Monday, March 03, 2008

Only real injustice can get me seething. It's fair to say that I'm not quite seething about this, but this definitely deserves a rant.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by the Evening Standard letters editor, Josh Neicho, to write a piece on Amy Winehouse's Grammy win. It wasn't the first time I was asked to write for the letters page; in February 2006 I got a phonecall from the same guy asking me to write about the rise of the Arctic Monkeys and the internet. I duly responded and had an article published the next day - quite a thrill. He'd written other times, asked me to give my response and did not write back or publish my articles. I didn't hear back from him this time and he didn't publish my letter.

This re-affirmed my attitude towards doing this kind of thing. As a blogger I blog as and when I please. As an amatuer photographer, I take pictures at the gigs I want to go to, when I want to go to them and can upload my pictures when I choose. It stops being a hobby when people give you deadlines, false expectations and want you to do the work of a freelance journalist. So, no more wasting my time writing for bad, mainstream, profiteering newspapers.

This is what I wrote anyway:

It is a real shame that Natalie Cole, after all her experience of the music industry, does not understand the concept of music awards ceremonies. That is, to recognise the musical achievements of artists, not the private conduct of celebrities. It is almost as absurd as it is to assess A-levels on students’ behaviour, or to only award Olympic medals to heterosexual athletes.

Considering Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black is riding high in the charts all over the world 16 months after its release, that it received international critical acclaim and people of all ages are enthusing about Amy’s incredible abilities, it is not at all surprising that she swept the board at the Grammys!

Young women in the limelight, like Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse, are judged on everything they do in their lives; we nod disapprovingly when they smoke (eugh!), when they have a night out (tsk tsk) and even when they have difficulty parking their car (sigh).

Even if you think music awards are only a chance for the music industry to pat each other on the back, you’d be mad to deny the artists who enrich our lives the right to be recognised for their art, not their private life, for just a few days a year.

Robbie de Santos, abstractboy.blogspot.com

posted by Robbie de Santos at 3/03/2008 11:42:00 pm


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