Thursday, January 29, 2004

Oliver Willis is comparing the Dean campaign to Enron and says "his campaign and its managers took several thousand of us for a ride."

Geez, people are really taking this personally.

So I guess that Edwards endorsement is on the way, O-dub?

6:31:52 PM    comment []

AP: "John Kerry's front-runner status helped him raise more than $500,000 over the Internet in the two days since his New Hampshire victory."

Wait, didn't Kerry and all those donors hear that Internet campaigning is like, over?

6:20:40 PM    comment []

There goes Dave, just beating the crap out of a strawman.

Dave Winer: "Here's the epitaph on Dean's of the Internet. It was 98 percent hype, two percent substance." He also asks, "What edges did they push the decisions out to?," and says "pundits" like me are hypocrites and liars for going along with the campaign spin about empowered volunteers.

As I told him, "The control at the edges was always about freedom to help the Howard Dean presidential campaign. That's why the Baseline article was called 'The Marketing of the President,' not 'Power to the People, Right On.'"

Interesting that Trippi seems to have messed up less in online strategy than on established stuff like TV ads, spending, and office politics.

2:37:12 PM    comment []

UNC 68 - NCSU 66

We had my cousin's good seats, just left of midcourt opposite the benches (lined up more or less with Charlotte on the big state map at center court), 20 rows up. The usual crowd of prosperous-looking white people in light-blue clothing. My vestigial fear of State, formed during a childhood terrorized by David Thompson, will never truly die. Thus was last night's game especially satisfying. 

Bonus: the crowd booed Dick Vitale. Lustily.

I don't dislike him for being Dookie V, because I remember that he couldn't go five minutes without calling Dean Smith "Michelangelo." That, in fact, is the basis of my loathing -- he says the same dumb things, over and over and over and over and over again. Every kid is a great kid. Freshman are "diaper dandies" hoping for "PT -- playing time, baybee." He even trotted out his fetish for Dante Calabria's great hair the other night during the Maryland game, so he could remind us that he's bald and has one eye.

My cousin Annie and I agreed that we would prefer UNC students to say "We respectfully disagree" rather than booing the refs, but booing Vitale seemed fine to me.

Double bonus: Dinner at Acme in Carrboro.

10:51:13 AM    comment []

My next-door neighbor in the old Wrangler building on S. Elm is evangelist Alex McFarland. He recently attended a Florida screening of Mel Gibson's move, The Passion, hosted by Gibson himself.

"Did you feel an urge to come burn down my house after seeing it?," I asked. No, Alex said, he did not. He said that the Jewish authorities in the movie are indeed enthusiastic about condemning Jesus, but that the Romans are shown as the willing perpetrators of his punishment, which is of course how it is written in the source material. I asked if he would write a brief review of the film for this weblog, with some attention given to the concerns that it could spark anti-Semitism.

Here is Alex's review:

Last week in Florida, I had the opportunity to attend Mel Gibson's screening of his new film, "The Passion of the Christ." Among the audience, there was a clear sense that we were about to experience something special.

Without giving away too much, and without breeching the confidentiality agreement that I signed going in, I will simply say that I consider this to be the best movie I have ever seen. "The Passion" is something historical, powerful, and personal that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

As the movie unfolds, pre-release speculations and cautions will probably be the farthest thing from your mind. I believe that those who see "The Passion" will conclude that its detractors need not have worried.

The "Passion" is about God offering Himself as the Passover lamb for all of humanity. That premise alone is the most riveting and relevant plot line in history, hands down. I feel that Mel Gibson's telling of it is the most striking, yet uplifting treatment of this story that I have seen. You will definitely leave the theater thinking- not necessarily about the movie, but about Jesus. Some people apparently find that prospect unsettling. The film broke my heart and warmed my soul. I can virtually guarantee that you will be glad you saw it.

10:32:42 AM    comment []

Howard Dean: "What we need is decision making that's centralized."
The fall of Joe Trippi is not the end of online campaigning. Candidates at all levels will continue to use the Internet for fast, cheap, multiparty communication and organization.
What's in question is the campaign model Trippi championed: decentralized, with authority pushed to the edges of the network, with volunteers empowered to act on their own; a model related to, and hyped as, open source development.
The reality of the Dean campaign was always more complicated than that, the open source aspect romanticized, the message crafted at headquarters -- but the voice and power given to volunteers was nonetheless real.
It is this organizational structure that is challenged by the replacement of Trippi with an old-school campaigner. This is the moment for the media and the political pros to say, see, we told you so, the way things are is the way things will always be.
But the genie is out of the bottle. There is too much talent and energy at the edges of the network for campaigns to revert to a strict command-and-control model. And volunteers will demand some control from now on: You can't keep 'em down on the farm once they've seen Paree.
The right balance of control and freedom, the right candidate, the right race -- these elements will come together, maybe not in this presidential campaign, but soon. The results will be powerful. And Joe Trippi's experiment will be studied for years to come.

10:05:58 AM    comment []