CL music editor
^^Thanks for the missing link. It's fixed in the original blurb now, too.
Several have suggested that maybe Monáe went over her time and the live-TV announcer had to cut her off. It's possible. But as I wrote in the original post, neither the protest song she performed ("Hell You Talmbout") nor the short speech she began making were included on Today's website like her other two performances ("Tightrope," "Yoga"). That's why I believe it's fair to characterize it as censorship.
When I talked to Gordon a year ago, we talked a lot about the transformation Castleberry underwent as the nightlife scene switched from more of a cosmopolitan to sort of a collegiate, younger crowd. Perhaps "jumped the shark" wasn't the best choice of words. As a resident of Castleberry Hill, I definitely didn't mean to disparage it. It's a great neighborhood and there are lots of different venues/bars there that attract a range of clientele. And yes, it's plenty busy. But there's definitely a transition that took place after that initial boom. I wouldn't call it a decline in quality as some have, but it's popularity broadened to the point of saturation for awhile. And it wasn't the same vibe. That's what I was alluding to.
Should CL subscribe to a brand of cultural elitism that limits coverage to a specific set of tastes deemed worthy enough or progressive enough? Should CL ignore certain happenings intrinsic to the cultural identity of the city — be they loved or loathed — if they're too pop-related or too exploitative or too hood?
This was billed as a Gucci Mane-themed photography exhibition by a popular Atlanta hip-hop photographer. That in itself didn't interest me. But when I heard via word-of-mouth that it was set in a "trap house," I was intrigued. I wanted to see how the high-art concept of the gallery exhibit would be adapted to fit a drug culture mythologized by trap rap. I wanted to see who else would be compelled to come out.
I can't speak for CL as a whole, but as a writer/journalist I tend to be drawn to things (events, environments, art, culture, music, happenings, change, etc.) out of pure curiosity. And I like to view things with a critical eye for the ways in which they comment on the world we live in. If I subscribed to the old-school alt-weekly stance that dismisses popular or "low culture," or considers all coverage as a sign of thumbs-up approval, I'd have to ignore half the stuff that makes Atlanta Atlanta.
You can choose to like it or dislike it. I tend to think cultural criticism is less concerned with providing the answers than considering the questions. This quickie observational blog post with pictures was my way of considering the existence of this exhibit, and its cultural underpinnings, while allowing you, the reader, to decipher your own meaning. Kinda like art.
That wasn't the point of that column, wesleywhatwhat. It's apparent you take the issues surrounding this discussion as a joke, the same way the mother's actions have been used as a distraction from the real issue. So I'll just leave this portion of the column here for people who might not read it otherwise:
"Where is celebration of moms whose children have been at the forefront of peaceful protests? Where is the celebration of black mothers and fathers who have been organizing against police violence, against food injustice, and against the violence and looting in Baltimore and beyond? The history of the civil rights movement is one of parents and children joining together on the front lines of the struggle for justice, not one of black parents beating their children. Yet this is the image captivating the nation."
A Washington Post columnist has thoroughly debunked and unpacked the "Mother of the Year" mythology being spun on the morning talk shows, too:
thanks @Tiffany. I caught that hours later but couldn't fix until this a.m.
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