Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Revolutionary MOTD: Boiling the Frog

Today I am replacing the regular Revolutionary Quote of the Day (QOTD) with a Metaphor of the Day (MOTD). Today I got up early to listen to Rachel Maddow on Air America Radio. After all the domestic spying news that is being gradually revealed, they could call the network Radio Free America. It's coming to that, if it's not already there. And that is precisely the topic of the MOTD, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I have to get up early to hear Rachel, or stay up late, because here on the left coast she's on from 2am to 6am. I read an article about her somewhere and I hadn't heard her show before. Now I could plug in the credit card and plunk down the $6.95 or whatever it is they charge to listen to the archive. But I have an aversion to paying for what I could hear for free, especially when it's old.

I don't get that marketing strategy. Our content is free, except when it's already aired and the news on it is probably old news, then you have to pay for it. Interesting way of determining value for the customer. I wonder how that marketing is working for them. I thought of doing it just to support Air America, because I like them. But this is not the kind of idea I'd like to support. I figure listening to commercials is paying for it. I don't know if they leave them in the archived content, but if they did, that would be like pay. And I have to think offering free archives would only build their listenership. And for the advertisers it would make the commercials more than a one-shot payoff. But that's just me. Maybe without commercials it might be worth it.

So I wake up about 4:30-ish and listen and I like the show. This morning she had the perfect metaphor for NSA domestic spying and how the news is being trickled out to us. She called it, boiling the frog. She explains that it is not as common of a metaphor as she thought, after speaking with some of her colleages at the studio, so she explained it on the air. It goes like this, if want to boil a frog, and you throw it in a pot of boiling water, it will simply jump out. Why you would want to boil a frog and why you couldn't use a top trap the frog or incapacitate it in some way was not discussed. But hey, it's just a metaphor. The gist of it is, if you put the frog in tepid water and slowly heat it, the frog will not notice the gradual temperature change and you will have delicious, succulent boiled frog. Any fries with that?

How that works as a metaphor for domestic spying is apparent by now. We keep hearing examples of it that are "acceptable" in view of the Global War on Terror. So the American public accepts them. It's not the kind of extreme cases of spying that would set off the constitutional alarm bells and cause the public to react against it. But the examples get worse and worse, until one day we will find our freedom boiled. Have that with your freedom fries.

There's this case that was featured on HuffPo yesterday. The clip below is of Rachel debating Tucker Carlson on MSNBC, different day and different topic.

-Stand up and fight the powers.

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