Obama Phone!

Obama PhoneIf you haven’t heard about this yet, the Obama campaign today released an iPhone app that, among other features, enables you to call your friends prioritized by their location in battleground states.

This is critical.

There’s nothing more important, or more influential, than friends encouraging friends to vote, and when it comes to getting informed on the issues and what’s at stake, nothing is more effective than getting an impassioned plea from a personal contact or relative.

Providing a tool that allows people to get in touch with people who they personally know is so much better than cold-calling phone banking (the importance of that tactic notwithstanding given the need to reach out beyond the friends of iPhone owners).

You can get the app in the iTunes App Store.

Obama Phone CreditsThe Obama ’08 app development was spearheaded by personal friends of mine — co-organizers of the popular iPhoneDevCamps that we held the past two years at Adobe’s offices in San Francisco (which are now spreading, like all good *camp events should!). Specifically, props go to Dom Sagolla and Raven Zachary, without whom this application might never have happened. But credit is also due to the entire top-tier team that spent countless hours over the past month putting this app together (*iPhoneDevCamp alumni):

What’s significant is not only the application, but what this move represents for those of us who live and breathe the web and open source: this app is born of both, reusing a number of open source components and, from the outset, leverages the web with presence on social networks like Facebook. This is the Obama campaign reaching out to the open source and iPhone development communities and working with us to do what we know how to do best, and giving us a space in which we can make a difference for the campaign.

We’re nearly a month a way from the election, and that means that if you want to participate, you’re going to need be registered to vote beforehand. It also means that if you’ve been waiting, or holding out, and looking for an opening to get involved, now’s your chance. As Raven says, making a few simple calls with this app enables even ‘The Two Minute Volunteer’ to make a substantial difference by personally involving friends and family in the election.

Seeing this work inspires and gives me hope; if we can keep up this kind of innovative thinking for the next 30 days, I think it’s clear that the best candidate is going to come out on top and get the country back on its proper footing.

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Calling all heros

Calling all heros

→ ..rant follows.. ←

Been reading Batman, The Dark Knight Returns after I found the series at a closing sale deep in the Mission. I always have loved Frank Miller’s work and this is no exception.

Reading comics now, when I’m 25, is a different experience than when I was younger, more naive, and perhaps less literate. And certainly just as much if not more visual. In fact the stories really never resonated with me much; sure I’d read them but I was much more into the art.

So reading comics now — comics only 10 years old but already classic in their own right — while reading the news, I wonder if we’re stuck in some weird life-imitating-art vortex. Or some alternate reality. Yeah, that must be it.

In which case, I don’t see any reason why I can’t put a call out for all remaining heros to show themselves. In fact, I’d call for amnesty on all of them, if they’d just come out and give us a hand and maybe provide, even for a fleeting moment, some semblance of a heroic ideal.

You see it in the movies in fact. You see it with characters like V. But those tales of hyper-violence that exist in the Matrix genre of reality are farcical, pretending to give us some deep clue about the inner reality of our time but only obfuscate the confusion and true alienation of our time.

I’m sorry, I can’t just call in an exit. I’m sorry, I just can’t take the blue pill. I’m sorry, I don’t have the strength of 40 men with the ability to absorb hundreds of bullets fired point-blank. I’m ordinary; I’m human; I’m no hero: I’ll die and make mistakes. And so I’m terribly desirous of someone who is some kind of superperson to come in and clean up the mess we’ve made.

. . .

No but see, I did the dishes tonight (– at least part of them). We had our pasta, we did the dishes. Has the President ever done dishes?

Look, I’m utterly distressed. I’m at a loss for a clear sentiment here — I mean, any hope of raising kids normally, with a sense of right and wrong and order is out the door, thanks to the most popularest-ever Decider in Chief. You do realize what’s going on, right? You do realize what else has been happening lately? You do realize that nothing the President says is true, is believeable, is trustable, is something that you should repeat with authority? That our credibility as a nation is in the ashtray? That this country — our country — is being lead by a baboon?

Fuck, the man signs a bill into law and then jots down the ways in which he’s not bound to play by them in the Federal Registrar. I mean, why have a system of courts? Why have a Constitution? Why did they fucking play that stupid ass “How a Bill is Made” video over and over in grade school when they left out the most important part: that the Supreme Dicktator isn’t bound to mortal laws… only the ones of His choosing.

. . .

That’s why I’m calling out the superheros. That’s why we need their help. There is no law in this country — not even the one that was supposed to get the person that we voted for the most into the White House — that applies to this administration. While the sniveling proletariet stutter through the metal detector conveyer belts that They Who Rule’ll never be subjected to, shovel $8 fuel into oversized steel death machines, while we foot the bill and they sip the champagne of Crusade Spoils and the rancorous chorus of the maligned, the disenfranchised, the disenchanted, dispirited, overpromised, underdelivered — the normals — grows deafening, the cracks begin to appear.

Jules from Pulp FictionBut they’ll not tumble without an unyielding force of righteousness — and without the help of the supers. I mean, badazz supers, like Batman. Or like Jules in Pulp Fiction. This is what he’d say, on the page right before the very last page of the series:

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.