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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Roland Martin weighs in on the Tracy Morgan controversy

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Many of you have probably read about comedian Tracy Morgan and his tasteless rant during a recent appearance in Nashville. Tracy suffered from a lapse in judgment, and has acknowledged as much. Roland Martin, however, is a completely different story.

Martin, a journalist employed by CNN has chosen to defend Morgan, claiming we all find this sort of outrage entertaining. I, for one, do not! Tracy was right to apologize. There was nothing funny about his remarks. Martin, on the other hand, has had plenty of time to think about the consequences of such tragic remarks, but remains supportive, in spite of his obvious hypocrisy!

Case in point, Michael Richards, another comedian guilty of tasteless remarks. Richards cracked under pressure after hecklers repeatedly called him a “cracker”, a derogatory slur, every bit as inappropriate as the ‘N’ word. Let’s be honest with ourselves, shall we. It’s all about intent. Martin, however, views it differently. He apparently sees a chasm in our cultural language. For Martin, threatening to kill gays is fine, as long as no-one mutters the ‘N’ word. How crass! How shallow!

I quizzed Roland Martin about his defense of Tracy’s remarks, and this is what he had to say… verbatim. I asked him: "You have chosen to defend Tracy Morgan for off color remarks he made during a recent appearance in Nashville. I agree with your assessment of the situation in principle. However, and please don't interpret this as a 'gotcha' moment, but I can't help but wonder if you professed the same level of support for Michael Richards after he made similar tasteless remarks?"

Martin: “Actually, you're wrong. I haven't chosen to defend Tracy Morgan. I've chosen to ask some tough questions about all of us when it comes to sexism, racism and homophobia. First, I started following this story when individuals said, 'it's wrong to joke about killing a gay kid. It's wrong to joke about committing violence against kids.' I said to myself, 'Why are folks lying? Every day we laugh at beating kids, someone getting murdered, and things like that.'

So I chose to ask my followers, 'WHY do we laugh at sexism, racism and homophobia, but now get mad at Tracy Morgan.' So I purposely went out and found other comedians who have joked about murdering women, murdering women, beating kids when they are 1-years-old, and asked, 'So are these comedians wrong, or do we give comedians license to say whatever they want on stage?' Now, let me explain to you Michael Richards. I said - on TV - that Michael Richards snapped on a patron. Michael did not have the N-word as part of any routine or comedy bit. I said then, and say now, that had Michael Richards used the N-word on stage, during a bit, it would have been totally different than him snapping on a patron.”

For my money, I am not satisfied with Roland’s response. I shouldn’t need to point out that his own remarks seem hypocritical at best. Martin seems to be saying it’s funny to threaten to kill gays, as long as you claim it’s part of your act, and providing you don’t use the ‘N’ word. I’m at a loss as to why Martin doesn’t simply follow Tracy’s lead and acknowledge the obvious. Marginalizing a portion of the populace is never acceptable, no matter an individuals color or sexual preference.

Shame on you, Roland Martin!

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor
Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Alice Cooper Group to perform at Hall of Fame induction Ceremonies

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper and his original band-mates have been chosen to perform at this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies. The live telecast  on March 14th is expected to draw millions of viewers, as fans both young and old gather around the television for what is expected to be an unforgettable rock & roll spectacle, as only the Alice Cooper Group can deliver.

Alice and the boys broke into the music scene in the late sixties, trading in a burned out peace and love movement for violent images of blood and gore. The horror shtick stuck, and the Alice Cooper Group rocketed to super-stardom, scoring a bevy of hits, including the classics, Billion Dollar Babies, School’s Out, I’m Eighteen and No More Mr. Nice Guy. The  band released seven studio albums and a multi platinum Greatest Hits collection before going separate ways to pursue solo careers in 1975.

Alice, (born Vincent Furnier) continued to record under the Alice Cooper moniker, releasing eighteen solo albums do date. Alice is currently in the studio with legendary record producer Bob Ezrin recording a follow-up to his classic album ’Welcome to My Nightmare, due later this year.

The original Alice Cooper Group featured Glen Buxton and Michael Bruce on guitars, Dennis Dunaway on bass, Neal Smith, drums and Alice on vocals. Buxton, whom Rolling Stone Magazine ranked among the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." passed away in 1997.

Michael Bruce speaks fondly of those early days of rock & roll mayhem. “We were in the studio recording tracks for the Billion Dollar Babies album when Shep (band manager Shep Gordon) came in with an elaborate scale model of our new stage layout for the upcoming tour. It was all very Spinal Tap, but after the initial shock wore off, we realized it was a pretty cool stage design. When the actual stage arrived, it was magnificent, with these two reflective, vertical columns that glittered brightly under the lights. What we didn’t know was that the columns were coated with a thick fiberglass-like material which would slice our arms to ribbons by the end of each show. Some of that blood up there was real”

“We were pushing the envelope” states Michael with a broad smile. “That tour (Billion Dollar Babies) took off and just kept growing.” Ultimately, the Billion Dollar Babies tour went on to break attendance records previously held by the Rolling Stones.

Alice Cooper and the boys have announced plans to extend their re-union affair after their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction on March 14th. The band intends to take the show on the road, with performances in Los Angeles, Detroit, Toronto and more.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor
Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment