Saturday, September 17, 2005

Thanks to everybody who showed up at the panel. It felt a little anticlimactic and less than it might have been had there been more focus and preparation (I wish we'd figured out beforehand where panelists specifically disagreed with each other), but there were enough talking points to keep discussion whizzing along. I was glad to hear what Julianne, Lynne, Chris and Jason had to say and would have liked to hear more, though I'm glad Chris isn't allowed to force the world to prefer Mr. Lif to 50 Cent.

Even though my mouth was in high gear throughout, I sympathize with the frustration Lynne describes. There were points I wish I made clearer, details I wish I'd acknowledged, tangents I wish I avoided. All of us understood that this music deserved criticism but none of us had any desire to be censorial. Making others aware of how we approach the songs (as well as the larger questions of race, sexuality and art-vs.-pornography they raise) and why, hoping the knowledge will inform their perspectives, is all one can do. I'm incredibly grateful when people do it.

As for the festivities that followed, I saw some great bands (gotta catch Man Man and the Wrens next time they're in town), but visiting old friends and meeting new people was the real highlight of the week for me. No showcase performance could compare to watching a karaoke cubicle full of Stylus scribes holler along to Johnny Cash's "Hurt,", except maybe my rendition of "This Woman's Work."

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