Journalism on the "War on Drugs" in Latin America
of Our Country is América" - Simón Bolívar
August 12 Essay Generates
of Free Speech!
Did you Miss Our
"Have you ever
been hated or discriminated against?/I have, I've been protested
and demonstrated against/Picket signs for my wicked rhymes, look
at the times/Sick is the mind of the muthafuckin' kid that's
behind/All this commotion, emotions run as deep as ocean's explodin'/Tempers
flarin' from parents, just blow 'em off and keep goin'/Not takin'
nothin' from no one, give 'em hell as long as I'm breathin'/Keep
kickin' ass in the mornin', takin' names in the evenin'/Leave
'em with a taste as sour as vinegar in the mouth/See, they can
trigger me but they can never figure me out
From "Cleanin' Out My Closet"
Currently the Number #1 requested song on MTV
Busters on the Story
Great coverage of The
Eminem Show. (Not to mention Venezuela, Bolivia, Columbia . .
You will see I have provided
a link to your pre-somewhere in a place called América
life -- the diary of the Patti Smith tour.
Also -- if you are just
getting tuned in to Eminem, you may not have heard this wonderful
piece (also available on my eminem page):
We Live the Song
Your essay on Eminem said:
"We've been fed
a year of bullshit. It's time to rebel, kids! The world is a
shocking place. The hour has come to shock back."
I am a Venezuelan proud
of our nationalism and our auto-determination. There's one thing
that makes oligarchy shit in its pants and that's the people
coming down of the barrios. And that's exactly what got back
our president in a snap.
What now for the US people,
Desert Storm II??? More kids to be sacrificed??? More not just
single mothers like Eminem's, but completely single mothers???
You fill your mouth saying
"America the beautiful, land of the free"... Yeah right...
Stand up and say NO!!!
But this time it's louder...
louder than even an Eminem song playing on MTV.
Regards and respect from
Are You Hurting Jesus?
The reason that the Supreme
Court used to refuse to hear cases on pornography was that they
said filth is not speech. Therefore, I was and am disgusted to
note that you would lionize the infamous Marshall Mathers, purveyor
of pornography, on your website.
You have an Italian name.
God honored the Italian people by choosing them to spread the
religion that He founded, the Catholic Church. You should be
ashamed to laud Marshall Mathers. St. Alphonsus de Liguori wrote
that the reason Our Lord sweat blood in the Garden of Olives
was that He was able to see the sins committed in the future
by people like YOU and Marshall Mathers. Your sins hurt Him.
When are you going to stop offending Him and repent?
Miss CM Ross
Are You Hurting Women?
Al, you must be kidding!
I have never heard him
sing, nor do I plan to. It was enough for me to read the lyrics
of one of his songs [don't even remember the title, but I'm sure
I could find it] to know that he's a first-class women hater
and anti-gay besides. Thanks a lot! More sexist you die!
For the little I heard,
his songs contain continual references to women as "bitches"
and "sluts", some describe the rape of women, in others
he kills his girlfriend, etc. etc.
If you really root for
him, I'll have to unsubscribe. There are definitely limits in
my book as to whom I want to be associated with.
I can't believe this!
For the sake of the Latin
American women killed and raped routinely amidst the convulsions
their countries are subjected to, care of the US-funded military
and paramilitary squads, + the IMF and assorted vampires, do
haven't read it and have
of doing so!"
(A public missive
sent to various feminist mailing
"Frontline Macho," also from Viviane...)
Al Giordano [NarcoNews]
is a dedicated frontline activist who has been widely praised
for his integrity as a journalist. He was [until this] my main
source of Latin American news and, for instance, his coverage
of the coup against Chavez as it unfolded was outstanding.
So, when I saw he was
glorifying Eminem as the "Journalist of the Year,"
I was floored [to say the least] and told him so. From his reply,
I gathered that he knew very little about the abominations Eminem
wrote, so I sent him some of his lyrics
His laudatory piece on
Eminem is posted at
[I haven't read it and
have no intention of doing so].
For the sake of the Latin
American women killed and raped routinely amidst the convulsions
their countries are subjected to, care of the US-funded military
and paramilitary squads, + the IMF and assorted vampires, and
for our global sake as women, let's make sure that he doesn't
get away with this outrage. Pass it along, discuss it, let's
exchange ideas on how we could respond, OK?
on you, Al!"
So much for men who who
appear concerned about the human rights of others.
It appears to me that
your concern is for the human rights of men and men only - forget
women and children. Your journalist of the year promotes hatred
against women but, apparently, that's okay in your books. Indeed,
it deserves an award. I'll alert my friends in South America,
who have trusted you to do the right thing, that you're not to
Shame on you Al.
I was forwarded this essay by a coworker. I am a thirty year
old woman working in the very feminist anti-rape movement--on
the state level. I found this essay to be poetic. Having been
raised in the "underclass", I have always found controversial
music very appealing... even when to my more feminist personality,
it is appalling. I think that Mr. Giordano spoke very eloquently
to feelings I have had when my coworkers ask me how I can listen
to music which speaks of things that I am so fervently opposed.
I have never been able to articulate an answer.
Thank you Mr. Giordano
for putting the words in my mouth.
News "Makes Me Happy"
Seeing you name Eminem
as journalist of the year makes me so happy. I am a 19 year old
college student who discovered Eminem through his first album
as it was played on MTV.
Surprisingly, I have no
friends at school (or home) who listen to Eminem.
I go to a private college,
which naturally attracts upper middle class kids (my home town
is also upper middle class), and none of the people at school
or home are listening to his work. This summer I only managed
to make one of my friends listen to him (and she loved his new
Everyone else won't listen
to him because he is sexist, and anti-gay. I guess censorship
is a rich person's phenomenon, because I don't know any of those
millions of kids who, like me, own his albums.
I just want to thank you
for turning on all the people who read Narco News to Eminem,
and whole-heartedly agree with you as far as his being one of
the few (if not only) celebrity to really speak out truthfully
about what is going on in our country. I loved watching the video
for Without Me, and can't believe he actually got away with it.
I admire what you are
doing for free, truthful press everywhere. I'd love to help if
there is anything I could do. I'm thinking about going to the
conference in February, but beyond that if there is anything
I could help with I would love to do it. I have the month of
January off from school, so maybe I could do something then.
Thank you again,
Like Reading that Makes Me Think"
All I can say is wow....
That is one of the most amazing articles I think I've ever read.
I am a 25 year old woman who a majority of the time doesn't like
to read articles about mainstream issues cuz I usually think
they are crap. I think they are well written but the slants and
evidence that these writers tend to use don't really appeal to
me or make sense. I found this article very insightful. I like
to read things that make me think after I'm done. Maybe I read
the wrong articles and that's why I don't tend to think what
the writers are saying is useful to me but I definitely got what
you were trying to say. I might be biased because I already happen
to be an Eminem fan but at the same time I think that after reading
this article it would be really hard not to consider what this
Dj Code Blue
Thanks for the Marshall
Mathers article. I love him and enjoyed his article tremendously
(and I am a 50 something year old mother of three)
Mom for Marshall
Dear Al, your website
speaks truth. It and commondreams.org are my main sites. I'm
completely in understanding of your Eminem analysis, and am appreciative
and thankful in a major way of your ability to see so deeply
and clearly. Those of us who have suffered in childhood have
a much easier time of knowing when we're being "kicked around"
by government, etc.
Libby, 52 year old woman
on her way to buy an eminem CD!
(An Exchange with a Reader)
Mr. Al Giordano
As a woman I am highly
offended by Eminem's lyrics. To suggest that he win an award
for them is so disheartening to me. Violence against women and
girls is a prevelant issue locally, nationally and internationally.
Until media and journalists stop perpetuating women's vulnerability
to violence then it will continue.
By giving Eminem this
award you are de-politicizing his lyrics, normalizing violence
against women and increasing womens propensity to harm. Words
are not just words (ask any linguist) Words communicate a certain
political and social space. The social space that Eminem is coming
from is directly what women fear and fight against.
I strongly recommend that
you reconsider this award for Eminem. It is not merely an issue
of free speech etc, it is also an issue of security and safety
for women and girls.
I'm not clear on what
you are saying, because you haven't offered any critique at all
of anything I've written.
A. Do you want us to not
mention Eminem and ban all mention of him?
B. Do you disagree with
anything about our analysis of the lyrics on the new album?
C. Can you show me specific
examples of how this album has caused violence against any woman
D. Can you show me specific
examples of how our essay - which addresses, I think thoughtfully
and positively, efforts to stop violence against women and others
- has caused violence against women anywhere?
I have a mailbox full
of letters about that essay, most of them in appreciation, and
half of those from women. You must acknowledge that your view
is not universal nor does it speak for half the human race. However,
it is perfectly fine for you to speak for yourself, and although
I disagree with you, I defend your right to your opinion.
We believe in free speech.
We'll publish your letter along with any others critical of our
work. But your letter lacks coherence as to what exactly you
My intention was not to
get into a huge analytical discussion on the connection between
hate lyrics and subsequent violence nor your analysis of it.
Like most women I am too busy to completely fully and adequately
address. I merely wanted to put forward my dismay and opinion
concerning the journalism award.
1. I do not think that
Eminem should never be mentioned. But lets be clear - journalism
does not operate in a political and social vacuum. Like the constraints
faced by the media to print what 'they' consider 'news'; journalists
as well carry a subjective politics which they carry with them
to their reporting. Complete objectivity is impossible. My point:
many women would argue that the alternative media portraying
Eminem in this light is in fact censored media. Censoring how
2. Your analysis of the
lyrics concerning sept. 11 were good. But what is not clear is
his link to hate against women.
3. No of course I can
not show specific examples of how this album has caused violence
towards women. You know that. However, many studies (including
studies which look at post-conflict countries where women, children
and men live in the content of continued violence) does show
that when violence is normalized as a way of life - women do
have increased incidences of violence. I am not going to point
you to U.N. studies, or studies within Aboriginal communities
etc. My job is not to educate you.
My point is - given my
exposure to various and many studies, there is a clear link between
normalizing violence and subsequent violence.
4. I am not sure how your
essay mentions efforts to stop violence against women.
5. I do speak for many
policitized women. I know this from my affiliations with the
women's march committe, my position at the Canadian research
institute for the advancement of women, aboriginal peoples network,
carleton university masters program in political science and
international affairs, amethyst women's addiction center. So
of course I can not speak for 50% of the race - can you as a
man? I know many men who are involved in anti-violence efforts.
So, I commend you for
your efforts to address the sept.11 fiasco and all the media
frenzy which has priviledged the U.S., but I do very strongly
oppose sweeping away one hate and priviledge for another.
News wrote back:
I congratulate you for
your thoughtful response to my questions, and for having actually
read the essay so as to be able to offer thoughtful response.
This is precisely the
kind of dialogue that I had hoped to provoke with the Eminem
Another Fashion Statement"
The message I get from
Marshall Mathers is the same one I get from Rage Against the
Machine, System of a Down and Britney Spears- get in the car,
drive to the mall, hand your hard earned federal reserve notes
to an underpaid, no-benefits worker and then go home and feel
good about how angry you feel.
Do you really believe
ANY kind of politically enervated message can be delivered from
behind the wall of corporate marketing?
It's just another fashion
statement that feeds the squashing machine unless it results
in organized action. Just more distracting bullshit that robs
people of the focus and attention it takes to make democracy
happen. When you identify with it you sell a piece of yourself
I suggest we get the McLuhan
out and have another look.
the Eminem Crap...
Your Article Would be Great"
It's really funny is it?
In the 1950s Elvis Presley, "the king of Rock 'n' Rock"
steals black created music and he is hailed as a "king"
while the real people who created the style are ignored by mainstream
In the 1960s Led Zeppelin
stole the music of black blues and sold millions of records while
the people who actually created the style ar actually ignored
yet again. Now Eminem steals the music of the gettos(black created
again) sells millions of records and is hailed as the voice of
the disgruntled white kids while...but you probably know how
this sentence will end.
Eminem is yet another
perfect example of what is wrong with today's world. He makes
his money while the US government does whatever it fels like.
If you think the stupid and lazy US kids will ever get their
assess off from in front of the TV or their video games to actually
DO something and change their world...well, you got another thing
Good article, but you
didn't need to use Eminem as proof the US media and its government
are all fucked up liars. Remove the Eminem crap and your article
will be great.
Awesome work dude.....
Right on! I like it!
Anne in Colombia
Really excellent essay.
I knew nothing of Eminem, except that he was selling like crazy.
This is one of the few music essays that I find worth reading,
though I love music. It's true that you never know where the
next escape valve will open and the question is, is it an escape
valve or a detonator.
I have been reading Narconews
almost since it started and it is here where I go any time I
need to find out what is happening in Latin America and specially
Mexico. By the way, with all that is happening in Venezuela and
Bolivia, you have neglected the news of Atenco. I know there
is one piece that came out, but I think the news deserve much
more analysis. it is quite important...
Keep up the good work
and best of luck in your battles.
Publisher Replies: We
agree about the significance of the Atenco battle. That's why
Authentic Journalist and novelist Maria Botey Pascual has spent
much of the summer reporting directly for Narco News on the events
and people who stopped the $2.8 million International Airport
project in San Salvador Atenco. Part I of her series begins today,
special to The Narco News Bulletin: http://www.narconews.com/botey1.html
the Lid, as They Say..."
Great piece of work. I
guess I was too old to have noticed. What a break for you and
us, you saw/heard this young chap. Coincidentally, I saw/heard
a video clip as I was flickin' through the dial tonight. Personally,
Diz or Bird sez it in a way that is easier on my mind and how
I sort the equations but now since I've heard the kid, I can't
deny all you say. Rather than "review" The Boss' 911
piece, maybe I'll re-review Tom Joad.
Your paragraphs on Springsteen,
Danny Schechter, Cornography, Mike Ruppert, "howl"
(for Allen), and Lennie; just right!
Thanks for all you do
anyhow, and thanks for the Eminem piece and lifting the lid as
they say, and as they say, be careful on the streets and calles.
Music CDs to Al"
we send them addressed to "somewhere
in a country called
América," they are returned to sender!)
Either you are trying
to get back in touch with your youth or you just need to listen
to more music outside of the mainstream of Springsteen, Moby,
and Eminem. I've never seen so much excessive masturbation on
a music artist than your 8/12 post where you blow smoke (or just
blow) up the ass of the slim shitty.
Personally, I can't stand
that little peckerwood Eminem and would love to dropkick his
little cracker ass. But I have to admit that I do give him props
for some sharp insights on his new disc, which I would never
purchase, but was fortunate enough to hear through a friends
burned copy. I also liked how the little inbreeder recognizes
white privilege on one of his songs, remarking that if he didn't
have blue eyes and blond hair he wouldn't have gotten over like
he has (well, at least he's not a lying idiot like Bush).
I still hate the little
bitch, but I think you are right that he is the only "mainstream
artist" that has offered any sort of counter-discourse to
the official discourse on 911-- and that reflects on the SAD
SAD SAD state of affairs of America that only Eminem is saying
anything. By the way, add bonehead bono and U2 to your shitlist--they
should get the award for sell-outs of the year from Narco News
("I've given up on music as a political force" -Bono).
Ah, Eat a dick and go back to Ireland ya' stupid, pope-sucking,
Do yourself a favor and
get a copy of Boston rapper Mr. Lif's new EP "Emergency
Rations" which is far more intelligent and on point in its
counter-discourse on post 911 (see his song "Home of the
Brave"). Unfortunately, Lif doesn't have the white privilege
and corporate distribution of cracker boy, but his shit is just
as banging, if not better.
p.s. yes, as a matter
of fact I do have something against anglo-saxons, but that's
another discussion for another time...ceee-yaaa!!!
is a genius"
I have been intending
to write you for some time to express my continued appreciation
for -- and amazement at - what you are doing.
One of the things that
I find most remarkable - and hence this remark - is that you
are about as far to "the left" as I am to "the
right" -- and yet we agree about so much. (I have always
had lots of friends on the left, and I had rather argue with
them - or anyone - than sit around uselessly agreeing with people.)
However, when I read your
essay on Eminem, I just had to say something. Once again, I agree
with you completely. It is absolutely brilliant! You are a great
writer as well as an Authentic Journalist, to use your excellent
I have long thought that
Mathers is a genius.
I am gay, of course, but
I never took his supposedly homophobic lyrics literally. I was
delighted when he did the duo with Elton John, and I especially
liked it when the PC Queer crowd attacked Sir Elton.
DEAland has become so degraded and corrupt that it can certainly
be described with the language used by Mathers, but I would prefer
the language that once was used by Dylan, et al. But where are
However, his language
is not my language and so I try to tell the establishment in
their own - my own -- language that they are screwing up. And
they don't listen....
Yes, I see the alienation
of the kids and especially the underclass of all the races. I
see the army coming out of the prisons. I see the white militias,
the veterans of the no-win wars, the illiterate products of the
"public education" fiasco, and the "lock my people
up" black and Hispanic "leaders."
And, of course, I see
the leaderless white underclass that cannot have leaders, because
that would be racist, and besides there are no classes in DEAland.
Mathers gives voice to
all of this anger and I know that the insanity cannot continue.
As the initial trauma and patriotic outrage over 9/11 passes,
the people begin to ask questions about the corruption and incompetence
that let it happen, and they want answers that the vile establishment
media will not - cannot?? - give them.
And of course the Internet
as used by you is a big part of the solution.
We are winning in
DEAland and especially in Canada, but the most important battles
near term are going to be in Europe and where you are. I think
that the Mexican border state governors questioning prohibition
I hope that we can get
together somewhere, sometime, but until then, best wishes and
many thanks for your great work.
A Friend in Canada
an Elephant's Dick, Al!"
What a total hypocrite
Al Giordano, suck dick and die of AIDS now please!
a) Is a coward.
b) Is a Dumb ass.
c) Is a hypocrite. (as mentioned earlier)
d) Thinks he has cornered the market on Truth.
e) Is Sanctimonious and Self- Important.
f) Is a Sexist.
g) Deserves to get raped up the ass while someone else shoots
rancid AIDS infected cum on his ugly face.
(the CC is for Al Goldstie... I mean Al Giorado.)
It's fine to express myself in words but what I would really
cheer me up would be to see his dead cum-soaked face get torn
apart by an elephant dick that's too big for his mouth. That
would make me really happy. But it would go away far too soon.
I know! Videotape it so I can see it happen over and over again
in Slo-mo!!!!!!!!!!! Too bad he'd be dead and couldn't suffer
the agony over and over again. I know!!! Keep him alive. Sew
his face back together every time the elephant dick tears it
apart. What a joyous sight that would be!!!!! It would make children
laugh and sing and all the birds sing in harmony!
I read the same stupid
article. And I lost all respect for Giordano. I didn´t
mention it to you, because you already seemed kind of crabbed
out by the media. Yes he is an idiot with his babyish, "transgressive"
spewing and his fetishism of the "authentic". Those
types are always an inch away from authoritarian bully boys,
because they wind up worshipping some stinky macho like Che,
or, apparently, a half-wit psychopath like Eminem. None of his
tenous posturing about Stonewall, etc., or his hybrid style of
Rolling Stone journalism/ post-modern discourse can pretty up
his absurd paeon to spoiled, suburban brattiness. It´s
amazing that men still fear women so much, when it´s obvious
to me that women are more or less already beaten down. He is
a whining little baby, and I´m just sorry I had to look
at the mess he made. Oh, of course, Eminem the force for social
change. Moby does suck though.
Thanks for the essay,
as usual hard hitting and to the point...
I wanted to make sure
you knew about the Guerrilla News Network and the work they are
doing for the White America video. I bet you already know about
these guys but if not check them out at:
Keep up the good work,
Publisher replies: Yes, thanks, and, "I Want
My Guerrilla News!" Oh! I see they just published the essay
that all these letters are about, too, calling it "the most
eloquent treatise on the power of Slim Shady's message we have
come across." Aw, shucks!:
You Listened to His Music"
You've got to be kidding!
Have you listened to his
music? The guy writes songs extolling the virtue of date-rape,gay-bashing
and other hate crimes. He is a mysoginistic, homophobic hate
mongerer of the worst sort.
If you have to pronounce
a media figure as journalist of the year, why not Jello Biafra,
Michael Moore, Rage Against the Machine, Ani Difranco or Utah
Phillips? All of them would be much better choices than Eminem.
I have a great deal of
respect for your reporting on the drug war in the Americas, and
particularly for your coverage of the coup in Venezuela. Unfortunately,
you really dropped the ball on this one.
Thank you, Al Giordano,
for your illuminating discourse on pop's new bad boy. I must
admit that, despite my best intentions (and probably due to my
four-year stint at a liberal-arts college) I have been reluctant
to scratch the surface of misogyny, homophobia, and violence
which has been painted over the Eminem statue. Thanks to your
essay, I feel emboldened to follow my initial instinct without
shame: buy the records, see for yourself!
S.M. at ground zero
You're observations on
Eminem were both accurate and insightful. You have put voice
to how I've been feeling about this artist and album. I've tried
to convince friends that Shady's one of the few authentic visionaries
in music today, but they don't really see it. It's weird, because
my white friends are the ones who tend to reject him... I feel
like they must not be hearing the same thing I am.
Incidentally, some of
your best remarks have to do with sickening self-righteousness
of Moby and artists with the same confining mentality...
Since you came late to
the Eminem bandwagon, make sure you go back and listen to his
first two albums too -- in the order they came out. The three
albums in chronological order really tell a fascinating story
of both America and of Marshall Mathers.
from a Single Parent
Was referred to this article
by my friend, a Drug War refugee
This is absolutely the
best review of an important album I've EVER read. Thanks, Al...
(38yr old single parent)
P.S.: All may not be lost...my
thirteen year old learned about Ammonium's new album from ME.
print this shit!
I read your essay all
the way through and after reading all of Eminem's lyrics I still
don't understand how you think he is saving anyone. All he does
is cuss a lot and talk about the things that go on in his life.
Yes, perhaps a good portion of children go through the same thing
and that's why their buying up his album. But the destructive
part of his album is that it is all negative. Not one lyric supplies
an antidote or way to look at things to make it better for you.
It's just another "life is shit, and we're all in it together,
doesn't that feel better, misery loves company" type of
thing. Why doesn't he get braver and who cares if he cusses,
just provide some real truth, like some of the articles on the
Conspiracy Planet site. Expose some REAL truths that we don't
already know about and that isn't textbook psychology. And in
addition to that, why not be brave enough to provide some answers.
It doesn't take much to talk about how "i get shit on and
people can kiss my ass" ooooooooooooooooohhhhh soo brave!
Publisher's Note: Sorry to let you down, kind reader,
but it appears we've all gone nuts together: Uri Dowbenko's "Conspiracy
Planet" website ran with our Eminem Essay as its top story
last week. See:
But we swear, we read
Conspiracy Planet, like Narco News, just for the articles!
CDs to Send Al
i don't blame you for
being ignorant about hip-hop, but eminem's "response"
to 9-11 is just self-serving drivel. i can also verify that most
young people have not idea about the political context you claim
eminem is writing from. its the same old corporate music crap:
its just about partying and seeing how much you can cuss on the
air. That shit is older than lenny bruce and abbie hoffman combined.
Eminem may have an audience, but they aren't there to be informed
-they are there to dance. And yeah MOby sucks too!
get with some real hip-hop that isn't so lame: the coup, dead
prez, krs-one, etc.
Not a Journalist
No, M&M does not deserve
an award. He did not do any reporting investigating hard facts.
He made an emotional song which coincides with your views but
is not journalism. Don't get too cocky, Al, there are many fine
American Canadian Arab English journalist who are telling it
like it is. Mass media doesn't publish them but minipress do
and minorities read.
Idol Writes Narco News
Yeah, I've been really
angry lately about how people are so afraid to criticize the
government after 9/11. Totally stupid. Meanwhile, the poor get
poorer, the middle-class gets more in debt and the rich skate
I think there will be
a new anger in my music...
Publisher's Note: Wow,
Kitty, you made me blush. Kind readers: I've had a wild thing
for Kitty Kowalski ever since I saw her band play at CBGB's,
this little hole-in-the-wall tavern back in the Old Country,
some years ago
Authentic New Yorkers everywhere: Check
out The Kowalksi's website, an authentic survival guide for post-apocalypse
New York, at:
Can I See the
Dear Mr. Giordano:
Thanks for article on
Eminem. Although I have found his lyrics hard to take, I respect
his balls-out approach and abhorrence of bullshit. Now his new
album--wow, someone finally major in the media talking some truth!
I'd like to see his video of the Cheney electrocution. Do you
have a good source to see this videos online?
Publisher Answers: You can see all three videos from
The Eminem Show, including the World Premier of "White America,"
produced by Guerrilla News, on the Rolling Stone website:
and Unbridled Greed
While I acknowledge accept
and understand your journalist of the year selection, I wonder
at how your organization could ignore the less positive aspects
of Mr. Mathers' "journalism". Yes, it is important
to teach kids to see through the bullshit. Must misogyny and
unbridled greed also be part of the package?
the Truth Be Known!"
Dear Alberto Giordano,
Thank you for naming Marshall
Mathers as Journalist-of-the-Year! I guess that I am still considered
a young "American" and there are many of us out here
(U.S.) who will not be sitting idly by too much longer; the "old"
generation and their "old" ways of thinking are about
to go extinct in the coming decade(s). Hopefully! The transfer
of power to the younger generation is taking place, and corporations
and the wealthy elite will no longer have their way without having
to go through us!
May God bless organizations
such as Narco News and the others who choose to let the truth
Need to Dis' Techno"
Hey man, no need to dis'
TECHNO just because MOBY is an idiot. From the beginning TECHNO
and especially the closely related genre of HOUSE MUSIC (definitions
provided upon request) have promoted urban counter-culture, gay
pride, and social and emotional freedom in general (although
avoiding most overt political content). These styles have exploded
in a thousand different directions, MOBY represents just one
of them. Although most of his stuff is a kind of watered down
cross-over, a lot of if is actually very good, even though it
seems that his commercial success has led him to buy into the
standard neo-liberal booj-wa mentality
EMINEM is obviously a
guy who knows what is what (and doesn't "just strut, what
the fuck") and while he expresses the discontent that so
many feel, he is hardly revolutionary, offering no solutions,
no course of action, except getting really pissed, which may
or may not be a good start. Sometimes I think that the shadowy
evil forces behind the huge media and entertainment conglomerates
let this kind of material get out on purpose (including movies
like "fight club" and the "matrix") in order
to help people to vent their frustrations, fantasize about fighting
the power, feel better for a little while so then they can continue
their wage slave consumerist existence because no one has offered
them a real alternative. Most hip-hop artists on major labels
(that is, the hip-hop artists most people will ever be exposed
to) glamourize the "thug life" which means using violence
and any and all means necessary to obtain big money and the luxuries
it affords. Doesn't this seem like a good way to get a lot of
"brotha's" locked up in the joint? Isn't that what
the powers that be really want?
TECHNO and HOUSE on the
other hand have remained largely un-promoted and un-scathed by
big business, with the exception of commercial "dance music"
FM radio stations that insist on playing the cheesiest bubble
gum kiddie crap. I feel that the positive influence of HOUSE
music is far more conducive to positive social change than other
types of music that merely express wailing discontent. I mean
if you feel good, but you see the world is fucked up, you may
want to do something about it, or at the very least lead by example,
however if you're just as fucked up as the world is, how can
you ever expect to be able to do anything about it.
No offense, but as an
expatriate you're not really in touch with goes on in this country,
on street level and underground, and so I can see why these sweeping
generalizations might seem attractive to you (HIP HOP is so great
and TECHNO represents evil, or whatever you're secondary thesis
And while I appreciate
the fact that unlike most media outlets, you are not using subliminal
methods to instill emotional responses in you readers, disguised
behind the reporter's stern and supposedly objective facade.
You wear your emotions and biases your sleeve, out in the open
for all to see.
While this is certainly
a more honest approach, and I can appreciate that your style
combines fact reporting and editorialism in the same article,
I really think you ought to be more careful if you want to be
taken seriously any more. I suggest you tone down the hype a
little bit. Also I think you should adopt this general principal:
any style of music can be good when it is really good (as in
done well with talent and integrity)
More CDs to Send Al
I like Eminem's take on
this album on being anti-Bush, but what about Public Enemy? They
just released Revolverlution, their new album in July. They are
the pioneers of controversy. They have a song on it called "Son
of a Bush", which I like. And do you remember the rap band
The Coup that got famous with their controversial album cover
art with the WTC towers blowing up and one of them holding the
detonator in wake of the 9/11 events. You didn't mention them
in your article. Why aren't they more popular since they are
controversial even more than Eminem, in my opinion.
And also Al Jourgensen
and Paul Barker of Ministry have been preparing for years on
this NWO agenda especially during the first Bush Administration.
I've been a Ministry fan
as long as I can remember and they are more experienced in the
political climate and I trust them more than any other artist
out there, since their message comes across the way everything
is unfolding today. Listen to their older albums "Land of
Rape and Honey" "The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste"
"Psalm 69". These albums were made to last. So for
me it's cool that Eminem is on our side, but he's to simple for
my taste to actually go out buy his album. I already have got
Bravo to Eminem and Narconews!
Truly a lighted candle
in journalistically darkened world.
I'm sure you'll get flak
for naming Marshall Mathers journalist of the year. But you make
the case to my satisfaction. Good going!
White Trash Neighbors
Jim from Austin
(We Know the Bush League Well!)
Publisher Comments: Did you notice how C-Span, house
organ for your former neighbors, tried to ban Eminem from using
its monopoly video footage of the United States Congress in his
tour video? Chalk up another victory against the media blockade
by Mathers. Check this out:
Won't Solve the Problems
I must say that I was
shocked by the language of the Eminem raps. So shocked and put-off
that any possible message is entirely lost to me. I would not
have known that there was a message (nor would I have listened
to the lyrics) had you not pointed it out. Equally, of course,
a fifty-four year-old parent is not the intended audience.
I am not sure that Eminem
will solve the problems that exist in the U.S or elsewhere.
Eileen in Canada
Al, I've been grooving
to 'cleaning out my' closet for a few weeks, so I liked your
award to Eminem (must be the issues with my mother) but I'm a
little confused with your anti Bin Laden sentiments: 'knife weilding
For somebody that sees
the corrupt america you deny Osama his form of retribution.
What's up with this (besides
NY's your hometown)?
This is Lucia writing
you from Ecuador, where I have been traveling for the past 10
weeks. I want to let you know that I really enjoyed the Eminem
article, and feel that you have enlightened me as far as his
value for a free thinking world. My son, who is 27 has been a
fan of his, and I could not understand why--now I know. Even
my 14 year old niece loves Eminem.
Here in Ecuador the economic situation is dire. People continue
to earn in sucres (the old national monetary unit) but must spend
in dollars. A papaya which used to cost dos mil sucres, now costs
one U.S. dollar, the equivalent of 25 mil sucres. There was not
enough education of the public prior to instituting the dollar
as the national monetary unit. Most people in the countryside
think one dollar is one sucre and do not deal with cents of a
dollar in any manner.
The average wage is $120.00 per month. Imagine this for a family
of four when a papaya, grown here, costs one dollar!
I see this country rapidly sliding into another crisis of gigantic
proportions because of its loyalty to US ideas, and ideals. The
IMF will not rescue this economy because it has so often been
mishandled by corrupt politicians. The entire country is ruled
by a few powerful families that control all industry. Multinationals
have ripe ground here because there are no protections for national
The education system here is set up to create non-thinking robots.
All pretty sad. And to think I have decided to return to live
here as of October.
More CDs to Send to Al
First, I want to applaud
you and the rest of Narco News for the incredible work you do.
You offer important insights and information that can be received
almost from nowhere else. I'm often used your work in papers
and presentations for classes at my college.
Second, despite all that,
I'm sorry, but I must take issue with your choosing of Marshall
Mathers as Journalist-of-the-Year. I realize he was chosen in
part for shock value, but I think some deeper research should
have been done before "awarding" him. He may have some
good lyrics, but he also has anti-gay lyrics and lyrics promoting
violence against women.
I'm not one to make assumptions,
but I'm sure if you sat him down and asked what he thought about
the war on terror or the US government his answers would be both
uninformed and adherent with the status quo.
I would suggest looking
farther than the top ten to find worthwhile artists to commend.
There are dozens of artists working a hell of a lot harder than
eminem and with much less money that are truely committed to
what they say in their songs. I would suggest Dead Prez, C Rayz
Walz, Arrested Development, Spearhead, or The Welfare Poets if
we're talking about hip hop. Other notable groups are Rage Against
the Machine, Anti-Flag, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Inside Out, Boy
Sets Fire, Snapcase and the list can continue.
I suppose my overall point
is that I disagree with your choice. While he may say this democracy
is a hypocrisy, what else he says shouldn't be promoted.
Thank you for your time
and keep up the excellent work.
the Belly of the Beast
You were in rare form
with the Eminem piece. I've noticed that my kids turn off the
radio when his songs come on (in order to protect my sensitive
ears and feelings, they say--they like the music). I'm not clear
whether my kids have paid as much attention to the lyrics as
you have, but your reading of them is inspired. I imagine that
at least some of your readers may wonder where you're coming
from, but given how dismal U.S. domestic politics is these days,
any sign of new, resisting energy would be wonderful. The day-by-day
dribble of war-on-Iraq plans is infuriating, but the absence
of any organized public outcry has left me feeling deeply depressed.
I hate the idea that Bush has to do something as nuts as go to
war with Iraq before any protests happen.
I hope you're right that
Eminem's success is an augury of coming challenges to the status
quo. Someone needs to start kicking some butt, and soon. Given
how stressed out the whole planet is, there may be enough cracks
for something new to slip through. I can't remember a time since
Vietnam when there was such a fever-pitch, from the Mid-east
to India/Pak to Columbia and Venezuela, and Argentina, and probably
soon Brazil, and the U.S. economy slipping and sliding. Good
time to be outside the USofA I think.
A Washington DC Insider
Me Up for
I just finished your incredibly
long yet interesting remarks about The Eminem Show. Outstanding!
I don't have much to say other than that. I'm a 29 year old Anarchist/Libertarian
kid who grew up being active in politics in DC until I figured
it out. I've been a big fan of Em since his first album even
though I generally never listened to that kind of stuff.
I'd just say that as much
as you like The Eminem Show, it's not his best album. Wait'll
you disect The Marshal Mathers LP. I'll be checkin back frequently
to see your breakdown. He uses such great circular reasoning
and addresses all of the media's criticisms of the album before
it was even put out. It was my belief that every question Em
answered after the Marshal Mathers LP came out could've been
answered by quoting lyrics from the album. Pure genius.
Anyway, keep on keepin on. Like you said, there IS hope.
p.s. Sign me up for the mailing list please!
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