Dear Tabitha,

Some day, I am sorry to tell you, saying "cool" or "unhip" will be very
uncool and unhip--more like saying "old chap" or "square."  It is very
possible for very serious people to be very perceptive about X--any X. 
Or to paraphrase Beckett, "We were all young, once."  And many of us
remember vividly and can contextualize that.

And being young and "cool" is not the only access to what is valuable. 


>>> [log in to unmask] 09/22/05 7:22 AM >>>
OK,  agree that classifying all rap/any genre as bad
is wrong, but that is more or less exactly what that
article was doing in reverse, and as I was suffering
from a slight lack of sleep at the time, it irritated
me more than it usually would.

I do like The Streets actually.  I don't think anyone
would call them exactly rap tho.  The main dude from
it, Mike Skinner (I think), if its the same band, is
taking part in a an ad campaign for some sports brand.
 On the posters it has a quote from him saying
something like...

"I've never quite felt like part of any scene, so I
created my own...its much better to be yourself than a
poor copy of someone else"

Which I think is pretty cool. 

Someone else said something about serious people
talking seriously about rap...lets forget the word rap
and just think 'example X of popular culture'.  Often
when I read serious articles about example X, it seems
as if the person writing it has no idea of what X
actually is, and is writing it in order to sound cool
and multi-cultural. This always makes me think of that
great quote by Mr. Z. Beeblebrox, which goes something
like this,

"These guys are so unhip it's a wonder that their bums
don't fall off"


--- George Carless <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Nancy wrote:
> > As for rap, I frankly cannot stand it, and I
> cannot offer an example of
> > it that IS in my "poetry" category, but I do not
> think the form in
> > itself precludes poetry.  One could see it as a
> contemporary extension
> > of ballads or oral formulaic recitations.
> I'm quite glad to see people generally avoiding the
> "rap is awful and
> cannot be considered poetry" stance.  There is no
> doubt that there is a
> lot that is awful in rap/hip-hop, but as soon as we
> call the likes of
> Dylan, or Cohen, poets--such people who write words
> which are set to
> music--then we cannot fairly dismiss all "rap" as
> unpoetic.  If we do
> so, what we're saying is that there is something
> intrinsic in rap music
> that means it cannot be considered poetry. 
> I imagine that most people who do rail against rap
> music have heard very 
> little of it, and very little that is good; but for
> those people to say 
> "rap music is terrible and cannot be considered
> poetry" is akin to 
> saying that poetry is all terrible, on the strength
> of having read a 
> selection of high school poetry. (As an aside: 
> is a lot of fun,
> for kicks.)
> I'm not a big hip hop fan either, generally; I'm not
> a big fan of the 
> music, and most of the words I've heard haven't been
> all that brilliant.  
> But if you do get the chance to see a certain Sage
> Francis perform, I 
> highly recommend it; or if you would like to
> experience a peculiarly 
> compelling slice of the utterly mundane, try 'The
> Streets' (who will 
> very quickly challenge your perceptions of what
> "rap" is).  
> Strip it of the music and of the scary black people,
> and which is the 
> more poetic?:
> "I played connect the dots with your beauty marks
> And I ended up with picture perfect sheet music
> I read your musical notes with a composer's eyes
> And heard our song for the first time.
> My spine is still tingling, mental images of your
> fine tune
> is what I've been nodding my head to lately
> Every now and then you can catch me humming
> your nudity under my heavy breath"
> ..
> "Come writers and critics
> Who prophesize with your pen
> And keep your eyes wide
> The chance won't come again
> And don't speak too soon
> For the wheel's still in spin
> And there's no tellin' who
> That it's namin'.
> For the loser now
> Will be later to win
> For the times they are a-changin'"
> - heck, at the end of the day most lyrics don't make
> for very good 
> poems.  But to suggest that the line can be drawn by
> something so neat 
> as a genre just seems a little silly.
> --George

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