First of, “Hello” is not exactly my favorite song, although it is probably in the top 20 or so. The lyrics are great, but I picked this song primarily because of the feeling I get while listening to it. Its a feeling from the time I was 17, and just finished my junior year of high school. For the first time ever, my parents left on vacation without me, which meant that I had the house all to myself for about a month. I had no responsibilities, work, school, or SAT to think about. It was a glorious care-free summer, and I was enjoying every minute of it.
It just so happened that Eminem released his Relapse album that summer after taking a five year break from rap. Naturally, his album was playing non-stop at my house. Since then, whenever I listen to “Hello,” I briefly get that same Summer 2009 feeling. First few notes conjure images of parties, barbeques and friends. Its hard to imagine that life was once care-free, but the song certainly helps. I think most of us have a song that transports them to that special care-free time in their lives.
One of my favorite songs is What More Can I Say? by Jay Z. I vividly remember the highly anticipated Black Album release. It was a big deal because Jay Z claimed it would be his last album, and that he would go into retirement after it. I was in the eleventh grade and had recently got my permit and as is usual with most kids, would routinely smoke pot and cruise around aimlessly with friends. This album would be on repeat during such outings. As an impressionable 16 year old born and raised in Brooklyn, listening to the lyrics, I was so moved, inspired and impressed by Jay Z’s accomplishments that he became an idol. I felt like he represented Brooklyn so well. He really showed how different he was from other rappers at the time in this album and particularly this song. His rhymes place him echelons above any rapper. He sums up his rise and current feelings about the industry and almost boasts about his rein over New York and Hip Hop yet he feels he isn’t given his due credit and thus feels its time to part ways with the business. Its just so straight forward and raw, its synonymous with Brooklyn and gives me chills listening to it. Hes sick!
EDM , or Electronic Dance Music seems to be invading our generation by the minute. I certainly do not love all of it; however, I do appreciate some EDM songs. Avicii is one of my favorite dj’s and producers and I think his song collaboration with Nicky Romero, I could be the one, was a great idea.
His song, I could be the one, definitely applies to many people’s lives, including mine. As most college students experience college, we all constantly struggle with what we want to do with our lives. His song represents what most students definitely do not want. It’s about a woman who is trapped in her daily routine of work that is so monotonous and boring that she cannot stand her life. She needs someone or something to break up her miserable and boring life. I think this song overall is a fun party song with a good beat that makes me feel good when I listen to it.
When Arcade Fire, a Canadian indie rock band, burst onto the popular American music scene in 2004, I can remember actively resisting liking their music. The whole media announcement of the band as THE voice of suburban disenchantment and hipster ennui struck me as kind of false and constructed.
But then I actually listened to their music, and found myself falling in love with it despite myself. The song above, taken from the album of the same name, is a perfect distillation of why I like this band so much. They’ve taken an overplayed concept (suburbs as secret dystopia) and made it seem fresh and vibrant with simple lyrics (“In the suburbs I learned to drive, and you told me we’d never survive) that somehow capture a disturbing tone without being sentimental or cheesy.
Obviously, being raised in the suburbs of Southern California, imbued with a subtle but undeniable sense of impending doom, has a lot to do with my attitude toward this song and all of Arcade Fire’s work. At the end, when lead singer Win Butler harmonizes the refrain with the rest of the band, “Sometimes I can’t believe it/I’m moving past the feeling,” the song emerges as a kind of personal classic for me, rendering all of those confusing emotions into a couple mysterious lines that paint a haunting picture of growing up in a certain place and time.
In the documentary Harlan County USA, the main driving plot behind it revolves around the strike of miners and the overall involvement with regards to the union. The problems this documentary is tying to address is revolving around the issues of a monopoly on the labor market, inflation throughout the country making it near impossible to live with minimum wage anymore and health issues occurring from working in the mines. A particular moment during the documentary caught my eye and it was when the workers went to the city to get more publicity for this strike and the police forces are talking with the workers on strike. They had a conversation where the police force are asking them why they are doing this and they start to compare lives in a way. This is showing the different lives as well as different life styles. It is sort of foreshadowing the decline of unions and inflation making too much of an impact.
” A train trip in the mid -1970’s from New York to Washington would have a given a sense of their decay.”
In this quote Freeman was trying to give us a sense of how much theses cities decline, and it can be notice by traveling through these cities on train. A lot of residents left New York between 1970 and 1980. The unemployment rate jump up to 12% and the crime rate increased because of the lack of jobs. 10 percent of New York population left due to the recession that took place during the 1970’s. Many whites migrated from the city to the surburb. In Newark, NJ after World War 2 a lot of middle calss residents moved to the surburbs. For a city that was once known as a thriving indusrtial city, it was now known for having one abandoned factory after another. After the war Trenton, New Jersey began to decline too. Many of the forefront companies began to relocate, reduce their operations, or just shut down in all. Philadelphia suburbs flourished but the city suffered from the decline of manufacturing. Freeman is also giving you a sense of how the railroad system declined too.
Walmart is an American multinational retail corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. This company is the world’s second largest public corporation according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2013. Furthermore, it is the biggest private employer in this world with over two million employees and is the largest retatiler in the world. Walmart remains a family-owned business as the company controlled by the Walton family who owns a 48 percent stake in Walmart.
However, Walmart has become involved in numerous lawsuits for a significant reasons such as class action lawsuits in which employees are suing unpaid wages and denying to offer job based on race.
Nevertheless, we need to know what kind of products Walmart offers for American consumers………
“In 1966, three hundred largely female activists, frustrated with the inaction of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in countering discrimination on the basis of sex, founded the National Organization of Women (NOW) to fight for equal rights of women and improvements in their daily lives, including more equal marriages and better daycare.”
Freeman uses NOW as an illustration of women’s frustrations at the time. The creation of NOW due to the inaction of the EEOC implies that perhaps the EEOC was male dominant in power and thinking. Women needed an organization that better represented them by first hand, direct control. The creation of NOW also stressed how important it was for not just opportunities, but also on the condition of equality. Their demands for desegregated job listings show this.
“Lying about the war, or at least giving the public misleading information, became routine. Johnson repeatedly hid or gave deceptive accounts of planned increases in troop strength. To justify the American intervention by portraying the Vietnamese conflict as an attack by North Vietnam against South Vietnam rather than as a civil war, his administration went as far as having the CIA create elaborate fake evidence of large-scale shipments of arms from the north to the south. Meanwhile, in Vietnam itself, military officials gave reporters misleading information, withholding anything that might bring into question official optimism.”
While Freeman mentions a couple of reasons for America’s participation in the Vietnam war, he manages to continuously come back to pride. The lies by Johnson to Americans, and by military officials show the desperation in upholding the image of undefeated power. It goes so far as to require official optimism, a placebo. The lengths that Johnson went through to fester false security was denial of the country’s political leaders’ mistakes. Deceptions of the war was to justify the loss of soldiers and the horrendous violence taking place; communism, the enemy, was a deception in itself to justify American perseverance in political pride and power.
“In 1964, Mississippi civil rights groups decided to bring northern white students to spend the summer working on a voter registration drive and help run “Freedom Schools ,” calculating that their presence would bring national publicity and perhaps federal protection to the effort, knowing from bitter experience how little ripple occurred when local blacks were the victims of violence.”
Freeman mentions the “Freedom Summer” civil rights movement in order to emphasize the fight for liberal activism in all fields. He also uses the civil rights movement as a turning point in the growth of a more militant liberal activism. The increase in aggression was necessary at the time to stand up to violent Ku Klux clan groups. Freeman stresses the increase in extreme thoughts and actions; young white activists expected violence (even death), but knew their suffering would bring about widespread attention to their cause (national publicity). The death of the three project members on June 21 was a tragedy, but more importantly (from the greater aspect of things) a success in accomplishing what they set out to do.