29th January 2001

Letter to the New York Times exposing the Grammy®s!

posted in `Roids |

Too truthful for publication!

January 29, 2001

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

Dear Editor,

Bob Herbert’s editorial of January 29, 2001 (“A Musical Betrayal”) conveys a sense of shock and outrage over Eminem’s Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. I fail to see how Mr. Herbert can be surprised at Eminem’s acceptance by the recording industry. The value system of the entertainment industry as a whole is dictated by an ever-shrinking number of international conglomerates. Eminem’s record label, Interscope, is a part of the Universal Music Group, a branch of the Vivendi/Seagram conglomerate. Universal’s decision to introduce Eminem to mainstream America is no different than the WB (a division of Time/Warner/AOL) airing violent Japanese cartoons during Saturday children’s programming.

As for Mr. Herbert’s outrage, isn’t Eminem’s music just the latest example of a long line of artists whose Grand Guignol-style vision provoked moral indignation in their day? The work of Dali, Bunuel, Stravinsky, and Nijinsky all produced similar reactions upon their debuts. In 1917, Marcel Duchamp hung a urinal on the wall at the Independents Exhibition in New York, called it “The Fountain” and signed it “R. Mutt”. The “sculpture” provoked riots. In 1999, Sotheby’s auctioned it off for $167,500. What leant “The Fountain” this new respectability? Time? Money? Or was it the controversy itself?

It seems clear that Cole Porter had it right over fifty years ago when he wrote:

“Good authors who once knew better words
now only use four letter words
writing prose
Anything goes!”

Lloyd Kaufman
President, Troma Entertainment

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