Diversity in Metal?

Comments on WMass Metal: The Valley’s Diverse Scene Rises Again at valleyadvocate.com.

Jenna Weingarten: How are you going to write a headline that says “diverse” in it and feature a bunch of white people and men? As someone in a Western Mass punk scene, I can confess WMass isn’t admittedly the most diverse place to be a punk, but there’s more diverse scenes than this crap. Honestly, in this day and age this is straight up insulting. I’d expect better from the Advocate.

Caroline Becker Bednarski: Hey, just because there are mostly white people there doesn’t mean it’s not diverse. There was obviously a significant group of women there as well. The people at the show come from a variety of professional backgrounds, some having listened to metal for a long time, some just joining the scene. There are people who were part of a group of performers from 20 years ago and people who just turned 21. This style of original songwriting is adding diversity to a field of music where it was previously rare and covers are more popularly performed. It’s not crap. It’s some talented shit!

Circus Without Cliche

Thank you for this great article, (“Total Contortion: A circus star’s journey around the world — and back to Brattleboro,” March 2-8, 2017), written with more research, respect and intelligence than most. And it did not rely on tired old catch phrases, which I especially appreciate. It did not mention ‘running away to the circus’ even once! Thank you!

— Elizabeth Stubbs,  Lexington

Trust the Government to Take Care of Animals?

As he was signing edicts hurting one group after another, it was only a matter of time before Donald Trump got around to hurting animals — already the most oppressed sentient beings on Earth. The animals’ turn came by taking down the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) site that reports on government regulation of roughly 9,000 animal handling facilities. These are laboratories, dog breeders, fur farms, circuses, zoos, and aquariums.

The site is used every day by animal protection activists to monitor government enforcement of the 1966 Animal Welfare Act, the only effective federal law protecting animals. Taking down the APHIS inspection site is a huge setback for animal protection. It will almost certainly lead to reduced government inspection of animal facilities and more animal suffering — a virtual repeal of the Animal Welfare Act.

Ironically, this oppressive act was launched by the same dark-of-night process that is pulling more than 100,000 visas from thoroughly vetted Muslim immigrants — no notice, no hearings, no due process, no public announcement.

The oppressive mindset doesn’t really care who the victims are. Hopefully, the courts will.

— Eddie Buster,  Easthampton