As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
In this post-election time, sometimes some of the best ideas and comments never make it to print in time to make people think about who they want to vote for and *why*.
A Libertarian-type of friend called me up to say that she was upset that that the Democrats took so many of the offices in this last mid-term election so that there be essentially a one-party rule in this state.
And my response was, "...and whose fault is that?"
And the lightbulb came on. I love it when that happens.
I voted against Question 1, the one about allowing more liquor licenses. I wasn't swayed by the possibility of lower prices at supermarkets because the supermarkets would only use it to attract customers to their real profit generators. I also wasn't affected by the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Deception) argued by the liquor stores because I find the supermarkets checking identifications even more than liquor stores.
No, I was just putting in my two cents that I was tired of large corporations coming in and hurting the small businesses. Large companies can afford to cut the margins of products that get less turnover and produce less profit. That's because they know how to use some products as loss-leaders to bring customers into the door where they might buy other items at a higher markup. The small business, whether it be a neighborhood liquor store, hardware store (hear that, Home Depot?), or the local drug store, can't afford that but they provide local jobs for people who are willing to be part of the community. The big box corporation, whose bosses are hundreds or thousands of miles away, isn't going to care about the little ol' lady down the street who wants a certain brand instead of the store brand.
A bigger and better issue would have been to allow more licenses for *restaurants*. There clearly aren't enough licences for neighborhood restaurants; this lack is keeping some restaurants from ever opening as the scarcity of those licenses drives their prices up (as documented in a recent Boston Globe article). I would be much happier with more licenses for restaurants because they tend to be small businesses providing more jobs for local residents. I'd rather have people drinking alcohol on a full stomach during a meal than having a stock of readily available liquor in the fridge. And, again, it'd the small businesses that would thrive in this case.
Besides, I was really annoyed that Star Market/Shaws was piping their campaign propaganda over the store's music/announcement system while I was shopping. Jerks.
We've had a string of governors who had given up on doing the job before their term was over. The current one lost interest back when he failed to increase the number of Republicans in the state legislature in the previous election, but he kept his loyal lieutenant from getting any attention and credit that would have helped her when it was her time to run for the office. By not sharing power during the last 4 years, Governor Romney denied his lieutenant governor any claim to any credible list of accomplistments. By delaying the announcement that he would not run for re-election, he kept potentially viable candidates in his party from running and prevented the lieutenant governor from getting any attention in the media while all the Democratic candidates had months to take potshots at her. He counted on her loyalty to keep quiet while travelling around the country trashing the very people who elected him on the basis of his promises to make things better. It'll be remembered that the Republicans in Massachusetts lost power during every election under Romney's watch.
I hope Kerry Healey woke up this past Wednesday morning and realized that she got shafted by her boss while he was travelling around the country and giving speeches that insulted the very people whose votes she needed in this last election.
By the way, I voted for Deval Patrick and was quite happy to do so. I thank Governor Mitt Romney for making that choice easy. He should have done the honorable thing and resigned before he went off to talk trash about his constituents back home (I live in the His Excellency's home town). While other politicians have travelled to campaign for higher office during their tenure, Governor Romney is spending a lot of time away and *not* officially campaigning. If he ends up not running for the White House, the people of Massachusetts should be reimbursed for the time they didn't have a full-time governor (yes, I know he wasn't getting paid much, if anything). I look forward to the "regime change" in January.
While our lieutenant governor was preaching about the dangers of one-party rule in Massachusetts, did anyone actually bother asking her about her feelings of the one party rule in Washington?
My town had a local non-binding ballot question asking if our troops in Iraq should be withdrawn immediately.
I hate these "yes" or "no" questions because they usually leave out the relevant information or even the *real* question we should be asking. The people who write some of these questions generally don't think "outside the box".
The problem isn't that we're over there and Americans are dying. The *real* problem is that the guys who sent them there for the wrong reason are still in power! (This was written before Rumfield got shown the door not too long after being told that he'd be around for another couple of years). If this were a corporation, the company would have canned these people for their decisions that hurt the company. Decisions were made on our behalf and those decisions ended up being wrong and they hurt us (aren't we spending a billion dollars a week over there?). The ballot question should have been, "Have you lost faith in your leadership and want a recall of the guy in charge?" We need new ideas and new action; we don't need to keep doing something that's obviously failed. We don't need someone who just found religion and wants to be bipartisan all of a sudden. Change the management when things go wrong. Someone has to take responsibility.
I started out dancing in January of 1991 when I started dating someone who was into swing dancing. We went out on a couple of dates to the classy Roxy club (remember when we had to wear suits and ties there?). Every hour the White Heat Swing Orchestra would come out and play swing music for about 20 minutes or so....and my date would leave me at the table and find someone (else) to dance with. After the second date, I decided that this wasn't much fun so I went off to take classes at Rugcutters Dance Studio in Cambridge (now in Watertown). Since then I haven't looked back.
I started sending out notices about upcoming dance events to my friends because I wanted friendly faces around at dances. (After 15 years of dancing, I still have a hard time asking complete strangers to dance). These emails were coming out almost every day as I found out about more dances until a friend suggested that I limit my mailings to just once a week and that become the weekly DanceNet newsletter.
In 1996, I stopped working on the Boston Swing Dance Society paper newsletter, but continued sending out my electronic newsletter. I think it was Anne Atheling who was the one who suggested the name "DanceNet" for my newsletter. I decided that converting the newsletter into a website was a great excuse to learn how to create webpages.
This website has gone through many iterations and countless changes. I was learning more HTML features and kept finding more uses for them. I kept changing the color scheme when I got bored with the previous one. I kept looking back and trying to see how to make the website easy to navigate and provide useful information. I also started receiving tons of information from venues outside of Boston so I started the separate pages for each region. When people started sending me information from other states, I created a separate page for each state because I didn't think it was useful information to include with the Boston venues.
So what you see here is an idea that got way out of hand.
I don't make money off this website but I suppose I still get a few benefits out of it. A few appreciative dance promoters won't let me pay to get into their dances (though I do insist on paying for classes and workshops). I get this wonderful space to write about whatever's on my mind. And certain dance promoters treat me better than they did when I was a "nobody" in the dance community (some people check this Soapbox each week to make sure I *don't* write about them). And I must admit that I get a certain satisfaction when someone tells me that they chose to start using my website instead of others because they felt that my website was more up-to-date (see some reader's comments).
As a side note, there are two sister websites associated with this site: TangoNet and TapBoston. I used to dance tango and there is a sufficient community (and political need) for a separate and independent Tango information website for Boston. I gave Sharon Kass' TapBoston a home because I felt that tap dancing was a wonderful dance form that should be considered complementary to swing dancing (and I'm taking tap classes myself).
In honor of the anniversary of the creation of this website, I would like you, my readers, to write in with a note about your experiences using this website. How has this website helped you in your dancing? Do you have any rememberances of something really good happening to you because you used this website? Write in and I'll post the best stories her