Wednesday, September 14, 2005

talent show



(what has become my Standard Loop, with start/end indicated in purple)

There is student housing at MIT that must have an absolutely gorgeous view of the Charles River and of downtown Boston beyond. Tonight I was running on my Standard Loop by this housing when I heard this godawful live rock music. ("Rock" is not actually right: imagine rock as a man and metal as a woman, breeding the two of them, having metal drink several cases of beer for every day of her pregnancy, and then giving the child over to be raised by an Ozzy Ozbourne shaped wire monkey, and the resulting offspring is what was playing.) I look up, and in one of the windows is a dorm room that has a scruffy kid standing in his boxers a few feet away from the window wailing into this microphone. Behind him was what looked like a complete drum set and another shirtless kid beating away on the drums like they had just insulted his mother.* And, although I didn't see him, there must have been a kid playing guitar in the room as well, presumably he was rocking out sans shirt as well.

I must admit, as terrible as the music was, it was hard not to envy them and the way they were expending the chronological capital of privileged youth.

* BTW, Chris Uggen wrote an inspired post about drummer jokes awhile back.

14 comments:

Absolut said...

Are you posting your route so fans can gather around the loop and cheer you on, perhaps even offer water?:-)

Anonymous said...

If he gets over his fear of crossing the water, who knows...

Anonymous said...

There you go again ... privileged? How so? River view? What? (They work them much harder at MIT than at Harvard.)

Instead of using an adjective, why not spell out how you arrive at such an insight? You sound 'ex cathedra' sometimes.

sarahliz said...

anonymous @ 10:44,
College students are almost by definition privileged (yes, kids from less privileged backgrounds make it to college but in most cases that's because they had some access to social or cultural capital that other kids around them didn't). MIT students aren't just college kids. They're college kids in a prestigious school with pretty high admission standards, which means that they pretty much by definition were privileged in their educational access at the high school level or they wouldn't have gotten into MIT. I think a more interesting question than why Jeremy would think them privileged is why you would think they wouldn't be.

Tim said...

And if they were not priviledged before they came to MIT, most would probably think that they became privileged once they started attending.

jeremy said...

Anon 10:44am: Ex cathedra might not mean what you think it does. Otherwise, you might be overestimating the intrinsic authority I imagine myself to be having here on my weblog.

In any case, I'm really not going to waste time defending to an anonymous commenter the use of the adjective 'privileged' to MIT students with a river view (especially as at least some of that housing, including perhaps theirs, are fraternities). I also reject the idea that the adjective 'privileged' is negated because somebody 'works hard'.

Anonymous said...

Tut, tut. I didn't write they weren't privileged, as some of you seem to have assumed. I wrote 'how so?'.

I'm interested in JF's observations and certainly enjoy reading reports re the sights of Cambridge.The fact that MIT students work hard? A neutral fact that hasn't anything to do with privilege or how they may or may not regard themselves. But then, neither does playing heavy metal music in one's underwear.

The more who, what, where, when, why (as in why do you think what you think? or what makes you feel that?) the merrier.


JF: I don't overestimate and most CERTAINLY don't underestimate. — I wrote only how you sometimes 'sound' ['ex cathedra' works fine in this sense — just as I hoped it would].

Not one bit do I underestimate (if I did, I wouldn't have written my earlier comment). Peace
Anon 10:44

Anonymous said...

i love you jeremy

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,
This is not Jeremy's classroom, where he gets paid to argue with whiny people who argue for the sake of argueing. It's a freakin blog. He doesn't have to explain how MIT students are priveleged, especially when the answer is clearly obvious to most people on the face of the planet...evidentally including you.

Anonymous said...

So there!

Absolut said...

I have always wondered: Why are there so many anon commenters on this blog when it's so easy to add a name? (To all those wondering, JWF knows who I am even if you don't.;)

jeremy said...

A week ago or so, the author of one anonymous comment was identified as Rhymes With Scrabble's father, so now I just imagine that every anonymous comment comes from him.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Well, to be fair, it COULD have been some other random person whose youngest daughter started at BU this year. But my father does have your blog feed on his LJ.

Anonymous said...

Or anon. could have been somebody, a programmer now, who went to MIT back in the day, right Nick?