Letters

Devo-ted
Re: "Are They Not Artists?" by Susan F. Edwards (Aug. 13-19)

Let it be known that this particular rocker loves Devo and readily acknowledges their pioneering genius.

Good article! I found if particularly interesting that Giffels wrote for Beavis and Butthead, another brilliant absurdist satire that for the most part went over the heads of the masses. America really doesn't "get" satire, does it?

Bummer that the writers and subjects of this much-needed tome are at odds.

But then again, this post-publication feuding could be Devo mindfucking America once more for old times' sake.

—Mark Warren
Barely Pink/The Vodkanauts

Turned off
Re: "Radio Jingo" by Scott Harrell (Aug. 6-12)

Thank you for suggesting that the racist remarks made by certain DJs should be considered outrageous. I am outraged, especially by Ron Diaz's remarks. Of the DJs I listen to (which up until recently was all of them except Bubba), it seems to me that Ron Diaz is the worst offender. I've heard him make extremely offensive, racist, sexist and even ageist remarks. But I kept listening because I like the music. However, after he mocked and belittled the young woman who has alleged that Kobe Bryant raped her, I turned him off. And then I decided to stop listening to his station all together because I realized that the higher-ups there are obviously fine with his antics. Thanks for writing about it and seeing it as newsworthy.

—Judy Noone
Via e-mail

I've pretty much given up on listening to 103.5 for the very reasons given in your article. I did hear Ron Diaz's slurs — they are common. I also heard him challenging Mr. Suren to come to the station. If Mr. Hardin wanted to look into it, all he had to do was ask a few morning listeners. It's pretty obvious he didn't care to investigate.

Your article coupled with the Weekly Planet's primary story, "In Defense of Liberty," is disturbing to say the least (depressing is more apt). It's ironic that these articles would have been used by the far right to further an anti-government-control agenda but in these times they are held up as leftwing and antipatriotic. Strange that those who shout the loudest about democratic freedoms are the loudest to support taking away those same freedoms.

Thanks to you and Weekly Planet for continuing to write articles that are relevant.

—David Lishan
Via e-mail

I did want to take issue (respectfully) with the use to which you put "nationalism." Toward the end of the article, you claimed that the sort of arch-patriotic xenophobia that Thunder traffics in is "a primary component of nationalism, a widely researched and historically cited cultivation of antagonistic countrywide mood by governments edging toward imperial or fascistic agendas." Generally speaking, nationalism has gotten a bad rap — and deservedly so — but it's worth noting that "the thinking" on nationalism has altered somewhat in recent years, not least because it often operates as a kind of bulwark against globalization. See for example the section "The Meaning(s) of Nationalism" in Jihad vs. McWorld by Benjamin Barber. After noting that nationalism is one of the elements that can make religion extremely toxic, he goes on to point out that "Nationalism ... has now and has perhaps always had two moments: one of group identity and exclusion but another, equally important, of integration and inclusion." It's not my intention to quibble with an excellent article, or to be pedantic. I simply thought it might be worth pointing out that, by the lights of many progressive scholars, nationalism cannot be simply written off as uniformly noxious.

—David Bramer
Tampa

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