24 July 2007

A DJ's Response

A case for cultural affluence

Art is not a crime. Music is not a misdemeanor. Peaceably assembling to cultivate culture through artistic means is not illegal. However, after reflecting on Saturday's events at the Shreveport Skate Plaza in addition to the lack of support given to the Shreveport-Bossier cultural community, my faith in reason and logic is slowly deteriorating. I stood helplessly by as the boys in blue effectively muted the music of youth and innovation, shutting down yet another outlet for creativity. I saw my fellow music devotee and cultural comrade Joe carried away in cuffs. Although police brutality and the seemingly escalating presence of harassment and corruption amidst Shreveport's fines MUST be combated at all costs, it would be unwise and even foolish for me to put my two cents in about the arrest. Joe Carstenson is one of my closest friends; therefore I am completely biased in this matter and am nearly immune to viewing the matter objectively. However, I do realize that Saturday's incident reflects a much bigger picture regarding the Shreveport-Bossier community. Why were the music-seeking youth of the Shreveport-Bossier area forced to go to an out of the way skate park to have a free, all ages show? Why isn't there a rock'n'roll-friendly venue for kids to enjoy the tunes of their time? Something needs to change. Such a change can only occur if all Shreveport-Bossier resident and officials recognize their responsibility and their privilege to preserve, nourish, and protect our cultural community. It's all we got.

All Shreveport-Bossier residents must take an active stand in keeping our cultural community productively alive in order to better the city, educate the public, and provide cultural sustenance for future generations. Culture is the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties of a community through education and artistic expression. An enriched cultural scene develops a community through both monetary gains as well as artistic growth (Look at Austin, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, etc.) Everyone from the yuppie to the neo-yuppie wins. Also, cultural rebirth replenishes and instills citywide pride in its residents. Who doesn't want to proud and educated public? Culture is the purest form of free education. It is our responsibility to feed the famished minds of today. I'm sure that the Shreveport Police Department nor any other city governing body would want to contribute to the delinquency and ignorance of its youth by getting in the way of their cultural education, would they? Let us hope not. Culture facilitates constructive changes. We as the living, breathing bodies of this community must heed the call of better things to come, for the times are a-changin'. But how can things change and progress if no one acts out of their empathy and frustration? The culture-hungry youths of this town are going stir-crazy, itching to strengthen their craft and to help the arts community here prosper, but we have nowhere to flourish and no viable support except ourselves. Therefore, a productive all-ages venue is needed terribly. Also, as active members of a budding arts community, people should attempt to familiarize themselves with the process of attaining legal permission to host shows. Red tape makes for more fun. Find out the how's and why's. Friction makes for more change. Change is inevitable. Therefore, if the patrons and cultural craftspersons of the Shreveport-Bossier area become but mere catalysts for cultural progression, we can change our city.

DJ AJ, Saturdays 2-4p

No comments: