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Brand Self Destruction: Troy Lee Gentry Kills a B'ar

Country music star Gentry charged with killing bear

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Troy Lee Gentry, half of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, has been charged with killing a tame bear and then making it look as if it was a hunting trophy, authorities said on Wednesday. . .

According to an indictment unsealed this week, in October 2004 Gentry paid $4,650 to shoot the "trophy-caliber" bear named "Cubby" at the Minnesota Wildlife Connection in northern Minnesota, which advertises itself as a place where animals can be photographed in the wild.

After using a bow and arrow to kill the animal inside its pen, Gentry and the owner of the preserve tagged the bear and registered it with the state as if it had been killed in the wild. A videotape was edited to make it appear that Gentry had hunted down the bear.

For all the bullshit rappers and their fans talk about realness, it's the country music fans that actually follow through and this incident could easily end this stupid motherfucker's career, which would be just fine with me.


Brand Destruction Blogging: Battelle Watch

I don't know John Battelle though we've exchanged a few emails and I think that what he's up to at Federated Media is pretty darned interesting.  I'd hoped to get ProHipHop in at one point, but I just don't think I'll be doing the traffic that I suspect his platform requires.

Nevertheless, I'm always fascinated by such projects as Battelle Watch that claim to be written by insiders who are hiding their identity.

Reading Battelle Watch, I kind of think that Mr. Bubble is more or less who he says he is because who else would care about most of what he's discussing?  I find it interesting but it's not the sort of thing that an outsider would write.

I should point out that, though Mr. Bubble has a grudge against Battelle because he felt dicked over by whatever happened at the Industry Standard, Mr. B. was a happy member of the forces that destroyed the San Francisco I loved up until the collapse put him out of a job.

So, Mr. Bubble, fuck you very much.


Studying Karl Rove

Though Brand Destruction Research is technically on hiatus, I think I will continue to drop links to articles that relate to this project's core concerns.

I'm not always sure how to respond to Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, but his take on the Democrat's need to more closely examine Karl Rove's tactics is quite similar to mine:

The question to Democrats . . . It is clear what is coming on the horizon--the stakes, the strategies, etc. How do you defend against this? What are the plans of the Democrats? Are they prepared for a nasty fight in which fairness and rationality will be thrown out the window? Will they end up losing the election and complaining about Republican tactics and strategies, or will they have a defense and offense in place? All indications are that they are as chaotic and unprepared as usual. In normal times, this is their election to lose. What would your answer be, how would you counter this strategic beast named Rove, wresting control from him and putting him on the defensive? It is you versus Rove, mano a mano.

For more on Karl Rove, Greene links to a useful article that ran a couple of years back in The Atlantic Monthly:

A former Rove staffer told me . . . that some within the [Harold] See camp initiated a whisper campaign that [Mark] Kennedy was a pedophile. "It was our standard practice to use the University of Alabama Law School to disseminate whisper-campaign information," the staffer went on. "That was a major device we used for the transmission of this stuff. The students at the law school are from all over the state, and that's one of the ways that Karl got the information out—he knew the law students would take it back to their home towns and it would get out." This would create the impression that the lie was in fact common knowledge across the state. [p. 3]

If this year [2004] stays true to past form, the campaign will get nastier in the closing weeks, and without anyone's quite registering it, Rove will be right back in his element. He seems to understand—indeed, to count on—the media's unwillingness or inability, whether from squeamishness, laziness, or professional caution, ever to give a full estimate of him or his work. It is ultimately not just Rove's skill but his character that allows him to perform on an entirely different plane. Along with remarkable strategic skills, he has both an understanding of the media's unstated self-limitations and a willingness to fight in territory where conscience forbids most others. [p. 3]


Floyd Landis's Defense Team Has Dropped the Ball

Dehydration the latest cause offered for Landis' elevated testosterone levels

To some degree, Floyd Landis's defense seems to be grasping at straws and playing pr games.  Given that they allowed the same lab to test the B sample.  They may have already lost the opportunity to prove Landis innocent if, in fact, that is the case.

At this point I don't think we'll have a clear picture any time soon but I do know that Landis's career can be stopped without that clear picture ever being provided.

I wish they had entered this struggle with a stronger understanding of how to address technical and scientific questions both in a public forum and in a legal battle.

On the other hand, not addressing such issues may also indicate that they know that no matter where they go, the test results will be the same.

I'm sure it will all become clear in 10 or 15 years when some insider publishes his expose after retiring.


Rush to Test Floyd Landis's B Sample May Be His Undoing

I've been meaning to get back with more on Floyd Landis and accusations of doping in international cycling competitions.  Unfortunately, time demands I focus on other projects.

I do want to say that I recognize that my initial stance is a good example of jumping to final conclusions based on past evidence that does not necessarily provide proof in this case.  The fact that Lance Armstrong was the most tested of any cyclist in history and was never ultimately shown to be doping was a possible indicator that he was being unfairly harassed by officials in a sport that could not accept his achievements because they established a new level of accomplishment in the sport and because they came from an American who had survived cancer.  But that doesn't prove that Floyd Landis is undergoing the same treatment, however likely it may seem.

More recently, the validity of the testing labs have been brought into question by third party evaluators, the validity of the tests themselves have long been in question and the possibility of someone else spiking Floyd Landis's food or drink has to be considered.

What bothers me is seeing the press and various officials use propaganda techniques to shut down considerations of such concerns and take an accusatory stance when, scientifically speaking, valid concerns regarding all aspects of the testing process have yet to be addressed.

I'm also bothered by Greg Lemond's assumption about Landis given that he accussed Armstrong of doping without any evidence.  Lemond looks old and bitter these days, to be quite frank, when he could be appearing in ads with Lance if he'd played his cards right.

I'm not sure if the lab currently testing Landis's samples is the same one that has come under critique but, if I were Landis, I would not be trusting my B sample to the same lab that came up with the first results because the pressure is now on them both internally and externally to replicate those results as any competent technician would set out to do at this point.

Pushing for a quick test of the B sample may end up being a tactical error that undoes Floyd Landis without actually leading to any conclusions that approximates that mystical entity and/or state of being termed "truth".

I'll get back with more on this since I can get angry about the topic without alienating most folks.