The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

July 7, 2010


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Skeleton

Drab and Violent Decay t's Lost
We're Fucked Poisoned by
Fundamentally Useless Corporate SHT
Corporate Viral Memetics of
Philosophical Discour

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2010 10:48:15
From: S?amas Cain <seamascain@GMAIL.COM>
Reply-To: "Poetics List (UPenn, UB)" <POETICS@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU>
To: POETICS@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
Subject: Fwd: The death of Andrei Voznesensky

_______________


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/andrei-voznesensky-poet-who-fought-against-artistic-censorship-in-the-soviet-union-2018291.html

Regards,

S?amas Cain
http://seamascain-writernetwork.org

_______________

==================================
The Poetics List is moderated & does not accept all posts. Check guidelines & sub/unsub info: http://epc.buffalo.edu/poetics/welcome.html

IText

ICorporate I-Abjection (is there any Iother Ikind?)
of the IInternet IText (is there any Iother Ikind?)

ISkeleton

"Drab and Violent Decay t's Lost
We're Fucked Poisoned by
Fundamentally Useless Corporate SHT
Corporate Viral Memetics of
Philosophical Discour"

of the viral I: PAD^PHONE^POD^ME^MASH
of the viral IMash of the IMush
of the subaltern production of the IMush
of the industrialization of IThought IIdentification
of the good-Job-Steve! of the good-Job-Steve-ISlaves!
of the ISweatshops! Of the ISlaves!

Free to ICreate at Last!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2010 18:18:24
From: Center for Biological Diversity <bioactivist@biologicaldiversity.org>
To: sondheim@panix.com
Subject: Don't Let BP Play Russian Roulette With the Arctic







                       Center for Biological Diversity











Dear Alan,

BP's Endicott Island

As if it weren't busy enough dealing with the greatest environmental
disaster this country has ever seen, in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is planning
to drill brand new ultra-extended-reach wells in the Arctic this year.
What's more, Secretary Ken Salazar's Interior Department has done nothing to
stop it.
 
In the hopes of drilling what would be the longest horizontal wells ever
drilled, BP has built the most powerful drillship in the world and shipped
it up to the Arctic for its latest project, which it dubs "Liberty." Like
the ultra-deepwater well in the Gulf that led to the catastrophe there, BP's
proposed Liberty project requires dangerous, untested technology that is far
from foolproof. And as in the Gulf, the federal agency charged with
overseeing oil activities has been too cozy with the oil companies in
Alaska. In fact, it has recently come to light that the Interior Department
allowed BP to write much of the environmental review for the Liberty
project.
 
If something were to go wrong in the Arctic, BP simply could not deal with
it. BP and the federal government have their hands completely tied trying to
deal with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It would make absolutely no
sense to allow the company to launch new, untested technology in the Arctic
while it is still struggling to stop, contain and clean up the massive oil
spill in the Gulf. A wide variety of species found nowhere but the Arctic
make their home near BP's Liberty project, including polar bears, which are
listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act because of the drastic
loss of their sea-ice habitat. A Gulf-sized oil spill in the Arctic could
spell disaster for struggling polar bears and other Arctic species.
 
Please join the Center for Biological Diversity in asking Secretary Salazar
to deny BP's permit to drill this year and defer any future drilling until
he can guarantee the Arctic is safe.

[take_action.gif]
Click here to find out more and take action.

If you have trouble following the link, go tohttp://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=4257.

____________________________________________________________________________

Sample letter:

Subject: Don't Let BP Oil the Arctic

I request that you, as head of the Department of the Interior, deny BP's
application to drill for the Liberty production drilling project, slated to
begin this fall in the Alaskan Arctic. The ongoing disaster in the Gulf of
Mexico has called into question BP's assurances about safety and response
capability. Interior should therefore reject BP's current Liberty drilling
plan and defer any future consideration of the project until the federal
government has completed a full environmental review that realistically
takes into account BP's response capabilities in the Arctic.

I further request that you defer any future approval until and unless you
can ensure that BP can devote adequate resources to any incident that might
occur in the Arctic. Given that BP is currently overwhelmed with the Gulf of
Mexico disaster, the earliest that could happen is after the oil spill in
the Gulf has been stopped and all oil containment, recovery and cleanup
efforts are complete.
 
BP has described its Arctic Liberty project as "one of its biggest
challenges to date." If the project goes forward, Liberty's ultra-extended
reach wells will be the longest ever attempted. In order to drill these
unprecedented wells, BP had to commission the building of the largest
drilling rig in the world. Once drilled, BP's horizontal wells will be more
prone than traditional wells to gas kicks, which are the most common cause
of blowouts.
 
Despite the inherent dangers in experimenting with this untested technology,
the Interior Department's environmental review of the Liberty project was
lax at best. BP in fact wrote its own environmental assessment of the
impacts of the Liberty project. Not surprisingly, BP found that there would
be no significant impacts from the project and that the possibility of an
oil spill was low.

If anything, the Arctic is even more vulnerable to an oil spill than the
Gulf of Mexico. There is no technology for cleaning oil in broken ice
conditions. The sea-ice environment is extremely dynamic, and the Arctic is
subject to dangerous weather conditions, including high winds and storms,
that could seriously complicate any response to a spill. What's more, there
isn't the infrastructure or capacity to respond. The nearest Coast Guard
station is more than 1,000 miles away in Kodiak, and much of the oil spill
response equipment in the Arctic is more than 20 years old. Until BP makes
an affirmative showing, verified by the Department of the Interior, that it
is capable and ready to respond to a significant oil spill in the Arctic,
the Liberty project should not move forward.

The Interior Department has the legal right, as well as the responsibility,
to deny BP's application to drill at Liberty this year and defer future
approvals until it can guarantee there will not be a BP disaster in the
Arctic. Lax environmental review of BP's drilling plans led to the worst
environmental catastrophe in the history of this country. The Department of
the Interior must not allow BP to take its chances in the Arctic.

____________________________________________________________________________

Donate now to support our work.

Arctic offshore drilling "island" photo courtesy BP.

This message was sent to sondheim@panix.com.

The Center for Biological Diversity sends newsletters and action alerts
through DemocracyinAction.org. Let us know if you'd like to change your
email list preferences or stop receiving action alerts and newsletters from
us.

____________________________________________________________________________

Center for Biological Diversity

P.O. Box 710

Tucson, AZ 85702

1-866-357-3349

[TrackImage?key=1464134459

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2010 13:16:30
From: moderator@PORTSIDE.ORG
To: PORTSIDE@LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG
Subject: The Dramatic Drop in Women's Sports Coverage

Edge of Sports

The Dramatic Drop in Women's Sports Coverage

An Interview with Mike Messner

By Dave Zirin
The Nation
July 6, 2010

http://www.thenation.com/blog/37087/dramatic-drop-women%E2%80%99s-sports-coverage-interview-mike-messner

Michael Messner is a professor of sociology and gender
studies at the University of Southern California (USC)
and is the author of numerous books including Power at
Play: Sports and the Problem of Masculinity. He is the
co-author, along with Prof. Cheryl Cooky, of a new
report called, Gender in Televised Sports: News and
Highlight Shows, 1989-2009.

Here we discuss this fascinating study.

Dave Zirin:  Let's talk about your study on gender and
televised sports.  What did you and Professor Cooky
uncover in your research?

Mike Messner: We looked at the three local networks
affiliates here in Los Angeles and also the ESPN
Sportscenter at 11 o'clock in the evening.  The first
time we did this study was 1989 and we have done it
every five years since then. The first couple times we
did it, 1989 and 1993 coverage of women sports on the
evening news shows was about 5%.  I know a lot of
people back then said that the number would continue to
go up as time went by and the media caught up with this
explosion of girls and women sports throughout the
country.  Indeed in 1999 it nudged up to 8.7% of all
sports coverage.  Then in 2004 it went back down to
6.3% and the most recent data we collected was in 2009
and the coverage on the evening news shows has almost
evaporated to 1.6%, the lowest amount ever, and ESPN is
right down there with 1.4% of their Sportscenter
coverage.  We were pretty stunned by the drop off.

DZ: To go from 5% in 1989  to at 1.6%, in 2009. How do
we understand that coverage has actually gone down as
women's leagues and play have become more prevalent.

MM: Well, that's what the puzzle really is. There has
been this continued explosion of participation and
interest in women's sports and it just hasn't been
reflected in TV news and highlight shows. One of the
more interesting findings we had was in 1989 and 1999
the big chunk of women's sports coverage we did see on
these shows was what we called insulting or
trivialization or humorous sexualization of women
athletes, like a nude bungee jumper or leering court
reports on tennis players like Anna Kournikova or later
Maria Sharapova.  In 2004 and 2009 those kinds of
stories declined to the point where we saw almost none
of that insulting stuff about women athletes.  But I
guess what we are wondering now is when they stop doing
insulting or humorous sexualization stories on women
athletes, it seems that they just don't know how to
talk about women and women sports at all.

DZ: When you talk about the sexualization and
trivialization of women athletes, were you calculating
that amidst the 5% in 1989?

MM:  That's right.  That was part of the 5% in 1989 and
part of the 8.7% in 1999 and it was a pretty big chunk
of it.  When you see that kind of coverage disappear,
what also disappears is coverage of women's sports at
all. I think part of this has to do with the fact that
a lot of these sports reporters on the evening news
especially, are the same guys basically who we saw in
1989 and 1993: Fred Rogan at KNBC, Jim Hill at KCBS,
it's the same reporters and they are doing the same
stuff.  I think one of the keys to this when thinking
about Sportscenter and the evening news is it's kind of
a men's club, though Sportscenter does include a couple
of women reporters but the news shows really don't.
It's been really interesting this week since our report
came out: only women reporters have seen fit to cover
this as a story.  I think there is some reason to think
if we could desegregate the sports desk on newspapers
and in TV news and so forth you might get a little bit
more respectful coverage of women's sports.

DZ: What would you say to the argument that says, "look
ESPN is not a non-profit and we are giving the people
what they want and if that means less women's coverage
then that's just the rules of the market."?

MM: That's what they always say of course and of course
I think all of these shows especially Sportscenter are
an entertainment show and they're trying to hit the
broadest market they can. But they miss a really big
opportunity in ignoring women's sports. I think looking
at the coverage of college basketball is especially
useful. ESPN has done a pretty good job over the last
few years of actually covering women's games in the
tournament.  But it doesn't appear very much on
Sportscenter and it doesn't appear at all on the
evening news.  So what they're missing is a growing
market for really interested and excited fans, I put
myself among these: one of my favorite sports is
women's college basketball.  Just to give you a couple
of examples, in 2009 and 2010, over 11 million people
attended women's NCAA games.  In 2010 the men's sweet
sixteen games on CBS averaged 4.9 million viewers while
women's games averaged 1.6 million viewers and the
championship game between UConn and Stanford drew 3.5
million viewers.  So I think there is a tremendous
audience out there but when we look at TV news and
highlight shows what we found was that the women's NCAA
tournament got no coverage at all on the network
affiliates and it got a tiny bit of coverage on ESPN
and most of that coverage was on that scrolling ticker
at the bottom of the screen.  In contrast, there is
just all kinds of coverage about the men's tournament,
with speculation about bracketing and special feature
stories of Shaquille O'Neal going one on one with a 90
year old granny on who's going to pick the best field
and a tremendous amount of promotion of the men's
tournament and almost complete silence on the women's
tournament.  For a sport with a tremendous growing
popularity and you would think that ESPN would use
Sportscenter to build audiences for the event that they
are actually showing live on television.

DZ: Why do you think they don't do that then?  Do you
think it just can only be explained in terms of it
being a boys club therefore their minds are closed to
that perspective?  Or do you think they have a stake in
institutional sexism? Is it subconscious or is it
conscious?

MM: Well, I think they make conscious decisions about
what they cover everyday but I think there is a
tremendous amount of inertia as well.  And only a part
of it has to do with the fact it's men making most of
these decisiions.  Men are capable of doing really good
sports reporting on women's sports and a lot of men
really like women's sports.  But I think there is a
fear on a lot of their parts, if they don't stay with
the big three sports. About 3/4 of all the news
coverage we saw was of men's football, men's basketball
and men's baseball.  So it is important that we
recognize that it's not just women's sports that are
getting edged out of this, it's a whole lot of the
other men's sports as well.

DZ: Professor Mary Jo Kane from the University of
Minnesota Tucker Center studies how the sexualization
of women's athletes - and the growth of popularity of
some women athletes as sex symbols - actually hurts
women's sports.  I'm raising this because one change
over the twenty years of your study is the way top
women athletes integrate themselves into magazines like
Maxim and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. It
didn't happen in 1989 but now women athletes, for
example Danica Patrick, Lindsay Vonn, Jennie Finch are
regularly featured in these magazines.  Your data seems
to support Professor Kane's work, do you agree with
that?

MM: Absolutely, I have been in long agreement with Mary
Jo Kane on that issue.  What high-level women's
athletes have to do to get coverage in mainstream
outlets often times is to take off their clothes. It's
sad to say, but that's the way it works.  For those
individual women, it helps raise their profile and
possibly make them some money.  But it certainly
doesn't help promote women's sports. I think it's a way
to really corner off women into an image that is
acceptable and familiar to male audiences and male
broadcasters.  It's not something that helps women
sports.

DZ: Do you think women's sports as a whole have ceased
to be empowering or at least a vehicle for empowerment?

MM: No, but I think the main place that's happening
right now is with little girls.  There is a lot of
research that shows that playing sports is an
empowering experience for little girls and for young
women and for so many different ways in terms of
health, self-esteem, sexual responsibility and so
fourth.  Whether sports will go to another level and go
beyond that individual growth level and be part of a
collective empowerment of women, as I think it has been
in the past is very important.  I think the media plays
an increasingly important part in that.  Unfortunately
now I don't think the media, at least according to our
study, is doing a good job of that.  One of the things
people are talking about now is if we want good
coverage of women's sports we can't rely on the
mainstream media to do that. We've got to start
creating some of our own venues on the internet, on
television perhaps by organizations like the Women's
Sports Foundation and maybe with some corporate
sponsors to start just showing women's sports.  I would
like to see that happen but I'm not quite ready to
concede that the mainstream media is a lost cause.
It's really important because what we see on the media,
what we see on Sportscenter is not just entertainment
but really tells us a story about who we are.

[Dave Zirin is the author of the forthcoming "Bad
Sports: How Owners are Ruining the Games we Love"
(Scribner) Receive his column every week by emailing
dave@edgeofsports.com. Contact him at
edgeofsports@gmail.com.]

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