Sunday, July 05, 2009

Message from the President

Dear friends,

Hope you're having a wonderful July 4th weekend. It's already been a month since I posted to the blog. Longer than I planned, but I think the holiday has given me that extra bit of motivation to sit down and write something. July 4th being a day when we recall the history-changing Declaration of Independence, and acknowledge the amazing freedom we have in the U.S., I am reminded to appreciate that MANAA might not even exist without those freedoms. There's something very special about how we can freely watch, read, and listen to all kinds of media. Not only that, but we as individuals and groups can freely respond, praise and protest the content of the mass media -- in more ways than ever, thanks to the world wide web.

Of course, free speech is not unlimited. Actually, my own speech was somewhat hampered recently -- although not in the way you might expect! On Friday, I was supposed to be a guest on a radio program to discuss the controversy over casting for The Last Airbender movie. But due to technical difficulties, we weren't able to make the phone connection work. I didn't get on the air at all. It was a strange experience listening to the live program on-line and knowing that I was supposed to be a participant.

However, I thought the host and two other guests did a really nice job of talking about Airbender and the casting backlash by the fans. It's great that KFPA radio in Berkeley took the time to cover this issue. In fact, it was an intern at the radio station who brought it to their attention -- and that's something we can use more of: help with keeping the coverage and discussion about The Last Airbender going.

If you would like to check out the interview, just go to the KPFA website and find the archive broadcast of "Living Room" for Friday, July 3rd.

Phil L.