04w27:2 Religion?

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 27 number 2 (religion?)

Fight the power | James Verini
“Only a quarter century into its history, hip-hop has not only taken over American popular culture, but it has also gained a surprising respect among the intelligentsia. […] On the other side of the debate there are not as many prominent voices. In fact, there is really only one: John McWhorter, a black professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, and an unabashed opponent of rap. McWhorter finds the music pernicious and humiliating. He thinks of it as the musical manifestation of the worst traits of black America, particularly, and America generally. […] Ask McWhorter the question he’s been asked countless times since throwing his hat into the ring several years ago: why does he hate rap? Surprisingly, he says he doesn’t. ‘I like listening to rap, actually; the problem is that it’s very, very catchy. The poetry is interesting, the rhythms are fantastic. But when I hear it, I hear it from a distance. For some people this music is a religion, and I don’t mean religion in a hyperbolic way. It’s at the point where a lot of people have never known the world without it. It’s all the music they listen to. They wake up to it, they lose their virginity to it, they go to sleep to it, it’s what they hear when they go to clubs. They have a vague sense of it as part of some political movement. It’s a body language, it’s a way of speaking. It’s a creed. It’s literally a religion.'”

In Art We Trust (Since We Can’t Explain It) | Mia Fineman
“‘Artists are the new clergy, the monks and nuns of our day,’ he said. ‘When you see a man dressed in black walking down the street in Los Angeles or Manhattan, is he more likely to be a priest or an artist?’ […] In his current ‘Art Ministry’ project, Mr. Melamid uses religion as a lens through which to examine the ingrained pieties and genius worship of museum culture. ‘The whole idea of art is based on belief,’ he said in an interview after the lecture. ‘You cannot explain it, you cannot understand it. Just try reading art criticism — all you can do is have faith.’ While the project has its parodic aspects — the Art Ministry’s motto is ‘Close your mind, open your eyes’ — he insists that his message is sincere, asking, in his heavy Russian accent, ‘Why the truth cannot be funny?'”

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emailed by Timothy on Saturday 03 July 2004 @ 2:25 PM

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