17 September 2007

Libel, American style

From a New York Daily News article about O. J. Simpson's recent robbery arrest in Las Vegas. Italics mine:

"They might actually nail him this time," said Marcia Clark, the Los Angeles prosecutor who bungled the Simpson murder case in 1995, when a jury let the Heisman Trophy winner walk in the slaying of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her pal Ron Goldman.

In this new drama, Vegas cops say The Juice led a group of pals - including a buddy who was in Sin City to renew his marriage vows - who burst into a hotel room Thursday night. Guns drawn, two of the men confronted two sports memorabilia dealers who were trying to sell some Simpson-related items as Simpson barked orders, Lt. Clint Nichols said.

"It was kind of scary," said Tom Riccio, another memorabilia dealer who tipped off Simpson about the sale and said he was there when the alleged theft went down.

Seems oddly sensitive, that second articulation, no? I suppose the reason that you can call him a murderer but only an alleged thief owes to the fact that the theft is still being prosecuted. To my Canadian ears, though, that first paragraph sounds presumptive and more than a little defamatory.

Of course, libel law here is much harsher than in the States. Canadian journalists are like that abused child from your primary school class—the one who, when the teacher raises her hand to fix her hair, recoils in fright.

14 September 2007

On fruitful procrastination

This latest video project leapt out of an afternoon that should produced something else—namely, a job. But, well, you take your distraction where you can can get it. The outdoors have begun beckoning me less; summer is fading from my window, and I've turned the baseboard heater on, although just in the mornings, the last two days running. Take a look.

Moon Ascent

This one I assembled from a bunch of still photographs and an audio track I stitched together on Audacity, an excellent open-souce editing program. The song is Air's "Modular Mix," which has some celestial elements, although it's far from their best song.

All in all, it's the technically superior of the two "flight" videos, but to me it falls flat in the switchover from moon to earth, which is accompanied by a 16-beat song loop that feels like waiting. I may go back and edit it some more when I have my next burst of industry, but I probably won't.

(To potential employers reading this blog: After that first burst of industry, do the smart thing and hand my projects off to a closer.)

And Then So Clear

This second one is more crudely rendered, but it seems to hit a chord. I made it six or seven months ago, while in the blush of my first contact with YouTube, and then, after watching its meagre return of hits (200 or so after two months), forgot about it.

To my surprise, the video began to pick up momentum (and generous comments from viewers), and it now has nearly 16,000 hits. Of course, teenage girls' mugging for their digital camera generates seventy times that traffic in the same amount of time, and that can only mean that the world is spinning at the correct velocity. I think the market for tenderly-wrought electronica may be just about at its saturation point.