The Won’t Stop Round Up
by Brian Michael Foote
MCA passed away this week and I realized that if I had to pick a moment when I became a New Yorker, if you can do such a thing, it might very well have been somewhere in 1987 in the middle of nowhere, Texas. In fact, in some weird cosmic way, it’s entirely possible that without MCA and the Beastie Boys I might never have moved to New York, gone to CUNY, and come to work with the fine people I do.
My cousins and I were the same age, obsessed with MTV, and while we were too young to understand anything about music or pop culture we at least knew that our parents hated the Beastie Boys. “Fight for your Right (to Party)” was everywhere that summer…even out in the sticks. Until the Beastie Boys there wasn’t much you could play that could really, successfully bother those immovable higher gods. Anything that tried to pass as rebellion never had the chance to grow teeth, it was already crushed under the shadows of groups like the Clash or the big 70′s rock acts. We didn’t know anything about Hip Hop or what was just around the corner, all we knew was that these three white kids from New York were doing something completely obnoxious and foreign and loud and nobody knew what to do with it. Our parents were just wise enough to know that right behind these ridiculous boys swimming in machismo was something else entirely different from anything they had known. It wouldn’t be too much longer until I was staying up late at night to catch ‘YO MTV Raps‘ and discovered there was a radio station out of Dallas playing Hip Hop in the evenings.
I fell into other things as I got older but I always stayed up with the Beasties. As they became more dynamic and political I found myself doing the same and so it felt a bit as if you were growing up with an older sibling. It wouldn’t exactly be a fair analogy to say they were like the Beatles in that way, for surely they were not, but if I can tread lightly on the edge of that analogy then it’s at least fair to call MCA the John. Honestly though I don’t need the analogy, MCA was MCA and it’s a shame we don’t have him around anymore. As a good friend of mine put it, “I feel like I just lost a third of my childhood.”
A lot of us still looked up to those guys, maybe Yauch in particular, and were hoping for a little help figuring out what’s next.
Of course there was so much more this week. Maura Smale, who just posted her own lovely thoughts about MCA’s passing, reported in from May Day this week. If you didn’t catch her and the Open Access crew at the Free University take heart – they posted their handouts online! Speaking of May Day, Tony Picciano blogged about the return of Occupy to the streets of New York and what that might mean for the summer and the city.
I couldn’t tell if the latest from Helldriver’s Pit Stop was real or not. I mean – I believe it now but for a while there I thought it was something along the lines of Borges’ absurd list of categories. They’re beautiful though. I’m looking forward to a transcript of the whole thing. Also – that’s probably the best name for a conference I’ve ever heard.
Hunter Johnson had an awesome post revisiting geometry on the CUNY Math blog. I realize the point of this blog is to entice you check out links you might have missed and so you might be asking me in your head, “Brian, I’m not sure how that encourages me…” I understand your reservations and I’m telling you - math is really interesting when people who love it talk about it. This is not Sister Mary’s math class.
Finally this week Adam Wandt debuted his new blog: Adam’s Antics. It’s more personal than his other blogs on the Commons and as of right now has a killer pic of last night’s monster moon up.
No sleep till Brooklyn