June 02, 2005

Rant of the week

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4602763.stm

I was happily doing my work, then heard on the radio news about the above story.

I can simply say: what the fuck?!

Seriously, what the hell is going on. Can noone do ANYTHING without treading on toes these days. Surely to call something "hideously white" is racist in itself.

I sometimes think that people try to create a ruck just to prove a point and not just in this particular case. There are countless incidents, like companies having a target of how many people they want to recruit that are from certain ethnic minorities, probably to the extent of not taking on white people who are clearly more experienced/better at the job to prevent themselves being accused of being racist.

Maybe I'm idealistic but I like to work with the theory that if you've worked hard enough and you're good at what you do, stop seeing yourself and others as a colour. It won't get anyone anywhere.

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  1. You are right ! Unfortunately this is the case everywhere in some form or the other. This is more like a political issue. People who try to advocate for a particular ethnic/religious group should first think that how they can raise the standard of education among themselves.

    "Maybe I'm idealistic but I like to work with the theory that if you've worked hard enough and you're good at what you do, stop seeing yourself and others as a colour. It won't get anyone anywhere."

    You are perfectly right. Remember, nothing stops excellence.

    02 Jun 2005, 21:34

  2. Well, Dido is pretty hideous.

    Although, isn't this all rather symptomatic of the British music scene? Amongst the racist idiocy of most of those comments, there is something in it. I mean, how many black British artists did they ask – except for token nods to artists whose albums Guardianistas buy but "don't usually listen to that type of music" like Ms Dynamite [rolls eyes]? It makes one wonder how little support and resources "Urban" [a term I find pretty offensive when it’s used as a synonym for black] artists have from A&R and record companies, compared to the likes of Joss Stone and Keane. There are a number of factors which make an artist popular – but it’s the money pumped into promoting artists, to have their songs constantly on the radio and TV, publicity, touring and whatnot, that helps one helluva lot to make them internationally recognisable.

    I listen to a lot of British hiphop etc. and – Jesus weeps if the only black British artist considered recognisable enough by Live 8 is Craig David.

    02 Jun 2005, 21:43

  3. Shall

    Fair point but at the same time, how are we to know who they asked and didn't ask and who's available and not available. Also, if the problem is that there's not enough money pumped into a band to make them internationally recognisable, that's not Live 8's fault and the efforts of Black Information Link are being targeted in the wrong direction.

    Thing is, record companies are guilty of being money hungry and are not tempted by anything they see as a potential risk to their profits and any British band, white or not, is a risk in the U.S. because it's so vast and it's so difficult to affect their music sales.

    02 Jun 2005, 23:29

  4. This reminds me of something I heard a while ago about someone (maybe skysports of something) naming an English football dream team (including past players etc), and some group complained that it contained no black players.

    I think the people responible for compiling the list apologised for it in the end which seems ridiculous as it would imply that they deliberately exlcuded black players.

    03 Jun 2005, 02:00

  5. Carter

    All of this is very well and good of course but have you recovered from the thrashing you took at BATTLE OF THE SPINDLES yet, Shall?! (link)

    03 Jun 2005, 13:45

  6. Shall

    Oh please, I am SO the orginal and best spindle…hang on, excuse me while I go and wet myself laughing at your post…

    03 Jun 2005, 15:06

  7. Damnit, away from Warick (away from my excellent wireless connection), I feel left out of the loop!

    Black Information Link are only playing Live 8 at their own game – hijacking a good cause with a mixture of smug self-righteousness and shrewd pragmatics. Aside from the mugging, back-slapping earnestness of Bono, Chris Martin et al: why on earth did Bob Geldof include himself in the line up? How many internationally recognised hits has he had recently? His music career now is a shameless exploitation of his success as an activist who sang “I Don’t Like Mondays” twenty years ago. At least Bono still has U2, when he’s not too busy putting his sunglasses on the Pope or trying to save us all.

    Indeed, this event is driven entirely by economic success of fame – Live 8's disingenuous gesturing to "international recognition" is a symptom of a greater problem. It’s microcosmic of the mechanisms behind exporting, even propping up, British artists: how it is anticipated what will rake in the most money worldwide (or “how in God’s name is Robbie still famous? Still trying to ‘crack’ America, Rob?”). Precisely this makes Live 8 an excellent opportunity to raise such a debate: why is the British music scene internationally seen as overwhelming white? It can’t simply be the case that non-white British acts are not talented enough, or worse, not hard-working enough. Is Craig David really the only non-white British artist who’s “excellent” i.e. has had enough success here and abroad – equivalent to indie media darlings such as Snow Patrol and Razorlight?

    I just can’t imagine too many artists who wouldn’t sell their souls for the cachet of performing at Live 8, being recognised as peers by the Rock-aristocracy who rule the scene – or, to be less cynical, to take part in a hugely symbolic event that will raise a lot of money. I think Black Information Link are causing a worthwhile ruck, oafishly done though, that highlights the glaringly non-meritocratic nature of the economics of fame supporting the British music industry. Live 8 aren’t merely exploiting this for a noble cause [which is its own can of moral worm]; but the selection of British acts, lead by prominent British artists, is endorsing it. Isn’t that a point worth making?

    03 Jun 2005, 15:51

  8. bjl

    craig david rocks slag him off at your peril!!!

    06 Jun 2005, 12:41

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