Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Heavy Metal Awareness Week

The paper today has all kinds of great stories on the front page. The Leader doesn't disappoint. "Under the Influence. Study: Women Play Drinking Games as Much as Men."


A recent study led by researchers at Loyola Marymount University indicates that both male and female college students participate in drinking games regularly, and that participation in drinking games leads to increased consumption of alcohol.

Gee, thanks! That really cuts through the fog.

But there's an even better one down the page. Expert Bakari Kitwana to discuss hip-hop's meaning, impact with the subtitle "Lecture part of Black History Month, Hip Hop Awareness Week."


What use could a hip-hop awareness week POSSIBLY be to anyone? Why would we want to hear a lecture about it?

I mean, to the extent that I am aware of hip-hop at all, I'm aware that I don't like it. Mostly what I know about it is that it swallows weak-minded, gullible people whole and spits them out as cavemen who wear ridiculous clothes, walk too slow and deliberately in the middle of the sidewalk so you can't get around them, talk like idiots, and are generally dropouts. Hip-hop fans are the new hippie, and their music is every bit as annoying as anything the Grateful Dead ever released. So what's there to be aware of? Traffic obstructions?

But this has been going on for seven years apparently.

The lecture will be co-sponsored by IU's Hip Hop Congress. This week is IU's seventh annual hip-hop awareness week.

IU has a Hip Hop Congress??? WHY?

But get this - the title of the talk is "Can Hip-Hop Make the Transition from Cultural Movement to Political Power?" I mean...I MEAN! I mean, yeah, to the extent that it stops being hip-hop. What self-respecting citizen would take it seriously as a political movement as it stands? What IS hip-hop's political purpose anyway? Play all you want, someone else will pay?

I almost wish I had time to go to this.

Anyway - here's something interesting. I did a Google search for "Hip-Hop Awareness Week" and got a metric butttload of hits. Seems that pretty much every university has one of these. Now do the same search for "Heavy Metal Awareness Week" and the first hit is about prostate cancer. The only real "metal" link (on the first page, anyway) is something about a benefit concert that Anthrax is doing to raise awareness about forced drugs.

So there you have it. Hip-hop is a cultural-political phenomenon and metal isn't. Personally, I would have gone with "they're both just pop music," but then that's me.

But alright, I'll play along. I'll celebrate hip-hop awareness week the same way I celebrate every week - by listening to a lot of music that's not hip-hop. I can't believe the Union Board is spending money on this. But then, given that they also paid Ann Coulter to come (and insult them and their security staff in front of everyone), I guess I should've known that the Union Board had funny ideas about what political commentary is.

[MILESTONE: this is post 250]


At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, you missed the best part: The photo of the student is the president of IUSA, Betsey Henke.


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