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August 22, 2006

Tony Bennett: America is a Cultural Void

According to Contact Music, Tony said:

"I have travelled around the world to Asia and Europe. They show you what they have contributed to the world. The British show you theatre, the Italians show you music and art, the French show you cooking and painting, and the Germans show you science. The only thing that the United States, which is still a young country, has contributed culturally to the world is jazz - elongated improvisation. It's tragic."

Do you think that Tony includes his own body of work in this terrible dearth of culture in America?

How about Hollywood? Television? Those are huge cultural contributions, even if you don't like them. Modern rock music is also considered to be an American innovation. Where has Bennett been living lately, under a rock?

My friend Jeanette bets that when people start to complain, Bennett's rep will claim he was taken out of context. I add that he will suddenly come up with several contributions to world culture that he "didn't think of at the time."

Laments a cultural void that includes his music

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 01:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Celebrity

I think it probably depends on what one would consider culture. The effete cowardice exemplified by Old Europe co-exists with such marvels as the treasures in the Louvre, but also traffics in moral equivalency - thinking that morally repugnant acts such as having sex with children and cheating on one's wife (as long as one is discreet of course) are just (yawn) the sophisticated way to behave. If THAT is sophisticated, then I want to remain a bumpkin.

My personal opinion of Tony Bennett has never been high, so his statement will not harm my already poor opinion of him. He is a very overrated singer; his best recommendation for adulation these days is that he's still alive - botoxed and hair-transplanted to be sure - but ALIVE.

Posted by: Gayle Miller at August 24, 2006 02:59 PM

When I was at Saint Joseph's University, we had a choice of a concert between Bennett and Ray Charles. The stuffed shirts of the alums chose Tony. You never saw a more dejected student population.

Posted by: Wyatt Earp at August 25, 2006 12:03 AM

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