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A response to…

Posted on February 13 2011

I tend to agree with most points made in this post though I think the error occurred when Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser al Missned used “hip-hop stars” in place of celebrity – as it almost seems that a certain group of persons is being singled out. I do not discount that many hip-hop stars speak eloquently (and artfully) of the trials of life, expanding on the experience of the American poor and glorifying their rise out of poverty or middle class into a nouveau rich lifestyle. Everyone is entitled to tell his (or her story) – freedom of speech is one of the many gifts of the American culture. Though with that said, hip-hop stars can be very fickle in their approach to lyrics as with any art form or entertainment piece those issues that are dismal and dejected are often less sexy and less popular. Art in its definition really has no boundary. I think this is what Her Highness refers to in her statement on the state of current ethics – for artists provide guidance in art not in ethics. Miscommunication is often the root of most arguments, debates and wars and if something is not clearly defined it can be interpreted in many ways. However in the context of Her Highness’s speech it seems very much that she is alluding to cultural ethics and moral , i.e., one’s responsibility to society, i.e. one’s role in promoting sound values and instilling a good sense of what is good and right into the new generation. If this is the case then having the media force the ‘celebrity culture’ (this includes hip-hop stars) – a culture rife with superficiality and the skewed ethics of misconstruing what is right and good, is certainly not the kind of values or morals that should dictate our generations’s input into society. Misconstrued ethics results in mis-educated leaders and consequent unintelligible decisions. In a world already plagued by conflicts over land, race, rights and dwindling resources – I do agree with her Highness’s concern for the lack of promotion of sound ethics, and despite how many times you listen to lyrics from an artist that discuss such issues, whatever inspiration (or ethical stirrings) it provides often is trumped by another song of that same artist that promotes ‘sex, drugs, women and fast cars’. In the end, often what sells isn’t “sexy” and entertainment should not be mixed up with real issues. (Safs)

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