Sunday, October 4, 2015

Plymouth-Canton Educational Park: WXYZ Band of the Week and Thoughtcrime

I wrote that I might be up for two entries today at the end of article on Chelsea mammoth.  So far, it feels like I am.

I hark back to my years as a marching band judge for the first post of Entertainment Sunday with WXYZ presenting last Friday's BAND OF THE WEEK: Plymouth-Canton Educational Park Marching Band.

I am not surprised at the anchors in the studio marveling at the symphonic quality of the PCEP marching band's sound.  I raved about the band four years ago.
The Plymouth Centennial Educational Park Marching Band was consistently the best marching band in the state when I was judging and I had the pleasure of being on the field evaluating its visual performance once during my last year with the Michigan Competing Band Association. It was an honor.
That's wonderful, but what does this have to do with this blog's theme?  Follow over the jump for PCEP's successful attempt at portraying dystopia, 1999's "Thoughtcrime," which earned the band a national championship.

Here's the band's musical interpretation of "1984," PCMB - 1999 - ThoughtCrime - Music for an Orwellian Era (close-up).

Plymouth Canton Grand Nationals championship performance. This won the Bands of America Grand National Championship in 1999 with captions for Best Music and Best General Effect.
Now, that's on-topic for this blog!

Stay tuned for the second post of Entertainment Sunday, which I plan on being about "The Martian" and other speculative fiction movies in theaters this weekend.


  1. The first thing that struck me when seeing the TV news clip was how svelte almost all of the kids looked. I suppose that's natural, considering that they're in a marching band. But not a given!

    After living outside of the U.S. for almost a decade now, I'm struck at how thick Americans are as a whole. When I hear American accents on a tram or in the street here, I often look to see what type of person they're emanating from. Usually it's someone who's solidly structured, even when they're not be-gutted. There's plenty of beefy Aussies, too, but the proportion of slab-like citizens doesn't seem as high Down Undahere. I might perceive that because I live in the downtown, where there's a larger cohort of trendies and Asians. When I go to the outer suburbs or occasionally in the bush, it's more porcine.

    Your post inspired me to play the second YouTube. Not my kind of music at all. Yet fascinating! The intricacy of the choreography -- how do they think up those patterns?!? -- the odd music -- like Captain Beefheart arranging a high school band! -- and elements like crosses turned into twirling flags... I wonder how the high school students, who are inherently trend-followers despite their self-image of individualism, wrapped their heads around that?

    I also wonder whether the "tri-school" caught any flak for putting so much effort into an anti-authority work like "1984." It doesn't seem like something that would be popular in the current iteration of power-worshipping Amerika. This Saturday, I plan to pop into the Victorian Parliament building, where there will be an all-day reading of "1984" on the floor of the legislature, as part of the government-sponsored Melbourne Festival. (Crap -- until I looked up that link, I didn't realise I'd have to book a ticket, even if it is free. I thought I'd just rock up on the day. But those are some fairly big names doing the reading for this small pond.) I can't imagine that happening in Kansas, probably not even Sacramento.

    Even if I can't get into "1984" I've got good times planned for the day. The Green Party is having a door-knocking campaign targeting marginal Labor Party seats in the inner suburbs. The issue is pressuring the state government (led by Labor) to shut down a power plant named Hazelwood which is the third dirtiest in the world, because it burns brown coal. (Kinda like flammable dirt.) There's actually excess power capacity in the grid because so many Aussies have switched to solar, so this carbon-spewing, asbestos-laden open-pit monstrosity isn't needed. Unfortunately, it's cheap as hell to run for the French company that bought it when electricity was privatised in the 1990s, because they're not maintaining or upgrading anything, just cranking it until it falls apart. After which they will forfeit their puny $18 million damages bond and leave the state stuck with a toxic white elephant and a massive coaly hole in the ground which periodically catches fire (coz they abandoned most of the preventive water-spraying systems and sacked the workers who used to be on call for flame suppression.)

    I reckon we're still doomed to a globally warmed, financially collapsed Afterscape Future, Pinku, but when I lay dying, at least I can tell myself "I went down fighting." Or squeaking, more like it.

    1. I'm glad you're in a commenting mood. It's better to respond to you than to fight spammers. I had one persistent spammer leave 22 comments on one entry in a week! I ended up resorting to copying and pasting the insults from the French Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail one sentence at a time, as I was running out of original material.

      Speaking of original material, I'll post my replies to your points later. Stay tuned!