Friday, January 2, 2009

Death to Journalspace?

I read the news today.... per Slashdot, Journalspace has died due to a "failed backup." Supposedly, the database containing the posts (and, presumably, user information, plus paid subscriber stuff) was "overwritten" and the only backup was a mirror that was likewise overwritten. (Much of the Slashdot article was devoted to geeky fulminations against using a mirror as a backup.)

Personally, I think it was deliberate. Per the farewell posting, Journalspace will not rule out sabotage. But my inner, small voice tells me that it was an inside job... a polite exit, with plausible deniability. Based on a smattering of postings from Journalspace expatriates that I grazed this afternoon, the site was having a difficult time of late, with lots of downtime. The site had lost a lot of users for this reason alone.

Went to Wikipedia... and Journalspace did not even merit an entry there; one had been penned in 2006, but was deleted because, I think (in Wikipedia-speak), Journalspace was too unimportant.

Well, this is sad, in a way. I was there, briefly, three years ago, under the nom de plum of "damnedged4life." I got a few readers. I actually thought that the site was the best blogging forum extant. Most of the posters were high-quality, literate, and quite a contrast from the usual dreck that you might find on, say, Blogger or LiveJournal. But I took everything down and left. I didn't think I belonged there. It was too claustrophobic. Strange as it may sound, I don't enjoy being read very much. I much prefer to be ignored. And I was getting read a bit too much for my comfort there. (Fortunately, this problem doesn't exist on Blogger.)

However... for a good writer with something to say, Journalspace was the best. Sad that the admins and owners let it go to seed.

So, here's a tip of the hat to ya, Journalspace.

The Hamas-Israel conflict and my feeble photojournalism....

I posted a bunch of photos that I made of the Arab-American protest in Nashville this Wednesday. I noticed a few lensmen there, including (natch) the local Fox station. I'm sure we got fair and balanced from them. I had merely my first generation iPhone. A small voice told me that morning, "Why not bring your new Luxim LX3 to work today?" But I didn't. Woulda had better pics. But this is what I could do.

It was quite an exciting experience. Metro police were parked around the area but did not interfere; a Metro helicopter hovered overhead, apparently, watching to make sure that there was no violence. But it was quite peaceful. I was proud of Metro for not interfering. It was, in essence, a classic, all-American protest. We haven't had many of those here lately, and we've needed them.

Now, beyond the photographs, my personal opinion of the sitation is essentially informed by a couple of indisputable truths.

First... about 70 percent of the American public believes that the United States should remain neutral in the current Israel-Hamas conflict. Not pro-Israel... but neutral. Over two-thirds.

Second... The United States is the prime supplier of arms to Israel. Not saying that's bad; not saying that's good. It's just the truth. And Nashville has received it's fair share of military spending loot. So, if the Arab-Amercans want to protest the war in Nashville, I say, "Be my guest." I noticed at least one Nashville poster who gave the standard jingoistic retort on a local news site, "Don't protest here--go back to where you came from." My response: If you got money jangling in your pocket by benefit of the military-industrial complex, as most Nashvillians do, then give these people a few minutes of your attention. Be informed.

I did.