Thursday, November 24, 2005

When Rhetoric Goes Wrong
Ben Rayner does a fine job responding to the honourable member's 'rap is crap' criticism in The Star:

"What's happening in Toronto's have-not neighbourhoods should, in fact, be the strongest argument against further gun violence.

The challenge frequently raised against gangsta rap is that it glorifies violence without depicting the consequences. Here, though, we've seen the very demonstrable consequences of gun violence on the nightly news all year long — 48 bodies, wounded children, families destroyed — and it shows no sign of stopping.

With or without 50 Cent."

The Toronto Sun also expands on Dalton McGuinty's comments:

"They're not without some influence; I can say that as a father of four kids... But I think the problems that we're addressing here in Ontario when it comes to crime have their foundation and their causes in issues that are much more complex than any influence of any one particular rapper."

More Sun media stuff here, here and here. The Globe has a story here.

One minor quibble: The 'he writes only what he knows' argument only works to a point. Of course, he does write of what he knows. But he also writes of what he knows will sell. If you want to fall back on the idea that he is simply reporting his own reality, then you better be willing to praise his next record, a gritty, no-holds-barred take on cut-throat Connecticut.

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