Post of the Week

THE LITTLETON TRAGEDY: should popular culture be blamed? Rock Critics Killed Rock 'n' Roll, protection and censorship - where do you draw the line?

Published April 26, 1999 7:31PM (EDT)

THE LITTLETON TRAGEDY: should popular culture be blamed?

Social Issues | Jonathan Day - 03:03pm Apr 21, 1999 PDT (# 10 of 140)

Actually, blowing away the school =ISN'T= new. This is, what, the third US
incident in how many months? School shootings in general aren't new,
either. I shouldn't need to mention Dunblane.

Blaming popular culture is always the easy way out. It never explores WHY
things happen, what causes people to behave like that, why they cease to
see the other people as people but targets. Popular culture, IMHO, may
reflect those attitudes and the underlying cause, but is not, in itself a

I don't think there are any easy answers. Limiting gun access WOULD be a
sensible course of action, so will never happen. Neither will parential
responsibility, or any other possible beneficial thing. Everyone'll just
point fingers at everyone else, and nothing will ever change.

(That Dunblane DID cause things to change in England makes it memorable, in
the fact that people didn't just wave fists at each other, they stood up
and did something. Never mind whether you agree with what they did. Change
happened, and that, in itself, was good. I just don't believe anything
comparable will ever happen in the US. There will never be anything so
horrific that it'll shock the whole of the country into doing something
more than tuning into the next episode.)

Rock Critics Killed Rock 'n' Roll

Music | ted burke - 08:42am Apr 16, 1999 PDT (# 36 of 155)

What stinks, it seems, is the obnoxious certainity in the use of the word
"dead": rock and roll is as its always been in my experience, mostly
"trendy assholes" and an intriguing swath of credible acts, bands and solo,
who keep the edgy rigor of the music in tact, and vital. The dustbin of
history is always full, what survives the clean sweep is anyones' guess. In
the mean time, I reserve the right to be excited, engaged but what is
honest and, to whatever extent, original.

If I'm tired of dead things, I should leave the grave yard.

Rather, I think it's criticism that's ailing, if not already deceased as a
useful activity. Rolling Stone abandoned itself to gossip magazine
auteurism, Spin gives itself over to trendy photo captions, and for the
scads of "serious" commentary , much of it has vanished behind faux post-
structurualist uncertainty: criticism as a guide to larger issues at hand
within an artists work is not being done. Rock criticism, taking its lead ,
again, from the worn trails of Lit/Crit, has abandoned the idea that words
and lyrics can be about anything.

But rock and roll, good and ill, cranks on. The spirit that moves the kid
to bash that guitar chord still pulses. To say that bad, abstruse writing
can kill that awards too much power to what has become an inane, trivial

But this aint the Summer of Love. The sooner I accepted that, the easier it
became to listen to music I didn't grow up with.

movies/books/etc.: protection and censorship - where do
you draw the line?

Mothers Who Think | Kevin M - 10:42am Apr 19, 1999 PDT (# 3 of 39)

I refuse to explain certain New Yorker cartoons: it is usually a fruitless
and exhausting process anyway, but even if they did understand I think
some levels of irony and cynicism is best left to form naturally during the
teenage years.

Mindless violence is out, but this has been a non-issue so far. Anything
that repeatedly causes nightmares.

I'd like to draw the line on drivel (like the berenstain bears) but once
they get it into their hot little hands it is so hard to pry out again. We
usually lose on that one.

Good books, videos or music are in. I've not yet applied any content
screens to good stuff.

By From Table Talk

MORE FROM From Table Talk

Related Topics ------------------------------------------