By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
While obviously the aim of the act is entertainment rather than racial uplift, the "gangsta, bitch/ho" pose TLC strikes is regrettable. It's completely understandable, perhaps inevitable, that people of color would be reluctant to become "respectable citizens" or "responsible adults," particularly in the stultifying ways this deeply warped society represents those roles. But the infantilized, deviant and parasitic poses celebrated instead by black pop culture seem an embodiment of white-racist clichés rather than any critique or transcendence of them. Invocation or inhabitation of cliché, however conscious or ironic, is not the same as transcendence of same; just knowing something is stupid doesn't make you smart. (Ernest Hardy should bear that in mind when tempted to take cheap shots at very easy targets like the Spice Girls, Janet Jackson and Britney Spears.)
Not everybody in the black community thinks the whole gangsta pose, which Hardy finds so "straight up," is cool. I was once at a corner in Washington, D.C., waiting for the light to change beside a handsome, impeccably tailored brother, obviously a lawyer. Also at the corner was a Lexus tricked out in full ghetto regalia, made nearly undrivable with the slavishly contrarian aesthetics of offense (i.e., what offends the uptight WASP is good). The car vibrated with ear-damaging bass, and the lyric was all muthafuckas, bitches and bustin' caps. The light changed and the car rolled away. The lawyer hesitated a moment on the curb and then looked at me, shaking his head. With a sad laugh, he told me, "Shit like that gives niggers a bad name," and then strode off into the afternoon. He struck me as a man without a country; thus, strangely, I found my heart going out to a prosperous lawyer in a good suit.
Doug Harvey's rant on the exhibition "Forming: The Early Days of L.A. Punk" ["Recline and Sprawl," May 713] was insightful and articulate. Please feature more articles by him.
Hey, wait a second. I thought it was the New Times that hired bitter hacks to do hatchet jobs about L.A.'s finest. Just because Doug Harvey missed out on all the fun because he was in Canada, he has to tear everything down. I went to the show, and it was amazing. I am so sorry, Doug Harvey, that you don't like subcultures. I am so sorry that â you never became an artist. I am so sorry that you don't get it.
As an advertiser in your "Spirituality L.A." guide [May 713], I was shocked by many of the pictures. How could you put such an ugly, dark angel on the outside! It looks more like the devil. Then there were the inside back and front covers . . . Were you that pressed for money?
If the L.A Weekly is an "alternative media" voice, I have a CIA map of Belgrade's Embassy Row I'd like to sell you. The L.A. Times prostitutes itself to the May Co. and the portable-phone advertising to spew their propaganda. The Weekly tells its lies pimping with page after page of sex-solicitor advertising.
Re: Judith Lewis' story "Guns Dot Com" [April 30May 6]. There are already more than 30,000 local, state and federal gun laws that strictly govern the buying, selling and shipping of guns. The article praises the eNazis for censoring guns from their site. If they'd removed porno (which they have not), Ms. Lewis would likely whine that they're antiFirst Amendment. But it's guns, so all is well, huh?
Re: Bill Smith's "Living Nightmares" [April 30May 6]. I agree that some games are not for small children, but I think the worst thing we can do is use games as scapegoats to escape personal responsibility. I think children are more influenced by the real violence to which the evening news bears witness daily. Domestic quarreling can also rouse violent reactions, and we live in a country that is full of it.
I don't know what you're talking about. Doom was one of the cheapest games I ever played. I don't know how anyone could get immersed in such a crappy game. Wolf 3-D was a more violent game, because you're killing people who are in complete control of their behavior. The few people in Doom are under control of the satanic aliens. In Doom, you are killing aliens trying to take over the world. That is such a cheap storyline, because it's so fake. In Wolf 3-D, you can actually believe in what you are doing.
In closing, my friends and all the normal kids with good parents know that even the most violent video games will not make you go crazy and kill people.
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