Monday, September 11, 2006

The Farce That Is the War on Terrrorism

On this September 11th, I am taking a break from killing terrorists and spreading democracy throughout the world like all good patriotic Americans have been doing for the last five years, in order to express a point of view that can be logically arrived at, but unutterable in the decaying, intellectually closed traditional media outlets of the United States.

The terrorism that befell the United States five years ago was a criminal act, not an act of war. The terrorists could not claim to legitimately represent the population of any country on the planet. If we deal with such acts as crimes, the individuals that perpetrate them remain isolated from the general population, stigmatized, stripped of legitimacy.

Our response as a country was to hold the entire population of Afghanistan responsible, and subsequently Iraq, for the crimes of a few individuals, horrendous as they may have been. We reinforced and escalated the cycle of violence.

War is two or more societies engaged in the complete destruction of each other, and under such a scenario, the terrorists morph into metaphors for all that is evil, then vanish. Where are the terrorists that struck us on September 11th? I presume that some of them are dead. We are left fighting demons, ghosts. Whatever terrorists remain can now blend into the population easier, and even transcend their previous status as heinous criminals, to become resistance fighters. We have become the criminals. The war in Iraq has left 100, 000 Iraqis dead. Our armed forces have committed outrageous, cruel, pornographic acts of torture on people that have left the world astonished and outraged.

The war on terrorism has precipitated massive military spending and today U.S. armed forces find themselves indefinitely stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American death toll approaching 3,000, with thousands more maimed, yet I ask Americans to consider whether military solutions even apply to this problem.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lo Que la Calle Esperaba

This is one of my favorite artists. I first heard him on a bootleg compilation CD dissin' Tego Calderon. Since then I have downloaded numerous songs of his and followed his career on the internet. Among his claims is that the industry is blocking latino hip-hop from getting on the radio.

In Los Angeles, there is a radio station called Latino 96.3 that plays reggaeton and some hip-hop. However, the problem with this radio station is the same as with most commercial radio stations. They play the same 40 songs over and over again. So very little of what is played on Los Angeles' airwaves is Latino hip-hop.

Considering the millions of Spanish speaking youth that reside in the metropolis, one would imagine that the market would support far more. Will Latino 96.3 or another station play Temperamento?

For now Temperamento's album doesn't have distribution. His fans will have to wait. He has promised a classic. The gatekeepers of the industry do not recognize the market that cultural evolution, or as I prefer to think, cultural revolution is creating. On the other hand, the digital revolution gives independent artists new opportunities and risks. I hope that he finds the solution to put the music of Cadena Perpetua in the ear drums of his fans, and increase the irrelevance of corporate behemoths, unless of course, they embrace the reality from which we come and is the source of our cultural expressions.

"Hardcore hip-hop en espanol que para siempre viva."-Wille Sante