“So play your favorite cover song, especially if the words are wrong
‘Cause even if your grades are bad, it doesn’t mean you’re failing”
After a mysterious week or so of trying to guess exactly what this Humanity Festival was all about— between the unexplained promotions, the flyers, and the recruitment — the one constant was the promised presence of Amanda Palmer ’98. And, combined with the excellent organizing efforts of Raechel Rosen ’15, that was more than enough to draw a huge crowd onto Foss Hill this past Saturday afternoon for the “one-day musical celebration in solidarity against bigotry, racism, and social divisions within a community.”
After performances by Don Minott, a group comprised of Jess Best ’14, Mel Hsu ’13, and Sam Friedman ’13, Siren, and Oz Rhys Langston & Izzy, Palmer finally arrived, unaccompanied except for her ukulele. After releasing Theatre is Evil this past year, Palmer booked herself for a large slew of international shows with her new backing band, The Grand Theft Orchestra. Here, though, was more like a large scale, heavily-planned ninja gig. Like her impromptu performance in 2011 at Eclectic, her appearance at the Humanity Festival was an intimate affair, despite the large crowd. Her stage was just a few carpets on the grass, a monitor, some speakers, and a stool. Her orchestra was that beaten-up ukulele.
Some commentary, some more photographs, and a high-quality recording of the entire performance (!) after the jump.
As a final project for his Digital Filmmaking class, slam poet regular and Wesleying contributor Solomon Billinkoff ’14 has made a brief documentary about Public Safety. The twelve-minute short focuses on a series of events in the fall of 2012 (many of which led to the recent decision not to include racial descriptors in safety alerts). As Billinkoff explains in his voice-over:
I never had a plan for this movie. All I knew was that I wanted to make a documentary about Public Safety. After having gotten approval from the organization, my first instinct was to humanize P-Safe, as it is an institution that is generally maligned by the student body. A wave of on-campus assaults had just occurred within a single week, and I was interested to discover what P-Safe was doing to handle the situation and protect students. But the alerts P-Safe had sent out described the suspects as “African-American” and “male,” and unbeknownst to me at the time, these email alerts were met with a slew of racial hatred on Wesleyan’s Anonymous Confession Board. It was then revealed that a P-Safe officer had allegedly assaulted a black Wesleyan student. A week later, a forum on student diversity and equality was held in Wesleyan’s Beckham Hall.
These conflicts and contradictions form the basis of Billinkoff’s film, which largely speaks for itself. It’s only twelve minutes, so watch it after the jump.
Activists at the “Occupy Wall Street” protest were left high and dry today at 4:00 PM when famed British alt-rockers Radiohead were rumored to play. The official website for the movement, OccupyWallStreet.org, updated its blog this afternoon announcing an impromptu show at the protest, presumably to show allegiance to the ongoing anti-establishment efforts in downtown NYC. Protestors were let down when the only music murmuring throughout the massive crowd was a sole, half-naked dude banging on a garbage can drumset. It has yet to be confirmed whether or not this man was, in fact, Thom Yorke.
My unrelenting cynicism typically keeps me far from such a locale, but I was optimistic enough to schlep down from my Upper West Side synagogue where I was innocently attending Rosh Hashanah services. When I arrived at the small park two blocks north of Wall Street, I found an astonishingly large amount of middle-aged hippies and liberal arts students flirting and smoking enough hand-rolled cigarettes to burn the whole Meryll Lynch tower down. For more coverage of the protest, click past the jump.
“I just don’t wanna celebrate a bullshit holiday. I’m plenty romantic. I own a home and have never shit my pants. Two things you can’t say.” —ShitMyDadSays
Happy Monday, kids. Things are happening in the world!
Here’s a brief collection of five major headlines from the day (some Wes-related, some not) far more interesting to me than what you are doing—or not doing—for Valentine’s Day. Dig it.