Every time I watch this, it brings me to happy tears. I admit it. I also don't think Hillary's lock on the Latino vote is as secure as it once seemed.
Labels: Obama Latino
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Kindle's Promising Long Tail for Writers
I just finished a work-in-progress on my Kindle, Believe by Daniel Oran. I learned about it from the Kindle Daily Post which appears when I go to the Kindle Store on my device. It seems that Daniel Oran posted his novella at the Digital Text Platform, a free Amazon service which enables anyone to publish their work for the Kindle.
Believe made it to Number 7 in the Kindle bestseller rankings, selling for a limited time at 99 cents (that's what I bought it for), and Oran says he received "some great feedback on the novel during the beta test." This is quite a concept -- beta testing a book with real readers, as opposed to circulating a manuscript to friends and fellow-students in your MFA program. Molly of Kindle Daily Post reported the exciting next chapter of the story. "To our absolute delight," she wrote, "Oran reported that he was contacted just this morning by a publisher in New York showing interest in publishing a paper version of Believe."
As for the novella itself, it was sweet and pretty well written, in my opinion. A patient named Joshua turns out to have dramatic healing powers and helps make New York City turn to kindness for a day. Oran includes enough real-sounding medical knowledge to help a willing reader go along for the miraculous ride.
I confess I am toying with putting up my poetry manuscript on the Digital Text Platform as a beta book for 99 cents. It's one thing to put your stuff up on the web so people can read it on their computer screens. It's quite another to know they can curl up in their favorite chair with your work, seeing your words on the clear, paperlike screen of the Kindle. Very tempting.
It's one more example of how the Kindle has the feel of a writer/reader's gadget. The team behind this product really seem to care about writing and authors and readers. It shows.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Most Convincing Case for Obama I've Ever Seen
Via Baratunde Thurston and Steve Garfield, I have just spent 20 minutes watching a crystal-clear presentation of the case for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. The creator is Lawrence Lessig.
The most mind-boggling correction in the video, in my opinion, is the refutation of Hillary's false statement in a debate that Obama removed from his web site links to his October, 2002, speech against the war a year after he made it. (All that exists in video from this speech is this famous passage.) Lessig shows actual archives from the Internet of links to the speech in the 12 months after he made it. In watching the video of Bill Clinton's infamous "give me a break, this is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen" rant at Dartmouth, I see that Bill's version of the charge has Obama removing the speech in 2004. Whatever. Lessig's larger point remains--that the Clintons have used Rovean Swiftboat tactics in an attempt to undermine Obama's single greatest claim to moral courage and prophetic judgment. The fact is that Obama spoke out against the war in the middle of his campaign for the U.S. Senate, at a time when the mood of the media and the nation made this a very unpopular position to take.
Lessig's video essay is beautifully crafted, with the best PowerPoint-style moves I've seen in a long time. Please take the time to watch it, and then forward this link to anyone you think might need to see it.