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♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇
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« Reply #200 on: October 21, 2016, 05:02:00 PM »

Uhh....what?
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« Reply #201 on: January 06, 2017, 08:53:35 AM »



I disagree. I am a public secondary school teacher and my views are drawn from my observations at school. I usually introd
But this is all true. "while cultural phenomena, artists and historical figures may not have been racist, they are a product of a systemically racist culture and should be regarded as such. It doesn't matter that the boys didn't have a racist bone in their body," and "They are a product of an institutionally racist culture. Their music, however benign, is the product of behavioral norms that supported racist thinking." Are perfectly true.


Yes that decade had institutional racism as part of it. Many things were not as involved then as they are now.   That is inarguable.

The question is… Does that mean that every single piece of art from that entire decade needs to be saddled with a tangentially racist label? Once it's agreed that this decade was part of an outdated world where many unfair things happened and were the "norm",  I'm trying to understand if you're advocating that all bands from this era, unless their sole purpose was to make music about progressive politics, need to be fingered in some negative way?   And whether or not you understand that even if you won't qualify this line of thinking as "fingering", that many people will take that notion and run with it, in a way that paints The BBs as essentially "racist", outdated, and to be shunned for being too "something".

Does this mean that if one is not able to find a "suitable" amount of songs by The Zombies, The Moon, and every band on the Rhino Nuggets box set that are politically progressive, that one should casually use the term "racist" and those band names in the same sentence/breath without feeling awkward about it? Again, in a conversation, once you realize you're *not* arguing with somebody about the decade having systematic problems that stretched far and wide (I agree with that!), why isn't the conversation about the decade in general, as opposed to trying to hang a label on a specific band?  Unless said band went out of its way to do/say some really bad stuff, of course, in which case that would be warranted.  

Because like I said, shouldn't that label apply to essentially every band, tv show, movie of the time?  Even the progressive ones might not be considered progressive enough.   Every single thing was a product of its time. There is no escaping that because nobody had time travel.  

I just don't like that it feels as though there is some expectation that is being applied retroactively.  I certainly won't deny that there are plenty of awkward lyrical moments in the band's catalog which reflect the fact that those things were largely not considered problematic at the time.  At a certain point, this line of thinking becomes toxic and promotes (however inadvertently) division and shunning of people who truly don't deserve it.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 10:11:04 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #202 on: January 06, 2017, 09:03:22 AM »

Thank you.

Now I can voice my opinion on this topic.

Might be a repeat of what I already posted in this thread earlier, but to try to paint the Beach Boys, Beatles, Stones, etc into this kind of sociological picture 50 years after the fact is a complete joke, and I find it borderline offensive both as a musician and as someone who studies and respects history, especially the notion of historical context.

If people want to put a damn asterisk next to these great artists and the work they created which continues to inspire all generations up to young fans and musicians not even born when George Harrison or Carl Wilson passed away, and say "yeah, but...institutional racism!!! Sexism!!! whatever -ism was in place when the music was created...". It's ridiculous.

Above that, what is the desired result here? Should Messrs. McCartney, Wilson, Townshend, Jagger, etc get down on their hands and knees and apologize for being born and making music in the era they did? Would that absolve them of the "original sin" that seems to be getting tagged to the art they created decades after the fact?

I seriously don't get it. I really don't.

Maybe the real question to those trying to promote and argue these issues and tag this music and the artists to a racist society, what recommendations would they give the "kids of today" for listening in terms of legacy artists who are pure of mind and free of guilt without attaching that asterisk?
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« Reply #203 on: January 06, 2017, 09:37:22 AM »

Thank you.

Now I can voice my opinion on this topic.

Might be a repeat of what I already posted in this thread earlier, but to try to paint the Beach Boys, Beatles, Stones, etc into this kind of sociological picture 50 years after the fact is a complete joke, and I find it borderline offensive both as a musician and as someone who studies and respects history, especially the notion of historical context.

If people want to put a damn asterisk next to these great artists and the work they created which continues to inspire all generations up to young fans and musicians not even born when George Harrison or Carl Wilson passed away, and say "yeah, but...institutional racism!!! Sexism!!! whatever -ism was in place when the music was created...". It's ridiculous.

Above that, what is the desired result here? Should Messrs. McCartney, Wilson, Townshend, Jagger, etc get down on their hands and knees and apologize for being born and making music in the era they did? Would that absolve them of the "original sin" that seems to be getting tagged to the art they created decades after the fact?

I seriously don't get it. I really don't.

Maybe the real question to those trying to promote and argue these issues and tag this music and the artists to a racist society, what recommendations would they give the "kids of today" for listening in terms of legacy artists who are pure of mind and free of guilt without attaching that asterisk?

I couldn't agree more.  This was one of the silliest articles on music I've ever read.  It's just trying to stir the race pot for no reason whatsoever at a time when tensions in this country are already pretty high.

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« Reply #204 on: January 06, 2017, 10:11:25 AM »

Thank you.

Now I can voice my opinion on this topic.

Might be a repeat of what I already posted in this thread earlier, but to try to paint the Beach Boys, Beatles, Stones, etc into this kind of sociological picture 50 years after the fact is a complete joke, and I find it borderline offensive both as a musician and as someone who studies and respects history, especially the notion of historical context.

If people want to put a damn asterisk next to these great artists and the work they created which continues to inspire all generations up to young fans and musicians not even born when George Harrison or Carl Wilson passed away, and say "yeah, but...institutional racism!!! Sexism!!! whatever -ism was in place when the music was created...". It's ridiculous.

Above that, what is the desired result here? Should Messrs. McCartney, Wilson, Townshend, Jagger, etc get down on their hands and knees and apologize for being born and making music in the era they did? Would that absolve them of the "original sin" that seems to be getting tagged to the art they created decades after the fact?

I seriously don't get it. I really don't.

Maybe the real question to those trying to promote and argue these issues and tag this music and the artists to a racist society, what recommendations would they give the "kids of today" for listening in terms of legacy artists who are pure of mind and free of guilt without attaching that asterisk?

I couldn't agree more.  This was one of the silliest articles on music I've ever read.  It's just trying to stir the race pot for no reason whatsoever at a time when tensions in this country are already pretty high.



Agreed with you both. Of all the amazing things this music has brought us I don't see why it's necessary to bring race into it - especially in a time where race is being used to boost media ratings (probably much in the way this article was made for click bait) and in return it's helping make tensions rise.

There are enough chaotic topics directly related to the Beach Boys, no point in making up topics to argue about.
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« Reply #205 on: January 06, 2017, 10:43:06 AM »

It's not necessary, but I think the topic (not just about the BBs, but race and racism's impacts on musicians and listeners over time, as well as musicians' [i think mostly positive] impact on racism and race relations) is interesting and valid, at least in the Sandbox, for anyone interested in calmly/respectfully discussing it. I think that especially is true for people with different views on the subject. I like talking to KDS and a few others who tend to have somewhat different ideas than I have. I find it helpful. But I'd say anyone jumping in purely to pile on some or other dissenter with the force of some perceived righteous perfection (of any persuasion), that's neither interesting nor productive.
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« Reply #206 on: January 06, 2017, 10:45:52 AM »

Oh and if I hadn't said it earlier, I entirely agree that holding figures of the past to modern standards is absurd. (I also think that shows that objective morality isn't real. And that hero worship or lionization of historical figures is silly. But those are 2 different sandboxers!)
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« Reply #207 on: January 06, 2017, 11:20:59 AM »

I think that if people remove their guilty imaginings from the topic, they will find it's not bothersome in the least. When one analyses any art form, the context of the culture, economics, politics, etc of the time and place may come into it. None of you mind a "California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture" contextual analysis of Beach Boys music, do you? Would you be up-in-arms about how "unfair" it is to analyze Beach Boys music or its influences or impact in the light of these aspects of their surroundings? Discussing Beach Boys music in light of the institutional racism of their surroundings is no less valid.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 11:30:01 AM by Emily » Logged
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« Reply #208 on: January 06, 2017, 11:28:39 AM »


It's your next, defensive, thought that is not true: "Guilt by mere chronistic association."

How exactly is this not true?
You are inferring a "guilt by association" that isn't implied.
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As a teacher, you should be able to separate your emotional reaction and be able to acknowledge the factual truth.

I appreciate the sanctimony, but I'm quite capable of separating emotional reaction from truth. It is students (and quite frankly a lot of adults I meet) that are not.  It's one thing to acknowledge institutional racism (a subject I believe is more fluid and debatable than you probably believe). It's quite another to ascribe those institutional characteristics to individuals or to dismiss an individual's work simply because it is a product of the era. That this is happening was my initial complaint. Subscribe to white guilt all you want; it doesn't mean we need to blacklist an artist on those grounds.
I think you are misunderstanding what people are saying. Read again the statements that you yourself wrote that students are saying and being taught. They do not ascribe the things you seem to think they ascribe. That sounds like you imposing your defensiveness.
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I think there's a failure in this thread and the other to which you refer to distinguish between discussing the institution of racism and its impact on its denizens from calling the denizens themselves actively racist on an individual basis. Some are, some aren't, but they are all affected by the institution.

Agreed, but while I believe institutional racism exists, the degree to which it affects its denizens and the prescriptions for eliminating it are up for debate because the very parameters for defining it are subjective. You argue as if these things are set in stone, which is why you and I will never reconcile on this.
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« Reply #209 on: January 06, 2017, 11:33:33 AM »

I think that if people remove their guilty imaginings from the topic, they will find it's not bothersome in the least. When one analyses any art form, the context of the culture, economics, politics, etc of the time and place come into it. None of you mind a "California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture" contextual analysis of Beach Boys music, do you? Would you be up-in-arms about how "unfair" it is to analyze Beach Boys music or its influences or impact in the light of these aspects of their surroundings? Discussing Beach Boys music in light of the institutional racism or their surroundings is no less valid.

I agree with this, as well. While I don't believe in holding historical figures to modern standards, neither do I think we need to shy away from the gap between the two. It can be dispassionately done. I suspect--admitting this is speculation--that sometimes it makes some people who were there then or who otherwise relate (e.g. white straight suburban guys who can imagine themselves in the BBs' shoes) feel uncomfortable and get defensive when there isn't actually anyone on the offensive.
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« Reply #210 on: January 06, 2017, 11:36:49 AM »

I think that if people remove their guilty imaginings from the topic, they will find it's not bothersome in the least. When one analyses any art form, the context of the culture, economics, politics, etc of the time and place come into it. None of you mind a "California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture" contextual analysis of Beach Boys music, do you? Would you be up-in-arms about how "unfair" it is to analyze Beach Boys music or its influences or impact in the light of these aspects of their surroundings? Discussing Beach Boys music in light of the institutional racism or their surroundings is no less valid.

But most of the conclusions being made regarding this discussion are intellectually irresponsible.  To come to the conclusion that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism solely because the music came from a period of intense racial turmoil in America is not sound reasoning.  We can successfully tie the music to all of the factors you mention ("California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture") because those characteristics comes through in the music very clearly.  What does NOT come through in the music is any reference of say, "keeping America white" or "celebrating segregation" or the naivete that the world is perfect as it is and nothing should change.  None of those messages comes through even remotely.  What does come through, as another poster mentioned, is the idea of love and togetherness among people.  That message is most definitely there in the music.  It may not be a radical enough statement for people in 2017 want to accept but it was their statement, nevertheless.
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« Reply #211 on: January 06, 2017, 11:41:44 AM »

I think that if people remove their guilty imaginings from the topic, they will find it's not bothersome in the least. When one analyses any art form, the context of the culture, economics, politics, etc of the time and place come into it. None of you mind a "California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture" contextual analysis of Beach Boys music, do you? Would you be up-in-arms about how "unfair" it is to analyze Beach Boys music or its influences or impact in the light of these aspects of their surroundings? Discussing Beach Boys music in light of the institutional racism or their surroundings is no less valid.

But most of the conclusions being made regarding this discussion are intellectually irresponsible.  To come to the conclusion that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism solely because the music came from a period of intense racial turmoil in America is not sound reasoning.  We can successfully tie the music to all of the factors you mention ("California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture") because those characteristics comes through in the music very clearly.  What does NOT come through in the music is any reference of say, "keeping America white" or "celebrating segregation" or the naivete that the world is perfect as it is and nothing should change.  None of those messages comes through even remotely.  What does come through, as another poster mentioned, is the idea of love and togetherness among people.  That message is most definitely there in the music.  It may not be a radical enough statement for people in 2017 want to accept but it was their statement, nevertheless.

Agreed completely.

Now what I want to know is what would The BBs had to have done back in the '60s for someone claiming  that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism to come to a *different* conclusion other than confidently making such as statement? If Mike Love had been a progressive race expert, and *every* 1960s Beach Boys song had a lyrical subtext about how institutional racism was a problem that needed to be overcome, would that then give the band a pass? But nothing short of that would give them a pass? Where is that line drawn, and who gets to draw it?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 11:46:42 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #212 on: January 06, 2017, 11:47:17 AM »

I think that if people remove their guilty imaginings from the topic, they will find it's not bothersome in the least. When one analyses any art form, the context of the culture, economics, politics, etc of the time and place come into it. None of you mind a "California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture" contextual analysis of Beach Boys music, do you? Would you be up-in-arms about how "unfair" it is to analyze Beach Boys music or its influences or impact in the light of these aspects of their surroundings? Discussing Beach Boys music in light of the institutional racism or their surroundings is no less valid.

But most of the conclusions being made regarding this discussion are intellectually irresponsible.  To come to the conclusion that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism solely because the music came from a period of intense racial turmoil in America is not sound reasoning.  We can successfully tie the music to all of the factors you mention ("California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture") because those characteristics comes through in the music very clearly.  What does NOT come through in the music is any reference of say, "keeping America white" or "celebrating segregation" or the naivete that the world is perfect as it is and nothing should change.  None of those messages comes through even remotely.  What does come through, as another poster mentioned, is the idea of love and togetherness among people.  That message is most definitely there in the music.  It may not be a radical enough statement for people in 2017 want to accept but it was their statement, nevertheless.
I think it's pretty easy to tie aspects of The Beach Boys music and career arc to the institutional racism of the time.  And I think their early music comes across as "white" just as much as it comes across as "California". I think the "keep America white," etc aspect of your post is what your defenses are hearing, not what others are saying.
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« Reply #213 on: January 06, 2017, 11:48:45 AM »

I think that if people remove their guilty imaginings from the topic, they will find it's not bothersome in the least. When one analyses any art form, the context of the culture, economics, politics, etc of the time and place come into it. None of you mind a "California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture" contextual analysis of Beach Boys music, do you? Would you be up-in-arms about how "unfair" it is to analyze Beach Boys music or its influences or impact in the light of these aspects of their surroundings? Discussing Beach Boys music in light of the institutional racism or their surroundings is no less valid.

But most of the conclusions being made regarding this discussion are intellectually irresponsible.  To come to the conclusion that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism solely because the music came from a period of intense racial turmoil in America is not sound reasoning.  We can successfully tie the music to all of the factors you mention ("California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture") because those characteristics comes through in the music very clearly.  What does NOT come through in the music is any reference of say, "keeping America white" or "celebrating segregation" or the naivete that the world is perfect as it is and nothing should change.  None of those messages comes through even remotely.  What does come through, as another poster mentioned, is the idea of love and togetherness among people.  That message is most definitely there in the music.  It may not be a radical enough statement for people in 2017 want to accept but it was their statement, nevertheless.

Agreed completely.

Now what I want to know is what would The BBs had to have done back in the '60s for someone claiming  that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism to come to a *different* conclusion other than confidently making such as statement? If Mike Love had been a progressive race expert, and *every* 1960s Beach Boys song had a lyrical subtext about how institutional racism was a problem that needed to be overcome, would that then give the band a pass? But nothing short of that would give them a pass? Where is that line drawn, and who gets to draw it?
Nothing. It's not a personal indictment. Again, that's what you're hearing but it's not what's being said.
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« Reply #214 on: January 06, 2017, 11:55:33 AM »

I think that if people remove their guilty imaginings from the topic, they will find it's not bothersome in the least. When one analyses any art form, the context of the culture, economics, politics, etc of the time and place come into it. None of you mind a "California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture" contextual analysis of Beach Boys music, do you? Would you be up-in-arms about how "unfair" it is to analyze Beach Boys music or its influences or impact in the light of these aspects of their surroundings? Discussing Beach Boys music in light of the institutional racism or their surroundings is no less valid.

But most of the conclusions being made regarding this discussion are intellectually irresponsible.  To come to the conclusion that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism solely because the music came from a period of intense racial turmoil in America is not sound reasoning.  We can successfully tie the music to all of the factors you mention ("California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture") because those characteristics comes through in the music very clearly.  What does NOT come through in the music is any reference of say, "keeping America white" or "celebrating segregation" or the naivete that the world is perfect as it is and nothing should change.  None of those messages comes through even remotely.  What does come through, as another poster mentioned, is the idea of love and togetherness among people.  That message is most definitely there in the music.  It may not be a radical enough statement for people in 2017 want to accept but it was their statement, nevertheless.

Agreed completely.

Now what I want to know is what would The BBs had to have done back in the '60s for someone claiming  that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism to come to a *different* conclusion other than confidently making such as statement?

My guess is that they would have had to have written a song specifically about the subject or at the very least very clearly been quoted denouncing the events of the period.  Anything less would not change any 2017 spectator's views because the golden rule appears to be if you don't voice your views you are automatically grouped with the other group that is doing the harm--without question.

Technically, the one song that comes to mind that even remotely comes close is "Student Demonstration Time."  

America was stunned on May 4, 1970
When rally turned to riot up at Kent State University
They said the students scared the Guard
Though the troops were battle dressed
Four martyrs earned a new degree
The Bachelor of Bullets
I know we're all fed up with useless wars and racial strife
But next time there's a riot, well, you best stay out of sight

The song is by no means supporting segregation or being white--especially that lyric in particular.  The song is a criticism of what's happening and comes off as fearful, pinged with sadness.  You can't get anymore of a statement from the band than that.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 11:56:12 AM by Justin » Logged
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« Reply #215 on: January 06, 2017, 11:57:51 AM »

I think it's pretty easy to tie aspects of The Beach Boys music and career arc to the institutional racism of the time.  And I think their early music comes across as "white" just as much as it comes across as "California".

Please elaborate. 
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« Reply #216 on: January 06, 2017, 12:00:16 PM »

I think that if people remove their guilty imaginings from the topic, they will find it's not bothersome in the least. When one analyses any art form, the context of the culture, economics, politics, etc of the time and place come into it. None of you mind a "California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture" contextual analysis of Beach Boys music, do you? Would you be up-in-arms about how "unfair" it is to analyze Beach Boys music or its influences or impact in the light of these aspects of their surroundings? Discussing Beach Boys music in light of the institutional racism or their surroundings is no less valid.

But most of the conclusions being made regarding this discussion are intellectually irresponsible.  To come to the conclusion that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism solely because the music came from a period of intense racial turmoil in America is not sound reasoning.  We can successfully tie the music to all of the factors you mention ("California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture") because those characteristics comes through in the music very clearly.  What does NOT come through in the music is any reference of say, "keeping America white" or "celebrating segregation" or the naivete that the world is perfect as it is and nothing should change.  None of those messages comes through even remotely.  What does come through, as another poster mentioned, is the idea of love and togetherness among people.  That message is most definitely there in the music.  It may not be a radical enough statement for people in 2017 want to accept but it was their statement, nevertheless.

Agreed completely.

Now what I want to know is what would The BBs had to have done back in the '60s for someone claiming  that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism to come to a *different* conclusion other than confidently making such as statement? If Mike Love had been a progressive race expert, and *every* 1960s Beach Boys song had a lyrical subtext about how institutional racism was a problem that needed to be overcome, would that then give the band a pass? But nothing short of that would give them a pass? Where is that line drawn, and who gets to draw it?
Nothing. It's not a personal indictment. Again, that's what you're hearing but it's not what's being said.

Emily, I don't want to misunderstand or misconstrue what you are trying to say. Not do I wish to overreact if I have something wrong on my end. If I have it wrong, can you please clarify again what is in fact being said, and how you think one should ideally interpret it?

And by your statement of the word "nothing" in response to my earlier question, I'm just trying to confirm I understand what you're saying: do you mean to say that there's nothing the band could have done short of constantly writing songs about race to avoid the statement "The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism"? Am I reading that right?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 12:11:06 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #217 on: January 06, 2017, 12:17:43 PM »

This is a response to Justin, two above.
Some is in that article; some is in this thread. An example: the music industry in the early '60s had a complicated racial structure. There was a lot of money being made by taking songs written and originally performed by black artists that were locally successful and repackaging them with shiny white teen-idols to sell to suburban white kids. A lot of The Beach Boys' early success and institutional support is linked to their shiny suburbanism while delivering r&b grooves to white teenagers. You can read Mike Love talking about hanging around black kids and getting into R&B. But the black writers and original performers of R&B songs made a lot less money than the repackaging with white performers. That's just what was happening at the time. It's not their fault, but it was an aspect of what they were a part of.  The Beach Boys had some unusual talent and grew out of that, but that's what their start was.

A lot of American folk is rooted in the poverty of the depression. One can analyze a folk musician's music in that light without being taken as asserting that the musician was impoverished during the depression. Why can't people read an analysis of music in the light of racism without freaking out that the musician is being called racist?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 12:25:44 PM by Emily » Logged
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« Reply #218 on: January 06, 2017, 12:21:56 PM »

I think that if people remove their guilty imaginings from the topic, they will find it's not bothersome in the least. When one analyses any art form, the context of the culture, economics, politics, etc of the time and place come into it. None of you mind a "California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture" contextual analysis of Beach Boys music, do you? Would you be up-in-arms about how "unfair" it is to analyze Beach Boys music or its influences or impact in the light of these aspects of their surroundings? Discussing Beach Boys music in light of the institutional racism or their surroundings is no less valid.

But most of the conclusions being made regarding this discussion are intellectually irresponsible.  To come to the conclusion that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism solely because the music came from a period of intense racial turmoil in America is not sound reasoning.  We can successfully tie the music to all of the factors you mention ("California" or a "baby boom" or "middle class suburban" or "postwar" or an "American" or "1960s" or "Vietnam" or "drug culture") because those characteristics comes through in the music very clearly.  What does NOT come through in the music is any reference of say, "keeping America white" or "celebrating segregation" or the naivete that the world is perfect as it is and nothing should change.  None of those messages comes through even remotely.  What does come through, as another poster mentioned, is the idea of love and togetherness among people.  That message is most definitely there in the music.  It may not be a radical enough statement for people in 2017 want to accept but it was their statement, nevertheless.

Agreed completely.

Now what I want to know is what would The BBs had to have done back in the '60s for someone claiming  that The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism to come to a *different* conclusion other than confidently making such as statement? If Mike Love had been a progressive race expert, and *every* 1960s Beach Boys song had a lyrical subtext about how institutional racism was a problem that needed to be overcome, would that then give the band a pass? But nothing short of that would give them a pass? Where is that line drawn, and who gets to draw it?
Nothing. It's not a personal indictment. Again, that's what you're hearing but it's not what's being said.

Emily, I don't want to misunderstand or misconstrue what you are trying to say. Not do I wish to overreact if I have something wrong on my end. If I have it wrong, can you please clarify again what is in fact being said, and how you think one should ideally interpret it?

And by your statement of the word "nothing" in response to my earlier question, I'm just trying to confirm I understand what you're saying: do you mean to say that there's nothing the band could have done short of constantly writing songs about race to avoid the statement "The Beach Boys' music is deeply rooted in institutional racism"? Am I reading that right?
I wouldn't insert the word "deeply" but otherwise, there's nothing The Beach Boys could have done short of being born in a different time or place to avoid the statement that their music was rooted in institutional racism. If you are born, raised and living within institutional racism, everything you do has roots in institutional racism. That's what's being said, and, "let's look at 'x' aspect of this music in light of that fact." Just like everything produced during the depression can be looked at in light of the depression.
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« Reply #219 on: January 06, 2017, 12:30:23 PM »

Some is in that article; some is in this thread. An example: the music industry in the early '60s had a complicated racial structure. There was a lot of money being made by taking songs written and originally performed by black artists that were locally successful and repackaging them with shiny white teen-idols to sell to suburban white kids. A lot of The Beach Boys' early success and institutional support is linked to their shiny suburbanism while delivering r&b grooves to white teenagers. You can read Mike Love talking about hanging around black kids and getting into R&B. But the black writers and original performers of R&B songs made a lot less money than the repackaging with white performers. That's just what was happening at the time. It's not their fault, but it was an aspect of what they were a part of.  The Beach Boys had some unusual talent and grew out of that, but that's what their start was.

A lot of American folk is rooted in the poverty of the depression. One can analyze a folk musician's music in that light without being taken as asserting that the musician was impoverished during the depression. Why can't people read an analysis of music in the light of racism without freaking out that the musician is being called racist?

Fair enough. I certainly wouldn't argue at all about that, and the fact that there was a structure that perhaps gave the band of white kids a better deal than what the record company might have "tried to pull" had they been black kids instead.

With regards to your question about why people freak out about the interpretation that a musician is being called racist... it's all about how things are framed/context of a person's argument or statement, and how that gets interpreted by many people. While a fair point could easily be made talking about the 1960s and how suburban white kids were more accepting of white musicians as opposed to black ones (and how record companies may have exploited that), it's all too easy for the terminology that the person arguing such a point to begin to veer into something where the band and members are somehow "guilty" of something, when in fact by all accounts they seemed to be good people who did not behave in a racist way. It naturally begins to put some sort of finger-wagging on them, as though the teenaged band was responsible for going to the record company and saying "we don't want to benefit in any way from a record deal that we might be getting because we are white".

I mean... I'm sure there were some forward-thinking people in the industry who might have taken such a stand, and I think that's RAD beyond words. Yet I don't think they are guilty of anything except just being white male kids in the early 1960s, which somehow seems like that fact alone is problematic to some people. I feel someone is gonna write an article throwing Kevin Arnold under the bus next.

And I think anyone who starts to casually throw around the term "racism" and "The BBs" in the same sentence (the current Trump situation excluded from the point I'm making) should absolutely feel a *responsibility* to be very careful with what words are chosen, and to not give any sort of impression that might allow the band to begin having some sort of unfairly negative connotation to modern young people in PC culture. I know we are not publicists or spokespeople for the band, and have no vested personal interest in keeping the band name scandal-free, so to speak... but still, people can latch onto ideas in an overly negative way, and start causing an entire band's music to become unfairly stigmatized. People SHOULD walk on eggshells somewhat to make sure they are not saying stuff that could lead people down such a road, just as many people walk on eggshells (fairly) by choosing their words carefully to avoid saying things that could be misinterpreted as racist/sexist, etc.

Fair is fair. There's plenty of people who have probably begun to feel a toxicty about the brand name (Trump excluded) just because of articles like the Pet Sounds one, and I think that stinks. It's certainly the author's responsibility to not make such implications (unless that's their intention). Yes, readers have their own minds, but again - people are impressionable, and often easily-manipulable. If it becomes "hip" to rag on the band by throwing their name and the term "racism" in the same sentence, it's gonna start happening, and it's just not right. (Of course, the Trump thing is gonna f*** that up big time too).
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 12:40:43 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #220 on: January 06, 2017, 12:34:11 PM »

I think there's a bigger problem with people hearing things that aren't there. But whatever.
Edit - sorry that was rude.
I think that to say that people should essentially not talk about racism because some people get upset is to, essentially, say, "let's let racism persist because it upsets people to counter it" because I think that many people react negatively to anyone ever saying anything about racism (other than saying it's not a problem.)
I'm not going to edit myself pointing out racism and misogyny because some people are unable to grapple with reality.
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« Reply #221 on: January 06, 2017, 12:35:34 PM »

I think there's a bigger problem with people hearing things that aren't there. But whatever.

But you know, that cuts both ways, right? With regards to some people hearing/interpreting some things as sexist/racist, when in fact that's not always the case either.
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« Reply #222 on: January 06, 2017, 12:35:42 PM »

A lot of American folk is rooted in the poverty of the depression. One can analyze a folk musician's music in that light without being taken as asserting that the musician was impoverished during the depression. Why can't people read an analysis of music in the light of racism without freaking out that the musician is being called racist?

How does one not "freak out" when the words you choose literally imply that position:

there's nothing The Beach Boys could have done short of being born in a different time or place to avoid the statement that their music was rooted in institutional racism.

This is an example of 2+2=5.  

The music itself could not have been "rooted" in institutional racism because the music was rooted in Brian's garage, based on The Four Freshman harmonies and Chuck Berry rhythms.  That is a literal explanation of where the music was born from.  What you are trying to blend into the discussion is something else entirely.  

By this logic, all the music from Motown and Stax was also rooted in institutional racism.*


*Unless, that doesn't count because only whites were the aggressors of institutional racism because of their privilege.  Another example of irresponsible over-generalizing.
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« Reply #223 on: January 06, 2017, 12:41:39 PM »

I think there's a bigger problem with people hearing things that aren't there. But whatever.

But you know, that cuts both ways, right? With regards to some people hearing/interpreting some things as sexist/racist, when in fact that's not always the case either.
I edited above before I saw this. I think this is a false equivalence. I think that when most people talk about racism and misogyny, they are talking about cultural functions, unless they are talking about specific outright examples. Not always- and in that case they should be called out and that's fine. The problem is that some people can't grapple, most often I guess for psychological reasons, with the fact that those things are existing cultural functions, so they react all touchy.
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« Reply #224 on: January 06, 2017, 12:43:27 PM »

A lot of American folk is rooted in the poverty of the depression. One can analyze a folk musician's music in that light without being taken as asserting that the musician was impoverished during the depression. Why can't people read an analysis of music in the light of racism without freaking out that the musician is being called racist?

How does one not "freak out" when the words you choose literally imply that position:

there's nothing The Beach Boys could have done short of being born in a different time or place to avoid the statement that their music was rooted in institutional racism.

This is an example of 2+2=5.  

The music itself could not have been "rooted" in institutional racism because the music was rooted in Brian's garage, based on The Four Freshman harmonies and Chuck Berry rhythms.  That is a literal explanation of where the music was born from.  What you are trying to blend into the discussion is something else entirely.  

By this logic, all the music from Motown and Stax was also rooted in institutional racism.*


*Unless, that doesn't count because only whites were the aggressors of institutional racism because of their privilege.  Another example of irresponsible over-generalizing.
Yes, all the music from Motown and Stax was rooted in institutional racism. The rest of your post: no.
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