In the first essay in Calendar's new Popping Off series, William K. Knoedelseder Jr. defended Paul Simon's decision to record "Graceland" in South Africa, and to use South African musicians. Knoedelseder's commentary, prompted by protests against Simon by students at Howard University, drew spirited response from readers. Here is a sampling of opinion, the overwhelming majority of which supported Simon's actions. Popping Off is an occasional forum commenting on timely issues in pop music.
Let's see: Dream up some whiny lyrics about the "plight of the blacks," add a few chants and tribal drumbeats by the locals, and presto: an instant sales success for the Yuppie masses.
So 3.5 million people have bought this laboring, meandering and mumbling social statement. How much of Simon's profits has he donated to the South Africans?