Sunday, December 06, 2009

Overheard in New York: a cool blog that's a good example for Oakland

I figured I'd save video-blogging for Monday and just cyber-walk over to New York to see what was happening in the blogsphere there. Being in Georgia for about a third of the year gives me a weird national perspective that I bring to my Oakland and Bay Area blogging and vice versa. (Also there's just more coin in national video-blogging.) But also I have something like eight city blogs so I have to pay attention to what's happening in those towns anyway; eventually I wind up looking at the whole damn country.

Just to keep on my toes I typed NY blogs, found a blog directory called , then meandered into Noisiest Passenger, which recommended a blog called Overheard In New York.

A random guy, listening..

Much of the blogging in Oakland and San Francisco leans toward the art scene or the politics arena (except the sports blogs, which do just that). Nothing wrong with that but in New York the blogging tends to be more about crap that happens in urban life. Much like some of my video-blogs like the Angry Cab Driver, but in text. Such is Overheard In New York.

Overheard In New York is just that: a blog consisting of what the blogger actually heard someone say, somewhere in in New York. I would think the rule is the saying had to actually happen, and I think it would make a better video-blog, but its entertaining. No, the sayings are not about other people, so defamation is not a concern.

Here's a taste of what's there:

Teenage boy: We should go hang out in Park Slope.
Teenage girl: No, we shouldn't. The yuppies will run us over with their strollers.

--Long Island City

Overheard by: Sunny


Girl to friend: What's the difference between penguins and puffins?
Friend: Well, for one thing, puffins are birds.

--Central Park Zoo, Penguin/Puffins Exhibit


Drunk girl to another: There's like 7 miles of cock out there and I can't even get 7 inches.

Friend: I'd be happy with 4 inches.

--Chaos Club


Little boy: Mommy, mommy!
Mom: What?
Little boy: Can I please have this? (holds up Transformers toy)
Mom, laughing: Yeah, the tooth fairy's gonna have to come a lot more for you to afford that.



Girl: Yeah, like I mean, I would definitely say that I was in the best shape of my life when I had my eating disorder.
Guy, after long pause: Uhhhhh... at least you're honest!

--Fordham University

Overheard by: Rachel

You get the idea.

It's a good example of how bloggers in Oakland and San Francisco can better represent what happened around them rather than what they chose to look at. It's said that there are 178 bloggers in Oakland alone but to me it seems like there are only 10 or 15 at best who are active. Then within that group there's a few that have a narrow set of interests, then exhibit a kind of clique approach, writing about the same topics and identical perspectives weekly.

Because they have a small, but loyal readership that talks to each other, that group thinks their blog set is more widely read than in reality. In all, it makes for a rather boring mix of text and almost no video. We as a collective can do better at showing Oakland and San Francisco as they really are.

As for me, the International scene's getting more and more interesting. Now if I can only link all of them effectively I'll have a better

SNL Tiger Woods skit has Blake Lively playing Elin Nordegren

The SNL Tiger Woods skit is totally off the hook. It aired last night on the popular NBC Saturday Night Live telecast hosted by 'Total Babe for Tiger Woods' Gossip Girl's Blake Lively, (@itsmelively).

Blake Lively

Tiger Woods is played by Kenan Thompson and Lively is his wife Elin Nordegren. The setting is a CNN Situation Room report where SNL actor Jason Sudeikis is Wolf Blitzer. CNN breaks to a new Tiger Woods report explaining another accident that covers for the fact that she kicked his butt after his misstatements during press conferences!

Blake Lively does more of a German than Swedish accent, but who's paying attention to that?

Oscar buzz: Live Action Short Films paired to 10 from 71

AMPAS, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, announced that out of 71 entries, 10 films advanced in the voting process for the three to five nominees that will make up the Live Action Short Film category at the 2010 82nd Annual Academy Awards. The movies, listed in alphabetical order by title and with their production company, are:

* “The Door,” Juanita Wilson, director, and James Flynn, producer (Octagon Films Ltd.)
* “The Ground Beneath,” Rene Hernandez, director, and Kristina Ceyton, producer (Passion Pictures)
* “Hotel,” Tim Conrad, director-producer (Oyster Films)
* “Instead of Abracadabra,” Patrik Eklund, director, and Mathias Fjellstrom, producer (Direktorn & Fabrikorn)
* “Kavi,” Gregg Helvey, director-producer (Gregg Helvey)
* “Miracle Fish,” Luke Doolan, director, and Drew Bailey, producer (Druid Films)
* “The New Tenants,” Joachim Back, director, and Tivi Magnusson, producer (Park Pictures)
* “The Response,” Adam Rodgers, director, and Sig Libowitz, producer (Look at the Moon Productions)
* “Short Term 12,” Destin Daniel Cretton, director-producer, and Michelle Steffes, producer (Destin Cretton)
* “Sidney Turtlebaum,” Tristram Shapeero, director, and Daniel Jewel, producer (Third Man Films Limited)

The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee paired the list from 71 to the 10 listed. Now, AMPAS Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will cast their votes for the final nominee safter screenings that are coming to San Francisco, as well as Los Angeles and New York in January 2010.

The favorite in this area is hard to determine, but Steve Pond over at The Wrap has done a great job of presenting each movie with a video where available. Please take time to read his blog!

Pete Carroll with grad student - Charlie Weis says he didn't say it

The talk in sports is former Notre Dame Head Coach Charlie Weis mistaken blast on USC Coach Pete Carroll during a wide-ranging interview with Irish Illustrated. Before I get to some of the other notable comments Weis made, let's focus on the one that's got everyone talking and produced some confusion with me.

Pete Carroll and Charlie Weis (ESPN)

First, Weis makes a profound statement to Irish Illustrated:

Q: You talked about the negativity with the media and the community, and the irreparable harm that it’s done on your family.
CW: What people don’t understand is that in the day of the Internet and tweeting and everything else that’s out there, when people put things out that are not based on fact, they all come back to your family. They all come back. As hardened as I am and as many blows as I’ve taken, I’m still standing, fellas. They didn’t beat me down. But they beat my wife down and they beat my son down. Hannah doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. So they didn’t beat her down.

But the pain that Maura went through and Charlie went through, I’ll never forgive them is the term. You can take all the shots you want at me. Fire away, but you have to understand that when they’re personal, they go directly to your wife and kids, and that’s really inexcusable. Those people really should be ashamed of themselves. As a matter of fact, I’ll make sure that the next time I’m at the Grotto, I’ll light one for all those people so that maybe they can see the light and stop being so vindictive. It’s a shame. It really is.

Here Coach Weis is right on. In the old days of media, nasty, lying, and insulting letters to the editor never saw the light of day; now Internet comment trolls are allowed to get away with murder. (Which is being curtailed slowly because they're harming website ad sales.)

But then Coach Weis goes off and says this:

Q: Is it frustrating to you Pete Carroll, for example, portrayed in one way…
CW: Let me ask you this question: You guys know about things that go on in different places. Was I living with a grad student in Malibu, or was I living with my wife in my house? You could bet that if I were living with a grad student here in South Bend, it would be national news. He’s doing it in Malibu and it’s not national news. What’s the difference? I don’t understand. Why is it okay for one guy to do things like that, but for me, I’m scrutinized when I swear. I’m sorry for swearing; absolve my sins.

Now given what Charlie Weis himself said in the same sentence, why would he go and do that? It feeds the same animals Weis says writes things he does not like regarding his family. Plus, it makes Weis look like a troll.

Coach Carroll, very upset, said this to USC sports information director Tim Tessalone:

“It’s untrue, it’s irresponsible, and it’s incredible he’d be talking about me like that,"

The Weis got wind of the Internet tidal wave and backtracked, saying...

“In no way was I trying to take a shot at Pete,” Weis said in a phone message. “What we were talking about was how the rumor mill can affect people’s lives. When I was asked a specific question like that, I responded like, 'This is the same crap that I’m talking about.' You start saying things like this and one thing, this guy does this and I do that and all of a sudden the Internet takes it all over the place.

"So, in no way was I trying to take a shot at Pete. I feel if I offended Pete, I will run Pete down and apologize. ... In no way do I have any idea what’s going on in anyone’s life other than the fact that rumors on the Internet can affect coaches' lives in a very, very negative fashion.”

“In no way would I be disrespectful to that guy,” and “All I know is that he kicked the crap out of me five times.”

I know for a fact Weis and Carroll don't like each other much, so Weis let a little of his reported issues with Carroll slip. It's not Coach Weis' finest moment.

It's too bad Coach Weis couldn't go out with class. He says he's going to coach for an NFL team next year. But here's hoping he thinks twice before he talks about other coaches in the future.

Also, Irish Illustrated should have used video rather than be accused of misquoting Weis.

Tiger Woods alienates black community with white lovers? Garbage!

The Associated Press' material can be a howler at times. The latest funny was this title: "Tiger Woods alienates black community with white lovers" which was conceived and written by a writer at the AP who presents his take on what the "Black Community" is and who represents it by turning to the old mainstream media standard, the legendary Tom Joyner.

Now, I love Tom Joyner, so it's not his fault; I'm aiming at the AP's 39-year-old Jesse Washington, who, while African American, has no idea what the "Black Community" is.

Jesse Washington

In a time when interracial dating is common, and black women with white men in commercials are more common than the opposite, its downright silly to complain about Tiger Woods' choice of female companions, blonde, brunette, or polka-dot, Rachel Uchitel, Jaimie Grubbs, Jamie Jungers, Kamile Moquin, Cori Rist, or Mindy Lawton.

Besides, why would any woman regardless of color want to be compared with or take the place of the alleged mistresses Tiger Woods has been linked to, given the PR backfire that can ensue?

Jesse Washington's AP-blasted take is a reflection of a certain part of Black America
that no longer represents the sum total of Black America: those who racially segregate themselves and hate any image of racial mixing for fear that it may result in the devaluation of their blackness.

Washington (who's background includes work in Detroit and New York City) reflects a part of the East Coast's Black Community that's far more hardened against and critical of interracial dating than on the West Coast, in San Francisco or Los Angeles or Oakland. I'm black and I'm certainly not the kind of person Washington implies "we" are. Moreover, many African Americans are not like that at all and root for Tiger Woods to overcome his problems.

What's interesting is Jesse Washington cherry-picked his sources to make the article he advanced. For example, he went to Tom Joyner as a source rather than The Root, the Washington Post-backed black blog site where Terence Samuel's blog post on Tiger Woods mentioned nothing about race.

And the study Washington references refers to adolescent interracial romance and not the adult American population. Washington should know that two studies referenced in the USA Today explain that interracial dating is so common in the Millenial Generation that the new generation "doesn't blink at interracial relationships."

And on a personal note, my mother and her friends and family, all black, still root for Tiger Woods. My African American friends who send emails and texts all want Tiger to succeed. So this idea Jesse Washington is advancing - that Tiger Woods' is in some way "alienated" from the black community - is just pure garbage with all due respect to Mr. Washington, who's overall work I enjoy.

I just disagree with my brother.

Tiger Woods 4th mistress - Media loses count of alleged affairs

Ok Tiger Woods 4th mistress is a headline, even as we have alleged mistresses number 5 and 6, Cori Rist and Mindy Lawton.

What's going on?

What's going on is at this point the media's not paying attention to details. Read my previous blog post for the right update on all of this.

But if you're keeping score, here's the list of alleged affairs: Rachel Uchitel, Jamie Grubbs, Kalika Moquin, Jamie Jungers, Cori Rist and Mindy Lawton.

Cori Rist and Mindy Lawton Tiger Woods alleged 5th and 6th affairs

Ok, within two days we've seen three more women surface claiming to have had affairs with Tiger Woods, and so many new names the media's losing count: Jamie Jungers, Cori Rist and Mindy Lawton.

Jamie Jungers was alleged mistress number four, but what happened was that an Orlando lawyer named Michael O'Quinn surfaced reporting that he represented the 4th mistress. But that was questionable because Jamie Jungers lives in Las Vegas and gave her story to a British tabloid. So that pointed to a 5th woman and possibly a 6th woman.

Now we have both and it means that my video presenting the first three will have to be revised, but here it is if you need a "who's who" background:

Again, that was Rachel Uchitel, Jamie Grubbs, and Kalika Moquin.

Now and again we have Jamie Jungers, Cori Rist and Mindy Lawton.

Jamie Jungers

So lets put them all in a row: Rachel Uchitel, Jamie Grubbs, Kalika Moquin, Jamie Jungers, Cori Rist and Mindy Lawton.

Of these, Rachel Uchitel and Jamie Grubbs are confirmed. Kalika Moquin's not talking. Jamie Jungers story seems shaky to me. Cori Rist and Mindy Lawton are new, but Mindy Lawton's the one backed by Orlando lawyer Michael O'Quinn, even though her really detailed story is described in a British publication Mail Online.

The New York Daily News has Cori Rist as reportedly an NY Upper East Side 31-year-old Manhattan "nightclub goer" (which can't be her profession) who claims to have met Woods at a nightclubs called "Butter" and then he flew her to tournaments.

Now we're into Silly Season.

So why is Cori Rist in our midst if her story is of a shaky trist? Because some unnamed source blabbed to the NY Daily News. But geez, is that all it takes to get on Tiger Woods "alleged affairs" list? That's ridiculous.

Cori Rist is not talking and the NY Daily News could be fishing for attention (ok, they got it) so scratch Cori Rist from your list for now.

We've got to start calling out this crap when it happens rather than getting caught up in the numbers. Society has no shortage of low-lifes who will spread bad lies about a person just to do it and because they don't feel good about themselves. The Tiger Woods issue is fertile ground for this.

The NY Daily News should have really fleshed out that story before going public with it.

By contrast, the Mindy Lawton story in the Mail Online is more fleshed out. It's a story of Mindy Lawton, the "$8-an-hour-waitress" who had an alleged affair with Tiger Woods that was reportedly chronicled as far back as 2006 then reportedly kept out of the media for years until a tabloid sting in 2007 came close to outing Tiger's affair.

The Mail Online's article, written by Sharon Churcher and Caroline Graham, starts like this:

Perhaps he didn't notice the SUV parked across the road. If he did, he wasn't troubled by its blacked-out windows or any nagging hint of familiarity about its presence.

In fact, if Tiger Woods thought so much as twice about what he was doing, then Mindy Lawton had no inkling of it as they enjoyed a secret assignation in Tiger's Cadillac Escalade 4x4 in a church car park soon after daybreak during a Florida spring.

But every move of that alfresco encounter was recorded by a surveillance team of reporters and photographers from one of America's biggest-selling tabloid magazines. It was a scoop - the first example of what we now know to be a pattern of infidelity on Tiger's part.


The Mail Online explains all of this reportedly happened right in Orlando in Tiger Woods backyard as Lawton worked at Perkins, a dinner near the Windermere home of Tiger and his wife Elin Nordegren reportedly ate. And then when his management company got wind of a tabloid sting then reportedly (that word again) when into overdrive and made a deal to kill the story.

The source for that view is Neal Boulton, who was an editor with Men's Fitness at the time. Men's Fitness is the magazine that Tiger Woods reportedly agreed to be in as an exchange for the National Enquirer which was going to run with the story. Both the National Enquirer and Men's Fitness are owned by American Media Inc.

But Gawker reports that American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker is calling Neal Boulton a "disgruntled former employee" and the Gawker author who revealed this, Hamilton Nolan, wrote that Boulton once stiffed him for a freelance article he wrote for Boulton, so he's biased against Boulton.


It's the financial agendas and personal issues like that one which color the Tiger Woods story and will continue to do so in the future.

Stay tuned.

Oakland Adams Point Action Council Party December 8th

The Oakland Adams Point Action Council, a group of neighbors that live in the Adams Point area next to Lake Merritt, is having its Holiday Party Tuesday, December 8th at 7 PM the Bellevue Club 525 Bellevue Avenue.

They're asking you to bring cookies and other "nibbles" to share, but come-on. It's a holiday party, so someone bring spiked egg nog and grilled chicken. There's a Kentucky Fried Chicken nearby on Lake Park, right next to the Grand Lake Theater, for goodness sakes!