Posts Tagged ‘united states’

Shut Up & Sing

Posted in Documentary, Free Speech, Law, Worldwide on August 11th, 2012 by Matt Taylor – Be the first to comment

Dixie Chicks - Shut Up And Sing

I re-watched this last night. Kind of relevant right now.

This Chicks flick by Barbara Kopple (Academy Award winner for Harlan County, U.S.A.) and Cecilia Peck is powerful testament to the inconvenient truth that free speech can come at a very high cost. The Dixie Chicks, Texas-based and one of country music’s most successful acts, found out just how costly it was in the weeks following a March 10, 2003, concert in London. Indulging in some between-song patter, singer Natalie Maines expressed shame that “the president of the United States is from Texas.”

In politics, as in comedy, timing is everything; and at the time, President George W. Bush’s popularity among the Chicks’ traditional country fans was sky-high, and the invasion of Iraq was imminent. Reaction was fast and furious. Country radio stations boycotted the Dixie Chicks’ music. Conservative talk show hosts lambasted them.

Country superstar Toby Keith got into the act by denigrating Maines in his concerts. People destroyed Dixie Chicks CDs in public protests that echoed the furor sparked by John Lennon’s 1966 “We’re more popular than Jesus now” comment. The trio’s tour had to be scaled back and rerouted to include friendlier climes (Canada). (via)

Stop Sugercoating Bullying

Posted in Mental Health, Worldwide on February 26th, 2012 by Matt Taylor – Be the first to comment

Strong4Life advertising buffet line

The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has been running their Strong4Life campaign since May 2011.

Scarred4Life Twitter

This is a parody Twitter account, but the bio is spot on. Here’s a selection of advertisements they have been running:

Strong4Life advertising

Strong4Life advertising

You can watch similar TV spots they have run on their YouTube channel.

Rather than focusing on encouraging healthy behaviors, the ads shame and stigmatize overweight kids.

“What psychologist would think shame and bully ads would be effective?”

None were consulted in the ad campaign creation process:

@5minutesformom No – child psychologists were not part of the creation of the ad campaign. Focus groups with parents were.

— Strong4Life (@strong_4_life) January 28, 2012

So why did they think these ads were a good idea?

“The hard-hitting tone of Children’s Healthcare’s ads were inspired by Georgia METH Project’s ‘Not Even Once’ campaign.”

Because anti-meth ads using the same techniques worked.

Because meth users and kids who are overweight (wait, the ads are targeted at the parents, not the kids!) have so much in common. WHY WOULDN’T IT WORK??

Strong4Life thinks that the ads are okay, because only parents will see them. Not children.

@calledoutrev The ad campaign is targeted toward parents and caretakers- not the children.

— Strong4Life (@strong_4_life) January 6, 2012

Not sure how they come to this conclusion.

From an actual psychologist, Dr Rebecca Puhl, director of research and weight stigma initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University:

“There seems to be this perception that it’s OK to shame children and families struggling with obesity because that will provide an incentive to lose weight. However, research in weight bias shows that when individuals feel shamed or stigmatized because of weight they’re actually more likely to engage in behaviors that reinforce obesity: unhealthy eating, avoidance of physical activity, increased caloric intake.”

and

“Alan Guttmacher, director of the Institute of Child Health and Human Development, agreed that the Strong4Life campaign ‘carries a great risk of increasing stigma’ for overweight and obese children.”

The original TV ads stopped airing, but there’s a new one out as of a couple of weeks ago. Most of the billboards have come done, and apparently the rest will come down in March.

“The stigma itself needs to be addressed itself because until we do that, why would a fat child want to go out on the playground and be teased? We want to create an environment where people are not treated so poorly because of their bodies that they’ll want go out and enjoy physical movement.” – Amy Farrell, author of “Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture” and a professor of American studies and Women’s & Gender Studies at Dickinson College.

The National Eating Disorders Association called for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to “dimantle [the] alarming, anti-obesity ad campaign that targets and shames children.”

“The ad campaign is most successful at shaming youth who are overweight and reinforcing societal prejudice against children who do not have an ‘ideal’ body type.” “Every day we hear about the terrible rise in bullying within our schools, yet this ad campaign could actually promote and give permission to such behaviors among kids. Sadly, these ads will be successful in shaming children with weight problems and their parents, but will do nothing to promote and educate about wellness and emotional well-being.” “As many as 65% of people with eating disorders say bullying contributed to their condition.”

“Shame on Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta … not shame on the local kids.”

And also, what were the parents of the children in these ads thinking?

Congratulations Internets

Posted in Free Speech, Law, New Zealand, Technology, Worldwide on January 22nd, 2012 by Matt Taylor – Be the first to comment

But your work is not over.

Wikipedia SOPA PIPA Blackout Protest

On January 18 the users and companies of the internet rallied together to protest against SOPA and PIPA, bills that would censor the internet. Check out the numbers. It worked. Here‘s part of a huge list, with even bigger names on it of the sites that participated in the blackout. Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, BoingBoing and Wired are among them. Here’s the page Wikipedia displayed. The Wikipedia page about SOPA and PIPA was accessed more than 162 million times during the 24 hours the site was blacked out. More than eight million people looked up their elected representatives’ contact information via Wikipedia’s tool, crashing the Senate’s website. At one point, 1% of all tweets on Twitter included the #wikipediablackout hashtag.

SOPA? PIPA?

Is it over?

It is likely the bills will be back in one form or another:

What’s the best way for me to help? (for U.S. citizens)

The most effective action you can take is to call your representatives [phone calls have the most impact] in both houses of Congress, and tell them you oppose SOPA, PIPA, and the thinking behind them.[9]

What’s the best way for me to help? (for non-U.S. citizens)

Contact your country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or similar government agency. Tell them you oppose SOPA and PIPA, and any similar legislation. SOPA and PIPA will affect websites outside of the United States, and even sites inside the United States (like Wikipedia) that also affect non-American readers — like you. Calling your own government will also let them know you don’t want them to create their own bad anti-Internet legislation.

For New Zealanders, that’s the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Their contact details are here.

Megaupload

Megaupload’s website was taken down a day after the protest (without trial), with related people being arrested in New Zealand, and property confiscated. Are we okay with helping enforce US copyright law which, as SOPA and PIPA shows is heavily influenced by the entertainment industry? Is this what extradition should be used for?

It appears, at first glance, that Megaupload was removing infringing material on request. Although it seems their take down procedure was molded around the way they store files–only storing one copy of it if it is uploaded more than once, but giving out a unique URL for the file.

Megaupload has many similarities to other websites, which makes this concerning. It was definitely used for legitimate and legal purposes by legitimate users.

Tech Liberty asks do we need to obey laws from other countries while on the internet, if so, what countries?

Even if I have a web host in one country, what if they provide services via another country? The internet is so connected, how do we know whose laws apply?

Image credit: LoveNMoreLove/Wikipedia

The Slippery Slope of Gay Marriage

Posted in Law, Worldwide on November 5th, 2011 by Matt Taylor – Be the first to comment

Is, in reality, not so slippery. (ht: @hamfritta, from reddit)

Explaining gay rightsThe toaster part is hilarious, but here’s something to think about from SuperStuff01:

“Me and my toaster actually have more rights than a gay couple do.

If I bought my toaster in another country, I could bring it into the US.

If I’m sick in the hospital, I can bring my toaster in with me.

If my toaster breaks, I’m given the legal power to make decisions as to how best to fix it.

I don’t risk getting attacked when I carry my toaster with me in public.”

mistermordancy points out that would make a great ad:

“Does anyone else think this would make a really good gay rights/equality advert? Like you see this guy walk around with a toaster, holding on to the toaster, having the toaster with him in hospital, bringing the toaster into work and all his co-workers crowd round and congratulate him.

Then the ad repeats with two men…”