By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
In fairness I must point out that there have been Cuban Americans who bravely oppose the near-monolithic exile agenda. I have seen them being taunted on the local news. I was here in the Seventies and Eighties when they could have expected to have their houses bombed. As I write this I am aware of the fanatical element that may target me for being outspoken, but I insist on my right as an American to critically oppose the dominant view, and I admire those Cuban Americans who are taking such risks by asserting that same right.
Sorry about the rant. It has been building for years under a façade of polite political correctness. But now that I am a minority in Miami-Dade County (native-born, English-speaking American), I feel I have a right to assert my complaints against the oppressive majority now dominating my home.
Peace, Unity, Love, and Marley's Money
As Brett Sokol noted in "Kulchur" (February 17), the yearly Bob Marley "One Love" concert has gone from being a unique, heartfelt tribute honoring a great humanitarian and artist by his surviving family members and contemporaries to being a money-making machine. In the process it has lost its original message and meaning.
Each year as the price of tickets goes up, the quality and atmosphere of the show is diminished. At its inception seven years ago, the event was geared toward keeping alive the memory of Bob Marley and his Rastafarian philosophy, while increasing awareness of the homeless by requiring patrons to bring cans of food as payment for admission to the event, food that would help feed the residents of Camillus House. Over the past four years, however, this "event" has turned into an all-day "concert" geared toward exploiting Bob Marley's legacy for maximum profit. It seems that more and more control has been given to (or taken by) white promoters and producers who are mainly interested in exploiting a very profitable enterprise.
I have attended the event since its inception and I have noticed that attendance has increased each year, not as a result of the lure of Bob Marley's music and philosophy of life but because of popular contemporary artists like Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Erykah Badu. We patrons must now wait up to twelve hours before finally seeing a member of the Marley family perform or come onstage to speak. That's unlike the first few years, when the Marley family seemed to have more control and participated throughout the event. We were able to see the love, admiration, and gratitude they felt for him, and we also felt Bob Marley's spirit and wanted to keep that alive. Now the Marley family has been relegated to making a cursory appearance during the last half-hour of the concert, a real insult.
Personally I plan to boycott future Bob Marley "One Love" concerts, although I've been one of its most loyal supporters. It has been enslaved and adulterated by greedy, unloving, uncaring, money-grubbing promoters who care more about the bottom line than about unity, love, peace, compassion, and brotherhood, concepts the great Bob Marley lived and died much too soon to realize.
We Drove All the Way to Miami for This?
As I was cheated of ever seeing Bob Marley himself, my family and a friend's decided to drive down from north Florida for the "One Love" show. We were excited by the lineup and also the prospect of seeing Ziggy Marley and Jimmy Cliff. As it was a daylong event lasting late into the evening, we decided to devote the weekend to it, especially since our respective five- and seven-year-old daughters' stamina would be tested anyway.
I understand the show was for a good cause, but after seeing very little of Ziggy and less of Jimmy Cliff and Lauryn Hill, it was easy to come to the conclusion that the $1000 we donated to the local economy could have been better spent elsewhere.
As Curtain Rises the House of Cards Collapses
I found Jose Luis Jiménez's article on the performing arts center ("Screwing Up the Center," February 10) both interesting and disturbing. It appears no one has ever seen an accounting of who has spent money where, and for what purposes.
The article failed to mention all the people already hired and on staff, for a center not even out of the ground. What are these people doing and what are they being paid? And why? Additionally it seems it's going to cost the major performing-arts companies substantially more to perform there than at their current venues. Who is going to help them pay? The fundraising conducted by the performing arts center has substantially cut into the fundraising capabilities of the majors over the past few years.
And then, of course, there's the fact that there is no covered, connected parking. How many Miamians do you think are going to attend performances when it's pouring rain, 90 degrees, and necessary to walk through unfamiliar neighborhoods?
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