Friday, November 04, 2005

Walmart-Craigslist-Amazon-Baudrillard

Just when I thought that I hated New York, because of its expensiveness, its temptations and its crazy amounts of people walking on the street, taking the subways and waiting in line at my favorite food joints...

I got lucky again!

On Tuesday, I was invited by my Research Methods of Media Theory teacher, Dr.Margaret Bates, to the premiere of a very interesting documentary:

WAL-MART, THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE.
http://www.walmartmovie.com/



I had some knowledge about the type of operation of the world's biggest corporation, but I had no idea that they could be charged with so many accounts (sexism, rascism, low wages, relying on wellfare and medicaid, lack of security in parking lots, inhumane working conditions in bangladesh, etc...). After the screening, the director, Peter Greenwald and the director of the biggest labor union in America answered some questions. Also on the same line of documentaries, Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me and his vegetarian girlfriend were there supporting the cause.

If you have the chance, you should check the website, there are some quick time clips, and more importantly, you can order your own copy of the movie.

So from now on, I won't be shopping at WalMart... (I don't think I have since I got to NY).


On Wedensday, I went to Columbia School of Journalism. They presented in their "Columbia Journalism Dialogues" the panel

THE CHANGING MEDIA LANDSCAPE, 2005

I had never been to Columbia University and I was impressed. What a beautiful campus. I didn't feel in New York at all. The event was well organized, they asked everyone to be there at 6:30 PM so that they could have a drink and some appetizers. The conference started at 7:15 and its panelist were:

Len Apcar, Editor in Chief of The new York Times on-line
Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist.org
Andrea Pancera, Editor of Providence Journal on-line
Jeff Gralnick, MSNBC News specialist
James Taranto, Opinion Journal from Wall Street Journal On-line





They basically talked about the new media and its panorama. I must admit I was very curious about who Craig was (he is the bald guy, the second one from left to right, looks like a regular Parkslopian, only he is from San Francisco) After using his page so many times to sell stuff, to find free stuff, to find an apartment, to find a subletter for my apt, to find a job, or just to have fun...Still there were some statements that made alot of sense to me like accepting that in the future, professional journalism and citizen journalism will merge, that there is a "multidimensional landscape" with many voices, that broadband = broadcast, that trust is the big issue and that the reader has control of what he or she reads.

Will this all lead to complete democratization of the media? NO, NOT YET...
They all admitted that everything is monitored and supervised before it goes out on the public. Even "Live chats".

http://www.jrn.columbia.edu/







On Thursday Nov 3 Brett invited me to a reception and screeing of the five finalist of the Amazon-American Express and Tribeca Film festival short film contest. One of those lucky kids won $50,000 to make his next flick. Thinking that that could have been me, well maybe not. The five finalist were all guys, no girls in this competition. That saddened me a little. The shorts were funny, we had a taste of drama with "Battaglia", Suspense and Terror with "Ritchers Agenda" , lightness and comedy with "Meter Maids", Comedy and Suspense with "Duel at the Red table" and simplicity of everyday common life with "Coming Home" (my favorite!!! check www.mediocrefilms.com, they have a new short every month).

After the screening (held at the MGM building) there was a small panel with the writer of the book that Nort Country is based on, an australian guy named John Polson (director of Sony Tropfest) and the actor Mathew Modine (he was unexplicably funny, silly and at times out of place.

http://www.amazonshortfilm.com/contestinfo.cfm



AND TODAY, FRIDAY NOV.4 I will go see BAUDRILLARD at my school!!!! Finally I will get to see and listen to this guy. I've read a lot of his stuff (some forcefully because of school) and now I will get to put a persona to a name.

THE PARALLAX OF EVIL: DOMINATION AND HEGEMONY:
A PUBLIC DIALOGUE BETWEEN JEAN BAUDRILLARD AND SYLVÈRE LOTRINGER




On Friday, Nov. 4, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street, a conversation between Sylvère Lotringer, and Jean Baudrillard will take place where Baudrillard will offer contemporary corroboration of Marx’s claim that history repeats itself the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce. This event is free and open to the public.

http://www.newschool.edu/observer/index.html

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