Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Saturday July 17, 2004
So it’s been a while since the last update and there are a number of reasons for that.  Laziness, too much going on, confusion on my part as to just how to talk about this stuff; but now I’m in a bar in Times Square and my friend, Arantxa is the bartender, which means I’m not really paying anything and so, I’m on my second 16 ounce beer and it’s all gonna come pretty easily now.
I just got done doing an audition for a musical; yes, a musical.  Some dude saw me in one of VisionIntoArt’s performances and thought I’d be great for this role for this anti-war musical called ‘The Dissenters’.  I’ve practically tried not to get this role.  I’m not really an actor (though I’ve got some talent at it – excelled at it in high school),  and I’m no longer a singer (though I’ve got a little talent at it – did alright with it in high school), but I swear I got there today half hung over and late and they still liked what I did, so I guess I’m gonna have to take this seriously now.
In the last two weeks, I’ve been writing feverishly about the whole Nicodemus thing and dealing with a crisis.  Seems our National Poetry Slam has brought on Clear Channel as a sponsor.  When I first found out, there was a general uproar among teams and in fact a number of teams considered pulling out of Nationals because of it.  If you’re asking yourself “what the hell is a Clear Channel and where can I get one?” Clear Channel is the network media corporation which owns many of our mainstream radio stations and billboards and concert halls and so forth.  They are an extremely right wing organization and has attempted to get many artists banned from the airwaves for their views and their politics.  Among the artists to have faced their contumely are the Dixie Chicks, rage Against the Machine, The Beastie Boys, Lennie Kravitz and the list goes on.  They have attempted to ban from their radio stations, artists who will not play in their concert halls and have gone out of their way to cripple local independent radio stations (especially any with a left of center agenda).  So, the fact that a poetry festival of all things would get into bed with such an organization is particularly alarming.  It’s sort of like having a (oops my third beer just arrived) sweat shop workers rally be sponsored by Nike (if you know what I mean).
While we wrangled as a team and an organization about how to respond, I became particularly alarmed by the tone taken by the local event organizers; such as ‘it was the only way to reach their urban audience and didn’t y’all say you wanted us to reach the urban audience and now that we’ve reached the urban audience look what happened’.  We all know what urban audience means and I probably shouldn’t have another sip of beer before I go off on this but the response speaks too much to white privilege and what that means in the face of a call to ensure that the tournament appeals to a diverse audience (quick aisde – I’m also watching the Great Outdoor Games on ESPN on the TV here.  we’re onto the Big Air Dog competition, which is ostensibly long jumping for canines.  It’s fascinating!  What do you tell your dog when the dog before it only jumps 20 feet “well Rover, save your energy for the finals. You only need a 21-footer this round…” So Little Morgan has won this round with a jump of 24’ 5”).
In the long run, what we were told is this.  Clear Channel Radio (and not the parent company Clear Channel Entertainment – as if this makes a difference) is whom the deal is struck with and they’re only sponsoring a few side events and none of the competition events.  Pretty much all the teams have decided to stay in (including ours by a vote in which I was the only dissenter).  Some teams and individuals are going to be mounting protests against Clear Channel and Poetry Slam Inc during the competition to ensure that this relationship does not continue in future years (my fourth beer just arrived – Arantxa says to me “I think you’re thirsty…”  it’s air-conditioned in here!!!  what’s she thinking?!)  So much for now.  I’m likely to put something really dumb on here and besides the screen has changed the Phillies are leading the Mets 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth and the bases are loaded for the Mets…  oops, Jason Phillips hits into the double play; threat ended…


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