31 January 2006

Something's not right...

Hmmmm. Scanning the front page of the Sunday Tribune, my gaze was arrested (forgive the pun) by this photo.


Look at the highlighted face of the youth that the camera caught in the background.

Any street-savvy cop would take one look at him and do a double-take. A name check would soon follow. That kid is trouble, no doubt. He's seen the inside of the Audy home, fo sho.

But that smug, distant, and emotionally detached visage is not something that only felons, of late, are adopting - mainstream entertainers are picking up the nuances of "street Cred" and taking to wearing doo-rags, bling and "grillz." Mimicking their idols 50-cent, Lil Wayne, and Snoop - they "roll strong" by adopting the language and mannerisms of violence. Even the Tribune article on 'krumping' cites adjectives such as violence, battle and fighting as the fabric of the culture.

Everything is for today, nothing is for tomorrow

The article is just another bone-throw to the liberals who think that giving kids like these a place to jump around and dance is equivalent to giving Chinese computer engineering students the keys to the University of Chicago computer lab.

The guys and gals in this photo are definitely not computer engineering students. Fighting, battle and Death - the article is replete with adjectives of conflict -

Suddenly, in the wee hours of a Monday morning, the battle was on: A pulsating throng formed a circle and watched the dancers face off in a gladiatorial display of "footworkin'"--a little-known, Chicago-born street dance in which feet frenetically stomp and kick a stutter-step pattern that resembles a hip-hop version of "Riverdance." (yea, right.)

Within minutes, Terra Squad withdrew, leaving the field to Sonic Heat's chaotic moves and Gumby limberness. "West Side for life!" Kelly shouted, arms raised in victory.

While young inner-city Angelenos were krumping, footworkin' was emerging from the West and South Sides of Chicago, where self-taught dancers still argue about who started stomping first.

Their angular moves sparked a phenomenon that has grown to include dozens of African-American dance troupes that mix footworkin' with modern dance choreography, as well as purist "battle cliques" that specialize in the street form.

What high aspirations! Do these young people want to find a cure for cancer? Do they want to start and run a successful company? Do they want to be piano virtuosos?

No. Do you know why? Because the simple answer is: doing that would take commitment, hardwork, education and an innovative and dynamic character.

Mediocrity for everyone!

A few years ago I saw an interview with Alicia Keyes - the gifted and talent singer/pianist. She was going into an award ceremony and was outside speaking with an interviewer. She was eloquent, casual and obviously a cultured and educated person. When she stepped in front of the microphone to accept her award - she regressed into an ebonics tirade. She went on and on about "rising from the ghetoo" and "working against the struggles" - she was using NAACP talking points.

It was terrible.

Later I learned that her mother is white and her father was black and that her father had abandoned her and her mother when Alicia was very young.

The article reflects a Liberal world-view in which, residents of gang and drug infected areas are "offered hope" by engaging in some Art form or another. The art can be dance, painting (ie graffiti), vocal or musical. In the short-term these interventions can work. Getting kids into a program that offers alternatives to gangbanging and drug-using is admirable but they don't work in the long-term. As it says in the article - "[the] ultimate prize [to dancing] is respect."

Sadly, the highest aspiration of these young people is simply that, respect. How they garner that is what we see embodied in their heroes - 50Cent and his ilk. Respect is snatched by intimidation, violence, fighting, commiting crime and taking risks. Young people in depressed urban areas are offered all of these elements in a nice nifty package: in a Gang enclave. The gang culture gives lip service to respect, 'love' and loyalty but its actions are anything but.

The trojan horse is that the gangs recruit kids from single parent, fatherless, broken homes - homes which should be giving their children respect, boundaries and love - and offer them an extension of that very household. By joining, they immediately see their social circle expand and their respect level increase. No longer just some 'shorty-wannabe' - he is now a member of an elite Gang; with all the privileges and honors that are forthcoming. The privilege of earning 'street cred' by killing, brutalizing and terrorizing a neighborhood and its citizens.

But Liberals are masters at the Art of "non-identification." They refuse to identify or address the real foundational issues as to why a community is saturated with gang bangers and drug use. The standard bearers of Political Correctness at the Chicago Tribune wouldn't have the courage to print an article which elucidates how the parents in these communities are really to blame.

It is much easier to just say that these areas are ghettos because of "economics, unemployment and a lack of Federal monies."

Dance Fever

Just as anybody can be a parent - anybody can girate around a dance floor and claim it to be a life changing event. I know of one 'bboy' who was somewhat successful with his hiphop carreer - Mr Wiggles. He was even featured on a PBS special.

Dance is an important art form but it is not an end-all/be-all. It is certainly NOT a band-aid and is not an acceptable cure for the ills effecting the black and hispanic communities across the US.

The situation reminds me of a family which has a child who is a spoiled, ill-mannered rapscallion who acts-out continually. The family kow-tows and gives into this child's tantrums but nothing changes his behavior. Anything the child does is wonderful - he could paint a brown and black smear on the garage wall and his clueless parents would praise him for his "aristic talents" and "his powerful deliverance of art leitmotifs". Meanwhile he just gets smugger and smugger knowing that no matter what he does, it doesn't matter. His "tolerant" parents will look approvingly upon his most pedestrian pursuits.

Tolerance does have its limits and political correctness is veiled totalitarianism.

In this age of PC gone awry, mediocrity is the theme of the day - below average students are rewarded with Educational grants and front page news items. Below average applicants are given jobs based on their race eventhough higher qualified individuals are available. Illegal aliens are allowed to cross the border with impunity and are rewarded with social benefits and jobs.

Thanks to Liberals, we are creating a country of petty tyrants and mediocre people whose hands are continually extended with the slogan "where's mine?"

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