Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 31st 2013

6 Days of the 12 Days of the Music Video of the Week

1. Fiona Apple – Hot Knife

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 30th 2013

6 Days of the 12 Days of the Music Video of the Week

2. Busby Marou – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 29th 2013

6 Days of the 12 Days of the Music Video of the Week

3. Robyn featuring Snoop Dogg – U Should Know Better

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 28th 2013

6 Days of the 12 Days of the Music Video of the Week

5. Chris Smither – Leave the Light On

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 27th 2013

6 Days of the 12 Days of the Music Video of the Week

6. Carolina Chocolate Drops – Hit ‘Em Up Style

Honorable mention.

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 26th 2013

6 Days of the 12 Days of the Music Video of the Week Preview!

So, we suck at blogging.

That said, I can’t let a holiday season pass without my 12 Days of the Music Video of the Week. Except, this year, I’d feel bad going the Full 12. A lot of the songs I posted this year you don’t need a recap of – really, you’re on your own for the “Get Lucky” replay. As with the last couple years, turns out my tastes were pretty mainstream in 2013.

Rather than do that, then, let’s settle a few things and move on:

Best Song of the Year:

Lorde – Royals

Best Video (and Song of the Summer)L

Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines

Best Novelty Song / Viral Hit

Ylivs – The Fox

Except even I’m sick of that one.

And I could go on.

So…all that stuff above is true. So let’s take a different tact and this year, parse out all those and leave us with just the rest. It won’t be as strong a set, and it will be half as long, but at the very least it’ll be different than what you’d get just with a “2013 Music!” featured spotify list or whatever.

So this year, starting tomorrow, the 6 Days of the 12 Days of the Music Video of the Week.

Posted by Rojas @ 2:43 pm on December 14th 2013

Arapahoe

Karl Pierson, the student responsible for the Arapahoe shooting, was a pretty successful high school speech competitor. He qualified to the National Forensic League national tournament in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, a pressure cooker of an event in which students draw a question related to current events and have thirty minutes to prepare a seven minute memorized speech answering the question.

Pierson was, according to reports, kicked off of the speech team for having threatened his coach’s life. It appears that he decided to follow up on his threats by taking the actions he’d threatened; he came to school with a gun, calling out the coach, and fired at him at least once before he fled.

As I have mentioned from time to time, I coach high school speech as well. It is a weird community, the cultural norms of which involve a high degree of academic rigor and complex interpersonal relationships in which your friends are also, in many contexts, your adversaries. I would not say that bullying is the norm within the activity, but there are specific competitive contexts in high school speech in which the things which win you ballots and debate rounds tread close to that line.

The role of an educator in this context involves fine lines and delicate judgments–one is expected to push students pretty hard towards competitive success, but it can be hard to judge where any one student’s breaking point might be. At times I’ve pushed too hard; without ever intending to, I’ve reduced students to tears, to profanity-laced tirades, and to quitting the activity. I have known (but not coached) students in the activity who took their own lives as a result of events stemming from debate tournaments and competition. I know of at least one instance in which a coach murdered a student and of another one much closer to home in which one of the most prominent coaches in my own state proved to be a serial child rapist who used the activity for grooming purposes for at least a quarter century.

It is hard for me to believe that Karl Pierson is the only student who’s ever seriously contemplated the actions which he ended up taking. I will never know, for sure, whether a student competitor in my own state–or in my own program–ever came close to crossing that line. I do know this: in a different world, under different circumstances, it could have been me on the other end of that gun.

Nothing remains except to walk back into class on Monday and do as much as I can for as many students as I can. Competitive high school speech has a well-documented claim to being the single most academically productive activity in the American school system. But starting Monday, we’ll enter into the activity with a greater awareness of the price some students pay for the community we’ve created.

Posted by Brad @ 12:17 pm on December 12th 2013

The Government Argues Statute of Limitations Laws Don’t Apply Anymore Because We’re at War

So, citing a World War II era law meant to protect against profiteers and fraudulent government contractors, which has already been invoked in the War on Terror, the government is arguing that they’re free to prosecute – Lance Armstrong.

Posted by Brad @ 3:17 pm on December 7th 2013

Music Video of the Week

So one of my favorite Top 40 rock songs in like forever, I love the pace of this one. But I never got around to posting it or even checking out the video for it.

And, I’m sorry, but nobody told me there would be Muppet fights. Am I to understand that there are Muppet fights? And I was not informed of this earlier?

Imagine Dragons – Radioactive

(more…)

Posted by Brad @ 5:51 am on December 7th 2013

Music Video of the Week

So, I’ve got a huge backlog of stuff I’ve liked this year that I’ve meant to post to MVOTW but never got around to.

HAIM – The Wire

Kind of a weird thought to have about a music video, but the acting is really good, from the band.

Posted by Brad @ 6:35 pm on December 6th 2013

“If you look around your [World Cup] group and you don’t see a Honduras, then you’re the Honduras.”

But it could be worse. We could be playing a third of the games in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.

Oh, crap.