Monday, September 09, 2013

Comment of the Week

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Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Solidarity is For Miley Cyrus: The Racial Implicat...":

"About how they can expect to be exploited by even their supposed sisters-in-arms. You wanna be down with black folk? With black women? Start by treating us like human beings, not like fucking pokemon"

This is a very compelling point, often we see caucasian performers trying to take on the "urban vibe" with their performance trying to fit in with the black community by attempting to mimic their performance practices. What they should be doing is trying to collaborate. Look at the rock and roll band Jackyl. They frequently perform with rapper DMX neither of them attempt to mimic the other they just combine their two styles for a unique performance and they both have a ball with it.
There seems to be this misconception that if your going to rap or perform Hip Hop you need to sag your pants, have golden teeth and have plenty of loose women around you all the time. Linkin park has integrated rap and even hip hop but still kept their punk rock feel.

I am not going to touch on the feminism side of this argument because I feel I can not give an appropriate opinion to the manner but as a counter argument I will say this. Hip hop is a style and for a person to take on the hip hop style does not necessarily mean they are trying to mimic or mock the black community and style. Its just a matter of taking a style like hip hop and making it your own.
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "Arianna Huffington: Burnout- The Disease of our Ge...":
I think part of the problem is, as the article points out, for so many people now their main source of diversion or "personal time" is also screen based. Pocket technology has become the main recreational activity in our culture. I had an office job for the first time in my life this summer. I've never spent so much time sitting in front of a screen in my life (seriously, I think I doubled my per-vita screen time in three months), nor do I want to again. What was most shocking to me, however, was that when the break bell rang, most of my co-workers spent their 15 minutes of freedom on Facebook, either on their phones or their computers. As David Roberts is quoted in the article, "It's doing things to [our] brain[s]." Finding other ways to engage your body and mind are not only essential to personal health, but to discovering new ways to be better at your job. If all we do, every day, at and away from work, is fuss with the minor accomplishments that technology can offer, we are doomed to mediocrity. 
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "Why you won’t see or hear the ‘I have a dream’ spe...":
I appreciate the respect with which this article was written. I completely agree with the author in that King's wishes for his words and likeness to be protected are legitimate and understandable, but that not being able to access records of such an important moment in history is detrimental to future generations being able to recognize and appreciate the gravity of the event. It seems like "Fair Use" allows for the speech to be shown and read in full in classrooms, which is great, but what about those of us who aren't in grade school anymore? There's a line between protecting the work and its author while allowing the public to access the work, and restricting access to the work so much that it can't be remembered and appreciated in full by all who wish to. I understand King's estate wanting to protect his work and likeness, but I am appalled by the fact that the estate received $700,000 for a memorial to be built in King's honor. It seems like the strict copyright rules and the fees charged by the estate are making it extremely difficult for King's life and work to be fully appreciated and shared with the public.
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "Changing the Narrative on Gun Control: Is Theater ...":
Like most people, I can go either way on gun control. Before this summer, I would have been completely against it. If you look at almost every situation in which a gun was discharged, there is a story behind the person carrying the gun. Perhaps there are mental issues, drugs, alcohol, etc. I wrote a paper on school shootings in high school, and my point was that in every situation, there were various factors at play. Art, music, video games, movies, drugs, bullying, etc were all involved in almost every occasion. In the Sandy Hook massacre, the perpetrator was noted to have personality disorders and rarely interacted with other students. There were most likely warning signs, such as his obsession with violent video games (Call of Duty) or his 500-name hit list. But no one pays attention to warning signs until after something happens. Instead, everyone focuses on the obvious. Guns can kill people; however, that is still false. The people behind the guns kill people. There is always a motive, and there are always warning signs. This summer, I learned of a family friend who killed two people. I started to question my beliefs on guns, but looking back on it, there were the same warning signs: suicide letters, alcohol, mental instability. Everyone just turned a blind eye. As for producing shows about gun control, I find it very ironic. The same industry that glorifies killings (action, shoot-em-up movies) is now trying to support gun control? I just don't understand. Even if there were plays about gun control, I doubt anyone will listen. As artists, we tend to believe that we create for the good of the world. We understand what is wrong, and we try to make it right through art. That doesn't mean audiences will want to listen. Some audiences might listen, but will they act? I have seen several people shield their eyes or leave rooms because an image on a computer or the television screen showed graphic images of rapes in the Congo, or of the Rwandan genocide, or of the Invisible Children in Sudan. Even if we show these things to people, I don't believe they will have the courage to stand up against these issues because they do not directly relate to our lives. I guess gun control can relate to many people in the United States, but again, we forget that man can do as much damage with a knife, his fists, and his feet. Personally, I don't think violence will ever stop. I think humans actually secretly enjoy it. If there was no violence, there would be nothing to protest/nothing to rally behind. There would be no one to deem wrong or right. No matter what we say, we live off of conflicts and violence. Peace is for the dreamers. 
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Starting a Small Business after College Graduation...":
This article is really frustrating for a number of reasons.

A) There's more to starting a business than simply obtaining credit. If they had framed it as "How to obtain credit for you small business" or as part of a larger series, then fine, but it doesn't even BEGIN to talk about a whole host of other issues, such as filing with the state, writing a business plan, various tax issues etc. Even if your small business is a freelance consulting firm of one, you still need to file with the state as an LLC (or S Corp or whatever), create a DBA name etc...

B) I'm not sure how many of us have checked our credit scores lately, but mine's not particularly fabulous, despite my 100% paid on time credit history. My debt-to-credit ratio is jacked because of student loans, and my average account history is a whopping 4 years (thanks to one 20 year old account I inherited..). It's not as easy as "proactively managing your credit."

B.1) They don't go into any other forms of funding but the traditional business loan route (except for the breezy, "it's EASY to get funding for your small business!!"). A typical college grad with $xx,xxx (at least) in student loan debt (which is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy fyi) can't just waltz into a bank and be like "can I have a couple hundred thousand dollars as a loan?" Where's the collateral!?

I'm not saying it's impossible for people to get funding without these things, but at least go into alternative methods of funding if you're going to target a demographic that is most likely coming out of school with a net worth significantly in the red. A lot of the people this article is geared towards probably (because of age, experience whatever) have very little of an idea about the nuts-and-bolts steps to actually getting a business off the ground.

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