The reason why Obama has such a wide smile.

The reason why Obama has such a wide smile.

Political PG-13
Sexy, large-breasted women seductively lying on couches, dancing in bikinis at the beach or strolling down New York City streets in micro jean shorts … the hottest new hip-hop video? No, a Barack Obama “political” video.

This is the latest in “voter-generated content” or tribute videos. Those at the Obama camp said they had nothing to do with theI Got a Crush On … Obama video. The shiny lip-glossed and tight-bottom-shaking clip has garnered well over 2.5 million views on YouTube. A 21-year-old college student wrote the lyrics and produced it with a 32-year-old ad exec friend using filmmakers found on hours before the shoot.

Hillary Clinton is posting her own online videos, while someone has posted an anti-Giuliani creation. It is said that a clip someone posted of rising presidential hopeful star Sen. George Allen calling a dark-skinned member of his opponent’s campaign team a “macaca,” or monkey, brought his campaign to an abrupt end. It was posted on YouTube about an hour after he made the public remark. Many of these candidates are raising record amounts of money for their campaigns, but we online video producers may have more power than their money is giving them.

Time to Upgrade the Chico Typewriter
I received a lengthy, non-boilerplate e-mail from Lynn McEnespy, the information systems director for the city of Chico. She was responding to my plea for free citywide Wi-Fi in Chico. McEnespy pointed out that the city has already installed free Wi-Fi in both the new park downtown and the airport. This is very commendable; an excellent first step. Airports without free Wi-Fi are among my biggest pet peeves. But I have only flown out of Chico once, while I have taken off from Sac well over 40 times. And though I love the idea of working on computers in the outdoors, excessive heat, rain and glare from the sun inhibits such ambitions. All of this is not the point.

She goes on to say, “The city doesn’t want to take business away from private enterprise if they offer the services desired by the community—as in cable TV or phones.”

But isn’t that a little like not pursuing renewable energy because it will hurt oil companies? Or not letting cars in a city because it will hurt the horse and buggy industry? What is the saying? “Unable to see the forest for the trees.”

The Internet is the new library/phone book/newspaper/gossip corner/phone/entertainment center/ad billboard on steroids! Give everyone a free, steady stream of information/communication/entertainment, and local businesses that embrace the Web will flourish.

If everyone can know in a moment when the next city event is, the menus for all local restaurants, hours of services, etc., the city organism as a whole will be more healthy and flourishing. Information and communication is power. This is why many cities like Austin, Texas, New Orleans, La., and San Francisco are trying to install free citywide wireless networks. So a few corporations have to adjust their business plans for the benefit of a stronger city. Thanks for the e-mail, Lynn McEnespy, but it is time to trade in the typewriter for the computer. Let’s continue to explore this.

Wacky Web site of the Week
All right, I’m really geeking out this fortnight but this was too interesting. In the online game World of Warcraft, avatars can dance to flirt, show joy, taunt or whatever. Someone has found the supposed origins of the many dances. Very entertaining.