30 January 2008

Let The Countdown Begin...11 Days To US Road Trip!

After several months, lots of recovery from illness, 3 months of near unemployment and sleeping on friends couches, it's time to embark on the next leg of the World Tour! This time, we're taking it to the US and Canada, and what better way to "do" North America than by car?!?! The good old American road trip! Of course, I'm not so sure the old-fashioned way would be in a Toyota Scion - driving through South Dakota in late February. Either way, I'm getting SO EXCITED in part because I'm desperately wanting to get back out into "the field," in part because I've always wanted to drive across America and in part because this itme, I don't have to do it alone! YV's very own Malena Buckley-Ess is coming along for the ride, which means no single-man filming, photographing, writing, meeting, talking, traveling, carrying operation - I get to share the duties. Woo! Over the coming days I'll be introducing her, our wheels, our hang-ups (there are several), our partners, our route, etc. Fortunately, you don't have to wait for me entirely. We've got a WHOLE WEBSITE dedicated to this diddy. You'll find it here:


Bookmark it. Memorize it. LOVE it! This site will remain the "official" blog, and will be syndicated on myspace and genv.net, as well as linked from the above homepage. As I mentioned, more details in the days ahead but in the meantime, check out the site above!

Rock on!


-Kyle Taylor

29 January 2008

Because Utah Is Funny...

To understand the place my folks might possibly call home, read below:

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September to May, you live in Utah .

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't
work there, you live in Utah .

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in Utah .

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed
the wrong number, you live in Utah .

If "vacation" means going anywhere south of Salt Lake City for the
weekend, you live in Utah .

If you measure distance in hours, you live in Utah .

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live
in Utah .

If you have switched from "heat" to "A/C" and back again in the same
day, you live in Utah .

If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both
unlocked, you live in Utah .

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard
without flinching, you live in Utah .

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you
live in Utah .

If the speed limit on the highway is 75 mph -- you're going 80, and
everyone is still passing you, you live in Utah .

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with
snow, you live in Utah .

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road
construction, you live in Utah .

If you find 10 degrees "a little chilly" you live in Utah .

If you actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your
friends, you live in Utah .



-Kyle Taylor

23 January 2008

Media Overload

I took this snapshot of the TV screen during one of the Democratic debates. All this hoopla was up for the full two hours. It wasn't something that appeared for a second or two then disappeared. No, there were swiggly lines, scrolling text and flying graphics the entire time.

For starters, we've got the Fox News logo in the bottom left, constantly transforming into itself again and again and again. Then there's the scrolling text, which has nothing to do with the debate. It's just random news stories dominated by celebrity gossip. Super. The stock quotes stay put in the bottom right, switching between the Dow Jones and NASDAQ exchanges. Above the stock quotes is the spinning, swirling "You Decide 2008" logo that Fox has so "cleverly" come up with to define this year's election. Of course between the two logos we absolutely need a brief text explanation of what the candidate is talking about, since we have very little time or ability to pay attention to them, what with all the other crap on the screen.

Next, we have this ridiculous graph that's conceivably charting nothing, ranking the reaction of Fox's self-proclaimed "Liberals" and "Moderates," thought who knows who is actually driving the "returns" of those squiggly lines, ranked from a very scientific "thumbs down" to an even more intellectual "thumbs up." Just in case you weren't certain of how things were being rated, you can look at the ENORMOUS thumbs up and thumbs down images located directly in the middle of the screen that strangely resemble the Tivo buttons.

Finally, a solid day and a half later, you can finally focus in on the actual debate, which has kindly been allotted the top left quarter of the screen. Honestly, what is mass media doing to American politics? Is this what discourse has been reduced to? Celeb news, flying graphics and large cartoon thumbs? OH. MY. GOD.

18 January 2008

Gloria Steinem, Brilliant

Well, it turns out that Generation Q article was published in October and I just missed the boat until recently. Needless to say, a direct reply to the editor would be long overdue. Instead, I decided to link to another article - this one about the upcoming Presidential Election and the Obama vs. Clinton question. Enjoy!


16 January 2008

Generation Q? Give Me A Break

(Photo by Fred R. Conrad, New York Times)

Well, Thomas Friedman is up to it again. He's making sweeping generalizations about a generation he clearly does not understand, speaking once again about what we should be and how we should be acting, noting each aspect of my generation that doesn't live up to his antiquated expectations of young people that, quite frankly, are no longer relevant. He is, of course, the man who wrote "The World Is Flat;" a book that elicited a "oh my gosh" reaction from 50-year-olds and a "um, I know this already" response from anyone under 25. I'm responding directly to the editor in the next few days, but here is the link to his piece, so you have background before my diatribe...


13 January 2008

Welcome To "AT&T Yellowstone National Park"

I was recently asked to serve on the DC Commission for National & Community Service. We're the overseers for every service-oriented initiative taken on within the District of Columbia. Within that Commission I serve on the Education Committee. Our goal is to "push" service initiatives, volunteerism and action in the public school system. Needless to say, I have been encouraging the Commission to consider Youth Venture as a potential program to insight a serving revolution on campuses. For whatever reason, this has been an uphill battle. Why? I have no idea. We want to give young people $1000 to launch their own organizations that work to enhance their communities. No catch. No expectation on anyone else. Just money to empower young people.

Of course, the first thing I was told is that something like this really isn't needed, because the schools are turning to large corporations for support when it comes to enhancing their campuses and academic programs. "Like the new Toyota library at XXX Elementary School," one woman told me. Pan to me, jaw dropped.

Where do I even begin to address this issue. I mean, seriously? Are we as a society ok with selling off every part of the public good to the highest bidder? Do we really want large corporations "sponsoring" and essentially controlling public education? With corporations come special interests. With special interests come a dissolution of the civil sector, essentially making it incapable of maintaining its position as an independent actor whose primary interest is the people which it represents.

A company's bottom line is profit. Money. The government's bottom line and in particular, public education's bottom line is raising good citizens. If Toyota sponsored the library whose to say they won't decide that books written about Ford, GM and the American auto industry should be banned? It strips away academic integrity and intellectual freedom. This may sound extreme, but things evolve over time. Did you ever think you'd be ok with allowing the US government to search your home without a warrant whenever they want in the name of national security? No, but it didn't seem that absurd when it was first proposed.

Secondly, if a school needs Toyota to sponsor their library, shouldn't we - the public - be funding our academic institutions better? I know, I know. That would mean raising the dreaded "T" word which, for whatever reason, has become equally if not more vile than any four letter word I can think of in the United States. TAXES! Ahh!!! Horrible! Yuck! Who wants to pay those, even if it means that your kid's marching band will have to now be sponsored by XBox's Guitar Hero? These "horrific" liberal taxes are what brought this nation the largest, most efficient highway system on the planet (and Republican spending cuts are what cause bridge collapses and pot holes). Taxes are what fund border security, teacher's salaries, school books, trash pick-up, in-door plumbing, federal prosecutors, street signs and crosswalks. The public good. A better community. Now, do you really want to dole those things out to the highest bidder, then be stuck paying whatever it is they charge? I certainly don't. Granted, the answer isn't JUST money, but taking more of it away just can't be a good idea!

We better watch out. Before you know it, you'll be getting in your Toyota to drive down Wal-Mart Way and over Microsoft Bridge to drop your kids at Enron Elementary, where their "fair and balanced" text books (sponsored by Fox News) will teach them all about how eating as much fatty foods as possible is great, citing McDonalds as the "answer to a happy, healthy life."

I don't know about you, but I'd just rather pay my taxes...

10 January 2008

BBC World Service Clip Online!

I just managed to upload the BBC World Service clip to my own personal website. You can check it out here. It was a great time and I really enjoyed being able to talk about why I believe Hillary is the most capable candidate to lead this country. Questions came in from Pakistan, Uganda, South Africa, Iraq and the United States.

It must have worked, because she came from nowhere to win New Hampshire, reinvigorating her campaign and finding, as she put it, her voice. I think that voice speaks for America and I do hope she goes all the way. Experience + Passion = REAL CHANGE. Woo!

The link: http://www.kyletaylor.com/kyletaylor/Audio/Entries/2008/1/10_Defending_HIllary_On_BBC.html

08 January 2008


Hello All!

I just thought I'd share the exciting news - BBC World Service found my blog online and has asked me to go on the air today to discuss the Presidential Election with bloggers writing about American politics. Pretty exciting! If you're interested, you can tune in online here:

The link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/

The panel is mixed - both Democrats and Republicans supporting all candidates.

It will be on at 6pm London time, which is:

1pm EST

10am PST

I hope you can tune in!

Real Change Takes Real Passion & Real Experience

Ok, so I'm not holding back anymore. I'm a full-blown Hillary supporter, and I didn't come to this decision lightly. I courted Obama, had a brief stint with Edwards, thought Biden was brilliant but not electable (why, I have no idea - too smart, probably - who wants an intelligent president, right?) and went back and forth to Hillary throughout. At the end of the day it came down to Hillary and Obama (Edwards was just too angry for me).

Then the word "change" entered the debate and somehow, Barrack Obama (and to some extend John Edwards) bogarted that word, pinning Hillary as the candidate of "experience" then making a pathetic if not desperate case as to how experience and change were mutually exclusive. Quite frankly, I don't believe they are, and I'm sick and tired of pundit after pundit pinning these two political buzz words - change and experience - against one another. The fact is, being able to create change requires experience and no one at the top can offer more than Hillary Rodham Clinton. What's odd is that almost everyone seems to agree that she has the most experience, they just say they're "ready for change."

At the end of the day, the policies of all the top Democrats are roughly the same (come on, be real, it's true) so that said, don't you want the person who is most capable of getting something done? You can't change a system you don't understand. You can't simply shout "change" from a soapbox and think it's going to happen. Creating change takes hard work, experience, knowledge, commitment and passion. I work with young people everyday, all around the world who are doing a whole lot more to create change than most of these candidates could ever dream of doing.

I don't doubt that Senator Obama will - in 8 years - be the best this nation has to offer but right now, at this, the most trying of times I can remember, I don't want to fiddle around with someone just because he talks and talks about change. I want to a President who knows what the heck they're doing! I mean, look what happened last time - we elected a guy that lots of people said they wanted to have a beer with. I'd rather skip the beer and get right to, oh, I don't know, equal rights, health care reform, ending the war and restoring the "can-do" spirit of America.

For anyone who thinks Hillary doesn't have that drive inside her, watch this clip. See her passion. Change takes a whole lot more than just talk. You've gotta act. Vote for the one candidate who really knows what she's doing.

The link, in case it doesn't embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl-W3IXRTHU&feature=related