The proceeding statement is from my friend Alex's blog, his room mate has been unjustly thrown out of Purchase College for an incident completely fabricated by the Harrison County Police. Not only has been kicked out of school but he also is facing criminal charges. His life could be ruined for something that could happen to anyone. Hart was standing near a Police officer during Streetlight Manifesto's performance at Culture Shock and was pushed by someone in a nearby mosh pit and bumped into the hat of the police officer. He is being charged with assault of a police officer and attempted robbery of a police officers firearm. This is ridiculous as Hart made never made any such attempt as he had no reason or desire. Hart is a good person and student who is beloved by everyone teachers and students alike. The following is from my friend Alex's blog who was Hart's room mate:
What is it that allows the law, that is, the police- and their word, to have a much higher standing than my own, or your own? Why is it that one officer’s word can make null the words of the masses? I’ve been pondering this issue over the past week as I’ve watched a friend, a student here at Purchase College, go from top to bottom. We are always infatuated with the notion of the fall of people- we spend many hours watching those crime shows and reading novels that culminate in a grand court scene. The ultimate judgement. The final judgement. There is something so apocalyptic in the judge, the jury- deciding our fate. What is to come of me? Will they allow me my freedom, or will they throw me into a jail cell? Will they open the gates of heaven, or will they cast me into hell? When our freedom rests on the minds of the unaffected, surely hell is the most obvious option. And hell is what the main character of my story is destined to experience. We shall call him Hart Seely: for that is his name in this story, and in real life as well. This is a story about the injustice of our court system, and to talk about this I have to adapt a new voice, that is, the voice of the court itself. On the night of Friday, April 17th, Hart Seely was arrested. It was dark, it was chaotic- it was Culture Shock. We all know about Culture Shock. The once a year festival at our university where we get a chance to celebrate the spring, the upcoming summer, the completion of (hopefully) a successful semester of learning, thinking and working. We all want a celebration for a job well done, and this is what we hope to accomplish through this great music festival. Back to the narrative. It was during Streetlight Manifesto. It was wild celebration and there was a mosh pit. Emerging from this setting there are three stories: Hart’s story, the story of the police at the time of the arrest, and the story of the police the day after the arrest. We will examine Hart’s story first. Hart was standing by the edge of the mosh pit during Streetlight Manifesto. The police kept stopping the band and telling the crowd that they must move back. “Take three steps back” was the catch phase of their set. The band was forced to stop playing multiple times in order for the cops to tell everybody to move back. Implied with this is that the crowd was too close to the barricades and the police that were positioned directly in front of the stage. Conversely, the police were too close to the crowd and needed some room- from the students, and from the mosh pit. Hart was pushed back by someone in the mosh pit, and accidentally hit into deputy King- a Westchester County police officer. More specifically, Hart’s hand hit into the officer’s hat. The officer immediately pulled Hart out of the crowd while he was pleading to know “What did I do?”, and the officer replied, “You know what you did”. Hart was arrested. Now, just after this, that is, after he was pulled out of the crowd, I watched the arrest. Once Hart was put into a squad car, I walked up to the group of officers talking about what just happened. This is the story of the police of the night of the arrest. One officer, who I later found to be deputy King, was telling the other officers how Hart had hit into his hat, and it (that is, the hat) got pushed over his face. I caught the tail end of this story, so I asked another officer what happened. He conveyed the same story to me as I stood there in disbelief that Hart would do something like this on purpose. And yes, I know that if he had any drinks at all that night, he was not drunk enough to make a decision as dumb as that. The next day, Hart gets back from jail. Yes, from jail. He accidentally hit into a person and spent the night at UPD, where he shared the facilities with a student who had taken psychedelics, and was vomiting all over himself for hours. In response to this, the a UPD officer came into the room, and told the student who was repeatedly vomiting on himself to “Get in the bathroom.” and threatened that if he didn’t, he would “break his neck”. These are the people who decide our fate- people who use physical intimidation and death to get their point across. I think maybe a word for this type of person is a “thug”. Listen, I’m not a scoundrel, I’m a student with rights. Hart spent the next morning in jail cell in Valhalla. He was shipped to a cell outside of our humble campus at around 11:00 AM, where he was finally informed of what he was being accused of. Bear in mind, this is about twelve hours after he was dragged out of the crowd, while being told “You know what you did.” This cell was shared with a few people, some coming and some going. Among these were real criminals, you know, people who had actually done something wrong, such as being found with pounds of illegal drugs. And this is our Hart Seely, innocent and wrongfully accused. Now, overnight he became even more wrongfully accused, if you could imagine such a thing. Overnight, the police changed his story to not only purposefully hitting the cop’s hat, but added, yes in addition to this, that he was attempting to steal the officer’s gun. This new charge became so much the emphasis that the original offense, in which he was arrested for, has faded into the background.
“Hart Seely is accused of assault on a police officer, and attempted robbery of a police officer’s firearm”.
Hart Seely has been suspended from school. He is allowed to finish out his classes for this semester, but is not allowed in any residence area. He is not allowed to go into his room. This presents a large set of problems for someone whose home is in Syracuse and does not own a car. Next semester he is completely suspended from school. From this, what can we deduce? He is allowed on campus- and therefore is not a real threat. Even the administration knows that he is not a real threat, or else he would be never allowed at the university again. If Hart was someone who legitimately had criminal intentions, he would rightfully not be welcomed at a place where we advocate safe learning, and yet they still attempt to ruin his clean streak at Purchase College. At his hearing within the school, deputy King did not even show up. He has ultimately condemned a student, but does not care enough to come to his hearing and say “he is guilty”. Yet, with the lack of the accuser, or, the lack the police officer, the judicial board did not listen to my own story of the arrest, or the multiple character witnesses that included two professors. His criminal court case is on May 12th. Read that again- “His criminal court case.” Is Hart a criminal? You tell me. Tell them. Whether or not you are a detractor of the police- whether you are an anarchist or a fascist- surely you can see there is something wrong here. Something here is not right, something here is not just. As a student body, we can not let these charges stand. We must act, because it could be me who stumbles on the wrong person. Because next time it could be you who stumbles on the wrong person. I hope that when that happens you will be there for me, because I will be there for you. If we let the police get away with these false accusations, we are affectively letting them take a shit on us, as students and believers in justice, as a whole. This is the same justice that these police are installed in order to protect. Read this. Think about this. Do not let this story go, because it is more than a story, it is someone’s life. There has not been a moment in my time at this university that has been more urgent- and I can’t say for sure in yours, but I’m sure you can still see the importance. We are students. We are forward thinking. We are educated. We don’t just accept things, it is our tradition as students- from Europe in the mid 1800s to the United States in the mid 1900s, to Greece just a few months ago, to Purchase now? Only if you want it. Only if you care.
If you want to know what you can do, if you are dedicated, if you have an idea of what to do, no matter how large or how small, e-mail me. There is a petition that will be sent to our school’s president along with anyone else it should concern. Sign it.
An exclusive new NOFX track has been posted on spin.com
It's a typical NOFX song about Fat Mike meeting the Canadian band Teagan and Sara in Germany at a music festival.
NOFX is one of my favorite bands, not sure how I feel about this new track though, hopefully the new album is better. Here's a video of NOFX from not too long ago playing Murder the Government at a festival in Europe, possibly where they meet Teagan and Sarah:
On March 27th at the Student Center I helped organize a benefit concert for the Senior Class Gift of 2009, we had five artists perform, Jesse Cooper Levy, Cyrille and the Surreal Band, Mama's Heartbeat, Urban Fetch, and the Skullfuckers.
The Skullfuckers are the Misfits tribute band that played two years ago at Zombie Prom at Purchase College and got a good reaction.
The benifit raised $250 for the Senior Class Gift of 2009, which if you are a Purchase College senior you can still donate to, for more info go (HERE).
Besides the bands Eric Mendenhall held a rave inside Whitsons and there was a Silent Art Auction/Bake sale in the galleries.
We also had a presale for the Senior Class of 2009 Tshirt:
Here are some pictures from the event.
Jazzy Cyrille and the Surreal Band:
Check out this video of Urban Fetch who played the show and will also be playing tomorrow night at the Student Center for Pre-shock:
Highlights from today's Champions League game between Manchester United and FC Porto with Ronaldo's goal right at the beginning:
Arsenal also beat Villareal which means Manchester United will play Arsenal in the Semi Finals in two weeks. Also playing in two weeks will be yesterday's winners Barcelona and Chelsea which should be a great game.
An excerpt from my Senior Project: Chris Anderson in his book The Long Tail says that hit-driven economics are caused by, “A desperate desire to find a one size fits all product, trying to predict demand, pulling ‘misses’ off the market, and limited choice.” (Anderson, pg 165). In his 2006 Wired Article, Chris Anderson wrote, “Hit-driven economics is a creation of an age without enough room to carry everything for everybody.” (Anderson). Anderson believes that one reason the music industry is hit centric is due to limited space in brick and mortar retailers. As the market for physical copies of albums shrinks year after year, the space which the major record labels receive in the physical market shrinks. Retailers do not want to stock CD’s that are going to sit on their shelves and many return unsold CD’s to the distributor after only a couple of months on the shelf. Once the album gets returned to the distributor it is almost guaranteed to sit in a box and becomes an instant loss for the label. This forces labels to push artists who they know they can sell.
Internet retailers, according to Anderson have gained an advantage over traditional retailers because they have the ability to stock a much larger of options. Although the sales from the hits, as in the selection you would find at a Wal-Mart, are still a majority of an online retailers business, their ability to hit niche markets adds a huge aspect to their business perspectives.
“But Vann-Adib, like executives at iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix, has discovered that the "misses" usually make money, too. And because there are so many more of them, that money can add up quickly to a huge new market. With no shelf space to pay for and, in the case of purely digital services like iTunes, no manufacturing costs and hardly any distribution fees, a miss sold is just another sale, with the same margins as a hit. A hit and a miss are on equal economic footing, both just entries in a database called up on demand, both equally worthy of being carried. Suddenly, popularity no longer has a monopoly on profitability.” (Anderson)
What Anderson is saying relates to a theory he has developed called the Long Tail. The idea behind the Long Tail is that if you were selling music singles, the amount of money you could make outside the hit cut-off point could easily be larger than the amount you make from the hits. The demand for the product is wide spread and therefore it could never before be satisfied in the way the internet has given us the capabilities to do. What this proves is that the internet has helped to destroy an industry. However, it was an industry which was notoriously selfish, known for underpaying and manipulating artists, leaving them in debt, never to actually see anything from their copyrights which are the basis of the entire system. This new model leaves room for artists to be independent from major corporations and have the ability to sell their creation to a wider market. It puts more power in both the artists’ and the consumers’ hands.