Great piece ["Rock 'n' roles," 9/21]. I'm in complete agreement. But these misogynistic creeps and bare-midriffed Barbie dolls of rock aren't rising to the top on the strength of talent (for sure!). Someone's choosing to promote them. I'd love for you to dig deeper and find out who's on the corporate boards deciding to market this garbage. Are they just not thinking or do they have an agenda?
RITA BRUUN AKHTAR
Levin uses big words
I just finished reading Hannah Levin's article "Rock 'n' roles: The music industry's hate-fueled gender gap and its chart-topping front men" [9/21]. Levin may have some valid arguments, but she gets bogged down in Women's Study Speech (see article's title). It's tough going when you have to plod through verbage [sic] like "has dubbed the 'macha quotient,' the degree of feminine self-determination in our developing self-image."
She correctly criticizes the "Britney, Christina, Jessica, and Mandy . . . as buxom, blonde, pubescent Barbies/Lolitas with bare midriffs," but fails to mention the grandmother of Slut-Rock: Madonna. If you're going to chronoclize [sic] the evolution of women's rock in the last 10 to 15 years she can't be ignored.
And finally, let's be fair, Levin misinterprets Kid Rock's pose for Rolling Stone. In this instance he is not so guilty of misogyny as of bad taste. We're supposed to believe he carved those well-endowed women out of wood, not that he plans to destroy them.
Europe on rock
["Rock 'n' roles," 9/21] is a timely article that highlights what, I think, is an ever more worrying trend that transcends sexual discrimination.
Being that I'm not American, I've never really understood the policies regarding censorship in this country. In an attempt to lure the supposedly most lucrative demographic, TV and record producers know no bounds of how low their bad taste can stoop. However, I can't help but think that middle America actually endorses this type of behavior with its hypocritical conservatism and bland indifference to things that really matter. To a European, it seems totally weird that kids can see endless streams of unedited violence in movies, yet a bare breast is censored, as are various expletives. If there was a more liberal attitude towards sexuality, nudity, and colloquial language, then I seriously doubt that there would be so much fascination with these seemingly taboo subjects.
Yes, this is a free country where people are free to express themselves as they wish, but it's not the only fucking country that maintains that principle, and it's time that common sense prevailed and greenbacks became the opportunity cost of righting a seriously skewed outlook towards sexuality and other seemingly hush-hush subjects of this country.
As an intelligent young woman I suppose that I should agree with the "Rock 'n' roles" article [9/21] and also blast such artists like Kid Rock and Eminem. But I found the article rather appalling. Ah hell, it pissed me off to be quite honest. It's not Kid Rock or other such artists that offend me as a woman—it's OTHER women like Mariah Carey or Christina Aquilera. Check out any picture of them and you will agree. To see a woman with her legs spread, boobs pushed out, and a "come hither" pout—that infuriates me. THAT is what ultimately oppresses us as a gender. We are doing it to ourselves and then blame the current males of the moment for our demise. The writer stated, "strutting and preening like a date rapist on an after-school special, Kid Rock appeared on Saturday Night Live with two buxom blondes. . . ." Who cares if they were buxom or blonde? Whether male or female, all us fans were glued to the TV to listen to his music, which included a soft acoustic song for you non-rockers. The fact that the author can throw around such a bold and ugly phrase such as "date rapist" too easily makes me understand the inclination for Kid Rock and others to use a term like "bitch" so easily.
Starbucks: Get a clue
Great! Now I have another reason to avoid giving my money to Starbucks [see "Bitter brew," 9/21]. If they refuse to carry the Seattle Weekly, I will refuse to carry their "free trade coffee" cups in my hot little consumer's hands. I object to yet another conscious corporate yuppie effort to eliminate all that is unique, charming, and relevant about Seattle. If Starbucks doesn't respect good journalism, they shouldn't expect any positive coverage from the media.
I gave up on Starbucks long ago when they covered up the mermaid's breasts on their logo. It seems that a few folks found the sight of naked breasts frightening. Haven't you ever seen a William Waterhouse painting? They even have naked breasts at the Frye Art Museum! Maybe someone should run over there and cover them up before someone starts to feel uncomfortable.
I have some surprising news for the Starbucks mega millionaires—many of your stockholders read the Seattle Weekly along with most of your customers. If they can't read the "official" weekly magazine at Starbucks in Seattle, you will look stupid and out of touch. It may be an appropriate but unfortunate corporate image which will not help to improve your sales.
Get a clue!
In defense of Starbucks
In response to "Bitter brew" [9/21]: I usually enjoy reading your publication, but I am seriously getting tired of all the Starbucks bashing. I am a partner of Starbucks and I don't think they deserve all this abuse. Starbucks embraces individuality and diversity in all aspects of their company. How many other companies can boast the same achievement? Their positive work environment makes this the most enjoyable retail position I have ever had. There are two things I don't enjoy at my job: 1. Cleaning the rest rooms; 2. Having to deal with all of the newspapers, magazines, and brochures that are thrust upon our store by outside sources.
Your paper in particular is less often used for reading and more often used as a packing material for our retail partners who want to mail fragile items. Yours and other publications end up all over our stores. Our customers leave them all over the floors and tables, in the dining room, on the baby changing tables and floor in the rest rooms, and on outside tables to be blown about by the wind. They make a huge mess that we seem to constantly be cleaning up. I think you should count your blessings that Starbucks has been so gracious to let your paper squat on their property this long. I can't speak for all of the retail partners, but I know most are happy to say "Buh-Bye" and hope to never again have to deal with such a big nuisance.
The editor replies: If the Weekly is a nuisance in your cafe, then you better talk to your store manager, because Corporate has now decided free papers are not clutter after all. Your company president is leaving it up to each store to decide which papers to make available to the coffee-addled public. Which is as it should be. Starbucks got so much feedback against the ban from its own "partners," not to mention "customers," that late last week it backed off its plans to toss out the Weekly and other free newspapers. We'd like to personally thank all the Starbucks workers who stood up for us—and to their company—to get the ridiculous ban reversed. And since I'm leaving the paper at the end of this week, I'll have plenty of time to thank you each in person.
I was profoundly shocked by your newspaper's publication on September 21, 2000, of a gratuitous and damaging libel against my professional reputation and livelihood contained in a letter by Ms. Patricia Stambor. For the record I am a professional historian and author of 11 books (including the National Trust for Historic Preservation's guide book to Seattle) and numerous articles on local historical subjects; a member of the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild; a past president of Allied Arts of Seattle; former cochair of Governor Lowry's Transition Task Force on Arts and Heritage; former chair of Mayor Rice's Downtown Historic Theater Advisory Committee; a former member of the Washington State Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board; and cofounder and director of History Ink, a nonprofit research and education organization which produces the www.historylink.org online encyclopedia of Seattle-King County history.
In attempting to decipher Ms. Stambor's logic, it appears that she regards me as a political critic of Seattle City Council member Peter Steinbrueck. I am in fact a longtime friend and supporter of Peter and served on the steering committee for his first campaign. I will not speculate on Ms. Stambor's motives for attacking me beyond noting that we disagreed on several issues during our mutual service on the Seattle Pro-Parks Committee. Her behavior at the time contributed to my decision to resign that body.
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