With the sum of today’s techno-centric capability at unbelievable levels of accomplishment, in this nation, it’s hard to believe that America’s biggest problem is still race prejudice – specifically and sadly, prejudice of Whites against Blacks. As the Nobel Prize recipient for literature, in 1992, Derek Walcott put it: “There are no large issues in America, outside of race.”
It’s well established that the income gap between rich and poor in America has increased over the past few decades. Income inequality among developed nations is highest in the United States. Most of the growth in this inequality has been between the middle class and top earners, with the disparity becoming more extreme the further one goes up in income.
Governor Cuomo made a big show last week of marking Sunshine Week - a national initiative launched in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors to highlight the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy.
Many ethnographic filmmakers are – and always have been-- content to record and educate. Since the early silent film days, factual films of this sort have captured a straight-forward view of the lifestyles, rituals, and customs of isolated people from far-away places.
Bruce Springsteen stands out almost without equals among the musicians who touch my soul. I rarely regret his outsized melodies, gritty voice, and emotionally explosive poetry that explore working class struggles and the general human condition with such passion and compassion. I am especially drawn to Springsteen's use of biblical and religious imagery in songs such as Adam Raised A Cain, from his album Darkness On The Edge Of Town.
Let me start my commentary today with an anecdote: Eighteen year- old, Jane Doe, had just arrived at her residence hall at a university and was eagerly anticipating meeting her roommate and getting to know other first- year classmates.
In case you’re wondering, last night you may have seen the last ever men’s basketball game between Big East Conference foes Seton Hall and South Florida. It’s probably a good thing, since the game was absolutely awful.
The barrier between barbarism and civilization is gossamer-thin, a layer of taboos that separates mankind from its base nature. An impulse to ascend is most often pushed into the armory of descent.
Nowhere was this more apparent than the recent Grammy Awards for musical “excellence.” Here were the half literate providing referential status to the half talented. Most of what I heard is dissonance. It was as if music is faintly related to the sounds emerging from electrified instruments.