked like at various historical points of time — Ur in 1200 B.C., Bombay in 1700, that sort of thing. One of the displays was of Samarkand, the now-Uzbek city. It looked like a typical diorama, except for one item suspended from the diorama’s ceiling: a man in a turban on a flying carpet.
A flying carpet. This image of a real city at a real, historical point in time has a man on a flying carpet. Is this a museum or Ripley’s Believe It Or Not?
- Finally, the best reunion story of the week involves my friend Renya. See, back in 1990, the 10th-grade version of me fooled a few people into thinking he could speak French. As a result, I was chosen as one of the three Louisiana judges for Le Carrousel international du film de Rimouski, a French-language children’s film festival in Rimouski, Quebec. Renya was one of the Vermont judges. We got along, but when the festival ended, we parted ways.
Fourteen years later, a random Googling led to our reunion last night. After dinner at a French restaurant (appropriate), we headed to a film festival, where we saw a short film starring some of the people she works with. Let me tell you: Ethel Greenbaum is an actor on the move. Don’t be surprised to see her at the Oscars next spring. (Trailer here.)
Having a lovely time in NYC. The lovely and talented and sooperdooper people I’ve seen so far, in rough chronological order: Molly W., mentioned in that last post; Molly H-F., fellow former Pew Fellow, blogger abroad, lover of saag paneer, and all-around kick-ass gal; Tom, my old college roommate and one of the few people to successfully make the “Hollywood agent” to “semiconductor analyst” transition; Bob, my other college roommate and the only friend I have whose collected childhood chess games are available for sale on Amazon; Ken, another college buddy who I got to write a newbie’s guide to IRC back in 1995; and Jon, majordomo of Scwabble, to my knowledge the only online source for individual replacement Scrabble tiles.
And that’s not even counting the 30 people who showed up for the CD Mix of the Month reunion last night. Such lovely people! More on them later.
Remember Molly? That supercool Yalie whose visit to crabwalk.com HQ was recorded in this space back in 2002? The one who wrote a column all about me in our old college newspaper, thus earning me chuckles and yogurt-based guffaws from many of my fellow alums?
Well, I was lucky enough to spend Friday afternoon hanging around with her in New York. But the big news is her writeup in today’s New York Times. “An uncommonly self-reflective young woman” “on whom little now is lost,” who has produced “one of the more uplifting documents I’ve read in a long time”? It’s star time!
Here’s my story from today’s paper, on why urban superintendents seem to burn out so quickly.
I’m in New York City, on vacation, gazing out over the treetops of Central Park. Life is good.
ATTENTION NEW YORK READERS: The CD Mix of the Month Club will have its first NYC reunion Monday evening at The Magician, 118 Rivington St. (Lower East Side, map here.) All crabwalk.com readers are invited. If you want to play, make a mix CD and bring a copy (or 12) to the bar — we’ll be swappin’ like sexually liberated ’70s suburbanites. If you just want to come say hello, that’s great, too. I’ll be getting there a little after 6:00 p.m — most folks are showing up around 7 or 8. Hope to see you there.
Here’s my story from today’s front page, an analysis of Mike Moses’ tenure as Dallas schools superintendent. (Moses resigned yesterday.) If you get a chance and live in Dallas, pick up today’s paper — the DMN did a fine job on this package, if I do say so myself.
And if I wasn’t going to be on a plane tomorrow morning, I’d be invading public television tomorrow. Shame.
Geez, doesn’t Mike Moses know I’m about to go on vacation? Priorities, man, priorities!
Crabwalk.com Northern Tier Listening Tour 2004 update: That most evil of human inventions (the limited vacation schedule) has forced me to sever three fine American cities from my trip itinerary: Boston, Washington, and (most painfully) Toledo.
(You know, not many people could recite that list and call Toledo the most painful omission truthfully. But I can!)
So the tentative schedule: New York City (and environs, with potential side jaunts to Connecticut, New Jersey, and upstate) from Friday, July 16 to Wednesday, July 21. Philadelphia on Thursday, July 22. Pittsburgh on Friday, July 23. Columbus on Saturday, July 24 to Sunday, July 25. Departure from Columbus early July 26.
Bonus announcement: Attention New York City readers! There will be a CD Mix of the Month Club reunion sometime early next week! More details to come. Get in touch with me if you’re interested in swapping some mix CDs with a few dozen of New York’s finest young people.
John Darnielle, the man behind the Mountain Goats, does a great fake interview with black metal band Kult ov Azazel. (Whoever the hell they are. John, whose own music is a sort of twisted autistic folk, has always shown a strange affection for the darkest of metal.)
Disclaimer: the interview that follows never took place. We do not doubt that an actual interview with Kult ov Azazel would go pretty much the way all black metal interviews go: interviewer asks a question that indicates he’s part of the 1337 BM h0rdez [“Your sound recalls the early Spear of Longinus demos, but in a more necro and ultimately progressive way. Was this your intention?”], band goes directly into the script, remaining in character and, after the manner of a politician, on-message [“Yes. We felt that whereas others have shown the way and we must give them hails as brave warriors along the path to total war, yet must we carve our own grim visages into the stones at road’s end, as it were. Our second demo continued in this ripped vein,” etc], interviewer asks follow-ups whose main purpose is to assert that he has in fact managed to construe some sense out of what is essentially swords-and-sorcery gobbledegook [“Certainly. But don’t you think that what’s happened with the commercialization of pro-nationalist black metal has eliminated the weak, leaving a cleaner field for the few remaining, the discerning listeners?”], rinse lather repeat.
By the way, it’s pronounced “darr-neel,” not “darr-nell,” as we learn about 5:40 into this KEXP in-studio. The tone gets a little icy with Stevie Zoom, who clearly doesn’t like being corrected.
Here’s my Zambia story. It looks nice in the paper, too. There’ll be another Zambia story in next Sunday’s paper — less pathos but more information in that one.
My only objection: the headline (“Joshua Benton: Where the only growth industry is death”) makes it sound like that’s my personal slogan. “Ah, Josh Benton — death is the only growth industry with that guy!”
Here’s my (non-Zambia) story in today’s paper. Probably not worth your time.
Also of note in today’s paper: this profile of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the late spiritual leader of Hasidic Judaism. It’s of note for at least two reasons: (1) the great headline, “Rebbe With A Cause,” and (2) it’s written by Michael Kress, my first editor-in-chief at my college newspaper.
Finally, I’ve finished updating zambiastories.com, including the addition of about 50 photos relating to tomorrow’s story in the DMN. (The captions will make more sense if you’ve read the story first.)
Also: I’ll be on TXCN tonight and tomorrow, talking about (you’ll never guess!) standardized testing.
WaPo White House correspondent Dana Milbank, one of this site’s favorite journos, hosts an unusually free-spirited Q&A on the Post’s site.
Question from Boston, Mass.: Anything new on the Palme investigation?
Dana Milbank: The Olaf Palme assassination remains, tragically, unsolved, a source of great agitation to all who love Sweden.
The Plame investigation, by contrast, chugs along in the secrecy of the grand jury and Justice department.
Fascinating Landsburgh piece about the problems with research into the economic impacts of minimum-wage laws. (Grafs 5-9 being the important ones.) I get the impression this is the sort of thing I would know if I’d ever taken a statistics course. It would come in handy, considering the mountains of crappy biased research I sift through every day.
FYI, a story about my time in Zambia will be in Sunday’s paper, in the Sunday Reader section. While it may depress the hell out of you — being an extended narrative about the death and burial of a 23-year-old AIDS victim and all — it should be more interesting reading than my education policy pieces.
Also, head over to zambiastories.com sometime this weekend to see a whole host of new Zambia photos. (Hopefully.)
In the category of Best Music Video By A German Quasi-Techno Band Featuring A Jellyfish Confused By A Desert Mirage, the nominees are:
- “Jelly Belly,” by Helmut Kohl and the Kohl Pencils
- “Happy As A Little Jellyfish,” by Dieter::Sprockets
- “Jellyfish Uber Alles,” by The Willy Brandt Explosion
- “One With The Freaks,” by the Notwist
- “99 Luftballons,” by Nena (Goldfrapp remix)
And the Oscar goes to…”One With The Freaks” by the Notwist.
I know we’re all essentially powerless against spam. We can try to adjust our workflow around it; we can try to beat it with technology. But in the end, spam’s going to win.
But this afternoon, some cretin decided to leave comment spam on my recent post about my grandmother dying. Comment spam for Cialis, the erection drug du jour, of all things.
It pissed me off. I reported his sorry ass, and I just got notice that his Internet account has been terminated as a result.
Sure, he’ll probably just set up shop somewhere else, the limp-dicked jerk. But still, small victories can feel awful nice.
You know, it wasn’t until after I posted that circumcision link that I realized that it was the 1,500th post in crabwalk.com history. I’d hoped such a milestone post would be momentous — earth-shaking, even. I’ll settle for foreskin humor.
Tonight’s task: Turning a 3,483-word story into a 1,200-word story. Wish me luck.
For the record, I absolutely, 1,000-percent agree with the folks at Gizmodo that this product will never be allowed with a 10-foot pole’s radius of me.
Now that John Kerry has announced John Edwards as his running mate, all global attention turns to KerryEdwards.com. But wait — is it owned by the Kerry campaign? The G.O.P.?
He bought it back in 2002, when a Kerry/Edwards ticket wasn’t on anyone’s mind.
This highlights another shamefully underreported element of the new Democratic pairing: It continues the Dem tradition of having tickets that could, in theory, be mistaken for a person’s name. If there’s a Gore Vidal, why couldn’t there be a Gore Lieberman somewhere in the Bronx? I could imagine meeting a Clinton Gore, somewhere in Kentucky. But Bush Cheney? Bush Quayle? Dole Kemp? Unlikely, all.
Okay, so Dukakis won’t pass Taylor and Madison on baby-names lists anytime soon. But my theory works perfectly from 1989 on. Perfectly.
Here’s my column from yesterday’s paper, on the way Texas universities admit their freshmen each year.
I simply refuse to believe this photo is real. “Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State, performs a version of the Village People’s hit disco song ‘YMCA’ at the conclusion of Asia’s largest security meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Friday, July 2, 2004. Powell took to the stage, dressed as a construction worker Friday, with other unidentified US diplomats to deliver their rendition of the 1970’s hit song to an audience of Asia Security meeting delegates.”
In honor of the late Marlon Brando, check out this old episode of This American Life, in which Brando debuts a line of acting instructional tapes, entitled “Lying For a Living.” The piece starts at the 44-minute mark.
(The show’s first piece, on the recovered memory movement, is also good. Although a bit of a downer.)
I would link to my story on page 4B of today’s paper, but I can’t find it anywhere on the web site. That’s okay — it’s not worth reading, anyway.
Also, many thanks to Maria Sharapova for (a) reaching the Wimbledon final and (b) being hot. That magical combination has sent Google searches for “sharapova naked” through the roof. And since this site comes up as No. 6 in such a search, my hit count’s been soaring the last week.
Particularly in Belgium. Lots of horny Belgian men.
So if you start to spot disgruntled “where’s the porn?” comments from men with names like Maxime Vandenpeerebom, or Stijn Beernaert, or Florian Coninx, you’ll know why.
Paul Boutin points out perhaps the most amusing technological euphemism of recent geek history.
You may have heard that Apple, in its upcoming version of the web browser Safari, is promoting a feature called Private Browsing. It allows you to go to web sites without leaving any evidence on your computer that you’ve been there — the sites don’t show up in the browser history, the pages aren’t cached, etc. Here’s how Apple promotes it:
Go ahead and…shop for birthday presents on the family Mac…no information about where you visit on the Web, personal information you enter or pages you visit are saved or cached.
Oh, yeah — that’s what people are going to use Private Browsing for. Birthday presents. Sure.
Then again, I guess Apple can’t come out and say: “Go ahead and download all the raw Czech monkey porn your credit card can handle — the wife’ll never find out!”
Happy July! To June 2004, perhaps the worst month in modern recorded history, I say: Good riddance!
The Crabwalk.com Northern Tier Listening Tour 2004 is almost 100% a go. Plans are for me to be in our nation’s northeast from July 15 to 25. (Roughly. Management reserves the right, etc., etc.) Possible/likely stops: New York, New Haven, Albany, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Toledo. If you would like to grab a beer/coffee/meal and are in one of those cities, get in touch. Also, if you have a couch that’s just itching for blogger use, I’d be much appreciative.
Joshua Benton is the director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University, among other things. Before that, he was a staff writer and columnist for The Dallas Morning News. (More.)
Any opinions expressed here are solely mine, and not those of my employer. In many cases, they may not even be mine.