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July 18, 2006

Fundamentalism redefined

I didnt know anything about "dancehall" music. When it did enter into my circumference of knowledge it was only through the incessant criticisms of gay activists who claimed the lyrics and artists were "homophobic". I don't listen to dancehall music at all. It just doesnt interest me, but I was intrigued at the growing backlash mostly coming from gay activist groups in Britain and finally in the US. Wikipedia had this interesting assessment of the music and its rift with homosexuality.
"Dancehall lyrics have been criticized by pockets of Jamaican society with little or no state endorsement. It has also faced the slaughter of intellectual criticism in the media, particularly by the likes of popular Jamaican journalists, like Ian Boyne. Dancehall has also come to face scathing criticism from the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community, as they claim that it perpetuates violence against [GLBT] people in Jamaica (where such people are often referred to in dancehall lyrics as "chi-chi man"), most notably through its lyrics in songs by such DJs as Beenie Man and Buju Banton.

Dancehall is just short of being a movement, but does have the characteristics of a cosmology as it is a culture and a lens through which people see the world. This cosmology and cultural phenomenon carries with it a linguistic component. Terms such as "bun" in the Dancehall, which is an abbreviation of "burn," do not carry with them a very literal understanding as it may in European cultures. Hence, phrases like "bun sodomites" will not mean, to literally burn sodomites, but function more as a line of descent: it is an exaggeration used to indicate serious disapproval."

Its strange how gay activists rail against taking the Bible literally. This is why we are called, in a derogatory way, fundamentalists. But with dancehall music, even though the artists themselves say it is only metaphorical, homosexuals insist on a literal rendering of the lyrics.

I may post more on this as I think and read.

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