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Subject: 06/15/93 - The National Midnight Star #697
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          The National Midnight Star, Number 697

                  Tuesday, 15 June 1993
Today's Topics:
      RE: 06/11/93 - The National Midnight Star #695
                       This n' that
      Re: 06/14/93 - The National Midnight Star #696
              "Doesn't belong here" postings
      "Sexism, rap, Columbia house, the list etc..."
      Re: 06/14/93 - The National Midnight Star #696
                     Slang ramblings
                      my $.02 worth
                Bill's a secret Rush fan??
                       sexism, etc.
                         Red Tide
                      NEW TOPIC(s)!!
               Analysis of sexism in lyrics
               RE: Sexism & Explicit Lyrics
                  explicit lyrics in RTB
                 Apologies all 'round...
                     Shades of Sexism
       Sorry for the non-Rush content (it's short)

Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1993 18:03:22 EDT
From: Homer-cleez cares not for beans! 
Subject: RE: 06/11/93 - The National Midnight Star #695

I've tried to resist, but I've got to put me two cents in on the budding
debate on sexism and Rush.

First of all, as you consider the debate thus far, I think it's important to
notice how the opinions have divided thus far along gender lines.  The only
fans to point material that see as sexist have been women; the *Defenders of
Rush* have all been men.  I think that's significant for this reason:  In the
context in which we have been discussing sexism, it has meant women being or
feeling denigrated by men (not the other way around).  In other words, if the
alleged sexism is present, women are the victims.  As men, then, we should
pause, I think, and recognize that it is difficult for us to appreciate how
sexist material affects women, for the very reason that we are men.  That
does not mean that men cannot argue that something is or is not sexist, but
it does, I think, remind that we are rarely victims of sexism the way women
are, so it may be harder for us to see and we may be "quick to judge...slow
to understand."

Personally, I think the intro video to Tom Sawyer is very sexist, and it annoys
me everytime I see it.  A couple of you have suggested some reasons for the
busty woman's appearance that is related to the song lyrics or the album.  What
one person said about the woman being a by-product (or necessary compliment) of
the Tom Sawyer mentality is interesting.

Some have said that to harp on this as sexism is being too hard on ole Geddy,
Alex, and Neil.  To that I would say:  Geddy, Alex, and Neil are our heroes,
right?  (They are certainly mine.)  We all want to believe that our heroes are
perfect, and we can get pretty good at defending them.  (I suppose there are
those die-hard Slaughter fans who would try to convince us that their videos
and album covers aren't sexist.)  If we didn't defend them they would look
tarnished in our eyes, and we might have to consider giving them up as heroes.

Still, I think it's best to look at things realistically and be realistic
about our heroes.  We can dump the sexism word if it's scarring us or if it
seems too *PC* to us, but the fact remains, (1) the most remarkable thing about
the woman on the TS video is that she's busty and (2) such a limited (and
purposeful) (mis)representation of women makes many women uncomfortable.

Are we being too hard on Rush if we say the video is sexist?  No.  As everyone
has said, they are light-years ahead of most rock and rap bands by not being
obsessed with women's bodies and "gettin' some."  Also, by talking about it
(and calling them on it), we might ensure that we won't see this kind of crap
again.  It's embarrassing.  I think they should stick to magical bunnies and
elephant butts (<-- Inside cover RTB).

To those who say I (and the women who started this) are making too much of
a little thing ("Just relax, Man!"), I say:  Maybe it's part of something
(socially speaking) that's not so small...


Date: Mon, 14 Jun 93 15:12:37 PDT
From: johnlee@sirius.UVic.CA (John  Lee)
Subject: This n' that

Good day, eh?

Author's warning!!
This is another one of my assorted topic postings, so if you want to read
yet one more volume of rap discussions, or an in-depth discussion of Wal
basses or Black Holes, you are looking in the wrong place!


Quite some time ago I read in an NMS issue where somebody was trying to come
up with the right adjectives to describe the above mentioned song.
How about "Hauntingly powerful"?  I think that might hit pretty close to
home, eh?  Not quite perfect, but still pretty close.


Every time I listen to that album I get this vision of the perfect environment
in which to play it.  Picture THIS, hoseheads.

	You are sitting with your friends in some kind of convertible car,
  traveling through the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (Pick your favourite mountain range)
  Mountains.  In my case the Rocky Mountains would be ideal.  The sun is out.
  The sky is blue and free of smog.  There are few other cars around and no
  trucks to be seen.  It's warm out.  Really warm.  It's the middle of July.
  Trees cover the landscape; there are no clearcut areas.  The top of the car
  is down and the breeze is just right, cooling but not numbing.  You and your
  friends are headed somewhere exciting, ie. to a _ _ _ _ (Pick your favorite
  band) concert.  That smell of summer is in the air, and someone installed a
  really NICE stereo system in the car.  The view all around is spectacular.
  You can see for miles and miles (and miles and miles and miles and miles and
  miles).  And, for the finishing touch, Presto is being played in its
  entirety.  And man oh man does it sound good.


No, thanks.  Who in the blazes would name their kid "Rush", anyways!?
(What didja learn at school today, Rush?  Pass the salt please, Rush.)


A 2112 shirt?  I really would like to get one if they can be got at.

   [ Well, I've seen a Rush shirt around lately that is similar, it says 
     "Rush 2112" on it; it's not the real thing but hey...	: rush-mgr ]


By a sheer stroke of luck I discovered The Man's e-mail address.  Just
don't flood his mailbox with stuff we know would irritate him, please.
We wouldn't want this unexpected privilege to end, would we?

Now to the address.  I'd better type it out before I forget what it is.
The address is --wait!  What's that smell?  Smells like smoke...  Yep,
there's the fire alarm.  Catch ya later, people!  (cough!) I'd better get out
of here while I still can.  Chow!

   [ Oooo mean trick there! :)					: rush-mgr ]



Date:         Mon, 14 Jun 93 19:19:41 CDT
From: Tracey 
Subject:      Re: 06/14/93 - The National Midnight Star #696

Patricia said...
>I agree that we don't have the "right" to judge them, but I can disagree with
>anyone about anything whenever I want to. If someone feels uncomfortable
>about something that the band (or a member) does or says, then let them feel
>that way. Dismissing it as overreacting is being judgemental also. I myself
>was not one of the original posters about the video intro to Tom Sawyer, but
>I do find it to be overtly sexist. Maybe it's supposed to get that sort of
>reaction, as it's quite a cliche.

I'm glad to see I wasn't the only woman who found this little display of
testosterone disappointing. Perhaps the fact that it *is* such a cliche
was even more disappointing than the simple sexism of it.

And M. Smith says:
>As I said, it's gutter-speak, slang, garbage talk. It is not part of the
>English language. And nothing you have said disprooves that. More to the
>point, your entire message serves to highlight the problem of illiteracy
>in the United States. Read over your own message, and you tell me, Would
>you really have posted that, knowing how illiterate it makes you appear,
>if you had any true knowledge of the English language? I think not. Your
>posting is a poor example of how to write a message, letter, or
>All of the above, quoted, and what I wrote, serves to illustrate one thing
>and one thing only. This newsletter is really getting a bit out of hand.
>Too much emphisys is being placed on little worthless details, like rap,

Mr. Smith, before you presume to lecture on standard White Man's English,
I'd like to suggest that you go out and buy a good dictionary, or at
least use a mailer with a spell checker. I simply cannot believe that
someone who can't spell or use a comma correctly has the unmitigated
gall to ramble on ad nauseum about "garbage words." Your post may have
been one of the least literate I've ever seen, and that's saying something
on this particular list.

And then:

>Really, I thought the parody theory about the MP cover sounded good, but
>I think that another explanation might be that we all have prejudices to
>some degree or another -- there's no such thing as someone who's totally
>non-sexist. Still, did anyone else see the women dressed in Playboy
>bunny outfits who brought water onto the stage during a break on the
>Presto tour? Though possibly sexist, it was pretty funny to see such a
>group of people standing in front of these tremendous inflatible rabbits
>bouncing up and down in their hats... A lot of people at the show didn't
>seem to get the joke, though (if it was intended as one), and the band
>members *did* have silly grins on their faces...

When I saw them on this tour, a woman in a bunny costume took water
to Geddy, and a big, bearded guy in an ill-fitting bunny suit took
water to Alex. He looked disappointed. To me, they effectively punctured
a cliche with that...

Last and least:

>From: (The Sun Dog)
>Subject: Must be the heat.....these people are crazy!
>Geez, you folks are funny!  All of this raging discussion about
>some video babe!  I read a lot of posts from people using the
>term "sexist" rather loosely.  From my understanding, a sexist is
>someone who discriminates against others based on the sex of others.
>Now tell me, how is showing some busty video babe a sexist act?

Once again, living proof that some people Just Don't Get It. Is it
not plain how "showing some busty video babe" discriminates on the
basis of gender? When was the last time you saw a *man* objectified
to that degree?

>Don't tell me that seeing a clip of some animated woman made you decide
>to put women back in chains or something goofy like that....No, I don't
>feel that the clip is exploitative in the context of the song....
>As for women being one forces the women in magazines
>to pose nude or scantily clad.  Those women make their own choice to do so.
>(Good God, I can't believe I wasting the time to write about some animated

The fact that she's animated is completely irrelevant. Yes, I know the
difference between cartoons and real life. But there was a message being
sent here, and it was, "Looky, boys, here's a chick with really big
(you supply the terminology)." If the clip wasn't exploitative in the
context of the song, it certainly was gratuitous.

But I'm probably wasting my time...



From: Chris Schiller 
Subject: "Doesn't belong here" postings
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 93 17:59:58 PDT

Every time there is a nice thread going, someone posts something like:

> All of the above, quoted, and what I wrote, serves to illustrate one thing
> and one thing only. This newsletter is really getting a bit out of hand.
> Too much emphisys is being placed on little worthless details, like rap,
> Is this the kind of mailing this is
> intended to be? I think not. I think the creators of this mailing had
> something a bit more RUSH oriented in mind when they started it.

The NMS is composed of its members.  The original creators, if they
are still around, form a very small part of the monster at this point.
The ONLY requirement is that the content is Rush related.  This includes
rap, black holes, and Neil's "get a life" watch.

   [ I know that a few of the original creators are still around, myself being
     one of them, and you're right, we are only a few and don't post as often 
     as perhaps we should... 				 	: rush-mgr ]

If people continue to post, INCLUDING YOU, then there is some form of
interest in the subject.  It is pretty arrogant to post several tens
of Kb of text and then insist that no one else should post anything
more on the subject.

> There's more than one issue that could be discussed, why harp on
> pointless things? Let's move along ok? Next!

No!  Let's talk about anything we want to as long as we want to.  Let's
get out the mangnifying glasses and inspect the album photos for more
discussion topics! Things pointless to you may form a significant part
of some peoples' attention span.  Yes, some of us need to get a life.

The NMS is like TV.  If you don't like what you see, DON'T WATCH.  You
have the spacebar or its equivalent to use to run those "pointless"
topics right up off the top of the screen.

I like the "pointless" topics, I like the deep meaningful lyrics
discussions, and I like hearing the physics students tell us about black
holes.  I know others do too, because people keep posting.  Sometimes
I watch Nature on PBS and sometimes I watch MTV.  Diversity is what
makes the world interesting!

How about the stone throwers starting some discussions they consider
ultimately significant?  Remember: we are talking about three guys
who play rock.  You have one hour, you may begin... :-)



Date: Mon, 14 Jun 93 22:09:29 EST
Subject: "Sexism, rap, Columbia house, the list etc..."

Greetings all! Well yet another day has passed and another digest
has been read.  I Should call attention to several points of some
interest here.  First the alleged "sexism" of the boyz.  OK, whatever.
As far as the MP thing...who REALLY cares.  If you are that offended by
reality then you are living on the wrong planet.  After all, unless you
have talked to them personally you really are ignorant on their stand. far as the rap thing goes...ENOUGH already!!! I think Michael
Smith has summed this up quite clearly in the last NMS, as well as
interjection by the rush-mgr.  Details, details!! I mean I don't like rap
at all but I love rtb.  Just let them do what they want.  Don't like it...
don't listen.  Simple!

Thirdly, it was cool to see that someone else saw the  "E" next to RTB
in the C.House catalogue.  Quite amusing I thought.

Anyway, I think our time will be more well spent on some worthwile
issues and not pointless bs.  I mean if you want to say something, go
ahead I can't and won't stop you.  Hell I'm only a receiver of this list.
But let's not waste our time for literally DAYS on the pointless crap.

Kevin E. Mort                     |  "Live for yourself, there's no one else
Indiana University                |   more worth living for..."
VAX: KEMORT@UCS.INDIANA.EDU       |			      --Neil Peart


Subject: Re: 06/14/93 - The National Midnight Star #696
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 1:22:34 EDT
From: "The Wombat" 

Well, I too saw that bit on Red Tide on Beyond 2000, what else would I
do on my day off from work ;>
A few things, the show was done in 1989 and is by no means accurate
any more
And Red Tide is not caused specifically by pollution in any way that
we can tell, the main factor in the formation of a Red Tide is the Oxygen
levels in water.
Gee this is looking likesomething along the lines of that Black Hole
Thread, but I guess I'm just picky
That's Me, New Hampshire Resident since 1979
Seafood restaurant wiater and cook for several years
and Rush fan till I stop breathing

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-The Wombat IS Matthew Frazer-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
           After Seeing Jurassic Park I'm more convinced than ever,
                Barney should be eating those kids --- Foxtrot
--------------------------------=Be Seeing You=--------------------------------


Subject: Slang ramblings
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 1:24:42 EDT
From: "The Wombat" 

If slang is not part of the English/American language, then why is it
in my Dictionary of the English Language.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-The Wombat IS Matthew Frazer-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
           After Seeing Jurassic Park I'm more convinced than ever,
                Barney should be eating those kids --- Foxtrot
--------------------------------=Be Seeing You=--------------------------------


Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 00:54:50 -0500
From: "Eric McKinney"  
Subject: my $.02 worth

In message <>  writes:
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Subject: MTV News, Nets, User Feedback
>As you probably know, Billy Idol was seen using the WELL on MTV's "The
>Week in Rock" last weekend.  MTV News is gearing up to cover
>technology in a big way, ideally at the same level and standard as was seen
>during the '92 election coverage ("Choose or Lose"). They want to reach
>the real users of technology and not just re-package press releases and
>tow the corporate line.

I question MTV's motives, personally.  If you've been interested in the cool
things happening with technology, I think you'd agree that most new developments
have been way cool since the early '80s.  All of a sudden, however, there are
huge amounts of cash involved, a few washouts (David Bowie &c) to pump hype, and
MTV is there.

Really, I have no problem with MTV preying on people vacuous enough to accept
that.  If you could have seen MTV's hipster computer segment, and walked away
feeling actually *informed* by that crap -- feeling ready to join another silly
trend group -- MTV deserves your money.

However, I do have a problem with MTV presenting themselves as dispensers of
knowledge about such things as computers.  In the piece they did, it was
painfully obvious that the amount of research MTV had done into technological
advancement consisted of asking the office net manager what a bunch of jargon

Please email replies both to me (address below) and to the RUSH list.

Eric McKinney (
Matrix Information & Directory Services
Fave 3 Rush songs: A Passage to Bangkok
                   Show Don't Tell
                   Closer to the Heart (in no particular order)


Date:       Tue, 15 Jun 93 09:36:29 BST
Subject:    Bill's a secret Rush fan??


  I just heard that Bill Clinton has become the 1st US President to
join the Internet, with an address something like:

   [ The actual address is "" 		: rush-mgr ]

   Do you think he did this so he could sneakily receive issues of NMS?
Or maybe he's on the list already under an assumed name...:-)

   "swimming against the stream"

     Paul May, University of Bristol, UK


Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 07:33:25 EDT
From: (Chris Bush)
Subject: sexism, etc.

Could someone please answer this question for me?  I'll feel a lot better
knowing the answer.  If Neil's comments on the woman drummer from the contest
had been favorable instead of a subtle slap, would he still be sexist for
mentioning that this particular drummer was female?  Somehow I doubt that
many would feel this way (especially her).  This kind of reminds me of that
old "if a tree falls over in the woods" saying.  If a person is sexist, racist,
or whatever, but keeps his or her mouth shut...

OK, now I have a simpler, less socially relevant question.  I was reading
the lyrics from FBN the other day, comparing Neil's first writings with
Rush to the more recent stuff.  Unfortunately, my FBN album has no lyrics
sheet (just a clear plastic album sleeve inside).  Nor do I have it with
me at work.  I was reading the lyrics from  Anyway, my
question is this.  Did Neil write the lyrics for all the songs on FBN?  The
lyrics to "Best I Can" sound too "wine, women and song"ish to be Neil's.
These lyrics remind me of the songs on their debut album (Geddy's lyrics?).

Thanks for listening all...
Chris Bush          /           \                "Carpe Diem" - Seize the Day
CAE-Link Corp.     /_____/^\_____\               "Carpe Carp" - Seize the Carp
Binghamton, NY     \     \_/     /  Q: How is Christmas the same as Halloween?      \           /   A: Because Dec(imal) 25 = Oct(al) 31
   The above represents my own opinions, not those of my place of business!


Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 14:43:34 CET
From: "Richard Karsmakers"  
Subject: Triviality.

I happen to agree completely with Mr. Smith's comments in the previous NMS
about the Rush mailing list becoming the centre of trivial discussions about
whether or not you like rap, or whether or not homeboy is slang or not. I
certainly did not join the mailing list to read oodles of stuff about that.
I *would* appreciate more interesting discussions.
 Unfortunately I am not a person to come up with one just yet.

 (/  - o O  \)
  \    \    /
 Richard Karsmakers                      "Don't worry about your life -            You'll be dead some day."
 Editor of 'Twilight Zone' online magazine
 Telephone +31-(0)30-887482


Subject: Red Tide
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 9:00:17 EDT
From: Paul Jung 

Yes, the Red Tide is a real thing and it doesn't only happen in Australia.
 Remember the team that unexpectedly defeated (soundly) the embarassed
Miami Hurricanes in the 1993 Orange Bowl?  The Alabama Crimson Tide
is named after the phenomenon that also happens on the Gulf Coast.  'Bama
wouldn't name themselves after something that doesn't affect them
directly.  Can you imagine, the Alabama alpine skiiers?

  And remember, people, that crimson is a sunonym for 'red.'

Paul Jung


Subject: NEW TOPIC(s)!!
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 10:23:56 EDT
From: Scott C. Silton 

Greetings from Brunswick, ME!  Let me introduce myself: my name is Scott
Silton, and I'm new to the NMS.  I've been a fan since I was 9 years old, and
until recently I thought I knew most anything about RUSH (Hardly...)

First, an open question: what does anyone know about the subject of Rush and
Drugs?  I would imagine that Neil would argue for legalization just on
libertarian grounds, but I'm curious none the less.  It seems like it isn't
very much of an issue with the band, but who knows?  What were they "smoking at
the pier"?

Personally, I can't imagine that they were ever hard-core druggies, but I can't
convince the few ignoramouses that insist that the band's name originated
around getting high  (just like the people who insist that 2112 has something
to do with Satanic worship... :-)  )

Also, I'll raise an issue that might get me into hot water...

Rush's live shows are far too similar to each other.

This is my biggest complaint about the band by far.  Year after year, tour
after tour, they do the same old stuff.  They add a couple of bits to the mix
each year, but overall the structure is the same.  Perhaps next time out, we'll
see a stage with a video screen behind them, Alex on the Left and Geddy on the
Right.  Neil's drums might rotate around him.  There will be a little jam at
the end of Closer to the Heart (e.g. ASOH), the encore will include some combo
of La Villa, Spirit of the Radio, In the Mood, and 2112, heck, maybe there will
even be some bunnies who pop out of a hat at the end of the regular set (when
of course, Tom Sawyer will be boring me to tears...)  I think you get my drift,
there are tons of examples.  The worst of which is that they don't play
different stuff night to night.  I saw them twice on the Presto tour and the
second show was something of a waste cause they only played 2 songs that they
didn't play the first time I saw them.

Of course, given the opportunity, I'd still love to see them -- they are great
performers, and they play so damn well in concert it is just amazing (and the
light show, as it grows, is *wicked* cool).  Does anyone else care about this
predictability, though?  I used to get annoyed with how they would play their
songs the same way time after time, but I've decided to leave the improvisation
to other bands.  Comments?  Criticism?  Want to hang me by my toes?

	-- Scott Silton

P.S.  too much rap on the brain makes TNMS a dull boy

PPS.  Lobster harvest looking fine this year (no red tide to speak of)
Midsummer prices, $2 // pound.


Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1993 09:57:03 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Let me slip into something more neurotic..." 
Subject: gutterspeak?

Due to the nature of the "debate" about black contributions to
language, a spin-off of the incredibly lengthy "rap" debate,
I couldn't let the previous debaters have the last word without
pitching in my own two cents.  So if you don't want to see a
rebuttal of the last postings on culture and language, skip forward
a few screens.
	I know this is low Rush content, but I feel it's important
enough to be posted.  Thanks...

>Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1993 01:56:14 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Mike Smith 
>Subject: More mindless banter about HOMEBOYS and Rap
>> Date: 09 Jun 93 03:36:14 EDT
>> From: Bruce Holtgren <70724.1622@CompuServe.COM>
>> I'm no fan of rap myself (gonna have to pick me up an album or
>> two now, tho :) ), but I was beginning to worry at all the
>> brainless bashing going on, so I was real pleased to see that
>> there are a few folks with a sense of perspective. As for the
>> rest of you: I know you don't *mean* to sound racist, I'm afraid
>> in some instances it has seemed to come across that way.
>And what's wrong with being racist? You say that as if it's a bad thing. :)
>Seriously, I'm racist, what of it? It simply means I care more about my
>own race than someone else's, let's face it, "minorities" [certanily] aren't
>out there pushing for the rights of anyone other than themselves. So
>what's wrong with being Pro-Whatever-you-are? "Racism" has gotten a bad
>rep because it's been connected with bigotry and [prejudism], they're not
>related. But what does this have to do with Rush?
	This defense of racism amazes me.  Racism has to do with
the practice of discrimination and persecution based on race.  Is that
what you're owning?  Don't we know in 1993 that fear/contempt of/for others
*simply based on the color of another's skin* is usually a cover for the
feelings of inadequacies of one's own self or community?  I'd be
interested in hearing a clear defense of what your paragraph above
implies:  it's okay to persecute/discriminate based on the color of
skin (of course, race itself is a problematic issue).
	And this statement about "minorities" "certainly aren't
out there pushing for the rights of anyone other than themselves."
>...I can't believe you mean this to be a true proposition.  Have you
ever *lived in the black community*?  Isn't the NAACP today taking on
all sorts of human-rights causes not restricted to race?  If only
*one* African-American or Hispanic person reading this has ever fought
for the rights of anyone other than his/her race, your statement above
is disproved.

[...statements about black contributions to English deleted...]
>Oh please, [humiluiate] me more, I enjoy it, because I'm more than [capible]
>of coming back at you with the proper answers. It IS gutter speak. Just
>because it's accepted "slang" doesn't make it accepted "ENGLISH", it's

	Now this is becoming an interesting argument.  The question,
obviously, turns on the answer to the query "At what point does a word
become part of 'accepted English' ?"
	There are many ways to answer this, of course, and most of them
are political.  Do we wait for a dictionary (if so, which one?) to set our
meaning for us and therefore validate its "acceptance" in America
as past of "mainstream English?"  If we do trust a certain dictionary,
doesn't that mean it (the word in question) was mainstream
at some point before the dictionary was
printed (so that the dictionary could call it "mainstream")?  If so,
then couldn't we argue that there might be some words today that are indeed
mainstream and might well end up in dictionaries tomorrow?  Of course,
we can't predict what those words are, but this argument leaves the
door open to the idea that there are words floating around, not yet
in dictionaries, that might be "mainstream."  And then what if a
dictionary (which one?) drops a word out?  Does it cease to become
part of American English?  Are we therefore censored if we want to
use that word in normal conversation and not be thought of as coming
"from the gutter"?
	Of course, the constructing of dictionaries is a human endeavor
and sometimes controversial -- opening the door to admit that it could
be a political decision.  Maybe not so antiseptic and sacrosanct as
some people think.
	How, then, do we decide what is "accepted English?"  Whatever
a given community uses?  Whatever kids want?  Whatever parents want?
You see, whichever arbiter you establish, you invest with authority --
an authority which is to a certain extent arbitrary because you have
chosen one authority out of many when another might work just as well.
	I don't have
the precise answer regarding what makes a word part of "accepted
English." I just wanted to disabuse you of the notion that what is
"accepted" is somehow simple to determine and not linked to power.
I could go further with this explanation, explaining the implications
that might be possible regarding black/white relations, but you're all
bright enough to make your own inferences.

>If a person is trying to learn "ENGLISH", that's one thing, once
>they've gotten a handle on the true language, fine, then they can pick up
>all of our slang as they go along. But we have more "slang" in the
>American-English language than any other language on the planet, and it
>causes many problems for people trying to learn it.

	Now in general I agree with this, but I'm not quite sure what
the "true language" is.  What is it?  Your general point that a person
should learn a language within fairly defined parameters that are
infrequently violated before traipsing off into the tricky and subtle
world of slang is well taken... in the same way that musicians don't
start off playing by soloing individually but by learning traditional
chords and rhythms.  Then they develop their own voice within the
framework.  Where we might disagree is that I don't care (generally)
what American language community someone trains themselves in originally.

>Which is why I told
>the gentleman to ignore it as garbage, because it IS garbage. At some
>point in the future, if it becomes accepted, fine, but it's not yet part

	See my statements above regarding my questions about what it
means to be "accepted."

>It's similar to the way certain uneducated people
>have been going around using the word "disrespecting". You do not
>"disrespect" a person, and there is no such word as "dis". You simply wind
>up confusing a person who's trying to learn the language beyond all point
>of reason, and they give up hope.

	That's not true, given what I've seen in the ESL programs at
the high school where I teach.  Too much slang can spoil the pot when
someone is new to a given language, but to say "they give up hope" by trying
to use the word "dis" with ESL students (or anyone trying to learn a new
language) seems a bit disingenuous.
	By the way, I have used the term "disrespect" quite seriously
in my college-prep history classes and my students know exactly what I am
saying. Am I one of your "uneducated"?

>So the person who was learning does not
>need to know that word, because it's NOT a word. "Home" and "Boy" are
>words, and you can put them together in a sentence in the [fashon] "You
>better run home, boy.", however "You better run, homeboy" is NOT correct.
>And to be quite literal it's not any "Black" word at all, it originates
>from Spanish "Homme", or "hombre", and it does mean FRIEND. The
>bastardization of the word into the slang "Homeboy" means literally
>NOTHING. It's not racist or bigoted of me to say so, it's proper.
	Now, I'm asking again, on what authority do you make these
statements about Home Boy?  To say homeboy "means literally nothing" is
to deny that there is any meaning taking place when someone as a fan
of rap music listens to a rap song.  Are they hearing something without
meaning?  Isn't that absurd?

>> Well, OK - maybe just one more priceless contribution from black
>> English: rock 'n' roll.
>Gosh, now [there's] some words we never would have known about had it not
>been for the black population. "Rock" (When we landed here on Plymouth
>THING, we didn't know what the hell to call it, but then some black guy
>told us "DatZ a R0ck", and straightened our honkey asses out!) And Roll,
>wow, we were confused, dahm! We used to just, oh, throw ourselves onto the
>ground and shift back and forth, we'd take round objects and send them
>sailing across the ground, but, thanks to another fine Black man, we
>discovered we were ROLLING!  And of course, where would we be
>without the word "and" minus the a and the d. Thank you, o' black people
>where ever you may be, for the addition of these words to our vocabulary!
>We're [truely] honored!  Might I suggest getting a grip my friend?
	I suspect the earlier person's posting had to do with the
phraseology and the musicology of "rock-and-roll."  I am NOT a music
expert, though am aware that the rock and roll genre evolved partly out
of the black musical experience, including jazz and blues, and the
term itself I think is a term from the blues community meaning "to have
sex."  Of course all cultures have their euphemisms (loaded term?)
for this.

>> So what does this have to do with Rush? Everything. No English
>> speaker alive today, native or otherwise, can fail to benefit
>> from the priceless contributions that black people have made to
>> the language - and, even moreso, to popular music. Rush, and all
>> of us, owe the speakers (and, yes, rappers) of black English a
>> tremendous debt. Neither they, nor the words they use, have ever
>> been "junk."
>I won't deny the addition of certain words to every day vocabulary that
>black Americans have made, but let's be honest, you're giving credit for
>the wrong words, and lending [creedence] to words that do not deserve it.
>For the most part, black "slang" is just taking existing words, and due to
>a lack of education, or, a desire to be different, twisting those words
>around, and using them in different ways.

	Hmm.. I wonder how you'd define "liberal" and "conservative" today?
Are you aware that the way most (white! and black! and every type of)
American people use those terms today is a "twist" or "bastardization"
of their original meaning? Any linguist would tell you that the nuance of
language constantly changes/evolves.  What exactly would you consider a
"twist"?  Can you define it?  If we're all going back to original meanings
in our everyday vocabulary, I scarcely think we'd be able to talk,
let alone understand each other.

>VERY FEW words were actually
>INVENTED and added. New DEFINITIONS for words have been added, but new
>words rarely. I'm not trying to say that this is bad, just that the facts
>are the facts. We can also credit other groups of people with slang
>expressions that are often used. For instance, my own section of the
>country can be credited with giving you the expressions "Yo!" and "Stoop
>(as in sitting on the)", but this doesn't make them any more valid, or
>give them a place in the LANGUAGE, they're still SLANG, and still GARBAGE
>words. We use them, but it'd be nice if we tried NOT to when speaking to
>someone who is trying to LEARN the language. Obviously you've never worked
>with anyone in a teaching capacity. For instance, the deaf, illiterate, or
>taught the language to anyone. I have, and there's one thing you try never
>to do, and that's walk into a classroom saying "Yo Hommies, Wazzup? We be
>down wit dat bad sheet!" That's just asking for trouble. Oh, sure, Robin
>Williams got lots of yucks doing similar things in _Good Morning Vietnam_,
>but let's try to seperate fact from fantasy shall we?
>M. Smith

	I'm not going to argue the merits of specific words, because (1) I'm
not well-read in linguistics and (2) I don't want any personal (racial) 
prejudices I have to color my attitude toward certain words.  I have worked 
in a teaching capacity (I currently teach college-prep history in an American
high school) and have taught English to foreigners.  Just FYI regarding
your point about teaching raised above.

>> Take what's been said about it being junk English or my favorite *gutter
>> speak* and think of it as one person's opinion.  If I were to state my
>> opinion, I'd have to say that homeboy is a far more valid term than *gutter
>> speak*, but I'll refrain.  Keep in mind that homeboy is a casual term for a
>> male (maybe a female as well, but I've NEVER heard of it), and is most
>> commonly friendly.
>As I said, it's gutter-speak, slang, garbage talk. It is not part of the
>English language. And nothing you have said [disprooves] that. More to the
>point, your entire message serves to highlight the problem of illiteracy
>in the United States. Read over your own message, and you tell me, Would
>you really have posted that, knowing how illiterate it makes you appear,
>if you had any true knowledge of the English language? I think not. Your
>posting is a poor example of how to write a message, letter, or

	Wow!  I rarely see such ad hominem attacks in the NMS.
How do you think all the misspellings in your own post make *you* look?
To tell you the truth, I don't think it tells me you're illiterate at all.
But just to show you where they are, I've put [brackets] around them
in this letter. Now, would I rather read a letter, with correct
spelling and punctuation that included "slang" or "rap" words, or a
letter containing none of those words but several spelling

	Thanks for listening/reading.

Thomas Beaudoin


Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 09:28:43 PDT
From: (Kevin B. Fournier)
Subject: Analysis of sexism in lyrics

Howdy ya'll,

I'm too angry about bigoted posts to respond in a rational way (if I were to
dignify them with a response at all) so instead I'll go into this very
interesting discussion of whether or not the band is sexist in its orientation.
Specifically, since the lyrics are what will determine the type of treatment
women get in Rush songs, I guess that the question is really whether Neil is
predisposed to regulating women to traditional, stifling roles.

So, to the chase, Aspi Havewala writes

> Rush's lyrics may not (or may) be overtly sexist, IMHO they do think
> in terms of strongly typecast gender roles (atleast their songwriting reflects
>that: check out _War Paint_ on _Presto_). IMHO Part II, that makes them
>sexist. Not misogynist, mind you (this comment for all impatient potential
>flamers), but sexist. It is this one singular thing that convinced me
>Rush was not really created by God on the eleventh day with a delayed

Now, we all know the Mr. Peart has for years advocated that each of us realize
we possess rational minds, and that our fate is governed by nothing else than
our own freewill.  Check out the song with said title and yes, even Roll the
Bone in which the listener is advised to *get out there and roll the bones*.
If Neil thought in terms of rigidly defined gender roles, then those pos-
sessing of said roles would have their fates mapped out from birth and the
idea of freewill would be irrelevant.  Other examples that leap to mind are
*Middletown Dreams* from PowWind in which
	The middle-aged madonna
	Calls her neighbour on the phone
	Day by day the seasons pass
	And leave her life alone
	But she'll go walking out that door
	On some bright afternoon
	To go and paint big cities
	>From a lonely attic room
Since madonna is synonymous with mother (ie. the primary care giver in the 
relationship between parent and child, regardless of the care giver's gender)
and this mother is female, Neil seems to present her as trapped by life and
only finding excitement/passion in dreams.  The tone of the song is one that
I find both sad and whistful.  Thus, my conclusion is that Neil is presenting
some one trapped by traditional gender identities.  The fact that this poor
woman is trapped means her life (free will) has been robbed from her and thus,
Neil is presenting this in a NEGATIVE light.  That is, he is telling us what
no to let happen to us in life.  A second example comes from War Paint
	Girl before the mirror
	Appraises her disguise
	Child become a mother
	Tries to fix her eyes
	No more of his excuses
	It has to be today
	She can keep her fantasy
	If she can get away
	All puffed up with vanity
	We see what we want to see
	To the beautiful and the wise
	The mirror always lies
Again, we see a young girl engaged in a traditionally female action of getting
her self prepared for the sexual arena in which we all are forced to compete.
The girl makes her preparation by putting on comsetics to hide her innocence
and bring forth a sexuality.  Whether it is genuinely there, or if it comes out
of the cosmetics is an open question.  The indisputable fact (according to the
song) is that the girl is deluding herself.  Rather than adorn herself with
her 'warpaints' for the battle that is to come, she could rely on her 
personality, wit, intellegence, or some other genuine, inherent characteristic,
not something she bought in a store and which serves merely to puff up her
vanity.  Again, Neil is offering us an example of what not to do with our lives.
This method of conveying a message is also what was done in Witch Hunt on MP
if you still need clarification.
Well, enough of this very long post.  I hope I have convinced you that Neil's
fundamental beleif in our free will is incompatable with the notion of his
being a sexist and adhering to traditional gender roles.  (Although I could
argue the other side, too.  There are so many songs that, like in the Bible,
you can probally find a quote to back up just about any position).

Let's keep this thread going for a while, I like to see examinations of the
lyrics of songs over childish name calling (eg. *gutter* *trash* *racist*
*sexist* *misogynist* *worthless* etc, etc)




Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 14:35:44 EDT
From: (Little Ricky)
Subject: RE: Sexism & Explicit Lyrics

	Concerning the post by Guy Kenneth about Rush being sexist with such
songs as "Working Man", "Digital Man", "New World Man", and the lyrics of
Closer to the Heart - "And the MEN who hold high places" ...

	What exactly did you want them to name these songs????? "Working Person"
"Digital Person", "New World Person"?!?!??!?!? I could understand "The men who
hold high places." If they felt someone would be offended by this, they could
have made it "The people who hold high places". But who really cares? Is it that
big of a deal. How would you write the songs...."..that's why they call me the
Working PERSON"?!?!??!   Is it now illegal use of the English language for men
to use the word MAN nowadays? I think we are taking this subject way to far
when we criticize such great artists and lyricist for using a certain word. I
hardly think they are sexist and if they were they wouldn't be expressing it
in their music. I dunno if this is what you were implying by your post, but
in any case, I don't feel we need to analyze Rush's music to such a degree. If
you like their music and you like them, why do people try to find their flaws.
The issue of Rush's sexism needs to be dropped, in my opinion.

	A little note to Beezus, who was wondering why that CD catalog had
RTB catagorized as having EXPLICIT LYRICS. The MOST offensive lyric on the CD
was the use of the word CRAP in the song 'Heresy'..."...All the Crap we had
to take."
	Now that is pushing it a LITTLE too much, don't you think? Either it
is just a typo, or someone is a true tight ass when it comes to nasty lyrics.

Well, that's all I can think of.....

	One smaller note...the concert version of RTB, ending with 'Because
we're here": I am in a band that plays this version complete with the 'Because 
we're here" ending. Good stuff....

	-Rich Yessian


Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 11:56:27 PDT
From: pevans@sanjuan.UVic.CA (Patricia Evans)
Subject: explicit lyrics in RTB

Uncle Beezus says (among other things):

> Also, "RTB" gets a big black 'E' for explicit lyrics.  This is a priviledge
> Rush shares with about, maybe, five of the CDs in the 'rap' section of the
> Columbia House catalog.  Try as I might, I can't find the explicit lyrics on
> ANY song on "RTB."

Well, I suppose they might be objecting to the rap, as in "this has rap so it
must be obscene", but I'll look through the lyrics (conveniently available
from syrinx) and see if there's anything I find remotely objectionable. Or
more precisely, since I find nothing objectionable to me, I'll see if I can
guess something that others might find objectionable.

Let's see -- hmm.
Dreamline : nothing
Bravado: nothing
Roll The Bones: "maniacs in polyester slacks" sounds a little obscene
		to me :-)
		"kick some gluteus max" - pretty standard these days, and it's
		even in Latin.
Face Up : "rut" maybe has some connotations which aren't meant in the song
Where's My Thing? : wierd title
The Big Wheel : nothing
Heresy : "crap" is hardly explicit. Both it and "bloody" are mild expletives
		these days, and the latter is used literally.
Ghost of a Chance : nothing
Neurotica : "erotica", "hell"
You Bet Your Life : "creation/evolutionist" could be objected to by religious
		fundamentalists, as could the whole album, but in that case
		they'd object to most of the rest of Rush's albums as well,
		especially Permanent Waves.

So I'm stumped..... maybe it's a mistake. Even very reactionary people should
only classify this stuff as strong language at worst, certainly not
"explicit". Or maybe they don't like the elephants. I "just don't get it"...

What a silly classification.

Patricia Evans
ORQ: "We've taken care of everything
      The words you hear the songs you sing"


Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 09:15:55 HST
From: puanani@wana.pbrc.Hawaii.Edu (Puanani Akaka)
Subject: Apologies all 'round...

Okay -- gee, I really put you guys on a hot plate, didn't I?  Sorry.
As someone said, it's too bad you couldn't put tone into e-mail
posts.  I won't speak for Tracey, as I don't want to put words in her
mouth, but I do apologize for coming across like some axe-wielding
Sonja witch or something.  To be completely honest, I'm really not
*angry* at Rush for sticking that cartoon girl on the 'Tom Sawyer' thing,
or Alex going on about his wife (I actually find it rather amusing), or
for Neil's comments in Modern Drummer (I still am a bit irritated with
him, and I'm not going to apologize for *that*) -- looking back at it, it
was a bit harsh (!) -- it's just some observations and intial reactions
to things from my own perspective -- not even a *woman's* perspective
since I can't speak for all women.  Like I said, I'm not angry with them,
and I apologize if I came off sounding like some half-crazed woman ready
to eradicate this planet of men (course I guess it was bit hard *not* to
get that impression...), I just don't like it, and I'm not going to
apologize for how I feel.  They can do it if they want, that's fine. It
personally makes me feel uncomfortable -- I'm not sure why, it just does.
It's like trying to explain acrophobia, I guess.  I think the reason why
I'm so sensitive to it is just from things that have happened in my life
that have caused me to become more aware of it and so I react more
strongly to it.  And I'd just come off a really bad week and my temper
is not one to be reckoned with, and I think it creeped its way into my
post... I really don't think the band is *sexist*, in the real sense of
the word; they're fine as they are -- everything is cool and hip.
	Anyway, I apologize for ruffling all your feathers :-)
Now back to the real posts...



Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 15:35:32 EDT
From: (Larry Reeves)
Subject: Shades of Sexism

G'day everyone,
   I'd like to add some comments on the sexism topic, concerning
the female drummer and the Tom Sawyer intro.

   IMHO, merely pointing out that one of the drum contest entrants
was female is nothing to take offence at. I'm sure that if Neil had
not made any reference to gender, most, if not all, of us would have
automatically assumed the entrant was male. Most drummers we (I) know
are male, so without being told otherwise, we (I) would have assumed
this one was also.

   It that being sexist? Only in as much as people have a tendancy
to fill in unknown details with familiar or traditional ones. It's
not necessarily malicious either - it's just human nature.

   Ask a friend of mine: he's a nurse.

   I certainly hope that Neil was merely trying to inject us with
a bit of open-mindedness, so maybe the next time we read of
"a drummer" (or perhaps "a mechanic," "a secretary," etc.), we
won't automatically stereotype the person.

   As for the Tom Sawyer intro, I pesonally don't think that the
portrayal of the girl was any more degrading to women than the
portrayal of the (sleazy, pedophile) worker who says "Hey kid,
c'mere" was degrading to men.

   Whoa, everyone! We're talking about a guitar player who, amongst
other silly antics, skips back and forth on stage like a little kid;
A group who performed "Take Off" live with Bob & Doug MacKenzie, had
Count Floyd on video to introduce a song, and had 40-foot inflatible
rabbits flanking the stage. They make fun of themselves more than anyone
else. They're out to enjoy themselves and to entertain, and I'm certain
they have no intention of offending their fans.

Larry Reeves

"Light travels 300,000 km/sec. Any faster might be dangerous!"


Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 09:40:55 HST
From: puanani@wana.pbrc.Hawaii.Edu (Puanani Akaka)
Subject: Sorry for the non-Rush content (it's short)

I'm violating my own rule of writing only Rush-related stuff to this
Digest, but I feel this must be said for everyone to read.

Please, people, there is NO SUCH THING AS STANDARD ENGLISH.  What you
are reading right now is a pidgin language -- English IS slang!  It's
comprised of at least 10 different languages: French, German, Latin,
Greek, Native American, English, Russian, shall I go on?  There is NO
SUCH THING AS "GARBAGE ENGLISH".  Language is language, it's abstract,
it flows, it changes.  It's human.  All words, whatever their origin,
is as valid as every other word.  It's the same for all languages
everywhere.  What's being referred to as "garbage english" is very
simply, a DIALECT, and everyone has some kind of dialect somewhere.

And yes, even British-English has slang, else how could you explain
"Bob's your uncle"?  :-)

I'm sorry for the non-Rush content, everyone.  I just felt it needed to
be said for everyone's benefit.  I frankly don't mind posts on here not
being Rush related.  If it inspires thought, argument, debate and
questions, than that's wonderful!  It justifies the kind of thought and
the amount of time the band puts into their work.  If we get something
out of it beyond the song, I think they've done a remarkable job.
Party on, everyone.


WOTQ:   "Hi! I'm Ralph, the dancing ski instructor!"  Tony Slattery,
					"Whose Line Is It Anyway?"


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