Information Society – What's On Your Mind + Walking Away – Mash Up by Victor Cheng

    Wake up, everybody!    

Stuff to notice in January 2010

Well, yes, there is that whole Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien-NBC thing, which is slowly winding down even if negotiations are still on-going (NBC could have foreseen this mess; Jay Leno, while not necessarily the Bad Guy, only wanted to keep his job, whatever that job might be – but really not helping resolve the situation; and Conan – well, so he didn’t get the Big Ratings – they didn’t have to dump blame on him and he’s been funny since he decided he’s got nothing to lose – and I’m still pretty impressed by his terrifically done statement; and Corporate Cogs at NBC are what they are – cogs).

I guess one can’t feel too sorry for anyone – NBC is going to pay for its foolishness (dumping 10pm-11pm time slot on one man?  huh?); Jay gets The Tonight Show back (although not sure if he gets goodwill?); and Conan gets lots of money (but loses a career goal in losing The Tonight Show – so that’s too bad).  But, it has been strangely entertaining.

There are more important things in the world: ex., the situation in Haiti with the earthquake puts things in proper perspective.  I encourage donations; personally, I’ve been impressed with Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres), but many others have been trying their best to help.

TV in January: “Life Unexpected” – saw the first episode; ah, such nice reminders of the old WB legacy.  I think I’ll watch another episode or two to see if there’s a better feel for the show.

“Deep End” is one of those legal shows that make me wonder – are you going to help or hurt the legal profession?  Plus, associates these days do not have it great – presuming that they are facing salary cuts and no guarantees for partnership (more than ever) – is this new series going to be more the over-the-top end of things or aim for accuracy?  The cast is attractive – so maybe I’ll be tacky and watch it anyway.

Last but not least: Harold Koh’s great speech on “Why Diversity Matters to Me” got posted on Angry Asian Man blog.  When things are sucking in the world right now, this was a ray of hope, as Koh says:

Many of our core constitutional protections for foreign nationals resulted from civil rights struggles that arose out of discrimination against Asians in America: a struggle like that experienced by so many other groups, which reminds us — as Dr. King said — that though we may have come in different boats, we’re all in the same boat now. [….]

Fittingly, it was Jackie Robinson who put it best, when he said, “Baseball became a much, much better game, when everyone could play.”

Let me close with this story. A few years ago, my mother met a man named Don James. After talking, they realized that they had both graduated from Boston University in 1955. When they looked together at their yearbook, they realized that the man who had marched between them at graduation — between James and Koh — was none other than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we celebrate today.

Picture that day more than fifty years ago, a Korean immigrant woman, an African-American man, and a Scandinavian man, all marching onto an American stage to get their degrees. Dr. King and my mom were both 26. Thirteen years later, he was dead. But in between, he had changed the world. But my mom lived on.

Then flash forward to today. Consider that the son of that woman, an Asian-American lawyer, is now Legal Adviser to a woman Secretary of State who serves in the cabinet of a president who is the first African-American since Dr. King to win the Nobel Prize. And all three of these people hold their jobs in a country where not so long ago, none of them would have had the right to vote.

So progress may not come quickly, but as Dr. King said, “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Deep in my heart, I do believe that we shall overcome some day. But for that to happen, we must believe — we must insist — that diversity matters. And we cannot rest until the dream of diversity, and the aspirations of so many who fought for it, have been fully realized.