For those who have grown tired of the mainstream media's war cheerleading, a number of alternatives and humorous parodies have been submitted to us by readers. As always, hacker ingenuity and a cynical sense of humor are helping to put much of this together. But throughout, an emerging sense of urgency can be seen as individuals and groups use any available means to reach the public.
As mentioned on this week's "Off The Hook," a parody of some of the graphic images found on the Department of Homeland Security's ready.gov website has been published at http://titaniumcounter.com/temp/emergency/. It contains the actual graphics from the government site paired with "tips" such as "If you have set yourself on fire, do not run" or "A one-inch thick piece of plywood should be sufficient protection against radiation."
Another parody encompasses an entire site: TerrorReady.net from the "Department of Homeland Panic" which, in a direct spoof of Homeland Security's "Be Ready" campaign, advises: "Terrorism. We can't stop it. But you can't say we didn't warn you. Be afraid."
But perhaps most unusual is a non-parody story that appeared in a mainstream newspaper that documents the confusion that occurred when a small pro-war rally was joined by someone carrying a "Free Kevin Mitnick" sign! We're happy people remembered to save the signs for a special occasion.
As always, it's very important to seek out alternative news and opinions in a time of crisis. You can listen to the Internet feed of WBAI which has been made possible by volunteers at 2600. You can read news from the people at Indymedia, who we support by donating office space and bandwidth. And you can find out all about teach-ins, vigils, demonstrations, etc. at http://www.unitedforpeace.org.
You may read and hear things that you don't agree with. It's inevitable. We hope what you DO agree with is that these voices need to be heard - especially now. Please contribute whatever you can to make this possible so that the mass media doesn't become the only source of information.