Letters: Hick is in, misogyny is out
Was there a single page of the last issue that was not reeking of beer? From Kenny Be's feature on our new governor to Patricia Calhoun's reminiscences about John Hickenlooper to Laura Shunk's review of Freshcraft, you could barely find the marijuana ads for all the beer.
Just remember, Westword: Beer today, gone tomorrow...
I know this is apostasy, but I never did care for the Wynkoop back then. I thought the beer was flat. Angelo Karagas's Wazee Supper Club, beneath the 15th Street viaduct, was the place to be: It was not only one of the few places in Denver with Guinness on tap, but also, one of your staff writers, Alan Dumas, used to do recitations of W.B. Yeats for anyone who would listen.
But here's an odd fact for you: In Patricia Calhoun's article, she mentioned the Terminal Bar that was kitty-corner from the Regency Room at the Oxford Hotel (yeah, I'm that old). While it was a dive, it must have been a nice place at one time, as it had a beautiful old wooden bar that the Billabong fools got rid of. Part of that bar still remains; it's used as an entryway nailed to the front door of a place called Bender's Tavern, down on 13th Avenue.
Now, there's a useless piece of trivia for ya.
Jeremiah M. Attridge
After reading Ru Johnson's piece on misogyny in hip-hop, I felt compelled to write — from the vantage point of a nobody, but a feminist who is also a lover of hip-hop (despite the perceived inherent conflicts of that statement).
A tool of any who would seek to deceive is to take that which is and flip it upside down to portray it as something different. As it was of benefit at one time to claim the earth was flat, let us not forget the shape of our eyes or the dome they reside in as we consider the significance of the shapes of the planets, suns and moons of the universe. Round.
What does this have to do with hip-hop? Everything. The cipher is round; that which has birthed all MCs, all B-boys. The essence of the wheels where DJs birth new sound: round. The cans containing the paint used by the artist — cylindrical — round at the top (beginning a new can) and round at the bottom when the artist has expressed all that was once within. Beginning to end, present in all elements. The cipher, the circle: the ovum, the earth. See I Power HER.
Hip-hop was born of the cipher, by youth who needed that energy to overcome oppressive conditions. Of course, the main gripe of purists is that hip-hop, our baby, has been co-opted and exploited by the machine. All of us have! Do we not kick rhetoric about knowledge of self? Why would these facts and that recipe for subversion employed by the machine not apply to something as powerful and empowering to humanity as hip-hop?
The cipher is living! But it is poisoned when we fill it with words and energies that tear us down instead of building back what was torn down for us. We cannot blame men for this, because all of us are subject to some level of conditioning. There we go with portraying what is as what it isn't. If woman, the source of human procreation and sustenance, is made into a commodity, the problem perpetuates.
If we as women accept that our choice is to either deny our power by acting like one of the boys, or to accept the present as unchangeable — and find a groove and lay down in it — and chalk up our offended sensibilities to differences in mental wiring, we fail. I refuse to belittle or compartmentalize the men I love by accepting that they are porcine and crude by natural design. I refuse to bash the women who exploit themselves on either end of the spectrum — by selling out their flesh, or downplaying their natural feminine power to be like one of the boys. I appeal to all people to do the same. It's an old problem, but nature permits no imbalance to exist permanently. Instead of postulating on fixes for the fallout of misogyny in hip-hop, why don't we check ourselves and how misogyny in society overall has affected us all?
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