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Published: 2002/01/22
by Zac Altheimer

A Contrary View on Post-9/11 Music (Letter to the Editor)

I am writing because I feel there is something wrong with many of the views
I've been hearing in the wake of September 11th. Both musicians and fans
expressed reluctance to perform or attend concerts after the tragic events.
The common reason I hear repeated is that after thousands of people died,
and our nation plunges in to war; how can we find enjoyment in something as
trivial as music? Dean himself expressed this thought in his reluctant, yet
feeling of obligation, to see moe. in Boston just a few days after the
attacks. I have seen numerous musicians on MTV cite the fact that musical
indulgence doesn't seem worthy of the times. How can you people think
this?!?

Music is quite possibly the most powerful language in the world, as great
music has the ability to touch people across national, ethnic and language
boundaries. Music has tremendous healing powers, it give many people
meaning in their lives; it is far from trivial (well, usually . . . [cough, cough,
Tenacious D, cough]). I can think of many reasons why music is so far from petty that it is
crucial in these times:

-Look at the numerous star-studded concert events that have taken place for
the attacks. Few events would put The Dixie Chicks, Neil Young, Destiny's
Child and Limp Bizkit in the same room to perform for free.

- Both the members of moe. and their fans tore it up as they played "New York
City" for their encore that weekend in Boston.

-I recently wrote a 14-page paper that argued my infatuation with moe. is a
religion.

-Thousands of kids, young and old, have literally spent their lives
traveling the world following bands from show to show.

I don't see how so many people have trivialized something that means so
much to so many. Yes, September 11th was a monumental, tragic day for the
world, and it's full affects and results will not be known for years. There
is much to be said for that day and our current situation, but there is just
as much to be said for the power of music, which is an essential part of our
healing process. I cannot say enough about how great it is to be able to
walk out of the cold, hateful and war-ridden world we are currently in and go
into a room with a few thousand people and some musicians and forget all about
what is going on outside. (I cannot say enough about how much fun a few
nights with the String Cheese Incident last month were for me.) To be taken
away with music and dance for a few hours is the best thing I can imagine
these days. Now, that may just be my thoughts, but ask yourself; do you want
to sit at home and watch our soldiers blow stuff up on CNN, or do you want
to boogie with some friends?

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