The blog that didn't bark.

A mostly political Weblog.
July 24 2006 2:15 PM

Hola, Kos!

The blog that didn't bark.

(Continued from Page 2)

Is there "a resurgence in union membership across the nation"? That would be stunning news, since union membership has been in relentless long term decline for fifty years--"from more than 35 percent [in 1955] to 12.5 percent last year, including only 7.9 percent of the private-sector workforce," according to a  Thomas Edsall WaPo piece from September, 2005. But I can't find any mention of this surprising resurgence in union membership in the Post, or the New York Times. I can't find it on Google (to the contrary). I can't find it on the website of the "strategic organizing" Change to Win unions--you'd think they'd boast about it. And there's no mention of it in the USA Today story ABC says reports it. (That's a story about unions raising political campaign money and cooperating with each other, which is different.) Tentative conclusion: It doesn't exist. There's no resurgence in union membership. The Note item is in error. [And "it reflects the subconscious liberal yearnings of whatever MSM summer intern wrote it unaware that the cumbersome legalistic mechanisms of Wagner Act unionism are incompatible with productive success in a fast-moving global high-tech economy"?--ed You said that.] 12:57 P.M. link

Friday, July 21, 2006

I missed Wednesday night's unveiling of the Tesla electric sports car in Santa Monica. ... Prof. Reynolds is skeptical. ... My friend D.L., who drives a souped-up Porsche, was impressed. He emails:

Was at the Tesla event, lots people and everyone got a short ride....

You remember what I said about getting a powerful car makes you happier because everytime you step on the gas you get a little hormonal rush.

Well, this is better.   It's all about the rush, not the motor (which is silent), it feels like space car on wheels.  Like an amusement park thrill ride.   If you ever had a slot car and wondered "Why don't they build big cars like this" - well, they did.   Fun, fun, fun...

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The electric-car-from-people-who-like-fast-cars approach has intriguing uncrunchy appeal. Usually fast, sexy cars get all the attention, right? But the Tesla might cause some semiotic confusion among all the L.A. players who've recently bought Priuses because it's considered sexy in Hollywood to not like fast cars. ... Meanwhile: Gas cars are getting out of hand. ... 12:50 P.M.

Rocky Balboa, I.D. Please!  At a well-attended  Zocalo public forum on immigration in L.A. on Wednesday, prominent attorney/activist Connie Rice asserted confidently that one thing the experts agree on is that Americans aren't willing to take meatpacking-plant jobs. Is that right? ... 12:14 P.M.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Who's Driving My Plano?--Update: Kidney heroVirginia Postrel's Dynamist has become the go-to site for the Plano controversy that's gripped the blogosphere by the throat. ... One of Postrel's Dallas readers resurrects the theory--left behind in my  Dunkirk-like evacuation of this blog's earlier position--that the Plano theater "draws people from all over the far-northern suburbs," making Plano B.O. an invalid barometer of a film's popularity among (relatively conservative) Planoites. ... 10:26 P.M.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Everybody's talking about how there's nothing everybody talks about! Bob Wright and I discuss, somewhat inconclusively, the issue of whether the Webbish "long tail" phenomenon will undesirably reduce the sphere of shared culture. E-mailer C. Friedersdorf says it won't

... because even though there are fewer people watching Jay Leno every night, it's now much easier to communicate with all the people who are watching.

When Bob and Mickey were growing up, you went to school if you wanted to talk about the Ed Sullivan Show and hoped your classmates would be talking about it.

Today if you watch even a niche Bravo reality tv show -- say Top Chef or Project Runway -- you go to Technorati an hour after the show ends and find hundreds of people, far more than attend your classes or work in your office, who are talking about that night's show.

One more point:

if the obscure episode of Project Runway happened to include a defining cultural moment -- let's say Heidi Klum's dress slipped off -- someone would post it on YouTube, and people would send it to one another on e-mail, etc.

So years ago, common culture required that everyone be watching something at once. Now the Web allows things that would become defining cultural moments but for an audience to attract that audience after the fact.

How many people say that World Cup head butt live? How many saw it on SportsCenter, on an Internet video clip, etc. later on?

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