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Strange Regression

December 25, 1988

My journey from '60s protests to '80s schoolteacher had, I thought, given me a comprehensive perspective of America's direction and purpose. However, your Dec. 4 issue presented a strange regression, which shook my sensibilities while reaffirming my commitment to social conscience.

A 58-year-old grandmother was sentenced to 12 years for acting out her disgust with the "them versus us" Pentagon mentality. A contrasting Calendar story and review of Gun N' Roses' latest contribution to decadence, a song titled, "One in a Million," was described as fascinating by your reviewer and funny by bassist Doug McKagan.

The fascinating humor reinforces the recent Sam Kinison gay-bashing technique apparently used by a growing number of L.A. rock groups to validate their "manliness." Whereas rock music was once a vehicle for progression and upliftment, it is now a repository for nasty self-centeredness.

Meanwhile, Jean Gump proudly endures her incarceration in Missouri, reminding us that we can no longer count on long-haired musicians to effectively provoke outrage at society's growing nastiness. "Them versus us" is an optical illusion of our consciousness. The role of the artist is suggested by Albert Einstein. "The creations of our minds should be a blessing, not a curse to mankind." Those blessed with talent would do well to stop cursing their universe.

THOMAS F. CAVANAUGH

Studio City

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