Growing up with Rock Stars

Ben Folds-Songs for SilvermanIt’s not like I have a living room full of famous people here or anything, but I got thinking how the perspective on kids is changing.

Like, on the new Ben Folds album there’s a song about Gracie, his daughter. Speaking not only as a parent, but also a fan of contemporary music, it was refreshing to hear someone like Ben Folds write such a touching ballad to his kid. But it was also revealing in regards to society’s attitude towards kids.

It used to be that, once you had a kid, that was it, game over. If you were the mom, you were stuck in the kitchen for the next 20 years, and dad had to put his nose down and quit his beer drinking. All in the effort of hiding the kid behind a facade of family. And family, as everybody knows, family and the hip scene ne’er shall meet.

Now, with the structural changes in the traditional societal male and female roles, kids are front and centre in most parents’ lives, and we show them off with pride. Sure, the beer drinking time still suffers a bit, but a parent is no longer expected to hide in the home until the tot heads off for college. It’s songs like "Gracie" that prove this. It all started way back when, really, with a Nirvana song about Cobain’s daughter (I can’t remember which one at the moment — All Apologies?). I never used to be this way. Can you imagine a Black Sabbath song about Ozzie’s brats? Or, for that matter, an Elton John song about kids (okay, low blow there, but you get the point).

When Ben Folds sings about his daughter it’s like I’m growing up with a rock star. I listened to Folds in my young and goofy days and it’s great that I’m, in a sense, raising a kid alongside him now. That he continues on as a rock star proves that having a kid is an embellishment of life, not an limitation.

What is Music Worth?

Back in the days when the hippie ruled the earth, the record album and
its cover art stood for something. The album, as a package, was an
intrinsic whole. And the process of carefully pulling the slender,
fragile black vinyl disc from is vibrantly-decorated cardboard sheath
and placing it on the turntable was, um, a total trip, man.

Nowadays, the album and its cover art are just so passé. We live in a
world of digital singles and downloaded music. This has altered our
value perception of the medium.

We once held music high in a symbolic, artistic regard that compelled
us to collect its physical manifestation (the LP, the tape, the CD).
Many people now consider music a mere commodity with limited
usefulness, and with little long-term benefit.

Continue reading

Beware Genetically Modified Software

In your email box one day you find an email with the subject line,
“Software Patent Infringement: Demand of Payment.” Your curiosity
piqued, you open it up.

The body of the email explains that you recently downloaded a patented
software product called “Hot&Ready,” produced by “S8tan666”.
Hot&Ready is currently in operation on your computer, acting as a
pornography server. You are now delivering over 3 gigabytes of lewd and
lascivious material to points unknown every hour.
A bit shocked by this, you read on.

Continue reading

Free Internet for Whitehorse Citizens

The City of Whitehorse should provide free wireless internet access to its citizens.

Just like other services the municipality provides its population — from refuse collection to roadway maintenance — no-cost , unrestricted internet access is essential. After all, to borrow that tired cliché, we are talking about the “information superhighway.”

This isn’t a crazy idea. And it’s not unique. Other municipalities across Canada and the States offer their citizens free wireless internet access.

Continue reading