Comments by Chris and City Youth Now

Comment for "Biggest Conflict in the World?"

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"Biggest Conflict in the World Review"

The piece "Biggest Conflict in the World" by Tiger Radio talks about a variety of conflicts that the world faces today. They interview a number of people, who give many different responses. The question they ask about the biggest conflict in the world is strong because everybody has an opinion on it. However, they did not ask people from a variety of backgrounds. As a result, while we agreed with many of the issues addressed, we disagreed with others and were even completely in the dark to some. For example, global warming was an issue that many people in the piece brought up, yet many of us did not know much about it. Another example is war in the Middle East. These are both serious issues that we should and will learn more about. Overall, we thought the piece was informative, thought provoking and important for us to hear.

Comment for "Childhood Memories"

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Childhood Memory Lane

The piece entitled "Childhood Memories" by City High Radio is a series of interviews with people about their favorite childhood memories. The results surprise the interviewer because she expects nostalgic, idyllic answers, but gets many embarrassing and sad answers instead. We like this piece because it is fresh and new to our ears. Living in a jail is very depressing, and our topics of conversation in class tend often focus on issues about poverty, race, conflicts, etc. Before we listened to the piece we each reflected on our own childhood memories, which are also a mix of happy and sad. The piece sparked up a variety of conversations amongst us about our own childhood memories. The background music of this piece starts with Johnny Cash sadly singing "You Are My Sunshine", which fits the tone of the piece. Later, as the stories become sadder, "Puff the Magic Dragon" plays, and we think that the song reflects the fantasy and sadness, which somehow has a place in everyone's childhood.

Comment for "Fast Foods"

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A Dull Take on Fast Foods

The youth produced piece "Fast Foods" by Weekday High talks about the harmful effects of fast food. This is a good piece for young individuals because the majority of people who eat fat foods are young. Furthermore, they appropriately interview teenagers about their fast food eating habits. A few of the main reasons why young individuals buy fast foods is because it's cheaper, quicker, and easier than dining at a restaurant that charges higher prices. While the piece dealt with a relevant topic, its execution in terms of overall quality was below average. First of all, the piece was dull. The interviewees and interviewers didn't sound excited about doing the piece. Also, they do not go into too many details about why fast food is bad or so popular. Overall, this piece did not stand out because it was boring, and we felt that the producers did not put a hundred percent effort into its production.

Comment for "Killing is the New Fighting"

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Killing is the New Fighting Strikes a Chord

The youth produced piece "Killing is the New Fighting" by Youth Radio, discusses how people nowadays choose to use a gun instead of their fist. The producers interview three seemingly urban inner-city youth, who seem to know what they are talking about because they discuss true facts regarding how nowadays people are scared to fight, and consequently use a gun. This gun makes people feel like a man or unstoppable. The interviewees discuss the reasons why they see this shift has occurred. For example: people kill to make a name for themselves; it's easier to just get rid of problems, or they are just scared to fight. Sadly, sometimes people kill instead of fighting because they might have just bought expensive new clothes and shoes that they don't want to ruin, so they use a gun to end the problem quickly. Additionally, the producers choose the perfect song for this piece. "So Many Tears" by 2-Pac, is a good song for this piece because he raps about losing so many friends to violence. The tone is appropriate for the serious subject matter. All in all, the producers chose to talk about a relevant subject in a genuine way and the result was on point.

Comment for "What's the most pressing youth issue?"

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The Real Youth Pressing Issue

"What's the Most Pressing Youth Issue?" produced by Y-Press at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, surveys youth about what they believe to be the most important youth issues. The interviewees talk about the following issues: the war, stopping violence, the economy, education, oil, and tuition hikes. While these issues are certainly relevant and important on a national level, our critique lies in the fact that none of the interviewees address the day to day pressing issues facing inner-city lower class youth. The issues that many of us face on a daily basis include: police harassment, racism, incarceration, gangs, the availability of guns, youth on youth crime, a lack of role models, and finally the lack of respect youth have towards each other. These issues affect the minds and actions of our youth because many of us were born into this day to day struggle for survival. The responses of the youth interviewed in this piece are indicative of their ignorance to issues facing inner-city youth. We think that this is a huge part of the problem. The issues of the inner-city youth are issues that impact everyone in society, and yet they are ignored. This radio piece would've been more comprehensive if youth from all socioeconomic backgrounds were interviewed, but perhaps this is a consequence of the lack of lower class youth represented at Democratic Convention. This piece reflects the nation's larger problem of emphasizing middle class issues, while neglecting a larger discussion of poverty and its consequences.

Comment for "In the Gym, Trying to Fit In"

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How it Feels to be Lonely

The piece "In the Gym Trying to Fit in" delves into the isolation and mentality of the universal loner. The opening music evokes a feeling of despair and boredom. The tone of the narrator's voice describes a girl, slumping in the corner in order to hide herself from everybody else. Yet when someone approaches her, asking who she is here with she lies, telling them she is here with her friends down on the court playing basketball. The reality is that she only has one friend, which is her diary/notebook. This piece may not speak to the listeners who have friends and fit in, however the depiction of the girl's isolation is affective to those of who don't. The piece may speak to listeners who understand how lonliness can feel like a self-imposed cage. So, if you are one of the people inside the crowd, pass the piece over, but if you tend to stand on the outskirts, check it out.

Comment for "What Is Hip-Hop?"

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How to Approach Hip-Hop

The piece, entitled "What is Hip-Hop?" gives the listener an overall sense that the producers treat the concept and topic of Hip-Hop as a joke. We believe Hip-Hop is a form of art that expresses how people feel and what they go through. The tone of the piece makes it appear as if the interviewers don't even listen to Hip-Hop. To start, the opening and closing song is irrelevant to the topic of discussion because the background song is R&B music. What we think the interviewer could have done is to ask more perceptive questions, or a series of questions in order to get deeper answers. Also, the interviewer didn't sound like she was knowledgeable herself about Hip-Hop. It sounds like her questions may have been looped, which made her sound dull and mundane. Perhaps the piece could have been better if she asked different questions like "Do you like Hip-Hop?" followed by "Why do you like Hip-Hop?" It sounds like the interviewees have no idea what Hip-Hop truly stands for. The interviewees and producers should slap on some Hip-Hop music themselves before trying to define Hip-Hop.

Comment for ""If These Walls Could Talk: Inside Youth Speak Out" SEASON ONE"

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This is Why He Writes

The voice of Espo, the poet of “This is Why I Write” immediately grabbed our attention. His voice sounds empathetic and truthful. His choice of words and his methodical pace is clear enough to touch people, even those “who lose control”. Espo writes for all people who have been through and experienced hard times and struggles in their lives. He doesn’t write for a single group of people, but for both the rich and poor, who are going through issues and difficulties in their lives. Part of what is compelling about this poem is that Espo does not judge people based on their actions. He shows that he understands and feels the circumstances that lead people to make the choices that draw them to be involved in prostitution, gang life, and crime. These acts ultimately lead to incarceration, where he took the time to write the poem. Yet, Espo brings the reader a sense of hope that another path exists to look towards in making better decisions. He points out that whatever decision you make there will always be a fight in life, whether you are rich or poor, free or incarcerated.