April 9, 2010

Mayor honors three local events with Jazz Day proclamation

Mayor Dickert reads proclamation to Joe Mooney, Phil Pospychala and Jay Christie, l-r



You've heard the expression "cool jazz," right?

Well, on the steps of City Hall this afternoon, with temperatures in the mid-40s and a 10 mph wind, it was relatively frigid, as Mayor John Dickert proclaimed Jazz Day in Racine, honoring three men and the events that bring the music here each year.

The thousands of jazz lovers who attend Jean's Jazz, Animal Crackers and the Tribute to Bix Beiderbecke Fest were nowhere in evidence during the 10-minute ceremony. Fewer than a dozen people stood outside City Hall as Dickert read a proclamation -- originated by the National Council of Mayors -- and gave copies to Joe Mooney, who started Jean's Jazz to honor his late wife; Jay Christie, director of the Racine Zoo which hosts Animal Crackers; and Phil Pospychala of the Bix Fest.

Dickert, a fan of Louis Armstrong, praised the three events, saying "believe it or not, we have great things going on in the city... I bring people here, and they say 'W-O-W!' "

Christie said jazz is something that "transcends demographics, is able to bring people together."  Pospychala, whose 21-year-old festival has been in Racine for the nine years, said, "I can't imagine a finer place than Racine to hold it." Mooney praised jazz's "diverse culture, with no color barrier."  All also sent out thanks to Lee Roberts, the Journal Times' terrific arts reporter, for her support and coverage.

The 24th Annual Animal Crackers will take place this summer; the event has produced over $700,000 for the zoo. Jean’s Jazz ended its ninth season last week with a sold-out concert; it has donated over $50,000 to the Racine Theatre Guild over the years.

Few jazz lovers were present for the Jazz Day ceremony

99 comments:

  1. No one wanted to see Dork Dickert!

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  2. There may have been more people there if he had been working on getting jobs to Racine.

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  3. Dickert is Racine's problem not the cure.

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  4. Hey Pizzaman - what have you delivered for Racine?

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  5. Nice picture of Dickert and all of his supporters. Good luck in 2011!

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  6. Nice pic of Dickert and all of his supporters. Good luck in 2011 John.

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  7. Jay Christie? Really? He hasn't a clue. But he knows how to hide it. Another Dickert Crony.

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  8. I got to see many of Mike Shields supporters. They were in these nice orange jumpsuits picking up trash on the roadside.

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  9. At least Mike Shields supporters are good at something besides bankruptcy.

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  10. Way to go Joe, Phil, and Jay. Thanks for bringing a bit of culture to Racine.

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  11. This is why the city needs a real PR person, not what they have now. To honor three people for their work on a week day outside in this climate in early April is the ultimate in poor PR planning. This should have been done at a council meeting or one of the jazz events where you would have had people there to see it. Dickert's next move, seeing that he, his cousin the administrator nor his PR joke have a clue, is to fire his PR consultant and get a real one. Common sense would have told you this was the wrong time and wrong place.

    Nice work to the three people recognized. Maybe next time the a mayor can do it right.

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  12. In any event, jazz is anything but a universally-popular type of music. Most of my working class friends can't stand the stuff. Ditto many religious folks who remember the origins of jazz in Southern cathouses and don't want prostitution-related cacophony in their homes. In many circles, Racine's dubious reputation as a jazz mecca is no asset. Racine doesn't need to turn itself into a cheap Northern knockoff of The Big Easy. (What could we call our messed-up municipality? "The Pig Sleazy"?)

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  13. Racine needs jobs and social programs, not more art and music!

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  14. Hizzoner Da Mire has been spending too much time with the denizens of the Den of Venn in general and the Waxtrash in particular.

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  15. Dear Pizzaman, AMEN!

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  16. It's so brave and cool to see name calling and criticism by anonymous people. An occasional solution would be nice. It's easy to complain, finding solutions, not so easy.

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  17. "believe it or not, we have great things going on in the city... I bring people here, and they say 'W-O-W!' "

    Now if you would only do something about making it easier to get to Racine, no I dont mean KRM either. People are not going to go out of their way to get here.

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  18. Dear 8:19 PM, How right you are! In fact, I have friends from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania who refuse to come here. If I want to visit my pals, I've got to travel to their hometowns or else arrange to meet them in Milwaukee or Madison. Regardless of whatever I may be required to do, Racine possesses a reptilian reputation. Thanks to our gang-bangers, our drive-by shootists, our pedophiles, our corrupt officials and our Waxtrash aesthetes, Racine is a town with renown for all the wrong reasons.

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  20. Since jazz was spawned in Louisiana brothels, Mayor Slick-Hair had better be careful if or when he cavorts with jazz-loving Janes. Perhaps he'd better don a body-condom or, better yet, practice total abstinence.

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  21. In any event, to anyone familiar with the history of jazz, that type of music is nothing to tout as a municipal specialty. Given Racine's notoriety as a hub of the sex industry, it doesn't need music whelped in the scr-w cribs of Algiers and New Orleans.

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  22. Research Algiers, LA and you'll learn more than you'd ever want to know about the origins of jazz.

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  23. To folks who aren't bordello bimbos and bozos, most jazz is nothing but noise. Country-Western music may not be pristine, but it has a more respectable history. At least it wasn't born in whorehouse parlors.

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  24. If rich trust fund brats and hopheads hadn't fallen for jazz back in the Whoring Twenties, that stuff would have vanished into oblivion.

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  25. Frankly, oblivion rather than the local zoo would be a good place for "Animal Crackers." Just ask people who reside near Jay's jungle what they think of those raucous concerts and the rowdy crowds they attract. Although I don't live close to the zoo, I know folks who do. They'll tell you all about the drunks who urinate or even defecate in their yards and garages or leave nasty souvenirs under their car ports.

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  26. For people who live in the vicinity of venues, public concerts are nothing but a nuisance. If the homeowners don't happen to be jazz aficionados and can't stand the noise, "Animal Crackers" can be a major problem.

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  27. The sooner someone in authority shuts down "Animal Crackers," the better!

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  28. Why do The Powers That Be hold concerts in a zoo? Given their sensitive ears, the animals certainly can't enjoy them. In fact, the raucous racket must torment the critters to the max.

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  29. We are lucky to have a mayor like John Dickert. Keep up the good work John. He has the good of Racine as a priority, and is working hard to make good things happen in racine. Keep up the good work. John - you be the man!

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  30. kGreat comments Anon 8:56. Positive and right always comes out on top. It is too easy to be critical - but offer no positive suggestions. If you live in racine, you should be helpful to make this city successful.

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  31. If Mayor Slick-Hair paid more attention to the needs of the rank-and-file, there'd be fewer negative comments. Ever since Hizzoner started to chum around with the Waxtrash, he's been perceived as an elitist with zero interest in ordinary people and their problems.

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  32. 900pm

    People do offer positive suggestions, they are ignored. This city is trying to market itself as a tourist destination. The major problem, we are 15 minutes away from the freeway. I dont know many people who visit areas by train.

    We have alot to offer visitors. However, there are people even in Milwaukee, Cudahy etc who have never visited our downtown. It might help to find out why they haven't (who wants to drive down ultra modern Hwy 32!). Improve the highway and freeway access to the city and development will follow.

    We need a mayor who sees the big picture, the current one does not.

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  33. That's because Slick-Hair gets his marching orders from J-Wax and the ceraceous cruds who own it. All they want is cheap labor plus a pretty city to show off to other richie-poo oppressors.

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  34. Oh commenters of little faith. You sure look on the dark side of everything. When you start out with an oppositional attitude, it is too easy to make negative comments. How do you feel about slick-hair Ryan?

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  35. Headlines will read some day
    JOHNSON'S WAX BUILDS WORLD CLASS CULTURAL CENTER IN RACINE,WISCONSIN

    The massive Complex will include a modern new high tech Public Library, Fine Arts Museum, Heritage Museum and a large Theater for stage and music productions. all under one roof with a public mall space in the center. The complex is to be built on City parkland.

    A member of the Johnson family remarked at the ribbon cutting - "The best interests of our home town have always been our first priority"

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  36. Is Harbor Fest still going? Joe Mooney served as President of that event. Is there a proclamation forthcoming honoring his mismanagement of that event that really attracted thousands of people to Racine and contributed something to the residents of the city? No offense to Mr. Mooney's deceased loved one but isn't a healthy Harbor Fest more critical than a small jazz series seen by a couple of hundred of the family's friends?

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  37. Dear 8:37 AM, Please wake up and get real. The Waxtrash Corporate Crime Family and its Ivy League myrmidons don't give a rodent's rear about Racine and its downtrodden people. What the Waxies want is low-cost docile labor plus an arty-tarty district to display to visiting grandees of greed. In view of the sheer misery in this sad excuse for a community, the Waxies would be well advised to cancel the art-related projects so dear to their elitist hearts and start ramping up their philanthropic endeavors. We don't need--and do NOT want--an art and culture center.

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  38. Dear 8:08 PM, Most of us can't stand Slick-Hair Ryan. In fact, around my neighborhood, we call him Lyin' Ryan. Both of the Slick-Hair twits are flunkeys of the Waxtrash and other corporate porkers responsible for the poverty in this badnews burg. A good rule for working class voters is to cast their ballots for anyone who doesn't look like-- and fraternize with--capitalist execupigs. Slick-Hair Dickert's little fundraiser in the Den of Venn turned off most of my friends. Slick-Hair Ryan's notorious admiration for the Waxies has done the same.

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  39. We need JOBS DAY, NOT JAZZ DAY!

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  40. I wonder how many jazz aficionados know where their favorite type of music came from and which class created it...

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  41. What a bunch of sad sacks. First of all the Mayor has nothing to do with these venues. They were in existance way before he took office. He is however recognizing those that help develop and promote these events. It always amazes me how those who never attend these events can be so critical and 10:59, your friends must be speaking about your lawn.

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  42. No, we're not sad sacks--we're just realists trying to survive in a city run and ruined by rich art farts.

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  43. The sooner we start paying attention to the basics and stop pushing the arts, the better!

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  44. Kay,
    Sorry that you feel that way about John, but he is twice the man you will ever be (FUNNY)! If we wanted your opinions we would have listened to you all along, but we don't care what you have to say. Also, where do you get off telling him where and with who he can have fundraisers. Stay out of our business you angry loafer. G

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  45. The fact remains that Dickert, by being oh-so-chummy with the Waxtrash, indicates that he is not (and never can be) the people's choice. Any official who cavorts with the Carnauba Court is no friend of the common man.

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  46. Until Dickert takes on SCJ and makes it pay its fair share of property taxes, he is unfit to be mayor, much less to seek re-election to that office.

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  47. Jazz belongs out at Wingspread with the rest of the elitist crap the Johnsons and their lackeys try to jam down our throats.

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  48. The Alliance and the Waxbashers respectfully request all residents of Racine to boycott jazz concerts and other arty events inflicted on us by the Waxtrash. We want HEART, not art, in Racine.

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  49. 3:56 - stay in the gutter where you belong. To wish bad on anyone or any event in Racine is assinine. If you ever went to any of these events you would see they include all economic groups, races and religions. Many of these events are free and consequently available to all. Take you pathtic thoughts and positions elsewhere. You are in the minority - a cheap, depressing loser.

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  50. No, I am a realist. As long as this sorry city is the poverty pit of the Badger State, it and its leaders can have no ethical justification for their fixation on non-essentials such as jazz.

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  51. Besides, jazz and its relatives ragtime and blues all have pretty raunchy histories. Some of the material I unearthed while researching the origins of their names was so coarse that I couldn't include it in a comment destined for a family newspaper. (By the way, the same applies to the source of the term "rock 'n' roll.")

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  52. Jazz migrated from one criminal class to another. Jazz was spawned by whorehouse piano players and wound up adopted by corporate thieves.

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  53. My Father--who knew what jazz was and where it came from--would smash jazz records on sight.

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  55. To anyone familiar with the history of jazz, the interest lavished on such music is ridiculous. Jazz and ragtime emerged from the brothels of Louisiana. Verbum sapientibus...

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  56. Racine's impoverished people need jobs and practical assistance, NOT jazz. Mayor Dickert and his wealthy backers should keep their jazz at Wingspread and other high-rollers' havens. The same applies to the art which those mock Medicis and their minions cram down our throats. If the Waxtrash spent one tenth of what they blow on art on local charities, they'd be loved instead of loathed.

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  57. At the risk of sounding tedious, I think we need less art and more heart in Racine. Frankly, the John-Swines' addiction to jazz and other aesthetic treats during a depression is disgusting.

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  58. There is nothing like listening to the great tunes of Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker and oh so many more. Jazz is the heart of music. Enjoy!

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  59. If the upper middle classes didn't force their musical preferences down our throats and kept their precious jazz out at Wingspread, we could tolerate it. Unfortunately, they inflict their crap on the rest of the populace as part of their campaign to turn a rundown Rustbelt bluecollar burg into an arty tourist destination.

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  60. 9:44 - Get on topic an quit showing your ignorance. The events they are recognizing - Jean's Jazz, Animal Crackers and Beiderbecke Fest were not held at Wingspread. So no matter how much you try you can't bring SC Johnson into this. Stay home and shut your mouth as the rest of us enjoy the sounds of jazz.

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  61. I didn't say that the events we're discussing were held at Wingspread. Rather, I stated that elitist crap like jazz belongs out at Hellwitch Waxtrash Lip-Off's snob snuggery. Until the economy improves, Racine's downtrodden toilers don't need art, jazz and other John-Swine junk. Bring back the practical aid our people used to receive before so-called Welfare Reform ruined our impoverished workers' lives. As for the art, if it were to disappear, most of us wouldn't miss it.

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  62. Dear 4/16/2010 9:04 AM, Perhaps you enjoy jazz, but most working class residents of Racine can't stand the stuff. Country-Western and rock are more to their liking than jazz and pop. By and large,(unless we're discussing New Orleans and its environs) jazz and pop are considered elitist hobbies in the same snooty category with classical music.

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  63. When I reflect on all the economic misery in Racine, our privileged class has its gall to blow money on a non-essential like jazz. (Although jazz wasn't around in her day, Marie Antoinette lavished moolah on elitist music while the peasants starved. Despite the commoners' suffering, that royal bimbette had to have her operas by Gluck and even tried to hire Mozart to compose music for her amusement.)

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  64. Alas, the heartless arty eliteniks never learn. Century after century, they commit the same crimes against humanity while playing with their pricey toys. We all know what happened to Marie Antoinette and the rest of her clique who had to enjoy the latest operas while the rank-and-file lacked the bare necessities...

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  65. Although art and music--including jazz--are fine in their proper place, that place isn't Racine. Until the depression ends and the government provides our citizens with a cradle-to-grave social safety net, we neither need nor want art and music.

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  66. We need less art and more heart!

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  67. Get a job an quit whining. We like it and it's not going away. If you want to be down trotten, so be it. The rest of us will enjoy. As long as you keep on talking like a loser you'll continue to be one.

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  68. Believe it or not, I have a job. As for the arts, the elite's obsession with them and other non-essentials during a depression is indefensible. When the long hot summer descends on Racine and the poor rise up against their oppressors, don't blame the watchman who tried to warn you.

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  69. Dear 4/19/2010 8:42 AM, If all you can do is tell capitalism's victims to stop whining, you and your crass class brothers could be in for a good crying jag of your own. Taunting and bullying the less-fortunate only angers them and incites them to lash out at their abusers. Grow a brain--and a heart!

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  70. Any way you look at it, the oligarchy's fixation on architecture is obscene. Considering the depression and two foreign wars, our elite's sick slick love affair with avant-garde architecture is inexcusable.

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  71. Although art and music are fun, they're nothing but nonsense to people who lack the necessities. Anyone who says that we need jazz, art and architecture had better go on a tragical misery tour of Rat-Scene to see the "for sale" and "for lease" signs all over this toadish town. A good look at the foreclosure notices in the "Journal Times" could also serve as a wake-up call. Our big-buck beautiful dreamers had better put away their arty toys and face reality a.s.a.p.

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  72. Dear 8:42 AM. I hope you never lose your loot or your livelihood. Hectoring the poor only shows the rest of us what a heartless creature you are. Sad to say, art and heart are like the twin buckets in an oldfashioned well. When one rises, the other bucket descends. Alas, right now, art is ascending while heart languishes at the bottom. Let's hope that art--including the cacophanous caterwauling called jazz--may plummet soon and allow heart to ascend.

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  73. Calling someone a "loser" won't sway him to accept your pro-jazz view of life. Perhaps if jazz concerts raised money to help the poor, ordinary folks would like jazz and its elitist fans.

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  74. You guys are losers and threatening people seems inappropriate. Maybe dustin should track you guys down. And personally I'm not trying to pusuade anyone. You guys aren't worth it. You don't exist.

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  75. We're all-too-real and so is the misery in this sorry city. Pretending that poverty and its victims don't exist won't solve any problems. Finally, you must feel pretty guilty about your good fortune or you wouldn't be misinterpreting comments anent social injustice as threats to your well being.

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  76. The bottom line is the fact that most working class people loathe jazz while many moneybag twits adore it. Since corporate criminals control Racine and its government, The Rodent City is stuck with jazz galore. Needed: municipal officials answerable to the common man rather than the Waxtrash!

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  77. The common man - it's too bad that is all you think of yourself - you are what you think.

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  78. No, we're just realists who know all-too-well how the purse-proud predators view anyone who isn't part of their cash-cadging clique. As for the quaint notion that a man is who or what he thinks he is, that's pure hokum. The asylums are full of folks who believe that they're movie stars or millionaires. Please get real!

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  79. In the meantime--and it is a MEAN time for most of us--we neither need nor want ALL THAT JAZZ!

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  80. 10:49 - Loser, I have pity for the likes of you. Let's see where and when is the next jazz event? I hope they charge enough to keep the likes of you out.

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  81. Don't worry--the poor won't try to crash your precious jazz concerts. From what Jay C. and his pals at the zoo tell me, the less-fortunate are stealing pheasants and turning them into chow.

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  82. Next maybe your kind can turn each other into chow - then we could get rid of the likes of you.

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  83. During the Great Depression, the movies were more popular than they ever have been in the history of their existence, because the people needed entertainment and escape. The arts are important, and that label applies to music of all kinds be it country, rock, classical, or jazz. Traditional jazz isn't the least bit elitist, it's the least respected era of the music, most jazz listeners don't even consider it jazz). The music, itself, was populated by musicians, who were mostly just getting by, and a lot of them couldn't, without day jobs. Maybe rich people were listening to it, but the musicians weren't getting rich playing it. They played it because it meant something to them.

    For three years, I have attended Phil Pospychala's Bix Fest. I save up money to do this, because it's worth it, and I travel up from the South. It's a long trip, but Phil always does an amazing job of putting together a fun weekend, with talented musicians, most of whom are local to the area, so it's providing these guys with a gig. I'm very proud to call some of these musicians my friends. They are regular people, with world-class talent, that brings in people from around the world, every year. That's something the area should be proud of, even if they don't care for the music.

    Sure, a few jazz festivals aren't going to save the day, but you have no idea what a positive face Bix Fest, anyway, puts on Racine, to people from all over this country, and from all over the world. Don't knock a positive thing for your community. The jazz doesn't need to go away, but the jobs do need to show up. Just let it be a part of your community.

    And by the way, the trad jazz played at the Bix Fest is far more authentic, than nearly all the trad jazz being played in New Orleans. New Orleans should be so lucky as to have the musicians playing in Racine every March.

    My best wishes for the town. It's a town I like, and I never would have visited, if not for the Bix Fest.

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  84. Back in the Dirty Thirties, movies and other escapist tripe kept the rank-and-file from understanding the system and overthrowing it. (That's one reason why the eliteniks promote art, music and other ballyhoo.)

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  85. Historically speaking, art and music have been weapons used by the oligarchs to prevent the common people from organizing to alter the system. That's why the Medici rulers of Florence saw to it that their corrupt city-state had plenty of artists, composers and musicians. Later on, the evil Habsburg Dynasty of Austria made sure that there were public balls galore in Vienna and other population centers. During the Spanish Colonial/ Viceregal Era in Mexico, the authorities utilized fiestas and celebrations to distract the rank-and-file from demanding their independence. The examples are endless. Any historian or cultural anthropologist who knows what he's looking at could tell you that Racine is a company town whose overlords misuse art and music to razzle-dazzle the working class.

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  86. After we've elected a people's government, art and music-related donations will cease to enjoy tax-deductible status. Enjoy your jazz while you may.

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  87. 10:34 - loser, it will be forever!

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  88. I don't know about the other two jazz concerts/festivals, but Phil Pospychala's Tribute to Bix festival, is completely PRIVATELY funded. The money generated by tickets sold, donations made by his friends, and fellow jazz-lovers, and Pospychala, himself, pay to put on this festival. The city of Racine contributes absolutely nothing, financially, to this festival. The Tribute to Bix, however, brings money to Racine, with around 40,000 dollars going to the Racine Marriott, annually, from festival-goers, who are staying at the hotel. Festival attendees also contribute to Racine's economy by dining in the town's restaurants, buying gasoline and supplies, and whatever else in town. The Tribute to Bix only BRINGS money to Racine. It doesn't take from it - not a penny.

    And again, I am only speaking for the Tribute to Bix, I don't know what the funding situation is for the other two jazz events. I will say this, however, I was raised in a pro-Union, working class family. My father was a coal-miner in Harlan, KY, among his many blue-collar jobs, but he was also a musician and artist, and raised me to appreciate and respect the arts and artists. I've attended the Tribute to Bix, for the last three years, because of that respect, and I have contributed to your economy while in Racine.

    My best to you all, and I will be back next year, for the next Tribute to Bix. I hope by then, things will be getting better for your town, and the rest of us. It's hard nearly everywhere.

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  89. Jamiaca - you are as beautiful as you are smart. Bring some friends with you for next years event, Racine appreciates and welcomes all visitors.

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  90. Dear Jamaica, I'm glad that your enjoyment of art and music didn't blind you to the importance of working class solidarity. Unfortunately, the oligarchy and its lackeys have a long tradition of misusing the arts to brainwash the masses. Between 1939 and 1975, Francisco Franco and his Falangist regime gave Spain's rank-and-file damned little practical help but plenty of art and music glorifying the dictator (El Caudillo). For a while, all single women had to participate in dance and music classes (Danza y Coro). Centuries earlier, the Medici rulers of Florence crammed art and music down their semi-starved subjects' throats. Two millennia anterior to the Medicis' dirty deeds, the elite of Athens set up the Theoric Fund to finance plays and concerts designed to indoctrinate the masses. I won't be tedious and bore you with additional examples. Rather, I cited the examples presented here to illustrate the privileged class' inveterate practice of giving its victims art in lieu of assistance and employing the arts to control the populace.

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  91. Dear Anonymous,

    Raise your kids to be artists, so the rich will just willingly hand over their cash. Best revenge possible. :-)

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  92. Jamaica - Don't listen to Mr. Angry (7:02)he is a sad miserable guy who has never said a positive thing about anything. He should really get back on his med's.

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  93. Dear Jamaica, No, I'm not Mr. Angry. On the contrary, I'm a historian who's dedicated more than half a century to the study of repressive regimes as well as successful revolutions against them. Regarding your suggestion that the poor raise their progeny to be artists in order to extract cash from the elite, it rarely works as planned. Alas, most artists and musicians earn marginal incomes at best. For every pauper's son who cadged cash as a composer (e.g. Gluck), there've been hundreds of impoverished musicians and starving artists. Rarely has art or music brought prosperity to rank-and-filers. If you must enjoy jazz, please remember that damned few composers and performers have benefited from it.

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  94. Jamaica - Don't listen to Mr. Angry. Racine welcomes jazz, and visitors.

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  95. Dear Jamaica, Racine welcomes MONEY! That's all you need to know about this evil little company town.

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  96. 11:02 - You loser, I'm done with you. You are dismissed!

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  97. Who are you to dismiss anyone? All I did was tell the truth about this vile Rustbelt burg and its fooling class.

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  98. When election day arrives, Hizzoner Mire Slick-Hair will wish he'd paid more attention to workers' demands for jobs and less heed to loot-laden lurkers' obsession with jazz.

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