Tag Archives: the knox student

Derrick Jensen vs. John Ashcroft

Derrick Jensen came to Knox just three days after John Ashcroft. I could not imagine a more incredible span of ideas on one campus in one week (I guess Ashcroft’s lies count as “ideas”).

Anyway, Ashcroft’s visit was so much fun. The student protests were awesome, and completely stole media coverage of the event. The student questions were good and even got picked up on Olbermann (not bad for a tiny school in the middle of the prairie). And John Ashcroft was a dick to me, but my counter got more cheers than him. So he can eat it. There’s video of that (I come in around 6:10):

Besides getting a chance to yell at a war criminal, the Ashcroft thing was really interesting because The Knox Student got to try out a bunch of new web features, and our coverage of the event rocked. Just a couple months before this, we were not even online yet. I think we changed pretty fast.

But after a really upsetting debate on campus about whether or not the protests were justified (support your protesters, people. They are putting themselves on the line for you, even if you don’t agree with them), I started to lose the rest of my faith in a revolution coming from the American people (and any semblance of support for the Democrats was completely exploded, though there was not much left by this point).

And right at the perfect time, here comes Derrick Jensen. He is the perfect person to read if you are starting to completely doubt mainstream America’s ability to make changes in our completely fucked society. The amazing thing about Derrick is that he really won’t tell you anything you didn’t already know when you were in third grade. Hey, if I have money, doesn’t that mean someone else somewhere doesn’t? Hey, if there is a limited amount of oil, won’t it run out? Hey, if you catch too many fish, won’t they go away? But for me, Derrick was a slap in the face, making me look closely at the very foundations of our culture and realize that it is, truly through and through, insane.

Let’s just say, my world, which was teetering, came crashing down. Here are some videos I took at is talk. Sorry for the shitty quality. I had the camera set from a theater project I did (more about that in a future post).

I highly recommend reading Endgame.

More to come on my new found interest in resistance. And in other news, I stole John Ashcroft’s glass from the podium after the talk. I am going to be putting it on eBay as John Ashcroft’s Backwash. I wonder how much the several-month-old DNA of a war criminal goes for in the market these days…

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Launched web site, had a hearing, graduated, working for the KC Star …

Well, it’s been a while since I updated on my life. I guess it’s been a pretty crazy couple months.

I graduated from Knox College in June, but not without a fight. I started some controversy over an editorial I wrote for The Knox Student and was taken in front of the Broadcast, Internet and Publications Board on bogus charges of irresponsible journalism (my second time in front of the board). It was pretty awesome, actually. I ended up not only winning the case, but the board charged the faculty executive committee with changing how faculty committees handle a free press at Knox (because right now there are no rules, which is bad for us). So I feel pretty good about that.

If you want, you can read all about it on TKS’s new fucking web site. This site is probably the reason I stopped writing on this blog (well, that and a Hemingway class I took where I read pretty much everything the guy ever published). It’s built on Django, which seems to be working out spectacularly. @mattbaker really worked his ass off on the site, and he now has a crack team of programmers going at the thing. A lot of interesting web journalism ideas floating around TKS these days. I mean, what school of 1,300 has a student press this active? I wish all those folk the best of luck next year (I probably made their jobs a lot harder in a lot of ways … oops).

Also, I got an internship at The Kansas City Star for the summer writing features. Their (our?) site has a pay wall still, but you can read what I’ve written until it all goes away. It has been a great experience, and there is nothing like getting paid to talk to interesting people and write about it. That is just the best job someone could hope for. And this is just so cool:

Also, my grandfather has died. Not only was he my grandfather, but he was my name sake. I wonder if the family can hold together without him. Maybe it’s already too late. Over half of us have moved away from St. Louis already.

My internship will be over at the end of August. Then my plan is to move to Denver. Because why not? For the first time ever, I don’t have anywhere to be.

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A long day of social networking

I spent today on the couch where I woke up creating Twitter accounts for The Wiki Fire, The Whateverist and The Knox Student. Then I used Twitterfeed to feed RSS feeds from each web site to automatically tweet.

As of 10:22 p.m., I am still in my pajamas. Yeah, it’s been that kind of day.

Anyway, I would love to introduce to all of you The Whateverist. It is a WordPress blog using the new Prologue theme, which is based on Twitter. Whateverist is the brain child of everyone’s best buddy, Jay over at fysigunk.us. As of this posting, there have been three different contributors. We don’t know what this thing is going to do, or who we want to invite to it or anything. So it’s kind of exciting. I’m sure Jay has a better idea than I do, since it is his thing.

the whateverist screen

Also, I am very excited about the Wiki Fire twitter account. I have it set right now so that any time a new article is created on the site (which is based on MediaWiki), it will tweet with the article title and the beginning of the body text. Pretty neat. This screen is of a Twitter article I wrote in order to test it …
the wiki fire tweet screen cap

In other news, my good friend Kelli Refer has started a cyberfeminist blog called Reviving Emma that should prove rather interesting. Cyberfeminism is an interesting, complicated series of ideas that I don’t think I know enough about. So teach me, hot stuff!

In other news, I installed Adobe CS3 today, and it is extremely fast on my MacBook. Like, it surprised me how fast it was. Photoshop flies around like I always wanted it to. It’s magic. I also figured I would take a look at the new stock photo search in Bridge, and searched for a picture of a gavel (research for a graphic I need to make for the paper). It returned tons and tons of images, so I click one, and here is what I got:

expensive photos

I had to look at this screen several times just to make sure it was, indeed, trying to sell me a boring photo of a gavel for, at the very cheapest, $100. I mean, really? $100? Will anyone ever buy that? Why does this exist in Adobe Bridge? It’s so strange. If these do sell, then I am quitting college right now and taking random photos of shit to sell on Adobe Bridge.

Anyway, in the AFK world, I spent all week working on a strange theater design project involving minimal lights and very loud, strange audio. It was really disorienting. I wish I could describe it better, but I don’t know how. Basically, the audience faces a short wall in a rectangular black box theater. The two walls on either side of the audience and the one in front of them have lights pointed towards them. We led them to their seats in absolute darkness, leading them with a flashlight so they could find their seats. Then we let them adjust to the darkness and the quiet. Then a conversation between my buddy Danny Fisher-Bruns and I started. That goes on for a while and is kind of existential and stuff. Then a smooth kind of feedback noise comes on while the sound of footsteps and shit being dragged around plays. At this point, the lights start, but very subtly. I’m talking 3% intensity, so you are not even sure they are on, but you know you’re getting dizzy. Then as things are dying down, a massive ridiculously loud noise wall comes at you and the two walls on either side of you start flashing back and forth in a very bright red that disorients you more and you can’t hear anything but crazy noise and then it ends. Total time, about 20 min counting silence at the start. I guess some things don’t translate into digital format very well, though. Sorry.

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I’m back … so long it’s been

OK, so I have realized that I have neglected you, Cheeto Fingers. I used you while I was in Spain and thought I had a lot to say, but the second I get back to the states I drop you. That wasn’t fair, I see that now, and I’m sorry.

I mean, I did kind of find someone new …

Don’t freak out, you can both have me, I feel. It’s my Twitter, but you two can work together. I mean, Twitter is good for quick 160-character go, but sometimes a guy is looking for a little more than that, you know? Sometimes guys want to cuddle. Sometimes I want to be cuddled.

Anyway, let’s get caught up as quickly as possible so we can get to the good stuff …

wiki_fire_dec_07

So I started a wiki at Knox College at TheWikiFire.org in April, and it has done pretty well for itself. As you can see, it is getting close to the 1,500 article mark. That’s not too shabby for a school of 1,351. Many of the pages are long and interesting, too.

The site is based on the MediaWiki application that the WikiMedia Foundation maintains (the same base application that Wikipedia uses).

There has not been as much action this year as there was the couple months after it started, which I suppose makes sense. Either way, I am going to have some kind of event next term to get people interested in it again. I may also incorporate it in the state of Missouri (since it’s way cheaper and I have an address there). But we’ll see how practical that becomes.

bella in a dress

OK, so my sister bought a boxer puppy and named her Bella. It was OK at first because the puppy was cute and had energy and all that. And my sister or mother would clean up the puddles in the house.

But then my sister dressed her up in a dress and took pictures of her. Ever since then, I think she just lost the will to live. She craps wherever she wants and … well I guess that’s the worst part. Anyway, she doesn’t have a uterus anymore, so there!

In other news, I am the editor of The Knox Student now, which is pretty neat. We are going to be online by the end of the year, which is a giant step for us. I am really excited about it.

Also, I did the sound design and wrote and played the music (with my band, The Danny Fisher-Bruns Carpentry Guild) for a play this fall called Vinegar Tom by Caryl Churchill. It was the best play I have ever worked on, I feel. People really walked out of the building upset and unsure of themselves. It was very powerful.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter.

Peace.

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