Wednesday, January 26, 2005

don't mean to push, but I'm being shoved

I knew that sports coverage and dissing Sheryl Crow were not the only reasons I read Jeff Johnson's blog- he's posted a link to Jin's diss of Hot 97 here. Or you could find it through Sepia Mutiny. Even though he openly despises the Patriots, Jeff is a-okay in my book.

The Hot 97 situation, NPR's coverage of the Condi confirmation, and my workplace have me thinking about accountability. I must hear that word multiple times every single day. People only seem to talk about accountability when they're looking for someone to blame. And I understand that on some level. When it comes to making a decision, people always assume that someone else has the final say, that someone else is holding the power. But when it comes down to who is ultimately accountable, it's not quite so neat as the buck stops here. It would be nice if it was, and to a certain extent, it must hold true that the person who has the final say should always bear a large part of the responsibility when things go wrong. On the other hand, so many people really have a say in what happens. The advertisers of Hot 97 say they don't condone the morning show, but they obviously didn't make it explicit that it was unacceptable. The programmer at Hot 97 has probably also come out and said the views expressed on the morning show are not shared by the rest of Hot 97. And yes, the morning show was taken off the air, albeit briefly. But the fact remains, every single one of them was accountable. If you were involved in any way, you were accountable to some degree.

That's why I have a problem with people whose reaction to this sort of thing is- oh, why don't you just ignore it? They're just trying to get a rise out of you, and you shouldn't give them the satisfaction. I can't stomach that, because it is, in effect, ignoring your own power. Anyone offended by the broadcast is accountable too, to be heard and to make it clear that this type of insensitivity is not acceptable. Gandhi was non-violent, but not passive!

Sigh. A N N A details it much, much better here (all I have to say is, for the first time in the many months since I offloaded my decrepit but cherished Toyota, I feel good about having let it go). My insides churn a little in the knowledge that, as a Northeast corridor resident, I used to listen to Hot 97 rather regularly back in the day.


My friend Imaye in college used to often refer to things as jejune. He used this word in reference to things that could not be defined, or were even a little mind-blowing. I think he was going for je ne sais quois, since jejune is actually an adjective referring to things that are dull (I think). He was an odd sort of a guy, the kind of guy who would memorize your social security number so that he could report your test scores to you before you had a chance to check them yourself. Most disturbingly, he went on to get a degree in law. I can only imagine the havoc he is wreaking with that kind of knowledge.

It's a bit je ne sais quois, though, that the absence of one friend can cause an imbalance in your very being. I realized that after S delivered the cease-whiner upon me. I haven't needed such a smackdown in ages, and I had to consider why I was in the throes of woe is me. I've concluded that I miss my dearest of all friends W, who lives very far away these days. We have not spoken in many months. We exchanged quick emails over the holidays, but it felt like we were both throwing information at each other, rather than participating in a real exchange. I miss the talking, the goofiness of our talks, and the manner in which we both have this unswerving faith that good things are in store for each other. When you've known someone for ten of the most formative years of your sentient life, you can actually believe in that faith.

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