Posts Tagged ‘ current-events ’

Life is Music April 23, 2013: Put your wallet where your classroom is (because you have to)

It’s another rudieTuesday, which means another day where I equate a news event with a song. Today, coming in just over the wire, the first generation to be worse off than our parents keeps getting hit harder!

There’s lots of ways this seems to keep happening. Today in particular, Cooper Union announced that they will start charging up to about $20,000 in tuition for students who can afford to pay. Considering how mind-blowingly expensive some colleges are, this might not sound like much. But Cooper Union is a venue of higher education that has offered free tuition for accepted students for more than a century.

“The time has come to set our institution on a path that will enable it to survive and thrive well into the future,” the board chairman, Mark Epstein, said in an announcement to students and faculty members in the college’s Great Hall. “Under the new policy, the Cooper Union will continue to adhere to the vision of Peter Cooper, who founded the institution specifically to provide a quality education to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it.”

That’s interesting. And, I’d argue, inaccurate. I don’t know the details of the true costs of operations for the school, but I’d say it’s a pretty devastating change in character for Cooper Union to start charging students. Charging students tuition is pretty incongruent with a mission of offering a quality education without having to worry about cost.

It’s a sad day for higher education. But really, it’s just another continuation of a trend in rising college costs. And so, this week’s song is Big D and the Kids Table’s “We All Have to Burn Something.” Because this event can be described as infuriating, and saddening, but not that surprising considering the state of higher ed (and the toyed-with futures of millennials).

By the way, I originally planned on covering how fans are asking Streetlight to consider changing their venue location in Virginia due to recent homophobe comments made by someone who worked there. It’s a story worth following, and likely I’ll post more about it if the venue does get changed.

Life is music: April 2, 2013, edition

It’s another rudieTuesday, which means another day where I equate a news event with a song!

Today, the AP officially removed “illegal immigrant” from acceptable terminology in its vocabulary. This is cool, because that kind of language (calling a person illegal — as though a human could inherently be taboo) is not cool.

In addition to coolness, this is interesting because, as much of the western world is aware, yesterday was April Fools Day. In accordance with the tradition of creating phony news stories to let the average consumer figure out what’s real and what’s a prank — a situation that is sometimes clear and sometimes leaves a bit too much gray area — one blog wrote an article with breaking news that the AP had stopped using this term.

While the article took it a step further and said the AP decided to swap out “illegal immigrants” for the much more politically correct “Pitbull* fans,” the fact still remains that the lede read, in part, that the AP executive board voted “to no longer use ‘illegal immigrant’ or ‘illegal’ in any of its news stories.” The next day, this happened in real life!

So here’s to you, the Latino Rebels, for writing one of the rare April Fools jokes that came true. And here’s to you, AP, for discontinuing a dehumanizing term. And here’s to you, The Menzingers, for writing the soundtrack to this week’s news story. Here’s to your song that describes a story repeated, and the red ink that is sure to be metaphorically splattered across one more phrase in the story of a reporter who hasn’t kept up with the stylebook.

*Were you expecting a Pitbull video? If not, I’m sorry/you’re welcome!

In which I listen to BTMI! while talking Congress, and other stories

Listening to: News in Music EP 1/9/13-1/15/13

One of my original ideas with this blog was to provide a soundtrack to news events. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this. But I think about it a lot, and I might as well put those thoughts into current events mix tapes. Without further ado, here’s a few stories that I think were major news last week, and songs to go with them. *Some songs are NSFW, so make sure to don those headphones at your desk.

Aaron Schwartz, genius, dies at 26
The world lost an amazing mind and person last week. I’m sorry to say I didn’t know much about Aaron before he died. I may have heard his name in passing, but I never learned much about him to give him the credit he deserves. Lots of people support open-source material and freeing information, but few actually risk themselves and face a disproportionately harsh legal system to protect the public’s right to knowledge. I’m glad to have seen such an overwhelmingly strong response to support him now that he’s gone, but I wish it didn’t take his death for his trial to finally make big news.
Samiam – “Dull” Ironic I guess, because I doubt life being boring is what drove Aaron to suicide. But the anger and longing in this song for a friend who is now gone is right on.

Idle No More protests
On January 11, a large action was held by and in support of the grassroots movement of indigenous peoples in Canada, called the First Nations. Idle No More was created to fight abuses by the government against the rights of First Nations people and the environment. The Canadian government proposed new legislations that would stomp on treaties with The First Nations that had been in place for ages. The movement sparked solidarity movements and protests across the world, including a day of action on January 11, when leaders of the Canadian government met with leaders of Canada’s First Nations.
The Noisettes – “Bridge to Canada” Yes, Canada is fittingly in the name of the song, but that’s not the main reason I chose it. The song itself seems to be about two people, but it could also be applied to a larger scale. It portrays the feeling of frustration and disappointment with the current state of things, but taking action for a greater cause.

House Approves Hurricane Sandy Relief
It’s about damn time. Now to see whether this bill will actually do nearly as much as the grassroots efforts of people who’ve been rebuilding since Halloween 2012.
Bomb the Music Industry – “Sorry, Brooklyn. Dancing Won’t Solve Anything” It felt kind of like Congress was dancing around giving out Sandy aid. Or that they were having a dance party for three months before they decided to finally get down to business with this bill. So dance on, politicians.

Jodie Foster’s “coming out speech” at the Golden Globes
I didn’t watch the Golden Globes. I semi-followed @angrypedestrian‘s updates on Twitter, and that was more than enough info for me. I was curious, however, about all the buzz I was hearing on Jodie Foster’s “coming out” speech. It was funny at times, and moving at other times, but I think I would’ve really needed to be there (or watching it live) to feel as intensely about it as Anne Hathaway and other attendees’ faces seemed to suggest.
Bikini Kill – “Blood One” for lady power and Jodie sticking her tongue out to the press to tell them she’s spent her entire life without privacy, and she deserves some.

Baby Panda’s first day out at San Diego Zoo
Because adorable. Baby panda is adorable. The video in the link is adorable. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. If you have, go watch it. Because adorable.
Candy Hearts – “Red Balloon” Panda makes me happy, this song makes me happy. Perfect fit.

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