About those Grammys ...
Regarding coverage of the Grammy Awards: Hip-hop artists deserve their due and their glory. But when The Times’ writers insist that hip-hop is now “culturally dominant,” it raises issues. First, when anyone insists that any art form is culturally dominant to the point of being the Future, it instantly isn’t. Second, it seems to imply that other forms of music are no longer relevant, that if we care about justice and truth, we’ll mainly listen to hip-hop (or rock or punk or country). This isn’t helpful, because we have a nation of mono-cultures, i.e. people who listen, read or watch only one thing — whether it’s Fox News or golden oldies or hip-hop. Genius in all other forms goes unnoticed or forgotten. Hip-hop is strong and deserves its day in the sun, but let the art form stand or fall on its own.
Kit Leonard Dennis
Regarding “Music’s Reckoning Slow to Take Shape” [Jan. 29]: You are so right. There was so much lacking and no exposing of sexual harassment.
Regarding “No Fire This Time” [Jan. 29]: Not everything today has to be politically motivated. I know it is hard to put aside what is going on in our country and the world, but sometimes we just need to escape.
What better way than by listening to music, especially music that can make you feel good and maybe even make you get up and dance. That is why Bruno Mars took six prizes at the Grammys.
Remember, during the Depression, Busby Berkeley made all those movie musicals to tell us to “Forget your troubles and just get happy.”
Times critic Mikael Wood’s snipe at the Grammys’ “lengthy Broadway sequence” and his comment that the Elton John-Miley Cyrus duet on “Tiny Dancer” “... had nothing to do with music in 2018” were telling. I guess it’s because those songs contained melody — you know, that thing where the notes go up and down in gorgeous patterns.
The loss of music instruction and exposure to melody for a generation of schoolchildren has helped create the divided, uncaring world we live in in 2018. Please don’t criticize the great songs and contribute to this loss.
Yes, the nominations may be more in tune to the times, but what I miss is the diversity of music on the televised awards show. Growing up, I looked forward to seeing the show because it sometimes was my only chance to see genres of music such as classical, jazz and bluegrass. The show had live performances of so many genres that it made me grow in my appreciation for all music.
Today’s televised ceremony is just for show and doesn’t celebrate a lot of the music genres.
I am wondering if, in the midst of the current high interest in women’s issues, especially involving sexual harassment, anyone has cared to protest against rappers for their denigration of women
Watching the Grammys was like a step back in time. Here was a male host and women dancing in performances with “barely covering that” clothing. I’m a music lover, but I can’t stand to watch women in this role. Let’s get past this “women as sex objects” phase.
Was anyone else offended by the backup dancers in the performance of “Despacito”? While the men were fully clothed, the women were barely dressed. Both participated in “dance moves” simulating sex. This perpetuates the stereotype of the Latino culture being built on machismo, with women existing only for their bodies/sex.
How can women ever be treated equally when they allow their bodies to be used like this
What makes Hollywood A-listers think the rest of us give a damn what they think? They don’t live in the real world. They may be surprised to learn that we can form our own opinions. Those of us in the fly-over states are doing just fine without their guidance.
Regarding “Countdown to the Grammys” [Jan. 26]: I would like to know why Led Zeppelin wasn’t mentioned. It was one of the most influential rock bands ever.
Not impressed by SAG Awards
Regarding coverage of the Screen Actors Guild Awards [Jan. 22]: The shock of seeing Frances McDormand on the front page made me wonder, “Has she gotten a degree in molecular biology on the sly and discovered the cure for cancer?”
I read on to discover the article was about another awards show I had never heard of for entertainers.
In a world with daily medical breakthroughs, mass poverty and millions of war refugees, I was saddened to see a once great newspaper waste space on a tiny group of the hyper-privileged.
If I counted right, the SAG Awards was the white women’s awards. If one counted up the number of white female actresses pictured in The Times, as opposed to black or brown women, it was 85% to 15%.
‘Imitation of Life’ refresher
Regarding “He’s Having a ‘Monster’ of a Breakout,” [Jan. 22]: In his interview with Tre’vell Anderson, rising young film star Kelvin Harrison Jr. cites “Imitation of Life” (1959) as having a profound effect on him.
Yet nowhere in the profile do we learn about the film. For readers unfamiliar with it, the 1959 version underscores the tragic price an individual pays for denying or disconnecting from his or her racial identity — in this case an aspiring, mixed-race performer trying to pass as white.
Given Harrison’s mission to channel his activism as a black actor by telling “stories that matter to me,” these details about the film that set him on his path seem worth mentioning.
John M. Wilson