Picked up Norman Mailer’s The Armies of the Night at this year’s Word on the Street, and have been quite enjoying it, though I find it strange reading his observations made while protesting the Vietnam War, even as we attack Afghanistan. For example, his definition of a “bad war”:
…all wars are bad if they consist of rich boys fighting poor boys when the rich boys have an advantage in the weapons… All wars were bad which undertook daily operations which burned and bombed large numbers of women and children; all wars were bad which relocated populations…all wars were bad which had no line of battle or discernable climax certainly all wars were bad which took some of the bravest young men of a nation and sent them into combat with outrageous superiority and outrageous arguments: such conditions of combat had to excite a secret passion for hunting other humans. Certainly any war was a bad war which required an inability to reason as the price of retaining one’s patriotism… A good war, like anything else which is good, offers the possibility that further effort will produce a determinable effect on upon chaos, evil, or waste.
And there lies the crux of the problem. This current campaign could be seen as a “good war,” but bears too many signs of a bad one.
In a follow-up to a recent rant about hackers threatening the integrity of online news, NewsBytes has a fascinating story about someone using CNN.com and some clever tricks to create a convincing story about the death of Britney Spears.
While we’re on the topic of online journalism, a former online journalist did a exhaustive study of the industry for her Master’s thesis. Some interesting conclusion were made, and she promises to make the paper more Web-friendly when time permits. Worth a read.