Join us in Heidelberg

Some of you may recall last year’s conference in Milan, this year vlog Europe is coming a little earlier and a little closer to Amsterdam.

Heidelberg, Germany is the location, September 1st and 2nd are the dates. If you are a vlogger or someone who watches vlogs or at all interested in the practice and art of making videos for the internet, you should definitely join us.

Vlog Europe 07

Visit the site, add yourself to the wiki, it is less than a month away and these meetings are an exception in the world of conferences and the internet. why? Because at vlog europe we have a tradition of cutting out the bullshit, being ourselves, and maybe even learning new things. Its not about youtube, it’s about vlogging!

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Executions and Torture Flights

My good friends and fellow podcasters have been speaking about the upcoming execution of Troy Anthony Davis, death row inmate who’s case has a long list of irregularities and unanswered questions. Like them, and many people around the world, I’m against the death penalty and beyond that, against wrongful convictions and corruption in the legal system.

Then I read the latest information about the US government sanctioned, CIA torture flights which flew all over Europe pretending to be transporting government officials. Again, like many citizens around the world, I don’t support any government torturing people and the facilitating of that torture by looking the other way at the airport.

Yet the sad reality, at present, is that both of these things will go forward. The broken death penalty system in the US will execute another person as most Americans will simply go about their business. Later some dedicated investigator or guilt-ridden lawyer will come forward with facts that prove in fact the man they executed was innocent.

Meanwhile in Europe, the German newspapers will fill lots of pages condemning the previous government for allowing the torture flights to use their airports. In Brussels they might just appoint yet another committee to further investigate and then verbally reprimand members states for supporting the practice of mobile-torture.

While plenty of concerned people will be angered. And some might even take to the streets and express themselves, or maybe save their anger for the next ballot box. Most people, in Europe or the US, will keep going about their business… maybe without even thinking twice.

This is the kind of world we have in 2007. Governments torture, governments help torture, a minority of people get concerned, a majority of people can’t or won’t do something about it.

Stop the crap.

Oh and of course, someone blogs about it.

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Upcoming Talk at CCC

Many may remember my participation at the Chaos Communications Congress last December, and what a unique and exciting event it was. Well this August I’ll once again be speaking at a CCC event, this time at the world infamous Chaos Communications Camp.

Whereas my previous talk was all about this thing I call podcast journalism and my theories surrounding it; this time it will have less to do with me and more to do with a special group of rebellious communicators. My talk is entitled “Rebellious Communication and the Federal Flood”; focusing on the work of New Orleans based or focused bloggers as watchdogs and reporters in the process of hurricane recovery.

I plan to spread the word about the work of great activists and concerned citizens who are using the internet to expose corruption, scrutinize badly laid plans, and ask the questions the traditional media are not. I’ll surely use some examples from my own experiences and reports from NOLA.

Unfortunately this year, despite being a speaker, neither my transport nor my entrance fee are covered. This means I shall seek the cheapest possible means to get to the former soviet military base and put myself into extreme poverty just to participate. Why? Because this camp is something rare and not to be missed in this life… who knows if Ill ever have another chance.

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Angela Over There, Russia in Here

I’m standing across the street from the EU parliament looking through my packet of information for this conference and suddenly there’s a big to-do across the street. Several of the charming conference organizer ladies start looking towards the main doors in excitement. And there… walking out the door and kissing some people goodbye is the German Prime Minister. Exciting? Well… No. Amusing? Perhaps.

You’d think being here wandering the halls of the European Union, I would be thinking about the big questions like.. what is going to happen with this new treaty business, or what the hell is going on with corrupt Romania and Bulgaria.. but my mind is elsewhere.

Jazz

This because as I walk around, my headphones are on, and I’m listening to a very inspiring and exciting podcast. The type of podcast I too would like to do more of.. emulate in many ways.. On The Media’s Brooke Gladstone reporting from Russia.

You really have to listen to this one… to hear the old people and young people talking to Brooke. They refer to how things used to be and how things are, debate if theyre living in a police state or if it is just a phase. They argue about what freedom they have or what freedom they lack. Even the great Garry Kasparov is in there… and I must say, his words struck a chord with me.

At some point a man who identifies himself as a communist who has no desire to return to the past starts to talk about how the west wrongly pushes their values on Russia. He goes on and on about the terrible things Western nations have done in Iraq and all the unnecessary death. He is angry, yet calm; with a very interesting and wise outlook on his country and the world outside. As I rounded the corner towards the Parliament cafeteria, I turned off my mp3 player, and looked at the over 200 young journalists in ahead of me… but my mind was still on Russia.. and the great statements in that podcast.

Brooke.. you are my new heroine.

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