Give Us Your Money A$AP

Let’s have a little chat about hypocrisy.

Let’s talk about the abject absurdity of pat-down searching thousands of individual students in search of marijuana before letting them into a concert spearheaded by an artist who not only supports illegal drugs, but Instagrams pictures of himself using them before said concert. Let’s talk about the ludicrous notion of tone-policing an entire campus for the sake of rooting out any potentially offensive diction, and then about-facing and hiring one of the most misogynistic, insensitive individuals in an industry already rife with problematic words and actions. Let’s talk about the face-palmingly ridiculous notion of encouraging students to purchase overpriced tickets for an underwhelming event before even announcing the artists slotted to perform.

Joyce Chen | New University

Joyce Chen | New University

Let’s talk about Shocktoberfest.

The music/basketball/dance festival first began in 2006. Previous performers included Lupe Fiasco, Matt Costa and Kevin Rudolph. Keep in mind that, back then, it was free. In fact, Shocktoberfest was supposed to be free, is always supposed to be free and ASUCI’s budget should be more than enough to account for the festival — but we don’t have to tell you that. You’re smart. You care where your money is going. A cursory glance over the budgetary information (available to the public at http://www.asuci.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Budget2012-2013.pdf) should let you know how terribly mismanaged their finances are — and the real reason they’ve begun asking students and visitors to pay for what was intended to be a morale-boosting, free-for-students festival. Their website claims: “The number one suggestion that we get in receiving feedback from students is that they want more expensive/better talent. Last year, we surveyed students who attended Shocktoberfest, and 85% of respondents said they would be willing to pay for a ticket if the talent level increased. “

That’s all well and good, but what was that increased talent? Oh yeah. Tyga. Kendrick Lamar. A$AP Rocky. YG. Representatives from a singular genre that, if ASUCI is to be believed, is the only type of music anyone on this campus cares about.

I guess we never got the memo over here at the New U, but when did they change the name from Shocktoberfest to “Overpriced-Mediocre-Hip-Hop-Fest?” Sure, the student planners behind the event can talk about surveys taken, but any first-year Social Sciences student can explain the voter-response biases inherent in even the most elaborate surveys. If Shocktoberfest only plays hip-hop, only people who care about hip-hop are going to bother responding to an artist survey. Not to mention the masses of people who can’t be bothered to reply to a survey. It sucks, but welcome to the wonderful world of statistics.

And while we’re on the subject of A$AP and YG (who, if you’re forgetting, is “famous” for what may be the shittiest song ever written, “Toot It and Boot It”), we should address just what exactly their music is about. One of A$AP’s most popular tracks, “Fuckin Problems,” features such homophobic and misogynistic lyrical gems as “Turn a dyke bitch out, have her fucking boys, beast” and “I love bad bitches, that’s my fucking problem.” YG’s fanbase includes white girls wandering around with the N word plastered all over their shirts — this is the sort of behavior that Shocktoberfest has drawn. Now, our memory may be a little bit off here, but didn’t ASUCI fund an entire social justice movement called “Language Is Powerful?” Didn’t they pass out pamphlets, fliers and t-shirts, police the language of others, and conduct workshops, all in the name of eliminating toxic and offensive language from this campus? But I suppose that’s not a surprising contradiction from the people who misspelled “Income” as “Icome” in their annual budget report presentation. Whoops. Guess they could’ve gotten around it by slapping a nice big “#TRIGGERWARNING” in front of the venue, right? Not to mention the fact that these half-assed excuses for talent were not booked and contracted until a week before the show. Rumors were flying, but ASUCI wasn’t able to officially announce the lineup until Tuesday … three days before Shocktoberfest itself. In a triumph of bureaucratic absurdity, UCI Athletics was able to announce the lineup on their website before ASUCI could.

When we heard the government was shutting down, we couldn’t have imagined a more petulant, near-sighted example of misrepresentative policy. At least, not until last Friday.

 

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