Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Eye, eye, Principal Skinner! The New York Times runs a horrifying story inside today on Biloxi, Mississippi, where digital cameras record every move made by students and teachers.

Sam Dillon reports that in-school surveillance is becoming increasingly widespread, but that it is rarely used as extensively as it is in Biloxi, which can afford it because it is flush with casino revenues.

Dillon's account is rife with outrages. Yet, somehow, I found the most chilling comment was from Allison Buchanan, a PTA president at one of Biloxi's elementary schools, who thinks the spycams are a great idea.

"In my two years on the PTA, I've not heard one parent say anything bad about the cameras," she says.

Oppression usually comes with the willing consent of the oppressed.

A literary lion roars. Harold Bloom may be an elitist blowhard, but that shouldn't stop you from reading his hugely entertaining rant in today's Boston Globe against Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and a bunch of poets you've probably never heard of.

The unreported truth. Globe columnist Steve Bailey has the goods on state treasurer Tim Cahill, and proves himself to be an astute media critic as well.

Noting that Cahill's abysmal record as Norfolk County treasurer was there for the reporting during last year's campaign, Bailey writes, "Like the rest of the media pack, I was focused on the sexier governor's race. Cahill got a pass, and was elected on the strength of a cute TV ad featuring his 10-year-old daughter."

Brudnoy's latest challenge. Sad news today about talk-radio legend David Brudnoy, who's battled AIDS since the 1980s and who announced yesterday that he has an aggressive form of skin cancer (Globe coverage here; Herald coverage here).

I had a chance to interview Brudnoy yesterday afternoon; that interview will appear in tomorrow's Phoenix. "I'm kind of the poster child for defying the odds," he told me. Here's hoping that David can defy the odds one more time.

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