Comments by Ben Lavine

Comment for "Power To The Peaceful: An Interview With Anti-Flag"

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Review of An Interview With Anti-Flag

Anti-Flag is a band with a lot of clout. What sets them apart from a lot of other mainstream bands is that they are trying to use their clout to create positive change within their scene. In this interview, the drummer of Anti-Flag expresses some of the band's opinions about this and that!

Comment for "The Education of Teens: An Interview With Shelby Knox"

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Review of The Education of Teens: An Interview With Shelby Knox

Sex education is in a pretty sad state in the US. Heck, I knew this before I even listened to this piece! I experienced it first hand.

In this piece, we hear anout activist Shelby Knox's experiences in trying to encourage more in depth and informational sex education, that goes beyond the abstinence only deal that is funded by the government. The interview helps bring the whole scenario into focus, and should convince just about anyone that something really needs to be done!

Comment for "Rapper Versus Rocker Versus World"

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Review of Rapper Versus Rocker Versus World

What the heck is a pisa? Am I saying that right? Pisa?

Uhhh. This piece has a message in it. I think it is saying to me, "Ben, judge ye not other kids cause dang man you just know that ye gonna be judged, but mostly by adults". So kids gotta find some common ground. Like youth radio! It's what will really bring us together!

The main thing that could use a teensy bit of work would be the pacing of the speaking. Other than that, I like the tape of the rappers and rockers talking and stuff.

Comment for "Is It Just Me?"

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Review of Is It Just Me?

Man, what kinda tv are they making these days? That kind of negative attention is something I don't really get here in Portland, where the city is currently working on constructing several new urban skateparks. Anyways, its good to hear that at least a few of these ruffians are getting into radio instead of spending their days destroying public property and hassling old ladies. It's a simple message that this piece is trying to spread, but it's one that apparently hasn't quite sunk in for a lot of people. Also, I really liked the sound effects in this piece.

Comment for "What We Wish We Could Tell Our Parents"

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Review of What We Wish We Could Tell Our Parents

This short piece is really neat. I like the idea behind it a lot, i.e. using radio as a confession booth. It lets us see into other people's lives and contemplate their problems and occupations and compare them to ours. Maybe with a little editing and a little music, I think it would be great as a longer piece.

Comment for "Will's Question"

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Review of Will's Question

I like this piece! It's pretty simple, but rather well put together, and Will's enthusiasm is really fun to listen to. The question is odd, the answers are weird, and the reason... uh, well... you don't NEED a reason.

Comment for "Mind Your Metal"

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Review of Mind Your Metal

I liked this piece a lot. It defends metal from the distorted viewpoint that many people have of it. I think it all boils down to this oh so cliched, yet oh so true, moral: don't judge a book by it's cover.

Comment for "Growing Up in a Coal Community"

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Review of Growing Up in a Coal Community

People spend a lot of time talking about fuel sources like oil and nuclear power, but until the recent disaster, there was much less talk about coal mining. This piece talks about mining from the perspective of someone whose family has been mining for generations. It hints at a catch 22, when it talks about wanting to get a job other than mining, meanwhile noting that mining is what'll earn you a living out there. Nice piece.

Comment for "Marissa's Grandma"

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Review of Marissa's Grandma

Hmmm.... If I lived with my grandma... Two things are for sure. I'd be spending a good part of my time playing cards, and I'd also have better table manners when I eat with my family.

This piece was very sweet, and makes you think about all those old people you're related to, and wonder what they're doing right now. Unfortunately, my grandma left right after Thanksgiving, and who knows the next time she'll be down.

Comment for "School of the Americas" (deleted)

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Review of School of the Americas (deleted)

This piece was very interesting. I'd heard about the School of the Americas, but didn't really know what they did, and were linked to. I'd learned about Archbishop Romero in school, and I made the connection, by listening to this piece, between US tax dollars and his death. It shed some light on the whole deal for me, and I enjoyed it very much.

Comment for "Let's Talk About Sex"

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Review of The Talk

Man, people's parents don't really... uh... DO sex talks, do they? Woah.

This piece is a totally amusing look at what parents are telling, or maybe not telling, their kids about sex. And based on the vox-pop conducted in this piece, I think it's safe to say that it's a very good thing health class spends some time covering the subject. But then, Johanna takes the piece to the next level and asks her own parents about what they think she should know. It's a great piece.

Comment for "Becoming a Man"

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Review of Becoming a Man

Woah there! I clicked on the link expecting something a little different. I went through the whole bar mitzvah thing at 13, and so uh... that's what I was thinking about. Nope, this piece is all about SEX, and what that has to do with manliness.

And according to the piece, nothing! The two main things I picked up on were that grown men treat others as they would like to be treated, and also take responsibility for their actions and make the right decisions... which this piece seemed to link with not having sex before marriage.

Comment for " Sixty Second Season: Teenagers' Memories of Fall and Winter"

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Review of Sixty Second Season: Teenagers' Memories of Fall and Winter

This was a nice little piece, and so I have written for it a nice little review! I like what they're trying to do, which is create a sound collage mainly about fall, but I hate to say it... falls... a little short. First off, it's short! I would have sorta liked it to be a little longer. Second, the first guy's story just trails off before he's not even done setting the scene! And the sound clips gathered for the football story are really nice, but there isn't anthing like it for the rest of the piece. It's pretty much solid talking for the rest of the time. But it was a pretty neat listen.

Comment for "Graduation Story"

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Review of Graduation Story

Man, the part where the whales fade up behind the music... That is the defining moment of the piece. It was amazing.

This piece rips on the ridiculous way people try to paint a dramatic picture of such and such situation, and whether or not they realize it, end up just turning out one cliche after another. But on the radio!

It's like being in a high school english class and listening to your peers read their "what I did over the summer" papers and rolling your eyes to your chums and thinking "god these people are so lame and corny! were they trying to sound dopey? my paper is far superior". But on the radio!

Basically, the satire is pretty heavy handed. Over the top, even, and when you get the corny monolouge mixed with the oh so witty commentary plus some ell oh ell sound clips, it's kinda confusing! In the end, though, the point is made that all the cliches really do serve a purpose, and that even the corniest high school english paper had something human behind it.

Comment for "Dressy Girls"

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Review of Dressy Girls

This piece is an important look into what sort of rationalization teenage girls have for wearing, you know, skanky clothes. It's a good idea, going straight to the teenage girls themselves and asking them, but unfortunately, the reasons that they could gave were kinda unsatisfying.

The beginning, with overlapping bits of speaking, is actually kinda annoying, and it really makes it hard to actually picture the people who are speaking, and to asscociate the image with the name. But yeah. Nice job.

Comment for "Comfort Food"

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Review of Comfort Food

How could I choose just one! Burritos, pizza, bagels and cream cheese with lox!

This piece is great. It's an awesome vox pop, and also includes an insightful interview that deals with histories of foods. The music is also excellent, it is really amusing and perfectly sets the tone. Thumbs up!

Comment for "Video Gaming"

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Review of Video Gaming

Oh man, video games. I used to be way into them, before technology passed me by. I think that someday, when I have the money, I'll buy a decent enough computer to enjoy some of what I've been missing. Yeah, some video games can help people learn, and yeah, some video games are works of art.

But on the other hand, I used to be WAY into them, and I hate to say it, but honestly, it probably did contribute a lot to my serious lack of social skills. I didn't even have gamer friends.

But it was an enjoyable piece. It gives a voice to the people who play games for fun and enjoy them for what they are. The levels need a some work when it comes to the sound clips from games.

Comment for "Aspiring Teen Musicians"

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Review of Aspiring Teen Musicians

This piece talks about the dream of becoming a musician, which is a goal I share... Though being a musician doesn't need to mean being a star. The one thing to take out of this piece is practice helps you improve.

It was a close up look at the dreams of several youth, and how they were chasing after those dreams. It is a well produced produced piece, although the levels are a little iffy in some places.

Comment for "College for the Undocumented"

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Review of College for the Undocumented

This piece talks about the uphill battle for undocumented workers to obtain college educations. It gives a very good argument for allowing the undocumented high school graduates to get scholarships, but only briefly mentions the opposing viewpoint. I'm curious about what that could be. Other than that I liked the interview bits a lot. Good job.

Comment for "Jincho"

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Review of Jincho

This piece really made me think about complicated issues like prejudice and stereotypes, while putting it in the everyday context of high school, which makes it easy to apply to other situations. That can help us focus on breaking the vicious circle of acceptance.

Comment for "College-Bound"

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Review of College-Bound

Choosing a college is a huge desicion, with many different factors involved. One that I'd never considered, skin color, is evidently a biggie. This piece helped me understand how that tricky issue ties into choosing where you want to spend the next chunk of your life. It was produced and read well. Nice piece.

Comment for "Counseling"

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Review of Counseling

This piece seems like it's only the first half of a greater whole about getting counseling. It provides a lot of information about why people get and dont get counseling, but I'd be interested in hearing about how the actual counseling went... I personally wouldn't feel very comfortable being counseled, and so hearing another person's experiences would be pretty nice.

Comment for "Back to School in a Garbage Can"

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Review of Back to School in a Garbage Can

Oh man, this piece is completley awesome. The little bits and pieces in this piece are simple and capture exactly a sample of how high school really is. Also some of the snippets just make you think, and you can totally picture some of the people in your head. All the bits were read so well, and the music was really good too. Thumbs up.

Comment for "Prom Prep 101 2005: Episode 3" (deleted)

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Review of Prom Prep 101 2005: Episode 3 (deleted)

Well, I never went to any high school dances, but if I had, I would have liked to have heard this piece before-hand. There is apparently way more planning involved than I am used to, actually, way more than I could handle. But anyways, it was a nice piece, and it's filled with good advice, to help plan the thing, and also to help not over or under-do it. It's also put together well. Good job.

Comment for "Don't You Have Some Homework To Do?"

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Review of Procrastination

Hah. Homework. Yeah, I think we've all been there. Nagging parents, piles of pointless paperwork... Well, thank goodness I've graduated.

Yeah, this piece was definitley amusing, but there are two main things that I would work on/change. First off, the narration is so choppy! You should try to make it flow a little more, instead of being so stacato. Second, for just some of the time, the guitar playing was a little loud, and made it a little hard to hear you, but it wasn't like that all the time.

I did like how it was written though, and I also liked how you got your (I assume) dad to nag for the sake of the piece. Yeah, good job.

Comment for "Dear Mom: I Joined the Marines"

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Review of Dear Mom: I Joined the Marines

Yow, having just listened to the recently submitted youth piece about "The Cost of War", I was definitley hearing this one with a different perspective.

Well, I thought your piece was pretty good. The music was pretty nice, it faded well... good talking voice too... it's just that, the way it is now, it sort of feels like it is missing something. I feel a little curious, maybe as to what your reasons were for enlisting... you could have included some personal opinions about some related political stuff, even. And I think your piece could have used some more details interspersed, to make it more... "vivid". Well, good job.

Comment for "Bike Riding"

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Review of Bike Riding

Unfortunately, bicycling is a rather popular form of transportation, and so it is kinda hard to approach it in a new way. There isn't much here that I haven't heard before or that isn't common sense, but still it is an ok piece. The narrator is kinda hard to understand in some parts, but the vox pop was done pretty well, though I don't think that I would have included that one bit of the guy laughing creepily. Also there were a few popping sounds that was kinda distracting... The ending is kinda funny though.

Comment for ""Where The Ink Sinks In": Interview with Teen Graffiti Taggers"

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Review of "Where The Ink Sinks In"

Man, this is a really cool sounding piece. I like the music a lot and it comes in at just the right places, and then fades out again when the kids start to talk. I also really like the atmosphere of the piece, with all the slang-n-stuff.

I also like how it talks about how graffiti can be art... most people just see it as vandalism. This piece sort of exposes people to that point of view. On the other hand, I don't think tagging your handle all over stuff is so cool... it was good that this piece stayed pretty much impartial, what with the kid talking about how he is in a way "addicted" to tagging.

One part that I didn't like so much was how that one girl said graffiti saved her life, but then there was no explanation of how! I am pretty curious about that.

Well, yeah, good job. I definitley enjoyed it.

Comment for "My Private Music"

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Review of My Private Music

Man, this piece is about some pretty intimate memories. It struck a
chord with me, although my memory involved the flu and ended with
vomit on my parent's bed... but anyways...

I liked it a lot, and I wouldn't mind hearing it on the radio at all!
In fact, it would fit in perfectly with my collective's next month's
show. Nice work.

Comment for "Raising Grandchildren"

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Wow, I am totally jealous of how clearly you speak. With me everything is all slurred and garbley. Also, I was really impressed with the interview bits that you interspersed through the piece, especially the one with that professor. Very fitting! Thumbs up.