Today I have asked my students to write about a subject that should be easy to write about. The subject at hand is themselves. Does it seem fair to ask them to do this while I do not? In their eyes probably not. Besides, I suppose they should know me as much, or perhaps even more, than I know them.
I am generally pretty happy, although ironically, I am angry at the world we are a part of. I feel you as young people are talked down to and marginalized by a society that sees you not for the power to bring about change, but your purchasing power. And, sadly, you lock step with the masses and buy in. You hair, Aero-Postale shirts and stolen Top 40 music are more important than anything of substance. The difference is instead of blaming you I put the blame firmly on the shoulders of those corporations that are using you. The thing is you have a voice. So, why are you not speaking up and speaking out. Look back on the 60's and 70's and see what young people did. They did things. That is what angers me. That and the fact that parents drive their students right up to the door of the school. But, I digress.
I think I have become a little more angry about youth disengagement because I have two children myself. My daughter Ainslee is ten and my son, Tiernan is seven.
When I am not frustrated by corporate America's attempt to feast on your brain like a zombie. I am frustrated by politics and the cultural industry. I am sure that my political leanings will show soon enough. As much as I try and hide them, they do slip through.
I am a huge fan of music and have been a part of the music industry in some way since I was eighteen. I started playing in bands in 1991 and toured Canada playing in a band, doing security, merchandise and tour managing. In 1998, I moved to Ottawa (with the woman who is now my wife) and started booking shows there. During that time I booked The Guess Who, Billy Talent, Sam Roberts, and dozens of other bands. Over that time I have written for several publications and still write about music today.
Although, the idea of having a favourite band seems childish to me. But, I still have a pile of favourites. Otis Redding is the greatest singer that has ever lived. Van Morrison, Nina Simone and Marvin Gaye would be a close second. Public Enemy are the greatest hip hop (back in the old days it was called Rap). With that said I really can't stand when people think that good music only comes from the 60's and 70's. There is wonderful music being made today. The Decemberists are surreal.
At the end of the day I probably care too much.
I care about music, politics, writing, literature, movies and young people. It's why I ask so much of my kids, and why I ask so much of you. I want you to find out what it is that you care about, and love it. It is only through doing so that we can achieve our goals.