Posts Tagged 'The Wire'

Defending Love Lockdown, Gilbert Arenas

 

Kanye West is the most relevant musician on the current music scene, because he operates in a dying genre that he’s somehow resuscitating by reminding everyone what it’s like to take a gumbo of music forms and make it into one thing. He has this bold vision that he may never specifically articulate, except to say that it deals with greatness and dimensionality. Some of his best work is a berth of pride and spiritual boldness. “Love Lockdown” is part exceptionalism, not one rapped lyric finds its way in; and part leapfrog into a world of little accountability. If artistic liberation metes itself out in the quixotic “experimental” album moment for every musician, this is Kanye’s Electric Circus/Perfect Imperfections/Sgt. Pepper, if you will.

Continue reading ‘Defending Love Lockdown, Gilbert Arenas’

Politics as Usual

Every occupation is a performance. Unless you are doing something you have been programmed innately to do, and even when you are, you have to put your “job” face on. I have not perfected my “job” face because the last three jobs I’ve held were teaching engagements with nonprofit educational programs. Besides the loose atmosphere, jeans-and-sneakers dress code, and overall youthfulness of staff, nothing has ever been light about the mission. In my three years being an educator specific to nonprofits, I’ve been informed by my own experiences as a product of that machine. Our electoral-commercial construct provides the bureaucratic model (for better or worse) for the average charitable organization. Donors give money based on the promise of success, executives then channel the money into resources, subsidies like scholarships, and staff. But, in some cases, risk management and accountability are absent from the equation. As much as I’d like to augment the work of benevolent programs, their methods are often faulty and, at worst, built for failure. What makes them run? Who has an interest in the education system and its improvement? There’s money in the ‘hood and in failing schools. Attempting to discuss and chronicle the answers to these questions with friends and family members has opened doorways for debate.

Think It Over

My education was sponsored, in part, by the highly organized nonprofit vehicle that I mentioned in my previous post: Prep for Prep. After a gamut of tests, nerdy ten-year-olds from New York City amble to Trinity School on 96th Street for summer classes, year-long preparation for independent school admission. We saddle ourselves with over-sized book sacks to make trips uptown. Wonderment nudges us to enter a new frontier but, corporate sponsorship pays for our teachers, researchers, administrators, counseling staff and materials. As I understand it, Prep for Prep works like this: Continue reading ‘Politics as Usual’