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--- Jun 13 2000 Go to category
Subject: Kenny G and cultural aggression
Category: Other Musicians
From: Bruce MacLean (USA)

Louis Armstrong is one of my very greatest heroes, not least for the example of musicianship and performing he gave the world, but also because of what Pat referred to as the "standards of grace" he brought to living life itself. No other human being has ever exhibited to me such absolute dignity, joy and depth of feeling. His music is one of the things that makes me glad to be alive. ... I came to this controversy from the outside (another mailing list) not knowing what to expect or even the gist of what Pat had said. And I'm here as a music lover who adores Yo la Tengo, Elly Ameling, Arthur Crudup and Lester Young in equal measure to say to Pat, DON'T BACK DOWN! Kenny G. has been an obscenity from the start - as Albert Brooks says to Holly Hunter in Broadcast News, William Hurt's character is the devil - meaning that he is lowering the standard of excellence, of what people are willing to accept as culture - and culture is the ecosystem of the soul (I know that sounds silly but I literally mean it). KG is polluting the system. He may as well be shitting in the well. ... That he's chosen one of what is arguably one of the deepest, most life-refreshing wells - Louis Armstrong - humankind has ever had to shit in is beyond obscene. It's just plain evil. ... Sorry this isn't a question. I just thought I detected a slight whif of retreat in Pat's most recent comments. And I want to remind him that anything he says here (and I think it's fantastic that he takes the time to respond to people here so thoroughly and thoughtfully) is fair game for recontextualization. He may as well assume that anything the slightest bit juicy is going to find its way to the top of the media food chain. Which is fine, if you ask me. These things need to be said. And they need to be said by someone who knows what he's talking about and who instinctively understands that KG has committed a crime against humanity. Which obviously isn't what Pat said, and obviously KG hasn't physically hurt anyone, but this level of cultural agression is exactly that - a crime against humanity. ... That said, people are eating KG's shit up and liking it. Where do they figure in this? I know decent people who love him. So I can't dismiss them as "good Nazis" in the cultural sense. But they are accessories to the crime. ... So don't back down, Pat. Shout it from the fucking rooftops. .... Bruce

Pat’s Answer:

yeah bruce! well said...and, i hear you.......

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