This is not about a worthless little statue. It’s about solidarity. It’s about standing up to the Neil Portnows of the world. The backroom bullies who think that money is more important than people. They think that no ones going to notice that they line their pockets with cash by selling the American people down the river. It’s about saying to corporate America, CBS, Sony, Warner, and for that matter Chase, Goldman Sachs and the like, that all the thievery they think they do in secret, is ugly, obvious and shameful.
They think that Art is useless because it doesn’t generate billions. They think they have fooled the young people of America with their mediocrity. They think they have won because they can sell young Latinos and African Americans visions of shit they’ll never have. Bentleys, cognac, Piles of cash and gyrating scantily clad women. As if those are important things to desire They have no shame because they think we don’t notice the absolute lack of musical, moral or intellectual value of the crap they sell, or the trinkets they accumulate or the backroom, ole boy backslaps they think they do in secret.
Well notice is being served. Your days are numbered. Your corporate lap dance is coming to an end. The record companies are dying! Hallelujah! The people are not stupid, just lulled to sleep by your lack of relevance. Real music, played by actual human beings on actual instruments, composed by actual composers, arranged by actual arrangers, sung by real singers will not be denied.
If the academy insists on going with your flawed leadership, if the injustice of these decisions, made in secret by a select gang of business people and supposed artists, then the academy no longer represents excellence. Let it be known that the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences no longer represents the highest artistic integrity of the recording arts in America. Let it be know that the Grammy is for sale to the highest bidder. Let it be know that even though our “straight ahead” brethren made no stink about it their category is next. Let it be know that a new and substantially more important organization needs to be created. One that cares about the original vision of the Academy founders.
I admonish Academy members throughout the world to demand that the integrity of our organization be restored. That the flawed leadership of our president and his executive committees be called to task for insulting legions of dedicated artists. These decisions must be rescinded immediately or I am calling on Academy members to tear up their membership cards, put their gold plated tschotkes in a closet and stop aligning themselves with an organization that recognizes excellence only in commerce.
For the soul of our nation, for the humanity of all people, we demand that artists in stand up to the corporate shills and refuse, refuse to sell our children and their children to the industry. Pick up an instrument. Practice on one. Buy a trumpet for a young person, or a guitar or vocal lessons. Stop feeding the machine which lies to you everyday. Demand better of yourself and your leadership. Do it now! It is the single most important issue we face. Say no to Mr. Portnow, say no to the academy, say no to the machine.
And finally, the 800 pound gorilla. No one has spoken of racism but one glaring fact remains. The fastest growing demographic in American history has been categorically denied by these buffoons. In the past few months several of our heroes were honored by the US postal service. One of whom received several Grammy awards for the very category whose cut we are protesting today. Does anyone out there see the huge irony of Tito Puente being recognized by the US postal service as a group of his so called artistic peers disses him. Can it be that the US postal service is hipper than the academy. More socially conscious, more in tune with the times and the realities of our ever changing nation. Or is it obvious that the Academy has finally revealed itself for what it is, a simple commercial device, controlled by commerce and it’s soulless mercenary leadership.
I pray that I am wrong. I pray that good sense, and gentlemanly fairness will prevail. I pray that aesthetic vibrancy, cultural relevancy and a love of integrity and sacrifice will emerge. If not then I call on every National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Member to resign and put an end to this travesty. Let it die, it ain’t making the money it sold its soul for anyway.