Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

This Looks Familiar

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The state government is deadlocked because suburbanites don’t like taxes (but certainly like their road and utility subsidies, don’t they?), the MTA is cutting service and raising fares to ridiculous lengths (and the comments on that article hurt my faith in humanity), and people are again antsy about violent crime.

For my part, the mood is prevailing on spring student aggression and teacher dispair. Fights have been breaking out on a daily basis in high traffic hallways, two computers were stolen today by students who managed to get their hands on a master key which, along with other petty thefts, foments a possible crime wave a la about this time last year, where teacher laptops and school equipment were being snatched left and right for two weeks of insanity.

I was in a hardware store picking up padlocks so I could secure my equipment now that the door locks were compromised, and when giving the rundown to answer the cashier’s inquiries, the lady next to me broke out in laughter.

“I’m glad I’m not sending my kid to your school!” said this Asian yuppie in high heels.

That’s okay. No other white or Asian mother does. Not one. There’s a reason they call it a ghetto: Nobody who has a choice stays. It’s beginning to feel like the 70s or the 90s in sense that yuppies are having misgivings about the city again and locals are hunkering down.

The thing I hope for at least in the NYCDoE, given the frustrating nature of the current crop and the limited prospects they’re looking at is the promise that we’re only holding the fort until the Bloomberg generation – ie, the generation of students that grew up entirely within the agency that is known as Dead On Education as compared to Bored Of Education – is old enough for high school. Big hope.

The “Music Industry”

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“Over the last few years, we have all witnessed the decline of the music business,” starts a Huffington Post article*, and already warning klaxons are blazing in my head.

  • First, is the death of the music industry inherently destructive of music itself?
  • Second, since when is the recording industry the sum total of the music industry?
  • Third, why are physical copies of recordings the sum total of the recording industry?

Record companies never saw themselves as “conduits for music,” because they are companies, not public utilities. CDs were born out of greed, yes, but so were every other form. Hell, CDs as a medium were less horrendous than the two previous – cassettes and 8-tracks – to speak of cynical greed creating consumer branded music.

Hell, the writer of this Huffington Post article basically defined his music as better quality than Spears not by talking about the creative process, but about how grassroots his marketing was, as if anti-establishment is in any way inherently better than establishment by mere dint of title.

This whole article smacks of a limited purview; pretentious sour grapes, and even while I agree with its precepts – don’t mourn the big labels – I can’t help but wince at its application of them as they make him sound like a bigger dinosaur than the one he’s burying.

*Not that I would readily admit to reading the Huffington Post.

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