Happy Defense Day!

Today, I defend my research and my project!

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Volunteer at Bonnaroo with “Clean Vibes”

Volunteer at Bonnaroo with “Clean Vibes”

Bonnaroo and Clean Vibes have teamed up and are asking for volunteers to help make an impact at this year’s festival. Clean Vibes handles all the waste removal and recycling that happens at the Tennessee festival this June. If you’re looking for a way to make an impact and give back while also enjoying the Bonnaroo experience, consider becoming a volunteer!

“Clean Vibes is focused on education through action. We show concertgoers how easy it is to minimize one’s waste footprint through recycling and composting in hopes that they might take this knowledge and apply it to their daily lives.

Over a decade of experience providing unparalleled environmentally responsible event waste management, recycling, and cleanup services throughout the United States.”

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“Waiting On The World To Change” – John Mayer

John Mayer’s 2009 hit “Waiting On The World To Change,” talks about the misconceptions of our youth generation who “stand for nothing,” despite our nation’s current social and political issues. Does John Mayer sing the truth? Whether you agree or disagree the song’s success suggests that people both willing and able to listen, and perhaps that’s the first step.

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Celebrity Activism Reconsidered

Celebrity Activism Reconsidered

An article in New Mexico’s Daily Lobo by guest columnist Jason Darensburg reconsiders celebrity activism. Take a look at Darensburg’s stance: Do you agree that “celebrity support can ruin a cause?”

“But does celebrity involvement really make any difference in what people care about? In a society obsessed with celebrity worship and showbiz, the answer is a resounding yes. The problem isn’t that famous people shouldn’t speak out about politics or social issues. The problems begin when celebrities try to speak for the people they are trying to help. This is especially true when they don’t actually belong to the group they claim to represent.”

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“Mercy”

Dave Matthews performs brand new song “Mercy” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The lyrics of the song carry strong social and political weight. What might Mr. Matthews mean when he sings “Don’t give up / I know you can see all the world and the mess we’re making / can’t give up and hope God will intercede” and “Mercy, will we overcome this?”

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Obama, are you listening?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4UA6PA2vIM%5D

Lady Gaga speaks at the National Equality March in Washington D.C. in October 2009. Addressing Obama, she screams, “are you listening?” Do you think she got her message across? Is she using her celebrity in a positive way?

God Hates “Lady” Gaga?

This flyer from the radical Westboro Baptist Church states that “God hates Lady Gaga.” They argue that Lady Gaga is a “proud whore” who is leading a rebellion against God. Is Gaga bringing young fans into “slavery” as this group contends, or is she liberating them from a world of predjudices? Whether your opion lies with Gaga or the Westboro Baptist Church or somewhere in between – one thing is for certain – this twenty-first century superstar has the ability to get people talking – good and bad – about controversial issues.

“Peace Train” – Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens performs “Peace Train” on his 1976 Earth Tour.

In a statement to Rolling Stone Magazine, Stevens talks about the famous song: “‘Peace Train’ is a song I wrote, the message of which continues to breeze thunderously through the hearts of millions and there is a powerful need for people to feel that gust of hope rise up again.”

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“Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution” – Tracy Chapman

Performed by contemporary folk artist Tracy Chapman, ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution’ is an example of a modern protest song imbued with the revolutionary spirit of early activist music.

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“My President is Black” – Young Jeezy

The presentation and representation of black subjectivity in 21st century hip-hop and rap music tends to be problematic. While some artists continue to deliver the same politically and socially conscious messages of their predecessors, those shadowy few have become marginalized by mainstream hip-hop and rap. As African American music continues to thrive as an artistic outlet that fosters cultural growth and experimentation and allows artists to share their voice with a world audience, it is time to reconsider what exactly is worth sharing. Instead of spreading messages of racism, violence, and the degradation of women, contemporary voices of African American music need to come together like the generations before them to find a new forms and new sounds for expressing authentic 21st black subjectivity outside of the confines of the mainstream market.

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