Archive for September, 2010

Civic Arena, Mellon Arena, The Igloo and Fate

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

This issue has been in the news for a while – the fate of the Igloo in Pittsburgh.

Everyone is trying to get their two cents in …. some want to tear it down and recreate the street plan as it was before the arena was there.  Some want to turn it into housing and shops. Some want to turn it into a skating park, etc, etc.

Has anyone considered asking the people of the Hill District what they want???

Consider this: when the arena was built – people were kicked out of their houses, whether they wanted to sell/move or not.  Some of those people were not given options to go to and some were actually left homeless.  Do you think maybe we OWE these people the right to make  the decision on the arena’s fate so that they may consider their own fate with their own decision?  Maybe it shouldn’t be about what the city wants or for the benefit of the AES.

Think about this: maybe since the land was technically stolen or taken from those that originally lived there (not to mention killing off the BEST jazz area that *ever* existed), maybe we should consider “giving” that area back to the Hill District residents to do with as they please, develop as they wish, maybe even with an apology from the city for originally doing what they did to get it where it is now.

If the city develops that land, or tears down the arena I can almost guarantee the use of that area or living in that are will be an unobtainable goal for most of that people in the Hill District – or even some of us outside that area that are considered “well off”.

If that land isn’t going back to the people of the Hill District … at least give them the right to decide it’s fate.  It’s their time – it should be their decision.

… or or we again just going to forget the forgotten?


Jackie Evancho’s Loss = The Opera World’s Win

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Picture of Jackie Evancho and Sarah Brightman singing together in the final episode of 2010’s America’s Got Talent as seen in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review (c)NBC.

Even looks on Michael Grimm’s face and statements during interviews said it all … What??????  He didn’t believe it either.  Jackie lost the top spot.

But did she really … and did Pittsburgh and aspiring singers everywhere lose notoriety and hope with her not winning first place?

We believe not, for many reasons:

  1. Most of the first place winners on the major talent competitions never go that far.  They get over-hyped and can’t keep up with it.  This isn’t their fault, those competitions are designed to gain advertising income for networks, not really help talent find their place in the world.
  2. Part of the prize was a gig in Vegas.  I think the voting crowd new that was eventually a bad outcome for Jackie (or any 10 year old).  This isn’t because of the influences of Vegas, but the fact that in the Vegas area, there probably aren’t enough opera fans to fill an auditorium for one night, let alone a year of nights.  What do you think Jackie would have felt like come from “screaming fans” to having to give away tickets to see her.
  3. As Pittsburghers, we’re selfish … we want her in the internationally known Pittsburgh Opera where she belongs.

The most positive thing that came out of Jackie making in as far as she did was seeing my ten year old step daughter watching her with more interest than she has in Hanna Montanna. I had the rare opportunity to see that some kids have a broader interest in music and culture that my generation did – and honestly that’s why I am personally glad Jackie did not win the number one spot that included the Vegas gig. She now has a chance to find a place where she can influence a whole new generation of cultural kids and opera goers of all ages, races, and classes.

Michael Grimm will bring excellent talent to a Vegas show and help his grandparents get a new home, while Jackie has and will help and entire city. Click Here for a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article on Jackie.

Related Resource: Pittsburgh Opera

Jackie — we award you and SWB kudos for doing things at the age of ten that others can’t do at the age of forty!


PS – No smart comebacks on this one, but it would be really cool to see Michael and Jackie on stage together other than the AGT tour.

A Long Awaited Poem

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, we haven’t posted a poem for a long time (along with anything else), so we figured it was long over due.

We’ll go for the “weepy whiny looking inside myself for possible self analyzing while reading the ’emotional porn’ story make myself feel better” ones.

That’s why it’s getting stuck under “blah blah blah …… etc etc etc”.  I guess it could go under “Thoughts For The Strange” too.


Looking out at the life in the mirror,

reaching into a reflective life.

The realizations of all the misty hues

remind me that I’ll always pay my dues.

Trees in the background crying,

they’re surrounded by all of the voices lying.

Noises of all the discolored untruths,

reflecting twisted minds and floating views.

Tainted waters have all but clouded my dreams,

turning happiness into the lesser means.

For the children that once were the future,

an end of hope now created by the misty hues.


Ok . that was crappy …. but what can you do in 3 minutes?


Stupidity, 9/11, and the Quran Burning

September 9, 2010 1 comment

Photo from Associated Press article (click here).

After 2001, I never thought I’d put the words “Stupidity, 9/11, and the Quran Burning” all in once sentence.  I was wrong.

I also thought that never in this country would one man’s selfishness for his own free speech cause him to position our country to where it looks like Americans are inviting themselves into a holy war with the Middle East. I was wrong.

I also thought that it would take more than one man to make American look like the picture that others paint when they criticise us. I was wrong.

What’s wrong with the fact that this minister wants to burn the Quran in protest of the radicals he believes it represents?  From a a free speech point of view – nothing.

Is it this minister’s right to voice his views via his free speech rights in this country? Yes.

Is is his right to indirectly cause harm to others via his use of his free speech rights? **NO**

That is this issue with this.  It’s not that people believe he does not have the right to do what he wants to do, but the free speech rights we have in this country (and the same rights that other countries are trying to acquire) come with great responsibility.

For the simple minded – that means that you have to be responsible enough in the use of your free speech rights to not put others in danger, get them killed, or cause unrepairable damage to a society as a whole.  Terry Jones has stepped over those lines and abused his free speech rights.  Sadly to other countries this becomes a reflection of Americans as a whole.

So, our vote is to keep our free speech rights and shut down Terry Jones from doing what he is doing.  If not, there is a good chance that he could start a holy war with the Middle East that will never end, and also initiate a domino set of actions that will eventually curtail our free speech rights as Americans.


PS – We won’t even offer this guy a “Clueless Award”, we set that for those who have at least a minor inkling of hope ……. but we will say that Terry is a definite candidate for the new set of Dawrin Awards.