Letters from our readers

8 September 2009

On “For the mobilizaton of the working class to end the war in Afghanistan

Bring’em home!

Ken L
Texas, USA
4 September 2009

On “US airstrike incinerates scores of civilians

All of them insurgents—outrageous lies! A modern Dresden! This continuous disregard of human life in general, if not the lives of the ‘insurgents’ then the lives of the civilians, is sickening. Covered by layers of lies, hypocrisy and propaganda! Freedom and Democracy indeed. What would possess them to even bomb a fuel tanker? It’s a travesty, but so long as these imperialist wars continue, such acts will stand as records, to be outdone by the latest general or administration seeking to administer freedom and security! After all, if they kill everyone, they’ll be sure to have gotten all of the insurgents!

GF
5 September 2009

On “Bill Cosby endorses attack on public education in Detroit

Cosby is a perfect example, if one were needed here, of the result of identity politics. He’s got his, so everyone else should just shut up and pull themselves up by their bootstraps. And if they haven’t got boots, they should grow up and ‘get over it.’ What an example!

Carolyn
California, USA
5 September 2009

***

Bill Cosby’s remarks deserve all the contempt and scorn that they get. At the same time, I must admit that I’m deeply saddened by his devolution into a mean-spirited, blame-the-workers blowhard. 

Back in the day, I appreciated the pointed humor of comics like Godfrey Cambridge or Dick Gregory (or Redd Foxx), but when I first heard Cosby’s long-play records, I thought that even the most diehard racist could relate to his funny recollections of the goofy adventures that any kid of any race or social stratum can have and of the travails of growing up (being as I was from a family of nine). 

“They” have similar experiences to the ones “we” have. What a concept! If we could all just laugh at our common foibles, I thought, maybe there’s hope. I doubt that I was alone.

His later reflections on marriage and parenthood struck a chord with me as well, since I didn’t always feel that I was quite on top of either of those endeavors, and often felt quite befuddled. 

I guess it shows how far one can go—in the worst sense—in the current set-up. Class once again trumps race. 

So once again, while reading of his latest spew, on the inside I was shouting at Bill Cosby at the top of my lungs, but on the inside I was shedding a tear or two as well.

Lary M
5 September 2009

On “‘Massacre’ by 50 Cent sells 4 million copies

I would like to start this letter by saying I appreciate what this website does and check here regularly; I do not believe some of the statements made in the above article are truly giving hip hop a fair chance. What I most take offense to are paragraphs contemplating whether hip hop is capable of giving a reflective take on today’s social issues with tenderness and compassion.

The calling of rappers as abrasive and saying that the “most popular” (corporately backed) representations of the music are indicative in general of it can clearly be seen as foolish. It also reflects in many ways the same type of mentality parents had about Rock and Roll, only changing the complaint of “abrasiveness” to claiming it to be non-progressive. In general it seems to represent an outsiders’ take on the music and the technical aspects that separate it from older forms of music.

In reference to the deliveries of certain artists, “spitting,” delivering a rhyme, or whatever you may call it more closely resembles the technique of public speaking than it does singing. To treat this form of delivery as if it is incapable of communicating points of view is absurd. Regardless of your beliefs on the modern, corporately-dominated state of music in general today, to treat this music as somehow less viable and legitimate you make the same mistake many people make when something new(er) comes along.

For examples of artists delivering reflective social critiques you merely can look back to the early years of Run-Dmc, Poor Righteous Teachers, Krs-One, De La Soul etc., or come to modern times with artists like dead prez, Brother Ali, Atmosphere, even Kanye West to a certain extent. There are even artists affiliated to the ones you mentioned with far more progressive and outside of the box takes on the music.

Keep up the great work, this website is excellent.

Nick
Virginia, USA
5 September 2009