Wandering Eye: Liquor board hearings to be broadcast, Boots Riley comes to town, and more

If you are the kind of obsessive community activist who follows liquor board hearings (and, let's face it—who isn't?) then yo'’ll be pleased to know that they are about to be live-streamed on CharmTV.tv (aka Comcast Channel 25 in Baltimore City). Beginning with the Sept. 8 docket, the hearing will be live-streamed to the internet and watchable, at least theoretically, on your desktop computer or smartphone. "We have been testing the capability since early August and are seeing great results," CharmTV's general manager, Tonia Lee, said in a press release. "We are excited to introduce this functionality to greatly improve the transparency around our government programming as well as increase the access those outside of Baltimore have to our network. Now, they can access CharmTV whenever, wherever." Currently the station schedule specifies only "government meetings" and "Mayor's News Conference" (HAR!) interspersed with such hit shows as "Tasty Travels" and "My Town." But you know what you're looking for. (Edward Ericson Jr.)


Rapper, writer, activist, and author Boots Riley is at Red Emma's tonight. For those who don't know, Riley is the driving force behind the legendary Oakland hip-hop group the Coup, who fuse the laid-back funk stylings of the West Coast with the region's black radical history—at a protest at Penn Station during the curfew, a DJ blasted the Coup's 1998 song, 'What The Po-Pos Hate' ("This is that shit that the po-po's hate/ When we talkin' to our folks and they love and relate/ Shakin' in their boots when we start the funk/ They ain't scared of rap music/ They scared of us"). And we hate to do this, but if you find the lionization of the important but also legendarily misogynist (and frankly, not all that good or politically interesting) N.W.A., thanks to blockbuster "Straight Outta Compton," appalling, then the Coup's for you. Riley will be speaking and promoting his book, "Tell Homeland Security–We Are the Bomb." Check out this interview with Democracy Now from earlier this week to get familiar. (Brandon Soderberg)


Yesterday's killing of a Virginia TV crew live on the air was different than most deaths broadcast on TV, like the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. As Farhad Manjoo wrote in the New York Times yesterday, Vester Lee Flanagan, the man who is thought to be the gunman, had a social media rollout for his actions. He created both Facebook and Twitter accounts under the name Bryce Williams—the name he used on air—and posted his reasons for killing reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, along with first-person video of him pulling the trigger. "[U]nlike previous televised deaths, these were not merely broadcast, but widely and virally distributed, playing out with the complicity of thousands, perhaps millions, of social networking users who could not help watching and sharing," writes Manjoo. And, he concludes, the speed with which these videos and messages spread across social media demonstrates why this event "will most likely be followed by others." (Brandon Weigel)

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