THE COSBY BLOW
I agree with Erin Aubry Kaplan’s article “No Laughing Matter” [May 28–June 3]. Bill Cosby has always been a vocal force in the black community and influential when it comes to the steps youth should take to preserve history as well as create it. If he becomes a great, wonderful, bigmouth like Michael Moore, then maybe people will realize they’re getting gypped — and they need to get off their lazy butts, get their backbones back and become more vocal in their communities.
—Dee Dee Hill
I think Erin Aubry Kaplan did a fine job of identifying the salient issues in the Bill Cosby matter. Unfortunately, African-Americans are the only group in this country that has to do its business in public. Given this reality, Cosby was venting his anger at what he identifies as a lifestyle choice among many African-Americans that seems to make a mockery of our rich history full of people who put their lives on the line to contribute to the struggle — ongoing for centuries now — to improve the lot of those who were treated as the wretched of the earth. Cosby is hurt by what he is witnessing, and he is not alone.
I learned from “So Goes the Gay Nation,” by Christopher Lisotta [May 21–27], that Massachusetts has just passed a bill that makes same-sex marriage legal. California may be next. This worries me; not only am I a Christian but I am a strong believer in the sanctity of marriage and what it stands for. Same-sex marriage is wrong and should not be allowed.
As a nation we have grown to accept many things, including gay priests. Media have helped to change people’s ideas and morals — there are gay women and men on several television sitcoms. This instills the belief that gay people should be accepted, but same-sex marriage is where this must end. We need to realize that there needs to be some kind of control that preserves the pureness of marriage between a man and a woman — the way God implied in His Bible. Are we not a nation under God?
If California does one day introduce a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, we should vote no because we are a people who should fight for what is right. The president recently made his statement on this subject and has taken many blows for it, but I stand strong with him and I know that if we continue to stand by our beliefs, we shall win.
Daniel Chamberlin’s piece on John Wood’s rants about drum machines and popular culture misses the point [A Considerable Town, “Ghost in the Drum Machine,” May 28–June 3]. Pop culture changes daily. Technology changes daily. The art of music making, however, does not change quite as quickly. What’s wrong with today’s popular music is not that it is not the Beatles or Frank Sinatra, but that it seems to be dominated by amateurs. Since the beginning of language and culture, music has been made by musicians. Today, being a musician is no longer a requirement for making musical products. Perhaps this explains why Wood, a fine jazz pianist and someone who is part of a family business that recorded some of the finest black artists of the 20th century, is now disgusted by the current trends in music and technology. Actually, his original idea for a bumper sticker was not “Drum Machines Have No Soul” but rather “Every Drive-By Shooting Is Accompanied by a Drum Machine.” Perhaps this is more to the point. As for me, I give away Wood’s bumper stickers to my students, and I wish him success in his attempts to rehumanize American music.
California Institute of the Arts
School of Music
What is the point of “Ghost in the Machine”? Is Daniel Chamberlin trying to say that it’s passé to love music? The only good parts of the article are the quotes by John Wood. At least he is someone willing to stick his neck out to make a difference. Why doesn’t Chamberlin take his OutKast CDs and drum machines and cram them up his ass? Real music is made by musicians. Perhaps there is already a piece of software that will make Chamberlin redundant, too.
Work by L.A. Weekly writers has been nominated in five categories in the 2004 Alternative Newsweekly Awards, a contest sponsored by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN). Brendan Bernhard was nominated for Arts Criticism for his Box Populi columns “A Head Above” (April 18–24, 2003) and “How AMERICAN Is It?” (May 2–8, 2003); Kristine McKenna was nominated for Arts Feature for “The Ace Is Wild: The Doug Chrismas Story” (October 10–16, 2003); John Curry was nominated for Editorial Layout for “A User’s Guide to Kicking” (August 22–28, 2003); Kate Sullivan was nominated for Music Criticism for “Against Small Odds” (October 31–November 6, 2003), “Boy Wonder” (April 11–17, 2003) and “Vinyl Fetish” (February 7–13, 2003); and Vince Beiser was nominated for News Story (In-Depth) for “Harvest of Pain” (November 28–December 4, 2003). Winners will be announced on June 25 at the annual AAN convention.
In last week’s issue, the theater article “Searching for Harold,” which recounts Libby Molyneaux’s involvement with a comedy-improv class, failed to include her byline. Sorry, Libby; that wasn’t funny.