Monday, April 16, 2007

The Heat is On

I love my new fan club! I was toying with the idea of making tee shirts, and then decided that NO ONE (but Adrian) wears tee shirts in SL. Why would we...we can wear PRADA!!!


I got a few messages about my admiration of the "shock jock" Howard Stern. My good buddy wrote...
OMG can't be serious. You listen to that crap?
So, I feel compelled to write out here where everyone can read it.

Yes. I listen to and like the Howard Stern show. Yes. I purchased my Sirius radio JUST to listen to Howard Stern (well, and Hair Nation, too). No. I am not apologizing.

Howard Stern is a brilliant business man. That, alone, is worth respecting. Whether you like the content or not, you simply can not deny the financial success.

The Stern show does feature a lot of content that I think is dumb; I am not one for listening to strippers and such, as I am quite the RL nerd and prefer NPR. However, there is also GOOD content there; I love listening to Howard and Robin talk about politics and news events (can anyone say IMUS??????). The commentary, even when I don't agree, is free of BS and rhetoric. It is honesty in motion, and - by golly - what WOULD this world do with more honesty and less fluff????

The point, though, is that I don't have to AGREE with the guy to recognize or appreciate his brilliance. I don't have to like 100% of his content in order to appreciate the strides he has made in his career toward protecting free speech. I can not think of one other spokesperson on this planet that has fought as hard as Stern to protect free speech.

This all boils down to a concept of freedom that is lost on a lot of people. We think that the best way to make people free is to hide from them the bad things of this world. My spin is that the ultimate freedom rests in being able able to choose the right and good stuff from a field of good and bad. Will people pick the bad stuff? Well, sure they will. But they are going to pick it anyway whether it is out in the open or behind the wall. Daniel Linden, in his talk to Stanford, make an excellent point. We simply don't know all that is out there. There are sub groups of sub groups, and we have no way to know them or control them, and we can not package, sell, or distribute tolerance.

So, instead of ignoring the bad or fighting the endless fight of trying to stop it through legislation, let's spend our energy teaching people to choose GOOD content. Let's show them that there is more to life than strippers and casinos. Let's give them options that allow them to choose good stuff that isn't nerdy or boring.

If I learned anything from the Barbie with Brains project, it is that people want to be entertained. Stern has capitalized on a brand of entertainment - good or bad - and we can't just wipe that out. However, we can learn to CHANGE the dial if we don't like what we hear, and allow people who like that content the freedom to choose it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm Hugh O'Donnell from Dunoon Grammar School. I am an English teacher, and teach in the first school in Scotland to be making a major investment in SecondLife.

I would like to collaborate with you/your organisation.