From Cub to Lion – The Long Good-Bye

August 31, 2009

kidd_TheKennedyReunion

With the passing of Ted Kennedy, there has been much talk about the ‘end of an era.’ The kidd doesn’t believe this to be the case. After witnessing the funeral celebration at the JFK Memorial Library and the eulogies at the funeral mass, we learned a lot about a man who overcame adversity and atoned for character failings in his earlier years to live a long and successful life in support of the underdog. The legislative triumphs that transformed him from the Cub of Hyannis Port to the Lion of the Senate was based on his patience, perseverance and undying quest for a better world.

According to the kidd, the moral of Ted Kennedy’s life is intrinsically linked to a lifetime that fulfilled the promise and lived the dream. It was the gift of time that allowed this Kennedy to prove his mettle. So instead of closing the door to the end of an era, the kidd thinks it is more fitting if we talk about the “passing of the torch.”

“To carry Ted Kennedy’s torch is a honor,” the kidd humbly professed. “If we are to become lions in our own right, we need to live by his example. Ted Kennedy lived as long as he did to prove that the heartaches and failings of one’s youth is only one phase of one’s time here on Earth. The endurance of the long haul is what makes the man!”


Social Media Says Goodbye To A Voice Of Reason

July 26, 2009

Kidd_And Thats The Way It Is

kidd was in a state of shock today when he was asked to speak about Walter Cronkite and what he meant to a nation. The kidd struggled with the right words that best described what this icon meant to so many.

He reminded us that millions of people wouldn’t believe that President Kennedy had been shot, or that men walked on the moon until they heard it from Walter Cronkite. Like our fictional Uncle Sam, Mr. Cronkite was the reliable friend of the family that you could count on to let you know ‘just the way things were.’

The kidd stated, “the authority and influence of this one man can not be repeated, particularly in the world of social media. Today, the passing of a president or a spaceship launch would be blasted out to the masses in a real-time tweet.”

However, Walter Conkrite’s death is a reminder that time marches on, and the explosive expansion of media was inevitable and necessary. This is progress. But what it lacks, according to the kidd is the “warmth, sincerity and calmness that comes from hearing breaking news delivered by a broadcaster you trust.”

While social media is user-generated and elicits a direct feed from the people, it does lack the heart-felt sentiment that came from a generation that  had to grapple with a Depression, two World Wars and the fear of Communism. “That world mandated a need for larger than life figures to help America tread the uncertain waters of an uncertain time. Uncle Walter helped us do that. He was the gravel-voiced saviour of the airwaves,” noted the kidd.

Today, while the torrent of social media we are exposed to does reach the masses in a timely fashion, a lot of what we seek out on social networks is the echo-chamber of like-minded people. We want our world-view to be authenticated by our fans and followers, people that will put their stamp of approval on what we believe is right. We need the assurance that– ‘that’s the way it is.’ “The question is who do we rely on when its not?” reminded the kidd sadly.

Rest in peace Uncle Walter. You were our rock, our anchor. But today the grace of you needs to be broadcasted to a higher authority. You’ve earned the right to be heard on a higher plane.


kidd millennium & the Attention Economy!

May 21, 2009

Kidd_AttentionEconomy

Faced with information-overload and attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder, the kidd was beside himself this week trying to figure how to make transactions in the new Attention Economy. Based on swapping insights for followers on social network sites, the kidd needed to take his cause to a higher power. So after learning Oprah was booked, he begrudgingly settled for second best by landing an interview with the Almighty!

Now, all the kidd really wanted to know was how was he ever to get people to listen to him when they were constantly distracted by data be slung like Dominoes pizzas on a Saturday night. What the Lord told him was classified information, but seeing that you are all kidd fans, the word from ‘on-high’ can be shared here…

Apparently the Attention Economy is analogous to a feudal society, where social networks like Twitter act similar to medieval-like armies of "the followers and the followed." The value of one’s modern-day fiefdom is based on how many followers we have who are ready, willing and able to absorb our propaganda. In essence we grow our power base as digital feudal lords by winning the attention of an eclectic cadre of like-minded folk. In place of food and shelter provided in the days of feudalism, we exchange information for one’s loyalty in the Twitterverse! In essence, since all economies are based on securing scarce resources, the kidd learned that his "attention" came with a price tag! Who’d a thunk his words of wisdom were worth the time of day?

Thanking God for his savvy words of advice, the kidd was last seen securing stock in the Attention Economy, by attracting new tweeps to his Twitter crib. At the time of this posting, he was last seen holding court in a little fiefdom of 3357 followers and wants the world to know that he feels he has a much better shot at making some headway in the Attention Economy than he ever did with the current financial crisis! If you can spare some attention, won’t you join him for a little repartee and the occasional schadenfreude! After all, he’s just a tweet away!

More on the Attention Economy can be found at my zMogo posting. And more kidd millennium toons can be found here!


Guess Who’s Running the Daily Planet?

April 16, 2009

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The dissemination of the news as we once knew it… is broken. Sadly, American newspapers have never been so loved as they are now…now that they’re dying!

An industry once known for posting obituaries is now becoming one itself. RIPS go out to the Rocky Mountain News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Baltimore Examiner, Cincinnati Post, Albuquerque Tribune and even the San Juan Star (you’d have thought tourists could have kept that one alive!)

A 24/7 Wall Street online news article predicted many more major newspapers across the U.S. will shut down their print operations or go digital: including the Philadelphia Daily News, Miami Herald, Detroit News, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun Times, NY Daily News and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The New York Times Company shocked the country recently with its threats to close the Boston Globe on May 1 unless the Globe’s unions anted up $20 million in concessions.

So as legacy newspapers become dinosaurs right before our very eyes, might TV News follow in its mighty footsteps? And if so, who’s in charge of our daily news?

The new media of social networking has already shifted content creation and revenue generation from a top-down model to a bottom-up groundswell.The socialization of the Web has given way to an era of personal brands. From Twitter to Facebook, personal blogs to bookmarking sites like Digg, the era of consumer-generated content is currently guiding the media ship in today’s tech-savvy waters.

The humanization and socialization of journalism will create a viable platform for meaningful interaction of loyalty and community built around individual media brands, one person at a time. And going forward, traditional journalists will need to heed the sign posts that direct them to social networking sites to gather input, research and feedback.

As an affirmation to the power of the individual vs. big media, the social experiment currently being played out by Ashton Kutcher and CNN highlights this point.

Kutcher locked into a battle with CNN to become the first Twitter user to have one million followers (he’s already reached this goal on Facebook) is fast approaching this number as we speak. Actually the two opposing twitter accounts are currently neck-and-neck in the race to reach the milestone. CNN has over 972,000 followers, while Kutcher has more than 963,000 followers (at the time of this post).

“When I saw that I was approaching a million and that CNN was too, I thought this was really significant for social media,” stated Kutcher. “For one person to have the ability to broadcast to as many people as a major media network, I think signifies the turning of the tide from traditional news outlets to social news outlets.” Here’s some more of Kutcher’s words on the subject.

The CNN twitter account is a news feed of the company’s stories, while Kutcher’s is a combination of daily musings about his life, messages to wife Demi Moore, and links to news stories with the actor’s commentary.

Granted this battle of wits is a somewhat frivolous example, as one celebrity’s ego is pitted against another (Ted Turner) but nonetheless it does highlight the point that social media networks are here to stay and are controlling the decimation of news.

We live in an age of popularity surveillance now. While us news junkies might have evolved past Big Brother, now that the power has been handed over to the people it is you ladies and gentlemen who are now in charge of of the Daily Planet! Here’s hoping you use to keys to the kingdom wisely!


Party of No vs. Party of Know

March 9, 2009

Kidd_Party of No vs Party of Know

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Bipartisanship neatly tucked its head under its wing shortly after Obama took office this past January. For public display, a smattering of respect was extended to the newly elected president for his historical electoral victory. This decorum lasted for about a half a second, before the GOP realized where they had landed…smack dab in the middle of a powerless party, devoid of leadership! Less they breathe in any more of the rarified air that was wafting throughout the Capital, they collectively knew their only recourse was to retreat. But how was the Party of No going to disagree without appearing disagreeable?

As the Democrats struggle for answers, they are at least acting on potential quick-fix and long-range solutions. While time will tell if Obama’s recovery plan will hit the nail on the proverbial head, it’s the administration’s opinion that it is better to take action than continually wallow in negativity.

The Republicans on the other hand have borrowed a page out of former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s 1980’s playbook: Just Say No! Get use to it! In an attempt to begin the mighty Sisyphus task of rolling the power ball back up the Hill, they will continue to oppose for opposition sake!

Make no mistake: Republicans are pissed off and are acting out. The Party has decided that their road back from perdition is paved with defiant, unified contrarianism. However, being obstinate and petulant smacks of bravado, with no substance. Is the party still suffering from Bush-fatigue? Or has the GOP officially perished at the ripe old age of 154?  Like the Federalists, Whigs, Bull-Moosers, and Dixiecrats before them, will they fade into history? Or do they yet have an ace up their sleeve?

Could they be relying on their defacto distraction, the DittoMaster? Rush Limbaugh has not only saturated his airwaves with vitriol and venom, but he has not missed one mainstream news cycle in the last several weeks, and his blind faith followers, the “dittoheads” can’t get enough. His current rant is intimidating the president into a verbal duel, a radio debate!

Obama not dignifying the request with a reply continues to work on the pressing issues at hand, while the DittoMaster spends countless hours chanting his new mantra: “I hope he fails!”

So there you have it… Partisanship… alive and well in the Land of Lincoln. The GOP’s “no you can’t” versus the Dems “we know we can!” is a heck of a State of the Union!  Fasten your seatbelts America, it’s going to be long, bumpy ride!

(“Party of No GOP elephant” by John Sherffius inspired this cartoon)


What Would Jesus Twitter?

February 18, 2009

Jesus on Twitter

Jesus on Twitter

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Have you ever thought how Jesus would communicate with his followers if he was alive today. Would he be MySpacing his apostles, befriending his Facebook buds in Galilee, or posting his travel itinerary on Tripit and LinkedIn? Kidd Millennium thinks he might follow in the footsteps of His Holiness, the Dalia Lama who purportedly registered for  a Twitter account recently under the moniker OHHDL (Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama) with the address of http://twitter.com/OHHDL.

For those less enlightened, Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send text message updates (aka tweets) up to 140 characters long) via the Twitter website or mobile phone text messaging.Launched in August 2006, the Twitter service claims more than six million users of its service.

On February 6, 2009. explaining the 73-year-old’s decision to join the microblogging site,his first auspicious post announced: “His Holiness thought it was prudent to make his office open and assessable to a more youth and technologically advancing audience.” Another Tweet read: “I’m sure HH will be just as inquisitive about technology as he has been over the past 14 reincarnations.”

The feed attracted nearly 20,000 followers within 48 hours of launching, under the Tibetan spiritual leader’s name.

But as karma would have it, Twitter was not meant for enlightenment. In a bold move. the top brass at Twitter suspended the account after evidence surfaced that the person behind it was an imposter and had no connection to the Nobel Peace Prize winner.”The account was suspended the following Monday, February 9 because it violated our Terms of Use regarding impersonation,” noted Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

And while the imposter is today without a job, from all intents and purposes, he did appear to be well intentioned. Whenever he would tweet his followers, it was generally with either a link to a pertinent page on the official Dalia Lama website or a gracious thank you for whatever suggestion had been given. The person was fake but the responses were genuine and helpful.

Strangely enough, the appearance and disappearance of the OHHDL account underscored a major tenet of the Buddhist faith. One of the essential doctrines of Buddhism is “impermanence”. The word expresses the notion that everything we can experience through our senses is in flux, constantly changing, and ceasing to be—nothing is permanent. One day you are a twitterer and the next day, you are asked to leave the premises.

Other reported fake twitter accounts are numerous. Kanye West dissed Stephen Colbert last year on Twitter. Then we found out it wasn’t Kanye after all. A White House Twitter account, which had been updated during the Bush years and then switched to Obama right after the inauguration, also turned out to be bogus.

Well, Jesus, you’ve now got the facts. If, in your second coming, you want to quickly attract a mutlitude of followers in a couple of days, I suggest you join the twitterati and give Twitter a big thumbs up! However, you will not be able to claim the user name “God”, as of February 16, 2009, that handle has already been reserved by another impostor who appears to have assembled a following of 6.284 tweeps.


Did Satire Retire with Bush?

January 24, 2009

kidd_Finally, A Legacy to Stand On

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Now that George W. Bush has finally ‘coptered his way out’ of the White House, complete with malapropisms and Homer Simpson gaffes in tow, the kidd believes the satire industry will join the rest of the economy in recession. “It’s been a long 8 years of writing books, speaking engagements and interviews. And while I am physically exhausted,” noted the kidd, “I think I may have to queue up in the cartoon bread lines to find future work.”

Bush was a walking parody of himself; inclusive of his knack for being oblivious, his funny clown walk, and his scary world’s view of certitude. Some describe him as a modern day Trojan Horse. Apart from the obvious similarities of his stick-man demeanor and clueless innocuousness, it was his hollow head that was the perfect transport for the Neo-cons to sneak their way into his psyche and hijack our government!

We forget that Dubya wasn’t meant to ascend to the highest office in the land. Fate chose the wrong brother, and the US Supreme Court chose the wrong candidate! His term was bookended by two of the most momentous crises in world events: 9/11 and the recent financial debacle. He inherited a budget surplus of $128 billion in 2001 and left office, leaving all of us holding the bag for one trillion dollars in debt! One has to work damn hard to accomplish that feat! But I guess an unjustified war in Iraq was a  major assist!

“Surely the irony of feeling the need to keep Bush around for the sole purpose of satire is a little absurd?’ stated the kidd. “No, we’ve made great strides in electing the first African-American as Commander-in-Chief.  Just makes my job a little harder, you know? All I can say…is thank God Sarah Palin is not going away any time soon!”

Faithfully Yours, the Ministers of Satire,

Ron, Jon & the kidd!

The kidd’s book, Uncle Dubya’s Jihad Jamboree, chronicling the Bush Administration can be found at our website or at Amazon.com.  A second book, Crude Behavior is still papering our walls with rejection notices!


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