Tag Archives: new york city

Daily Discussion with BQB – Should College Tuition Be Free?

Happy Saturday 3.5 readers.

New York state recently became the first state in the nation to offer free tuition at all state schools.  You can even move to New York and get free tuition but the only catch is that you must remain in New York for five years after graduation.  If you leave before that, you have to pay the tuition back.

In other words, New York will give you free education, but the state government wants you to contribute to the state’s economy for five years.

It’s a good deal I wouldn’t have turned down at 18.  Hell, if you’re 18 and have yet to sell your parents on the move to New York dream, this might do it.  And five years after is fair.  At worst, you have to stay there five years.  If your dream job in another place comes your way in less than five years then hey, you’ll at least have your dream job that will allow you to pay the tuition back.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of free tuition, 3.5 readers.

PRO:  College has become ridiculously expensive.  Meanwhile, the economy has been flushed down the crapper.  While in the past, a college degree meant a guarantee of a good job, today’s graduates are competing in a world where everyone and their uncle has a degree and there are fewer jobs to go around.

In short, college has never been more expensive while a college degree has never been less relevant.  Experience is what matters and if students can skip that job at McDonald’s to pay for college, then they can volunteer and intern at places relative to their true passion.

CON:  Holy shit, the nation is 19 trillion dollars in debt already.  Are we just going to keep borrowing and borrowing like some dumbass who can’t say no to a pre-approved credit card until this massive Ponzi scheme we call the American economy goes belly up?

Sure, I sympathize with the plight of the college student.  However, don’t be convinced that the politicians and academic types got together to do a great, noble thing here.

A cynic, like myself, might note that higher education, has for years, been a Ponzi scheme of sorts.  For years and years, those in charge of academia said, “Hey, we need a statue of some guy that used to teach here.  Raise tuition!  We need a big water fountain, we need fancier buildings, a new sports stadium, more computers, more this, more that, Professor So and So needs to be paid to take off three years so he can write a ten thousand page article that no one will read about the mating habits of the East Indian fruit bat!  No problem!  We’ll just raise tuition!”

And so, academics just got into the bad habit of tacking the price of whatever they wanted onto the backs of the students they proclaim to love and care about.  And for a long time, that worked.  College degrees meant something.  Graduates got jobs.  They paid off their student loan debt.  The college gave students legitimacy, i.e. the right to say “I studied this field and now I deserve to work in it.”  And then when the students got jobs, they paid the debt on the loans they took out for the privilege.

That scheme doesn’t work anymore.  Now every waiting room for an open job is packed with like a hundred applicants, many with several more years worth of experience than the recent graduate.  When people with twenty years of experience are looking for work, how can a twenty year old compete?

Graduates aren’t finding those good jobs anymore.  Many aren’t finding any jobs.  And so, they end up on Mom and Dad’s basement couch, saddled with student loan debt, wondering when their dreams will come true.

Where’s my point?  My point is, the politicians who tanked the economy and the academics who never found something they didn’t want to charge off onto the backs of the students didn’t get together and say, “Hey, let’s fix this!  The politicians should make the economy better so graduates can find jobs and the academics should tighten their belts so that college is cheaper.”

Nope.  The politicians will still screw up the economy.  The academics will still build glorious water fountains in their honor and pay Professor So and So to go study the mating habits of the East Indian fruit bat for three years.  They just found a way to preserve the system.  Now, instead of charging it all off on the student, they’ll charge it all off to the government instead.

True, you’ll still be charged an arm and a leg if you go to a big name fancy school.  But the state colleges being free will at least mean there will always be a place where academics can generate all kinds of crazy expenses and they’ll still be paid for.

Meanwhile, state college students won’t have to pay for their degrees, which is fair, because no one is doing anything to fix the economy that renders so many college degrees useless these days.

Sorry.  I channelled Uncle Hardass.

Free tuition.  What say you, 3.5 readers?

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

Things That Really Frost My Ass – Idiots Who Watch the Ball Drop in Times Square

cropped-shutterstock_267074402.jpg

Hello 3.5 readers.

I don’t have a column.  I just have a brief observation.  If you are willing to spend twelve plus hours in the freezing cold just to watch a ball drop signifying that another year of your life is gone and you can never get it back, then you are an asshole.

Get a job.

That is all.

Tagged , , , ,

Madame Tussaud’s New York City Part Two

So many celebrities so little time.


Johnny Depp – usually needs to be Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, or the Mad Hatter to be recognizable.


I’ll be there for you…


Anne Hathaway – hot and smart, a double threat I could never please.

Morgan Freeman narrated as Anne rejected me.

“I don’t believe in all my years I had ever seen such an epic rejection.”


Mummy.


Hitler…oh no, wait, Charlie Chaplin.


John Wayne, pilgrims.


Yippy ki yay.


No Lucy you can’t-a play at the club.


Sit in Don Draper’s chair.


They had a virtual reality Ghostbusters game. VR is here, 3.5.


He slimed me.


Hee hee!


Don’t make me close one more door, I don’t want to hurt anymore.

RIP Whitney.


Crap I forgot to find out if this was Venus or Serena. I will guess Serena.


Float like a butterfly…


Jeter.


She needs a wax meat dress.


Puffy taught me everything I know about being a media mogul.


I wanted there to be a wax Toto.


Madame Tussaud herself.

You know, 3.5 readers, it’s never too late. Madame Tussaud lived in obscurity until age 41, when she started going on tour with her wax creations in 1802. She even survived a shipwreck while sailing with her figures to Ireland.

Chase that dream, 3.5.

Tagged , , , , ,

BQB in NYC – Cirque du Soleil: Paramour (Or, BQB Reviews a Broadway Play)

Wow 3.5 readers.

I knew if I kept plugging away at this blog I’d eventually hit the big time.

After reviewing a ton of movies for 3.5 readers I’m now reviewing a Broadway play for 3.5 readers.

Sadly, I couldn’t take a picture of the production but here is a terrible photo of some naked golden people who adorn the stage inside the Lyric Theater.

Art! I love it. I wish I looked this good naked.


FYI these naked peeps are way taller in person.

3.5 readers, if you’ve ever seen a Cirque du Soleil show, then you know it is an artistic circus combining stunts, acrobatics, and music. No elephants. 

However, there are sometimes some artistic high faluting clowns, though none in this show.

This Broadway version adds one more thing – a plot!

In the Golden age of Hollywood, a down on his luck director discovers an up and coming actress. He makes her a smash. She revives his career. 

They fall in love but the kindhearted songwriter she came to LA with isn’t going to give up that easily.

#lovetriangle

You’ve got people flying around and doing tricks and stunts and backflips and shit.

Totally awesome 3.5 readers. Highly recommend it.

Until next time, this is big time Broadway critic BQB signing off.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

BQB in NYC – Broadway

Chicago in New York City.

#mindboggled

Tagged , , , ,

BQB in NYC – Times Square – M and Ms World

Sure, your ass will get eighty percent fatter but it’s worth it, 3.5.

Tons of M and Ms merchandise but really the best part is getting yourself of bulk pick your own M and Ms.

Mmm delicious. And if your ass isn’t fat enough, the Hershey store is right next door.

Let me ask you this, 3.5 – plain or peanut?

Tagged , , , ,

BQB in NYC – Freedom Tower – 9/11 Memorial Museum – One World Observatory


Howdy 3.5 Readers,

Your old pal BQB here.

The Big Apple. The big..I don’t know…does New York City have any other nicknames?

Recently, I visited the Freedom Tower and had the chance to tour the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

At the museum, you can see preserved parts of the original World Trade Center and foundation, pieces of wreckage, materials saved from the scene, photos, timelines, videos etc.
It makes me sad the Twin Towers are gone but I’m glad they built this to keep future generations remembering what happened.

Finally, I had the chance to check out the observatory at the top of the Freedom Tower.

What a view, 3.5 readers:

Tagged , , , , , ,

BQB in NYC

Happy Saturday 3.5 readers.

Like Jack Kerouac, I’m on the road, only with much less style and self-reflection.

With Count Krakovich, Asshat Vampire and Schecky Blargfeld, Zombie Comedian holding down the fort (God help us), I’m free to wander.

What’s your favorite thing to do in New York City, 3.5?

I had a chance to check out Times Square. 

Grown man in a baby costume. Adults in off brand super hero costumes. Scantily clad ladies with “I Love NY” on their booty cheeks. (I only looked so I could give a full, thorough report because I go the extra mile for my 3.5 readers.)

BQB in Times Square:

Tagged , , , , ,

TV Review – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Hey 3.5 Readers.

I talk about TV a lot on this site but I’ve never reviewed a show before.

But over the past week I have discovered Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and I have been binge watching the crap out of it.

It’s original. It’s hilarious. Great writing plus a great cast = lightning trapped in a bottle.

The setup?  Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper formerly of The Office) was kidnapped as a teenager in the late 1990’s by an evil reverend/cult leader (Jon Hamm) and held with three other women in an underground bunker.

When the police free the “Indiana Mole Women” in 2015, Kimmy and fellow victims travel to New York City for an interview and against all odds, Kimmy decides to stay and make a go of it in the big city.

Not the wisest move because Kimmy is naive, gullible, childlike and, to hilarious effect, still mentally living in the 1990’s.

So many wonderful 1990’s references.  As a Generation X’er I appreciate them so much.  Jokes that only people born in the 1970’s or early 1980’s would get. (Sam Goody music stores, Hanson, scrunchies, walk-men, Hulk Hogan, Friends, Babysitter’s Club books, Jansport backpacks, Choose Your Own Adventure Novels, Dawson’s Creek, Titanic, Columbia House tapes…the list goes on but those are the ones I can remember in one sitting.)

My hat goes off to Netflix for allowing that. So many Hollywood suits probably would have just been all like, “if it didn’t happen after 2010 then the show can’t talk about it.

Admittedly, that all of these 1990’s references are so old now makes me feel a little sad and old myself, but at the same time, it has been fun to watch them get dusted off and made fun of again.

Kimmy finds a roommate/fellow dreamer Titus Andromedon (Titus Burgess), flamboyantly gay performer who came to New York in the late 1990’s to audition for the Lion King musical on broadway and after being rejected multiple times is having a hard time keeping his hopes of becoming famous alive.

Together Kimmy and Titus are a dynamic duo who help each other out. Titus educates Kimmy on the cold, cruel world she’s stepped into while Kimmy reminds Titus that laziness and wallowing in self pity won’t get his acting/musical career anywhere.

The duo also finds a mother figure in their landlady, Lillian Kaushtupper (Carol Kane) an old lady who holds herself out as a real New Yorker’s New Yorker, lamenting that the city has gone too soft and taking it upon herself to chase hipsters and yuppies out of the neighborhood.

I have to say, Carol Kane really put this show over the top for me.  The way she delivers all of these lines suggesting that Lillian has an awful past (shot her ex-husband, dated Robert Durst) in a deadpan style is uproariously funny.

Kimmy gets a job as a nanny/housekeeper/gopher for Jacqueline White (Jane Krakowski), a vapid trophy wife to a billionaire.  She doesn’t really care about much of anything other than money and her social standing, thus giving the show’s producers the ability to lampoon New York’s upper crust elite.  (Her husband takes business calls with Walt Disney’s head.)

Throughout it all, Kimmy has to deal with a world that is strange and new to her (the comedic effect being sometimes we’re forced to laugh when things that are commonplace are explained to a newcomer, i.e. on Kim Kardashian’s fame, Kimmy notes that she’s a butt celebrity married to a man that hates college.)

Kimmy goes back to school for her GED, goes to work, helps her friends, and though she has a past that would have broken most people down, her positive, polly anna-ish demeanor leaves her “unbreakable.”

And though we, the viewers, don’t know what it is like to be “Mole women” many of us do have problems from our past that have kept us down, made us feel less than, unworthy, like life is unfair and the overall lesson is if Kimmy can get up every day and stay unbreakable, then we can do.

Although it would be a lot easier if we all had Kimmy/Ellie Kemper’s permanent smile on our faces.

Love the show.  Go watch it on Netflix.  Tell me what you thought about it in the comments.

On a personal note, I have often lamented on this site that Generation X’ers have gotten the short end of the stick.  Sometimes it feels like the Baby Boomers are just going to hold onto that torch forever (thanks improved health care j/k) and sometimes it feels like the millennials are dancing around us to grab that torch early before we get our grubby mitts on it.

It’s just good to see a show that is breathing a little bit of life into our long forgotten Gen X ways.

Sam Goody forever!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The Writer’s Battle – What Can We Learn From Pizza Rat?

Holy Crap.  Will you 3.5 readers drop what you’re doing and look at this little jerk?

This rat has got to be the last true believer of the American Dream, let me tell you.

Look at him!

Other rats see a slice of pizza.  Maybe they’ll take a bite.  Maybe they’ll push it a little, get tired, and scurry away.

But here this little schmuck is, carrying this piece of pizza (WHICH IS BIGGER THAN HE IS) down a flight of stairs, one step at a time, presumably in an attempt to cart it off to his rat lair to feed his rat wife and rat children.

God bless you, Pizza Rat.  You’ve made me believe again.  Shit, let’s elect this rat president.

What can writers learn from Pizza Rat?

  • Writing is hard work.  It’s one thing to think about doing it, but only determination and sheer will gets it done.
  • When others shrug their shoulders and give up, you get in there and get that pizza!  Other people give up on writing all the time.  By keeping at it, you’re doing better than all the other writers, just like this rat did better than all the other rats.  You see any other rats out there becoming a viral video star?  I think not.
  • Success comes one step at a time.  Get the pizza slice down one step.  Then another step.  Then another one.  Don’t skip steps. This furry little contagion infested dynamo look at the stairs and cry, “Oh my God!  Too many steps!  I give up!”  No, damn it, he took his slice down one step at a time.  Unfortunately, the video cut short and it does appear like he abandoned his slice at one point, but I like to think that he got nervous around the humans and went back for his dinner once the coast was clear.
  • The same thing goes for your writing.  You start your blog.  You think, “Oh my God!  That other blog has thousands of readers!  I only have 3.5!  SO WHAT?  You get in there and you entertain the ever loving shit out of your adoring 3.5 readers, just as I do every day.  I’ve dragged my pizza/blog down the 3.5 readers step.  One day I’ll drag it down the 100 readers step.  Then the 200 readers step.  Before you know it I’ll be back at my rat lair, chomping on my pizza, or rather, enjoying an audience of a thousand readers.
  • Apply the Pizza Rat model to your daily word count.  Don’t be like one of those lazy ass rats who looks at a pizza, shouts, “Too big!  No thanks!” and scurry off with an empty belly.  Don’t look at your computer screen and go, “A hundred thousand words!  I’ll never type that much!  I’ll just give up on my dream!”  No.  Be like Pizza Rat.  Type a few words today.  A few more tomorrow.  After awhile, you’ll have one delicious novel.

Patience.  Determination.  Guts.  Glory.  Be strong enough to do the work others are too weak to even try.

God damn it, Pizza Rat, if I were a hot she-rat I’d be so turned on I’d have a million of your pizza rat babies and send them out to spread the plague all over the five boroughs.

So remember, 3.5 readers/aspiring writers, today, your writing career might make you feel like a tiny rat and success will appear as far away as the bottom of a long ass stairwell.  But go slow, take it one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be feasting on cheesy, gooey success.

Pizza Rat 4-Eva!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements