Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wednesday Observations

When I read the story that the younger generations were trending to be more socially liberal, I wasn't impressed. You can do anything you want with stats and how they are presented. Mark Morford feels pretty much the same way.
I always assumed it might actually be a good thing that conservatives breed so mindlessly, because all those unhappy neocon kids, all those repressed misled tots grow up and eventually begin to (well, sometimes) think for themselves and ultimately do what any good kid does: rebel against their parents' silly dogma and become a bit more open-minded and hopeful, right?

Not exactly. Apparently, according to the research, four out of five kids actually stick with the political affiliation of their parents, generation after generation, with religious conservatives far more unlikely than their liberal brethren to allow their kids to develop the capacity for independent thought (given how it's so, you know, dangerous to America). Also, one word: homeschooling. I'm just sayin'.
When I was about twelve or thirteen, I was talking politics with my dad (lifelong Democrat) and I don't remember what we were discussing, but he looked at me and said "you are going to be a Republican when you grow up." And for a long time, I was. Then they lost their minds trying to impeach Clinton and I quickly grew tired of the hypocrisy. I'm still not a true Democrat, but I am a liberal. I would register as Libertarian but the choices are never viable. Hopefully the internet will help to mitigate the closed thinking of the red state parents and allow them to develop their own minds. But that homeschooling bothers me also.

If I start my morning with Lifehacker, I get wrapped up in all the goodies and forget to post, which is what happened this morning. I have the same problem with Lifehack, a similar by different site.

Every year my favorite radio station, KFOG, sponsors a wonderful fireworks display with a synced soundtrack. It is usually the day before Mother's day which makes it one week before my birthday. I love fireworks, but watching them on the Fourth of July is always hard because that's what I was doing when my father had his heart attack and died. KaBoom! had no such memories for me and I could relax and enjoy the day and the show.

They always have three bands, and one of them is usally pretty big. Over the years, I have seen Robert Randolph, Steve Winwood, Train, Zero 7, K.T. Tunstall, etc. It has always been free and a great way to spend Saturday in the Bay area. Yesterday I got an email stating that due to circumstances, etc. they would be charging and limiting admission. For a free event, it usually costs me between 40 to 60 dollars between transportation, parking, food and drink.

This has always been a family event, the crowd usually ranges from toddler to geriatric with everything in between. Well, not this year. At $10 a head, it costs a family of four the forty dollar admission and a service charge to TicketMaster. Plus, you have to buy the tickets ahead of time and we don't even know who the bands are. Now, ten dollars doesn't sound like a lot, but I'm not going to pay it. They usually have about 50,000 people on the pier and you can see the fireworks from many places besides that. I could see charging one or two dollars per head, but to start off at ten (taking it from free to an obvious profit maker) is something I'm not going to support and I bet that quite a few other people will feel the same way. So I wrote a letter to express my dissatisfaction, something I usually can't be bothered to do and here it is with the response.
I cannot tell you how disappointed I am. I live in the South Bay and
no matter how I slice it, it costs me at least 30 dollars to attend, before your "modest" charge of ten dollars. I then spend a minimum of twenty dollars at Kaboom. I would be willing to pay for the video and soundtrack download. I am not willing to spend an additional ten dollars just to hear bands that I don't normally care about, especially without knowing who they are. I went for the atmosphere and companionship, not the music. I can watch the fireworks from
many places besides piers 30/32, or I can just download it and avoid the travel and parking hassles.

Considering the amount and breadth of people who attend, limiting the event to people who can afford to take a family of four for forty plus dollars, has made this rather elitist and that has never been an attitude that I associate with KFOG. Democratic, yes. Hoity toity, no. I am so disappointed and will more than likely miss you this year.

And their response.

Thanks for your email. I can assure you that this is a decision that we here at KFOG did not take lightly. The rising costs of producing KFOG KaBoom forced us to either cancel the event or ask Fogheads for help.

Once it was determined that charging admission was our only option, it was a major concern to keep the ticket price and fees as low as possible, which we have done to the best of our ability. These days, there aren't any concerts featuring 3 nationally touring acts charging only $10 per ticket.

The fireworks show is still free, of course, and can be viewed from numerous locations on the Bay, not just from Piers 30/32. We will also be posting the entire show on our website shortly after the event.

Thanks for understanding.

Brian Comstock
KFOG Promotion Director
Oh well, I guess I won't be seeing live fireworks again. Man, I'm disappointed.

Update: Musical entertainment will be provided by Kenny Wayne Shepherd (him I want to see!), Ozomatli and Guster. Aarrgh! Maybe I can win some kind of ticket. Sigh.

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