Breaking it down

Letters to the Boston editor, April 18, 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  April 16, 2008

With regard to Gerald Peary’s review of the film Planet B-Boy: in it he not only erroneously refers to B-Boying as “breakdancing” but he paints this worldwide art form as a “retro dance,” as a dead fad dance like “the pony, the jerk, the Charleston, and the Cakewalk.” There are so many things wrong with this review, both factually and in his dismissal and apparent ignorance of the whole culture of hip-hop.

The film actually did a fair job explaining the history and aesthetic of the art form. (B-Boy is one of four main tenets of hip-hop culture, so hip-hop culture didn’t “pump it alive”; it never died in the first place. But Wall Street stopped using it in commercials and mainstream interest in it died.) B-Boying is a living, breathing art form and dance that has new ideas, movements, combinations, and style innovated yearly. Every time B-Boy crews from all over the world incorporate their own dance styles and cultures into this originally American dance style, which started off in the Bronx during the late ’60s, they make the dance grow exponentially and help spark new innovations in the style. Does that sound like a “dead” or “retro” dance to you?

Tell Boston’s own Floorlords Crew (who have a signature shoe with Saucony) that B-Boying is a dead dance. Tell Boston’s Phunk Phenomenon or Status Quo, as well. Go overseas and tell all the B-Boys and B-Girls from Slovenia to Cyprus that it’s dead. Even though this film showcased one of the greatest B-Boy events in history, you learned nothing from it and all of the dancing just looked “tediously alike” to you, Mr. Peary. If you don’t understand the culture, be professional about it and leave your personal opinion about the culture of hip-hop and B-Boying out of it. It smacks of ignorance to dismiss things you don’t, or don’t care to, understand.

Dart Adams
Boston

God bless this election mess
Thank you for writing about “Clinton Fatigue." It is so very true that Hillary Clinton is held to a different standard. I have been saddened by the double standard so evident in the media today, and in the Democratic Party itself. Your article does a great justice by revealing the different ways Clinton and Barack Obama are treated, and I thank you. It is amazing that the candidate who has won all of the large blue states and the major swing states is being pushed out. The red states won by Obama in the primaries will stay red in November. It’s Clinton for me, or if Clinton is not the nominee, then John McCain. This country needs a patriotic leader with experience, and Obama’s anti-American, thin résumé is just not good enough for the highest office in the land. God bless America and God bless Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Kathleen Ramsey
Leesburg, Virginia

Top Billing
I love your “Raw Power” article about Bill, the man who has Down syndrome and fronts a rock band. I can’t imagine how people can be so archaic to think that just because Bill has a disability, he is being exploited. Are they so dense that they can’t see his own drive? People can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that those who have disabilities are still people. They have the same needs, desires, and aspirations as everyone else. They just need a little help to attain them.

John, and especially Bill, I applaud you. Kudos from a proud and excited mother of a six-year-old boy with DS. Why should we keep people with disabilities hidden just so ignorant people could feel a little less uncomfortable when confronted with them?

Jeanmarie Shadrick
Pottstown, Pennsylvania

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