Sunday, April 30, 2006

The N Word, Small Victories and Therapeutic Communities

As a quick aside: For those who think things are better now in the city, especially in economically and socially depressed areas, you're wrong. Just as many years ago the media portrayed a more dangerous city than actually existed, now it is underplayed. Bloomberg is succeeding only because he is forcing problems out to other parts of the country by eliminating and lessening the safety net. I saw first hand evidence of a "take or leave it" apartment situation offered to a family being pushed out of a shelter. The apartment was riddled with mold. It's the beggar thy neighbor process-just like it is being done in education. Charter schools are created with zero tolerance manifests and they pick and chose their students. The neighboring schools become a dumping grounds because they have no jurisdiction to exclude. Very clever and the union is complicit as well.
Next: Last week there was much ado about an episode on "All About Us" that dealt with the controversial use of the N word. It was directed by Will Smith. Will has lost his West Philly hood "chops" (actually his family was middle class), because the episode was lame. Try Boondocks for a much more authentic version. The kids love it. I was invited to bring my podcasting to a therapeutic community. I can't adequately explain the benefits, but my pals Shifra and Marty can. Prior to the boys' weekly meeting we agreed on a common discussion thread and Boondocks was enthusiastically selected. The kids were much more animated and focused in their talk. Next I'll show them the piece I created and we can discuss new possibilities. Eventually I can teach them the process of matching the conversation with the images. I just happen to have most of the series already digitized and I extracted stills from the movies and tried to align them with their talk where possible. This became too much of a stretch for Live Slide Show, probably iMovie or Final Cut would be more suited. Anyway, here's a portion of our talk

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