Tuesday, August 06, 2002

HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT?: With an album by an act called I Am The World Trade Center scheduled for UK release next week, and a transvestite country 'tribute' to the Twin Towers the self-puffed talk of the Edinburgh Festival, this piece from andante magazine is timely. Focusing on the reactions to the frequent anti-semitic references that litter the western european Classical canon, Paul Mitchinson, attempts to find a balance between the need to say unsayable thing and "On the other hand, an audience also has sacrosanct rights in a democracy : to object, to call for restraint and sensitivity, to expose an odious agenda. Airing such concerns shouldn't provoke the charge of supporting Goebbels or Zhdanov, which is simply a strategy for silencing one's opponents without addressing their complaints. If recent critics have taught us anything, it is that music is not simply an aesthetic phenomenon, but also a cultural product deeply rooted in our social and political life. To the extent that it participates in our culture, it will be subject to the same pitiless analyses and scorching criticism that helps create a thriving democracy."
Debate rather than outright banning? It's a nice idea, I suppose. I wonder if it could work in the rock world? Or, as Bush edges closer to trying to wipe out his father's messy legacy (and probably most of us with it), will the BBC once again be drawing up its list of records inappropriate for war time?

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