Video: Meg Whitman’s Big Twitter Fail

We told you yesterday that voting in California could be fun. And what was more fun that this? Billionaire Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate for governor is going down faster than a bid for that vintage fondue set you’ve had your eye on over at Ebay (where Whitman made said billions that led her to her ‘bid’ for the governor’s office). Last week, according to the Huffington Post, a tweet by a campaign operative meant to endorse Whitman over the Dem candidate Jerry Brown dropped an ‘r’ off a url.

Clicking on the link took one to this video, not the Whitman website.

Source: Huffington Post, “Meg Whitman Twitter FAIL Becomes YouTube Sensation.”

For Same-Sex Binational Couples, Is the Time Right to Start Focusing on Repealing DOMA?

The story in this video was first brought to my attention last week on Facebook. It is a story not unlike so many I have heard in my work with Out4Immigration. Josh, an American, married Henry, who is from Venezuela, in a state that recognizes gay marriages (Connecticut) last year. If Josh was “Jane”, he would have been able to petition the federal government to sponsor his husband for a green card. While there may be a waiting period and even an “investigation”, the couple would not be looking down the barrel of being forced apart with the foreign partner being deported, and most likely they would end up living happily ever after in the US.

But Josh is a man and so is Henry, and as another Congressional session comes to a close with more co-sponsors of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) than ever before, but still no debate, much less a floor vote and our secure inclusion in Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) as “iffy” as CIR as a whole, where do we go from here? What do we do in 2011 if neither UAFA nor a truly inclusive CIR passes in the lame duck session of Congress after next week’s election?

Repealing DOMA seemed like more of a long shot back in 2006 when Out4Immigration was founded than passing UAFA, but times have changed. Back in early 2006, in the throes of the Bush-Cheney years, our heads were still reeling from the backlash of the 2004 election, when gay marriage was used as a scare tactic by Karl Rove and company to re-elect Bush. We did not mention “marriage” or talk about “repealing DOMA” in the same breath as UAFA and same-sex binational couples. I know – I helped launch O4I and carefully crafted each message we sent out to clarify that we were not advocating for marriage. In fact, back then UAFA was known as the “Permanent Partners Immigration Act” – emphasis on “permanent partners”, terminology the American public could handle.

But times have changed. Polls now show a majority of Americans today support gay marriage. The shift in public opinion in the last four years has been monumental. Earlier this year, parts of DOMA were ruled unconstitutional…(read more)

Has Social Media Made Homophobia Worse?

Four or five years ago I saw a study float by on the Internet about how two groups were using the web to connect better than most: Queers and Religious Fanatics. I made a note of it (somewhere) and surfed on. It made sense in those last few months before Facebook and the social networking phenomenon took over our lives. Since the mid-’90s, groups of people that were far-flung and marginalized for very different reasons had been connecting through message boards and chat rooms, finding solidarity on websites, making opinions perhaps best shared in radical circles or confessionals public with this new self-publishing tool called a “blog.”

It was inevitable these two groups would seize the social network scene quickly. How many Facebook friends do you have with the middle name “Equality”? How easy has it been to get to know your enemy by joining a group like National Organization for Marriage? With a quick click you’re in…or out. It’s pretty hard to keep anything secret if you get hooked on social networking. Closet doors of all kinds have been flung open.

You’re married to…well, I’ll be damned, another woman!

You identify yourself as…holy smokes, “an evangelical traditionalist who gave my life’s savings to ban gay marriage in a state I don’t even live in”.

It was only a matter of time until such admissions and advances in social media and technologies collided. An obscure city councilmember thinks his microphone is turned off and calls a colleague a “faggot” and smartphone video is loaded onto YouTube and linked to Facebook in 15 minutes. The National Organization for Marriage spends millions to produce an ad warning us that the sky will fall if gay people are allowed to marry and within hours the first homemade parodies using a webcam and some (semi)-talented friends start filling the newsfeeds. Amusing or annoying as these clips and their links and where they lead us may be, what they have both advertently and inadvertently fueled is more homophobia.

The best intentioned YouTube clips and blog posts denouncing discrimination and advocating for equal rights have done a great job preaching to the choir, and at the same time enlightened many. These many were the types who do not hate in general, go to church sometimes on Easter and for the most part never really thought about gay rights until they saw “that really cool YouTube clip with Jack Black” a couple of years ago. Now that we’ve mentioned it, hey, yeah – gays getting married, serving in the military, getting to visit their partner in the hospital – no problemo. And that’s a good thing, especially if that attitude translates into these people going out to vote next month and making sure simple homophobic candidates like Carl Paladino, Christine O’Donnell, Carly Fiorina and a slew of others are never heard from again.

On the other hand, social networking, media and the technologies that keep making all this faster and more possible seem to have fostered a rise in homophobia, something many of us thought was on the way out (like dial-up connections and Tower Records). It makes us ask, has homophobia never really gone away? Or have YouTube clips and links to radical right-wing publications that show and quote people in prominent positions being not only openly homophobic but unbelievably so, led to others using these tools to video roommates having same-sex sex or carry out a virtual beating on someone’s Facebook wall?

For every light a candle, wear purple or It Gets Better app, group or video one side puts out there it undoubtedly changes a heart or mind. It’s just not always a given it’s in the direction originally intended.

Trending: Spaghetti Tacos

Admit it. They look pretty dang good, don’t they? Maybe we need to file this trending topic on Yahoo this morning under “What Took Us So Long to Make These for Dinner?” Apparently if you have kids you’ve been onto this food combination for a while. Especially if your kids watch the hit Nickelodeon series iCarly, purportedly where this new hot cuisine first got its props.

But for the more adult set it took a story in the New York Times and subsequent pick up by outlets across North America to trend spaghetti tacos. And it makes you ask yourself why you didn’t think of it in the same way Robert Thompson, professor of pop culture at Syracuse University did. “Spaghetti tacos has made it possible to eat spaghetti in your car.”

Try some while texting next time…or not.

Photo courtesy of via New York Observer Media Mob.

VIDEO: Facebook Movie ‘The Social Network’ in 1-Minute

Of course everybody’s talking about that “Facebook movie” opening today called The Social Network. With more Facebook users than there are Indonesians, it’s safe to say there are going to be a lot of people who want to see the back story about the start up of this social network with a population somewhere between the third and fourth largest countries in the world. But not everyone will have the 2 hours it takes to watch it in full (even if it does feature Justin Timberlake in a non-singing, albeit starring, role).

So, the good animators at NMA.TV have put together a 1-minute version of The Social Network for you. Save that $12.50 and click here to watch. Then spend the next 119 minutes of your time on Facebook.

Hat tip: TechCrunch.