Autonomous Source

« Art Attack | Main | Pause that refreshes »

Bad Influences

While I'm on a grumpy neo-so-con trip, I should link to this article from City Journal. It's a thorough examination of the destruction Gangsta Rap has done to a generation of inner-city blacks. It's not pretty.

The great accomplishment of civilization has been to replace the reign of force with the rule of law, and to humanize the animal realities in which our lives are embedded by means of manners and rituals that give those realities a human meaning. And if the rule of law fares poorly in rap, civilization’s great effort to transform the animal facts of reproduction into love and marriage doesn’t do so well in gangsta-land, either. This is what so much of our culture is about—our manners and morals, poetry and song and film, from the Song of Solomon and the medieval French romances to “The Way You Look Tonight”: yes, I have these feelings, but not just for anyone; it’s you personally I love, so much that I want you always. And many of the popular songs of the 1940s and 1950s, making the promise of permanence explicit, end with talk of marriage. Human beings undergo an education of the feelings, and popular culture’s love songs were once great instructors in this school.

It’s a long drop to the dogghouse and Doggystyle. And since it’s culture that molds feelings and behavior, when the “Why don’t we do it in the road” spirit of sexual liberation of the 1960s declined in the ghetto into “Do you want it over here? Do you want it over there?,” feelings and behavior were bound to follow. Rap is a school that hardens and coarsens rather than cultivates the feelings and, presenting women as disposable and interchangeable objects for use, dehumanizes rather than humanizes the relations between the sexes.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

Site Meter