January 28, 2007

U Don't Have To Call

Usher. (No, not that kind, or that kind, or that kind of Usher.) It's a tune from 2001 & too much fun to play for a guitarist (or drummer with a decent foot). The guitar line isn't that complex but it's fun. & that's one reason I like Usher; unlike many R&B artists (especially the youngin's) he (or his writers) seems to appreciate a guitarist's place in the world of dance music. (Unfortunately he's not hiring - I asked). The tune is about a guy who cares deeply for a lady but she's mistreated him in some way so he justifies his decision to finally go out clubbing with his friends (the guy obviously lives in a state that doesn't ban smoking in bars). It's got a real catchy rhythm, a cute guitar line & a decent melody. Plus the kid can sing (& dance). If you're into R&B & aren't familiar with his work this is a good tune to start with. Here's the vid (nsfw), here's a live version & here are the lyrics.

A fight breaks out at a school. The participants call in back up & the fight escalates. So what does the school system intend to do about this?

"Jamilynn Brushel, 18, a senior at Bradley Tech, said she would rather see stricter security guards and teachers, because students who want to fight will do so even without cell phones."

It's too bad the voice of reason isn't in a position of power.

"We consider (cell phones) almost as weapons because when they call, we're the ones out in front and we don't know these people are coming,' said Mike Heese, safety security assistant at Bradley Tech High School, where the fight happened."

I wonder if I can get my cell phone upgraded to a magnum? But it gets worse:

"I think people have to rise themselves up from a level of convenience to a level of safety,' [Superintendent William] Andrekopoulos said. 'I think that's where we're at in this country."

If that's where we're at in this country then I hope the country dissolves quickly so that we will not be remembered being this cowardly or idiotic.

A ban on cell phones, knives or guns won't stop people with harmful intent. Life just does not work that way. A school is a little different than society at large but in principle this is the same sort of idiocy which makes towns in Illinois ban handguns or entire states ban "assault weapons". They think if they pass a law eliminating a device that can be used or misused to cause harm then the harm will disappear. If this was true then D.C. & the U.K. would be crime free wouldn't they?

There's another drawback to prohibitions of this sort:

"...There will be exceptions to the ban for hardship cases..."

If you're wondering what could be the drawback to that sentence let me give you a scenario:

A tenth grader makes an appointment to ask for an exception for the cell phone ban. She walks into an office where a teacher says, "Hello Mellissa. That's a lovely blouse you're wearing. Now why don't you show me why you need a cell phone..."

Would that happen? Hopefully not, but any time you have people in such a position there'll be the temptation to abuse their power. It may seem too trivial to play out like that but in an enclosed world such as a school the power to allow someone to have a proscribed item is sometimes enough to bring out the worst in people.

But I digress. The schools are legally free & clear to ban cell phones (among other things) & I'm not saying that it's always a bad idea; cell phones in class coupled with kids with no manners can be very distracting. It's the reasoning that the school system in using that is disturbing, as will be what they propose to ban next when they find this doesn't work.

Posted by Publicola at January 28, 2007 12:12 AM | TrackBack
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