Archive for the 'Print' Category

17
Jun
10

Investigative Journalism: Banished To Iceland

What is it in the national character of Iceland that has caused that nation’s lawmakers to defiantly put the world’s strongest spine in the laws protecting whistleblowers and investigative journalists? I’m not sure.

It could be that Icelanders are still smarting from losing the international game of hot potato with mortgage backed securities. That loss bankrupted their government in the process and threw into sharp relief the risks of taking institutional bullshit at face value.

It could be that they have taken a recent look at the land of the free and the home of the brave and its President’s disgusting and unprecedented prosecution of whistleblowers – and have decided that’s more than enough negative example from one superpower.

It could also be just that Icelanders are kind of badass.  Given the apocalyptic volcano/geyser/glacier pageantry they call a landscape, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

Iceland has passed a sweeping reform of its media laws that supporters say will make the country an international haven for investigative journalism.
The new package of legislation was passed unanimously at 4am yesterday in one of the final sessions of the Icelandic parliament, the Althingi, before its summer break.
Created with the involvement of the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, it increases protection for anonymous sources, creates new protections from so-called “libel tourism” and makes it much harder to censor stories before they are published.
“It will be the strongest law of its kind anywhere,” said Birgitta Jonsdottir, MP for The Movement party and member of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which first made the proposals. “We’re taking the best laws from around the world and putting them into one comprehensive package that will deal with the fact that information doesn’t have borders any more.”
Wikileaks has been involved in the drafting of the package of laws alongside Ms Jonsdottir from the beginning of the process more than a year ago. Its founder, Julian Assange, worked from Iceland on the organisation’s release of the incendiary video of an apparently unprovoked American helicopter attack in Iraq that left eighteen people dead, including two journalists.

Iceland has passed a sweeping reform of its media laws that supporters say will make the country an international haven for investigative journalism.
The new package of legislation was passed unanimously at 4am yesterday in one of the final sessions of the Icelandic parliament, the Althingi, before its summer break.
Created with the involvement of the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, it increases protection for anonymous sources, creates new protections from so-called “libel tourism” and makes it much harder to censor stories before they are published.
“It will be the strongest law of its kind anywhere,” said Birgitta Jonsdottir, MP for The Movement party and member of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which first made the proposals. “We’re taking the best laws from around the world and putting them into one comprehensive package that will deal with the fact that information doesn’t have borders any more.”
Wikileaks has been involved in the drafting of the package of laws alongside Ms Jonsdottir from the beginning of the process more than a year ago. Its founder, Julian Assange, worked from Iceland on the organisation’s release of the incendiary video of an apparently unprovoked American helicopter attack in Iraq that left eighteen people dead, including two journalists.

23
Apr
10

Chris Ware’s Rejected Fortune Cover

Somebody at Fortune magazine thought it would be a great idea to have Chris Ware draw the cover for their Fortune 500 issue.

But somebody at Fortune didn’t know that Chris Ware is a pretty observant fellow.  What he turned in proved to be a bit too close to home for the Mammonites, and was rejected.

Milton Friedman Paycheck Advance?  Fabrica de Exploitacion? Helicopters airlifting cash from the treasury into the banks?  Fortune: “Hey, sure, we do business journalism..but not business journalism.”

Click on image for larger version.

Link thankfully swiped from Chris Herbert on Twitter.

08
Feb
10

South Side Represent: The Baffler Is Back

RW370 is as South Side as Lem’s Barbecue, Ben’s Auto Sales, The Chicago White Sox and The Haggerty brothers.  So when a long-lost institution returns to claim its rightful place in Chicago’s southern cultural counterweight, WordPress is fired up with a quickness and the hosannas fly.  Welcome back, Baffler.

The Baffler magazine — which punctured egos and provoked, which irritated New York Times editors and Hyde Park intellectuals alike, which was rooted in Chicago and became a smart, abrasive must-read during the 1990s, which predicted our economic future, then burned down (quite literally) — has returned. It’s been four years since the last issue; the new issue, slowly working its way into bookstores nationwide (and recently mailed out to patient subscribers), is only its 18th issue.

Its 18th in 22 years.

The staff was so slow and often distracted by other non-Baffler-related jobs, said former managing editor Matt Weiland, they would refer to the magazine as “a quarterly publication that only came out once a year.”

“But see, thing is,” said Thomas Frank, the founder and editor, from his home in Maryland, “I never had any intention of going away. I would get e-mails that said, ‘Too bad you guys are gone.’ So I would write back: ‘Don’t give up on us.’ Because we need the Baffler more now than ever. That contrarian attitude toward culture, that scoffing attitude that people associated with us — the plan now is to revive it.”

Shouldn’t be hard.

In the 1990s, the literary journal made its name as a fearless, equal opportunity deflator of conglomerate-orchestrated alternative rebellions, a muckraker that found its targets in the co-opting of cool and breathless hyping of killer apps. It swung to the left, but the piety of any ideology was never outside its crosshairs. Or as Frank put it, the real target was “the bubble of the moment.”

19
Jan
10

The Best American Comics Criticism: Out March 3

Wow.  See, this is why you do stuff.  When you do stuff, sometimes you get to do awesome stuff, sometimes with people who are awesome.

My pal Ben Schwartz has been compiling and editing the new Fantagraphics book The Best American Comics Criticism all year long (release date: Mar 3 2010). That in itself is awesome enough.  But then I come to find that one of his blessings was to work with the incomparable illustrator Drew Friedman on the cover of said tome.

Word is Ben asked Drew – one of the most gifted conceptual realist illustrators the world has ever seen – what he thought American comics critics looked like.   And this is what he – and we – got.

Perfect.  Just perfect.

Not just objectively perfect, either.  For me, this is a rare crossing of two favorites: Drew Freidman has been blowing my mind since I first saw his stuff in the pages of Heavy Metal and National Lampoon way back in high school.  Ben Schwartz has been cracking me up since I first read him at Suck.com back in the days of dialup Internet.

Suffice it to say, I approve of this collaboration so much, I don’t have enough thumbs to raise.  Can’t wait to read it.

And that’s an important blogger telling you this.

05
Jan
09

Introducing the Boris Artzybasheff Appreciation Society

It’s true that people smarter than I have been able to avoid using Facebook.  For better or for worse, I am no longer among them.  I did, however, create a new Facebook group dedicated to one of my all-time favorite illustrators of the 20th century. Introducing the Boris Artzybasheff Appreciation Society. By all means, check it out if you are so inclined.

18
Oct
07

Where’d All These Dudes Come From?

100% Dudes

Seeing as the spike in traffic at RW370 is due mainly to my October 5 posting of this YouTube clip showing a Van Halen stage mishap, it looks like we’re knee-deep in dudes around here. Sup, dudes?

The thing about dudes is most of them can appreciate a mullet and a pointy guitar, and so can I. Once, I wrote some comedy for a gear website and I appreciated all over some 80s and 90s back issues of Guitar Player. Scientific tests prove it’s nothing less than dudertainment: Eddie Van Halen fans are, on average, 65.4% more receptive to comedy based on guitar string ads. So dudes! – enjoy these selected humor pieces in the Gearwire Gallery:

Saigon Kick unaware of their limited future

A dude, his lady and a broken axe

Jag Panzer’s Joey Tafolla gets raves in The Shred Zone

Damn Yankees shill for Tom Morello’s effects pedal

One for the brits

Testament guitarist bravely gives his life for science




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Email

rob [at] warmowski [dot] com

@warmowski on twitter

Rob’s Bands

Rob Warmowski entry at Chicago Punk Database
1984-89: Defoliants
1991-94: Buzzmuscle
2001-05: San Andreas Fault
2008- : Sirs
2008- : Allende

Rob at Huffington Post

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