The Soapbox Archives:
Now that someone's asked about it, I should make a note of some of my policies regarding the order of the listings on the dancing venues and dance studios pages.
Are these rules fair? It depends on your point of view. Since I'm the only one who works on this website and I don't get paid for this "work" I do, my opinion is the only one that counts. Is there a way to improve your standing on this website? Yes. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Yes, back from Beantown Camp. Another great time this year. I think it was my best experience yet at Beantown with many great follow(er)s. Yahoo for Tony and Aurelie. [Editor's Note: I think he meant "kudo's]. As someone who has to travel at least an hour to dance each way I feel so lucky that we have such a viberant and full swing scene in the New England area. Some of the campers at Beantown talked of having no dance scene in their area at all. Deb and I sometimes will go for a two hour ride to seek out a possible new venue. Always a treat to meet new follow(er)s and lead(er)s on the floor.
I too wonder about the new location of Boston Swing Central. It is a great venue but seems awfully close to Olaf"s dance at Swing City. Will one of them kill the other dance off? If Olaf is able to move his dance back to Huron Avenue, will it change the dynamic of Friday night yet again? It gets so hard to chose where you will dance: Will your favorite follows be there; will the music fit your style of dancing; will there be guys who will ask my sweety to dance when I'm trying out with new follows? So many choices, it is like at the market when they offer up a whole row of cereal. It was so much easier when you had one dance on Friday and one on Saturday to choose from.
oh, sweet simplicity. Thank You Benson. For DanceNet. It helps us find our way.
Here's one you can do as an adult: try to see how far you can drive in New England without seeing a Dunkin' Donuts shop. Extra points if you go the entire trip from Point A to Point B without seeing *any*.
"This is an auto reply - 26% of American citizens surveyed didn't know from what country we declared independence in 1776. This is sad and one of the reasons why we are now in Yobamaville."Funny thing is, that was the same type of reasoning that was used for George W. Bush getting elected the second time around...that there are more stupid people in this country than there are smart people. Perhaps people *are* getting smarter. At least we agree that the education system in America needs some work (and our support).
Does this means the person who had the message above as their automated vacation reply message will be voting to invest more resources so these uneducated unwashed masses will get a better education while they're in the public school system and perhaps get enlightened enough to vote "the right way"? After all, despots and tyrants thrive when the people are too stupid to oppose them. And the uneducated masses are more susceptible to FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Deception).
What better example than in a country like India where there are two major religions that have been at war in the past? The people there are better educated than some other countries with the same religions. Those educated people are the engine that is attracting white collar jobs from other countries; more and more people are getting a better life and they have *hope*. If someone has a good education (meaning he's learned to *think*) and has a good job, and someone comes along to tell him to go kill anyone who's different from him, this guy *is* gonna ask "why?". And he's going to want a good answer. And he's going to be able to separate fact from fiction.
An educated person will ask questions when *any* politican tries to feed him a bucketload of crapola. So don't whine about the state of education in this country; do something about it. And certainly, don't use it as a lame excuse as to why the country moved in a different direction than you'd prefer.
By the way, I tend to look more favorably on a candidate who views education as an *investment* in this country. I still remember my college scholarships getting cut back when Ronald Reagan's re-election slogan was, "Are you better off than you were four years before?".
FYI: five attendees from my high school signed the Declaration of Independence (Ben Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Thomas Treat Paine, and William Hopper; Ben Franklin didn't graduate). Everyone who's gone to school there has taken Civics in the 9th grade and knows all about how this great nation came to be. We're smart enough to recognize that people who don't know their American History are probably less likely to appreciate the freedoms they are *entitled* to as listed in the US Constitution. However, I don't think it has anything to do with how they voted in the last election.
The following was submitted by local dancer Benjamin Fan. Benjamin has been threatening to write in and now has come through. Benjamin has been mistaken for me, proving that us Chinese really do look alike though I think I'm better lookin'. :-) (I've been mistaken for WCS dancer Maxwell Ho in the past),
In any case, the following Letter to the Editor does not necessarily reflect the views and positions of the DanceNet Editorial Staff (that would be me, myself, and I). Feel free to imagine that this paragraph contains the usual disclaimer absolving me of any responsibility and association for the comments in the letter...regardless of how I actually feel about the subject.
My take on the whole Friday dance situation? After thinking about it for the past year or so, I guess that "disappointed" is how I feel about it. I'm disappointed that things couldn't have been worked out better for the dance community. I'm disappointed that Friday night dances just aren't as much fun anymore for me personally. People that I want to dance with have been split between the two competing venues. I am hesitant to go dancing on Fridays because I don't know which venue to choose. Picking one means that I'll miss out on seeing those people who've attended the other.
So, for the past year I had been "boycotting" Friday dances. Except for nights when one venue happens to be closed or the rare special occasion, I had stopped dancing on Fridays entirely. Why should I spend my time and money on a gamble, on something that could be disappointing? Instead, I concentrated my dancing on the Saturday dances which have been more reliably fun.
My unofficial boycott is now over. I told myself that I would end it at a certain point, hoping that by then the situation would have shaken out. However, here we are now, and I am as lost as ever regarding Friday night dancing. I suppose that I'll choose venues depending on criteria like which one has a live band or which band is playing. However, it's still difficult. Last night was a Friday, and both venues had a live band [Editor's Note: I think this was the weekend with Toni Lynn Washington at Boston Swing Central and the Fat City Band at Swing City], with both bands about equal in distinction. I didn't go dancing. I stayed home instead.
Comment from the Editor: to be honest, while I understand that this sentiment might be echoed elsewhere in the dance community, I haven't heard any *practical* solutions to the situation. The most suggested "solution" is for the Friday venues to alternate weeks so dancers can go to both venues. This *isn't* going to fly since both venues have rents to pay (Boston Swing Central is probably more affected by this) and neither one is going to give up any potential income just to make a few people happy. Neither venue is doing this to lose money. And since neither venue really likes the other, I can't see either giving away any advantage to the other venue. Dancers, in general, aren't going to just faithfully support the venue that is willing to give in a little; they just want to go where the best dancing is.