83.2 F
Coral Gables
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
December 5 , 2023
Home Blog Page 1906

News reflects public’s bias


Every morning, when I pick up one of the locally available papers, be it The New York Times, The Miami Herald or the Sun-Sentinel – I hunt for international headlines. And, most of the time, what I see is more news about the Middle East, Afghanistan, or Fidel’s kingdom to the south.
I’m sorry to say, but that’s the way things are, and most probably, the way they should be. Simply because those are the places of political and economic interest to the United States. Yes, we do live each day in a more globalized world, one in which each region and sometimes even each country has its own place in the global scheme. Yes, national legislation-here and abroad-has rippling effects beyond national borders. But we still can’t expect Finland, Nepal and Trinidad and Tobago to be as important to the United States as are the Middle East, China, and Colombia. These places are, quite simply, of higher political and economic interest to the United States, not to mention cultural.
One could blame the media. Not that the media is powerless in this country (much on the contrary), but it’s unrealistic, I believe, to hold the media above influence, above anyone or anything. U.S. foreign policy has much to do with what countries are covered and how they are covered.
And let’s not forget that the news media depends on public bias to survive. The readers are who dictate much of the content that is published. Most people don’t care what happens beyond their state borders, much less about what happens outside their national border. Unless, of course, they have family, cultural or economic ties to other countries. It’s part of human nature to be selective. As long as they depend on profits, the media will do whatever they can to sell more. Even if it means neglecting some of their readers.
While the atrocities in Chechnya, the plight of the poor in Morocco, and the AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa may generate as many interesting stories as do Afghanistan, Colombia, and Israeli-Palestinian conflict, these countries don’t seem to be nearly as important to the United States.
This is the reality. But that doesn’t mean the lives of those in other countries are more precious than others. But, to some degree, it does make one life more important than another. And it becomes imperative to understand the difference between those two: Interest in one region doesn’t mean exclude not caring about another. The degrees of interest are what vary.
In the end, we’re just naturally wired to be selective, and the media simply reflect that bias in their coverage. It is up to the readers, then, to define (or re-define) their interests, so that the media can do the same with theirs.

Daniel Paskin is a doctoral student in the School of International Studies.

The bastardization of espa


Coming to the University of Miami to study or major in Spanish is absolutely ridiculous. Not because of the professors who teach the language. UM has terrific Spanish teachers. The problem? County residents. While more than one million Hispanic residents live in the Gateway to the Americas, many don’t speak Spanish. They speak Spanglish. So if you came over to learn or practice your espa

News Briefs and Campus Calendar


mortar board senior honor society
Mortar Board Senior Honor Society is looking forward to tapping this years 2002 Class of outstanding Seniors. Before the actual tapping there is a period for nominations to go out. Nominations are out until Feb. 14th they are available in the Academic Development center. MortarBoard Senior Honor Society is the second highest honor society at the University of Miami. They stand for leadership, scholarship and service.

Orientation coordinators wanted
Becoming an Orientation Coordinator! If you are looking for a leadership role in Orientation and were once an OA, please pass by the Office of Orientation and Commuter Student Affairs to pick up an OC application and signup for an interview. OCs will be responsible for a small group of OAs and are involved in planning and staffing. Any questions? Call 305-284-5646. Applications are due Feb. 8th by 5 p.m.

Black Awareness Month

Friday Grove on UC Patio from 11:30am-1pm.

Happy Hour at the Rathskeller from 4:30-8pm- Erica Summers.

Saturday 2 February
Alpha Kappa Psi is holding a BBQ as a recruiting activity today at noon at Tropical Park, Shelter #3. For more information e-mail ERH82@aol.com

Monday 4 February
Guns N Violence Awareness Campaign

Application deadline for UM Ambassadors.

Tuesday 5 February
Asian Music Students Concert (various artists) today at 8pm-10:30pm at Victor E. Clarke Recital Hall in the L. Austin Weeks Center. Admission is free.

CAC sneak peek at the Cosford Cinema from 9-11pm: Collateral Damage.

Senior orientation from 12-1pm at Toppel Career Center library.

Women’s Resource Center open house at 4:30-5:30pm at UC room 224.

Wednesday 6 February
Open mic/ poetry night with BAM at the Rathskeller from 7-9pm.

Workshop: Getting the most from reading your textbooks at 1pm.

Tibetan Monks perform “Sacred Music and Sacred Dance for World Healing” tonight at 8pm in the Gusman Concert Hall. Doors open at 7:30pm, event is free to UM students while $5 for other students/seniors and $8 for general admission. VIP passes available in UC 206 (preferred seating). For more information contact Breana Burkett at 305-284-4606.

Karaoke Kraziness. A fun musical event in the Allen Hall courtyard from 12-1pm … we’re looking for all IEP students to participate. Talk to Maria in the IEP office for more information and lyrics to Karaoke songs. (This event is open to IEP students only.)

Join the Wellness Center today between 5-7pm in its Atrium for Healthy Heart Day, an event providing information to protect both aspects of your heart-physical and emotional. Information will be available on nutrition, healthy relationships, and preventing sexual transmitted infections and sexual assault. For more information call 305-284-6524.

Thursday 7 February
Workshop: Getting the most from reading your textbooks at 12:30pm.

Friday 8 February
Friday Grove on UC Patio from 11:30am-1pm.

Senior orientation from 2-3pm at Toppel Career Center library.

Applications for Orientation and Commuter Affairs are due today at 5pm.

Happy Hour at the Rathskeller from 4:30-8pm- Erica Summers.

Tuesday 12 February
CAC film at the Cosford Cinema.

Wednesday 13th February
Karaoke Night at Rathskeller

Workshop: Managing midterms, term papers, and projects at 1pm.

Thursday 14 February
Lonely hearts comedy jam at Rathskeller at 9-11pm.

Workshop: Managing midterms, term papers, and projects at 12:30pm.

Friday 15th February
Friday Grove on UC Patio from 11:30am-1pm.

Happy Hour at the Rathskeller from 4:30-8pm- Erica Summers.

Saturday 16th February
Funday! Check-in on UC center patio.

Sunday 17th February
WWF No way out! At the Rathskeller from 7-9pm.

Monday 18th February
The Department of Psychology is hosting its second annual Community Lecture Series: Psychology in Film. The next film and discussion will be Tuesday’s with Morrie at the Storer Auditorium in the Business School. For more information call Undergraduate Academic Services for Psychology at 305-284-3303 or visit www.psy.miami.edu.

Graduation to be more intimate


Commencement 2002 will not be business as usual.
Changes have been made to this year’s commencement, as the rescheduling reflects President Donna Shalala ‘s desire to give students a more valuable and personalized graduation experience.
“President Shalala has directed the University to create a series of commencement exercises this year to allow students to be individually recognized on stage by the President and the appropriate deans,” said a memo to the deans and vice-presidents.
In the past, UM had only one commencement ceremony in the spring, followed by smaller convocations and receptions by the individual schools.
This meant that each student was allowed only 10 guests to the ceremony.
“I come from a very large extended family,” Shalala said.
“Forty people attended my graduation. If I had told them there were only ten tickets, many would have been very insulted.”
This year commencement for the students from the College of Arts & Sciences, School of International Studies, and School of Continuing Studies will be held at 8:30 a.m. Students from the School of Business and College of Engineering will have theirs at 1 p.m.
Graduates of the School of Architecture, School of Communication, School of Education, School of Music and School of Nursing will have theirs at 4:30 p.m.
All ceremonies will take place on the university green and students will be allowed as many guests as they wish.
Many seniors have mixed opinions to these changes.
“I personally think it is a pr move and in this pr move it is breaking tradition,” said Marilisa Jimenez, a senior in the School of Communication. “I don’t appreciate the change. I’ve been at this school for four years and was looking forward in participating in the traditional commencement.”
Jimenez continued to explain that this is a time for the students and the changes made are “at the expense of the students.”
“I think it’s good that President Shalala wants to individualize each student to make the students day more memorable,” said John Lopez, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Parents and students will be notified of these changes in writing through flyers, direct mail, and online resources.
Seniors planning for the Spring 2002 Commencement must apply for graduation by Friday, Feb. 8 through the EASY system.
They may also at that time order their regalia, which is free to all graduation students. Information about commencement and these changes can be found on the University web site.

Increases in parking and prices scheduled


In accordance with last year’s parking management plan, UM is finalizing the groundwork for a massive parking expansion.
By the time construction is finished in 2005, over 3000 new spaces will have been added, said Sandra Redway, Assistant Director of Business Services. The cost of this project, which will be approximately $20 million, will be funded through parking revenues.
“Our hope is to have a good plan that will minimize inconveniences for students,” said Dr. Patricia Whitely, Vice President for Student Affairs. “We want the best plan possible-but that doesn’t mean it won’t be inconvenient.”
Permit prices increased 4.5% last year, and will increase 16.5% next year and 8% annually for the following five years.
Discount parking permits, however, will cost less for the first three years than the current $235 for standard parking.
The new spaces will come from two new garages, new parking lots and various expansions.
Two new lots, Stanford/Granada and Plumer, will be built on the south side of the University Metrorail Station, as well new lots behind the Memorial classroom building.
Another garage will be built close to Mahoney/Pearson Residential halls and two floors will be added to the existing Ponce garage, increasing the number of discounted parking spaces from 200 to over 1800.
“We want to let people know that there is action being taken,” said Robert Castro, Head of the Student Government Parking Committee.
However, as a result of construction to increase parking, many lots will be closed. In response to this, various temporary lots are going to be opened, among them two behind Fraternity Row.
Making for another lot the Sigma Alpha Epsilon area will also be paved.
“This is all in hopes of having ample parking while building,” said Mike Johnston, Student Government Speaker of the Senate.
These lots, however, may prove very inconvenient for students. While the Mahoney/Pearson area lots are closed, all the substitute parking spaces will be by San Amaro Drive, making for nearly a two-mile walk.
“We’re in a very awkward position. Should we make people walk from Frat row to Mahoney/Pearson?” said Johnston. “It’s not safe; it’s not convenient.”
Though construction is slated to begin during spring break, it will not be completed until-at the very least-the beginning of the fall semester. “Realistically, the temporary lots won’t be finished until the end of the semester,” said Jonhston.
“The Pavia lot will be closed starting at spring break; the Mahoney/Pearson lot will close sometime in April, and the Ponce garage will only shut down for construction after the semester is over,” added Dr. Pat Whitely.
The University has also purchased the stretch of Miller Drive between the Ring Theater and the Law School from the City of Coral Gables in order to take over parking in that area and possibly remove the parking meters.
“We are working on purchasing Stanford Drive from Coral Gables in order to remove those meters as well,” said Johnston.
“The good news is there will be plenty of parking in the future,” said Whitely.

Hurricane Productions promises ‘huge’ rock act


Following Ludacris’ blow-out performance in the pouring rain during homecoming weekend last semester, everyone is wondering who will be involved in the big Hurricane Productions [HP] act for this semester.
Unfortunately, only a few members of the HP team are privy to this information. And although Graham Micone, head of the concerts department, is not yet ready to release this confidential information, he assures the student body that “it will be a rock act, and they will be huge.”
While rumors carry names such as No Doubt and Linkin Park, students will simply just have to wait and see until the spring headliners are officially announced.
While the spring music act is still clouded in mystery, students can plan now for other HP events, including the Source Fashion Nation Tour and a team laser-tag tournament, which will be part of the upcoming HP schedule.
The laser-tag tournament, which takes place on Feb. 28th, will allow 32 five-member teams to compete for fame and glory in a single-elimination contest. The matches will be held between 4 and 10 p.m. on the Campus Green.
The following day, the school will play host to a hip-hop fashion show, where students can audition to model clothes (jeans) from various designers such as Sean John and Pepe.
Pop-culture director, John Waters, is the featured guest speaker this semester. This visionary director of such films as Pink Flamingos and Pecker will be featured on April 18th.
The HP staff has become an association of students who take it upon themselves to plan entertainment of all sorts at the university throughout the year.
Every semester, HP plans blockbuster film screenings, heart-pounding musical acts, first-rate guest speakers, and an assortment of intriguing special events with this semester being no exception.
Although some students are quick to criticize the HP staff for its decisions on events, most do not realize how much effort it takes to get first-rate entertainment to come to UM, especially because of the small funding allowance, taken from the students’ activities fee, said the HP staff.
“We are working with middlemen and exclusive agents within a very limited budget,” says HP staff member Matt Stover.
Still, HP anticipates the opening of Ryder Center next year where they will be able to accommodate larger musical acts because of the extra space.
They also expect additional funding from non-UM patrons who will be able to attend these performances.
Many students are usually familiar with HP because of the film screenings that take place every Tuesday evening at the Cosford Cinema.
Highlights for this semester include the films, Shallow Hal, Monster’s Inc., and Pulp Fiction (in February), Ocean’s 11, Harry Potter, and Not Another Teen Movie (in March), and The Royal Tenenbaums, Vanilla Sky, and The Lord of the Rings (in April). In addition to the advertised selections, HP plans to offer a number of sneak previews throughout the semester that will be screened on campus before they are available to the general public.
The first of these sneak screenings is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new movie, Collateral Damage, scheduled for Tuesday, February 5, at 7:00 pm at the Cosford Cinema.
Passes are still available for this screening in the HP office on the second floor of the University Center.
“There will be at least two or three more screenings this semester,” said Chad Peiken, head of the Cinematic Arts Commission [CAC], the movie department of Hurricane Productions
Many more exciting HP opportunities are sure to develop throughout the semester. Interested parties can look for additional information on upcoming HP events at www.um-hp.com or come on up to the HP office located on the UC second floor.

Shalala adjusts well to university life


A dazzling ‘GO CANES’ logo slapped in green letters around the cement pillar that supports the roof under which President Shalala works, is perhaps the most visible sign of the changing times.
Gone are the heavy oak-wood bookstands that kept former president Tad Foote’s favorite reads in place. Filling in for them: myriad plaques, awards and distinctions that Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Clinton administration has netted throughout her career in education and public administration.
Six months into the job, the president is still hesitant to get into specifics when asked to spell out her vision for the University.
“I’ve been listening – haven’t done a lot of acting yet,” she told the Hurricane. “I need to know a lot more about the institution.”
However, last semester was certainly not the time for passive leadership.
September’s terrorist attacks, their repercussions on Muslim students at UM, and the on-campus drowning of freshman Chad Meredith required Shalala to take a number of tough on-the-spot decisions and stand behind the proverbial podium to offer comforting words when the community at large was speechless.
She aced the test according to Student Government President Jose DIaz who was on the committee that led the nation-wide hunt for Foote’s successor.
“The way she handled September 11 and other difficult moments last semester was notable,” said DIaz, who met Shalala four years ago when she accepted an invitation to speak at the Business School.
When Muslim students reported incidents of stigmatization as a result of September’s terrorist attacks, Shalala recurred to no euphemism in expressing her determination to halt that type of behavior by issuing bold statements-“freedom of speech also means that we can answer back.”
When reporters asked her about the circumstances that surrounded Meredith’s death on Nov. 5, Shalala was able to put a face to the name, making reference to a conversation the two had had earlier last semester. “He talked about majoring in political science and history – he wanted to be a lawyer,” she said.
The incidents revealed a president who could be as firm as stone one moment, and playful the next.
“She treats you like a friend,” said DIaz about the president’s leadership style. “She’s the type of person who’s not afraid of getting her hands dirty,” he added.
Dirty or not, the president got her nails done in orange for her inauguration.
Indeed, Shalala has taken a number of peculiar steps to befriend students, such as sitting with them during football games.
“My rule is that I sit the first quarter of every football game in the stands with the students, and the last quarter too. In between, at half time, I usually have guests in my box upstairs that I have to go schmooze with. My preference would be to be outside for the whole game but presidents have responsibilities,” Shalala told the Palm Beach Post last December.
The president’s next important test is likely to be the multi-million fund raising effort that lies ahead amidst times of economic uncertainty.
“I expect fundraising to be down the next few years because of recession in the economy,” Shalala told the Hurricane, adding that scant fundraising might take a toll on her handicap by keeping her away from the golf course.
“No fundraising, means no golf,” she joked.
Better housing options and more flexibility for students in putting their majors together are two local issues Shalala is currently tackling.
The president told the Hurricane that the university is about to pick contractors to build apartments for upper-class students.
Then there’s the infamous parking situation. “I’m experienced in every other aspect of higher education except dealing with parking,” joked Shalala, who served as president of Hunter College from 1980 to 1987 and as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin from 1987 to 1993.
A handful of UM students will soon get to judge one of her non-parking-related expertise: teaching.
“I’ve always taught,” said Shalala who’s looking forward to teaching a 500-level course in public policy next fall.
Commencement protocol is another major change the president is spearheading.
“I come from a very large extended family,” said Shalala. “Forty people attended my graduation. If I had told them there were only ten tickets, many would have been very insulted.”
The next time UM students rig up their caps and gowns, they will each receive their diploma as they shake the president’s hand, and will be allowed to invite as many guests as they wish to the ceremonies that will be broken up into smaller groups.
Despite her hectic, back-to-back meeting schedule during the week, Shalala says she has plenty of spare time during weekends.
“I do what everybody in Miami does. I play tennis, I go to the theater, I love the Miami City Ballet,” she said.
“Oh, and fishing!” she exclaimed. “I recently bought a boat. I was out fishing last Monday. We caught a lot of fish – but none over ten inches, so we threw them back in.”
Politics is one arena Shalala has decided to steer away from. “I’m not near it,” she stated emphatically. “I’m not telling anyone who I’m voting for for governor,” said Shalala, who arrived in Miami with heavy Democratic baggage from her tenure in Washington.
Does governor-hopeful former Attorney General Janet Reno consider a vote from her ex-colleague a sure thing?
“You’d have to ask her,” Reno told the Hurricane during a phone interview. The two, she said, have only seen each other a couple of times since they moved to Miami.
“She’s a busy woman, I’m a busy woman,” Reno explained.
Asked to comment on her former colleague, Reno said she always admired Shalala’s “tremendous energy and her ability to identify issues that need attention.”
Although it may be too early to envisage the impact Shalala will have in the community, a university as vibrant and volatile as UM will likely benefit enormously from the two characteristics Edna Shalala, the president’s 90-year-old mother exalts about her daughter.
“From a very early age, Donna has always been a fearless leader and a risk-taker,” Edna Shalala told the Hurricane during a phone interview from her law firm in Cleveland, Ohio.
“She always wanted to be the first to try things,” she explained. She would be the first to jump from the diving board; she was the first woman from her university to join the Peace Corps, always a little ahead of herself.”
One fun-fact about the president: “She’s the person you want to take to a Lebanese restaurant,” marked Reno. “She always knows exactly what to order.”

Wasabi serves a tasty fish

The Wasabi Sushi Bar & Japanese Restaurant, at 1540 Sunset Dr., offers its patrons with more choices than they could ever need. Where to sit poses the first question, with available seating outside, inside, or at the sushi bar. The choices just get harder once the menu comes. They offer 50 different appetizers. They’ve got cold appetizers, hot appetizers, and appetizers from the sushi bar. The sushi bar has 83 different types of sushi. I could go to the Wasabi Sushi Bar for three months straight and try a different kind of sushi every night. And the choices still keep coming. Their wide variety of main courses doesn’t stop at the sushi bar. The kitchen also offers 20 entr

Entertainment News


Desaparecidos is performing at Revolver, 5922 South Dixie Highway. Tickets cost $7. For more info call 305-661-9099.

Bob Dylan at the National Car Rental Center. Tickets cost $28.50-$42.50. Call 954-533-3309 for info.

February 2

Light Heavyweight Champion Roy Jones Jr. against Glen Kelley at AmericanAirlines Arena. Tickets cost $40-500. Call 305-358-5885 for info.

February 3

Hard rockers Anthrax and Judas Priest at Orbit. Call 561-737-2199 for info.

February 5

Sneak preview of the action film Collateral Damage starring Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Bill Cosford Cinema. Call 305-284-4607 for info.

Maybe Baby, It’s You opens at Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets cost $27 for weeknights and $29 for Friday and Saturday nights. Call 954-462-0222 for more info.

Dillinger Escape Plan at the Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale. Tickets cost $8. Call 954-523-3309
for info.

February 7

Cirque de Soleil’s “Quidam” opens at Bicentennial Park in Downtown Miami. Prices range from $31.50 to $65.00. For tickets, call 800-678-5440 or visit cirqueclub.com.


Magician David Copperfield performing at the Jackie Gleason Theater. Show times vary. Tickets cost $27.50-46.50. Call 305-358-5885 for info.

February 9

Bob Marley Festival with DMX, AZ, Erykah Badu, and the Marley Family at Virginia Key Beach. Tickets cost $22.50. Call 305-358-5885 for info.

The Dead Kennedys without Jello Biafra at Orbit. Tickets cost $16.50. Call 305-358-5885 for info.

From hole to home

The true challenge of turning a tiny dorm room or first apartment into somewhere in which one enjoys spending time, as opposed to a medieval dungeon, is in its decor. Though the greatest, and by far, the easiest way to do this is by draping posters on every inch of the walls, there are other ways.
First off, decide what you can get for free or for exceedingly cheap prices. Any furniture, appliances or other handy dandy items that cost less than $5 are good. Take them and then figure out how these freebies can be incorporated into some sort of style.
There is always the classic, of course- matching wood furniture, beige couch, and the coordinating accessories. Though definitely the easier choice for the decorating beginner, it can be a bit on the pricey side: Matching furniture rarely comes in anything other than a set.
Another alternative that is usually less costly is the minimalist approach: a black couch, a bare table, a glass vase, and vertical blinds. Simple, easy to achieve, but not so easy to maintain. Keeping the knick-knacks out can become quite a challenge as the time passes. Also, it can look cold and unwelcoming
A kitschy choice is the more eclectic style. Nothing matches. There are striped pillows on a plaid couch and a hula girl on the table. This is easily the simpler style to achieve, but it has a massive potential for failure. Decorated by the the right person, the place can look like a trippy love nest from the 1960s or 1970s. Decorated by the wrong person, it can look like Austin Power’s love plane. Beware of your attempts.
Next, decide on a color scheme. All colors have great potential- both to flatter or to ruin a room. As a general rule, besides choosing colors you like, never make them too strong. Painting a room electric blue, then adding a baby blue couch with navy pillows will not be welcoming- it will be an eyesore. Balance colors with their complementing opposites to keep them under control.
Also, keep in mind that warm colors (purple, red, orange, and yellow) give a room a warm, cozy feel. Cool colors like green, blue, white and violet make a room seem more spacious and elegant.
Never forget to be a bargain hunter. Always check with friends to see who’s moving and looking to unload old furniture. Nag your parents to buy a new couch so you can have their old one. Explore attics. And keep your eyes open for things being thrown out that don’t necessarily need to be.
Be on the lookout for garage sales and thrift shops. Don’t be afraid of do-it-yourself furniture- it’s not the best quality, but it’ll last you a couple of years until you can afford the better stuff. Outfit as many things as you can out of $.99 stores. And learn to like knock-offs. A bunch of things from Urban Outfitters can be found at your local Target for a fraction of the price.
Remember, patience and effort can make a home out of a hole. And if all your efforts fail, there’re always posters.

Young & almost ready for ‘Insurrection’

Struggling for progress/Searching for the Success/Those on top are Trying to keep me down with the rest/But until I exhale my last breath/I’m going to represent to the fullest with no regrets.
These may sound like the overly repeated lyrics of countless rap groups, but more precisely, they are the overly repeated lyrics of University of Miami sophomore Burk Hudson. If his words seem predictable, Hudson’s rise to success is less-so. His determination and persistence will surely give suit to a legitimate hip-hop talent.
A Detroit native (via Chicago), this 19 year-old M.C. chose Miami as his place of study and ideal launching pad for his career. After regularly performing in such Chicago venues as the Hot House, Doubledoor, and Metro, Hudson’s beats wafted over the airwaves through such major frequencies as Northwestern University Radio and Chi town’s leading hip-hop station, WGIC 107.5.
The momentum of Hudson’s successes eventually led him to the final round of the Chicago chapter of a national freestyle competition and on various nationally syndicated television shows.
Now a full-time student majoring in business management at UM, Hudson has been working on spreading his words throughout the hip-hop world via South Florida. Since moving to Miami, Hudson has performed at club 5922 as well as the Virgin Megastore and has released a full-length album.
Signed on to student run ‘Cane Records in 2000, Burk has taken advantage of this prestigious opportunity to fine-tune about 40 compositions that make up his eclectic repertoire. In his spring 2001 release, Insurrection, Hudson delivers 13 solid cuts of home made hip-hop lyrical downpour.
Young and idealistic, the morals and themes of most commercial rap in today’s industry seem to be the antipode of what this M.C. is trying to purvey: lyrical ability, indelible integrity, and even inexperienced sexuality. You will not find any “bling-blinging” on this album, nor will you hear shout-outs to cop-killers and gang-bangers, or pimps with long feathers driving Bentleys with 40-ounce cup holders made of leather.
But as far removed from the trite and materialistic muck of mainstream rap as Insurrection is, it does remain immature merely in the sense that Hudson is, simply put, young. The attempts are quite brave, yet somehow, in his young age, Hudson has a tendency to give elementary portraits of sex in Bubble Bath with the cliched orgasmic swooning of a studio recorded babe, or give negative contrast to his truly aptly earned poetic license with the Yeah-Yeah-Uh huhs that permeate the album.
Credit must be given where credit is due, however. Hudson produced and engineered the whole album himself at “Hudson’s Lab,” guided solely by his artistic vision. And in this vision, some could hear the balanced musical intermingling of musical styles in such tracks as Warrior Style, reminiscent of Gangstarr, or the Spanish flavored My Soul featuring Johan Nebb.
At times, the record seems a little sloppy in its production, such as levels sliding askew or uneven choruses that come in too low or leave too late. But in the end, these small imperfections show that this kid is for real. Fans or first-time Hudson listeners will enjoy Insurrection for what its worth, but anticipation should be focused more on Hudson’s future releases, which will, hopefully, with experience, allow him to develop into the true hip-hop talent that he shows so much promise of.

Pop is Dead

Who knows exactly at what point Ricky Martin and the Backstreet Boys began to descend, but what everyone knows is that mainstream culture is undergoing a slow, yet steady transformation. Perhaps the Sept. 11 attacks were the last drop that overflowed the cup; maybe it was the awakening of a new rock and roll generation, or youth possibly got tired of the same mindless, meaningless debacle that had become pop music over the past couple of years.
For now, this cohort can console itself with the notion that finally it is experiencing a fresh awakening, just like in the 1970s disco crumbled and punk roused, and in the early 1990s, hair metal faded and grunge appeared.
In 2000, NSYNC broke the record for most album copies sold in the first week of release when their sophomore CD No Strings Attached sold 2.4 million copies. Almost a year and a half later, they released Celebrity and it only garnered less than half the success of their previous album. The Backstreet Boys were not able to sell out most of their “Black and Blue” tour dates, unlike their previous triumphant tours.
A.J. McLean checks himself into a clinic for alcohol abuse and Nick Carter is arrested in Florida, while Mariah Carey admits herself in a mental hospital. Could they be pulling publicity stunts to call attention to themselves, since their music careers haven’t been able to do so in the past months? Very possibly. Or are they feeling the anxiety of failure get closer and closer to them? Even likelier.
It is uncertain if indie rock bands will actually push they boy bands and voiceless dancers out of the way and let themselves in. It seems as though the public is choosing to stop listening to simplistic, cliched lyrics backed by previously used beats, and is opting for the emotional baggage and creativity of young musicians who play their own instruments, write their own music and think before they record and perform.
Vagrant records (Saves the Day, Dashboard Confessional, The Anniversary, etc.) has taken charge, the same way SubPop did in the 1990s, making good music accessible, without actually putting videos on MTV, and needing the mainstream media for success. The future is yet to determine how victorious they will be.