This section is dedicated to opinions. Everybody has one, so here's your chance, after you're done here go to the contact section and e-mail us something! Unless it's racist we'll probably publish it for you. If it IS racist then we'll find out where you live and give your address to the local S.H.A.R.P.'s!
(Updated April 3rd)
"A State of the Scene Address" (Chris)
"Exclusiveness" (Russ Costa)
"Get off Yer Arse!" (Chris)
"Stupidity, spelled "J-A-N-E"" (Chris)  NEW!
"STUPIDITY, SPELLED J-A-N-E" (Chris)    Okay, before I go off, you have to read this, so you understand the title:
"The kids love ska, which I have no problem with, especially if they do their cute little running-in-place dance. I like ska,
too, although I feel woefully uninformed on anything later than Madness. (I'm just getting older and older.) Hepcat plays
an old school, slowed down version of ska that is soothing and just so civilized. Actually, since ska is sped-up reggae, I
don't know why people don't just call Hepcat's music reggae. Because of the horn section? Or maybe because reggae isn't
the next big thing. It will be next year. -CHRISTINA KELLY"
                        JANE Fairchild Publications,Inc.
7 W. 34th ST., New York, NY 10001 (attn: Christina Kelly)
    See what I'm talking about? My question is, since when did it become the policy of national publications to hire directly out of high school creative writing classes? You know what I'm talking about. When the rest of us were taking classes which taught us at least something about the literary traditions of western culture, there were always a few special cases. theses were the ones who needed that extra bit of attention, AKA, "I can't hack it in normal, challenging classes so I'll take the one where the teacher's a hippy, and thinks grammar is a government conspiracy to inhibit our inner selves." Not only did that review by the illustrious Miss Kelly lack the personality of a jellyfish, it proved that the idea of researching your subject before putting pen to paper is evidently just a tad too challenging for a mind mainly concerned with the shade of lipstick that will be "in" next week. When did the act of typing "ska" into a search engine become so difficult a task that a person would be more inclined to make up facts in her head, than to actually take pride in her future reputation and, spending a few minutes on a computer, save her literary hide from the eternal name tag "idiot"?    True, the clipped review may currently seem like a minor mistake, though laughable, but what are the future ramifications of such a "tabloid" definition of Ska as Miss Kelly produces? When you consider that the many representatives, (though hardly by our vote) of Ska culture in the mainstream, are such bands as Reel Big Fish, Save Ferris, and No Doubt then you can see that we hardly need MORE misleading press about a type of music already ill-defined and misunderstood by much of the populace. Perhaps the only thing worse than sharing standing space with a greek letter T-shirt wearing, overly physical frat boy at a show, is sharing it with one who's conceptions about Ska are entirely misled. Have you ever tried to correct a drunk frat boy about something that they said, especially when you've had a few yourself? Unless you are one of the few fortunate enough among us to be both intelligent AND built like a brick wall, you're going to come out the loser, especially when the football team turns up.
    Okay, so what am I saying? Is there a point to this rant? Well yes, and it's called being pro-active, rather than re-active. The tendency, as Ska becomes the next big thing, is to react negatively to the bad press. Perhaps you feel "packaged" by the media, but how to stop this? The answer is one that many people might find painful, it's to go out and promote yourself. Look at it this way, you're going to get a poster image whether you like it or not, so would you prefer it to come from Miss Kelly of JANE fame, or from your own mouth? If YOU tell it like it easy then at least it's going to have a ring of truth, no matter what Mtv does to the wording later on. Otherwise you are just another one of those crazy kids who likes "reggae with horns", something Miss Kelly doesn't understand and so compensates for with lies, and that just plain sucks.
A State of the Scene Address By Chris (Web editor)
     It's the 90's, Ska is now in what is referred to by most as its third wave. Other genres of music such as punk and hard-core, as well as just about any other type of sound, are having a large influence on the traditional and 2-tone beats we hold so dear. Ska has definitely become more aggressive and louder than it ever has been in the past, because of this it is becoming more and more popular, attracting a much larger audience of people. Thanks to music television stations, and movies, (I know I heard Fishbone playing in the background of a Movie Ad. the other day), it is definitely edging closer to the mainstream, though I doubt it will ever achieve "Madonnadom", if you know what I mean. Still, we are watching what many of us considered a private club, and guarded jealousy, go public. The question is, how bad is this really? That is the point I want to address.
    Yeah, we all get irked when our domain gets invaded, seeing a crowd of white hats converging on your local club for the show can produce shivers of ill feeling in anyone, because you know they are going to get rowdy at some point and cause a problem. Or perhaps it's the gaggle of teenage girls who read that ska shows are where ALL the cute, trendies will be this season, and so paint themselves up like street walkers in vain attempts to get attention. Usually though, they just pose in the back and yes, meet a nice white hat or two. But whoever you have your personal vendetta against, and you know you do, they can easily take away from the over-all vibe you are getting from the show, and the band, right? Especially that band that you love and almost never get to see 'cause damn it, they hardly ever tour around where you live. Well, hey, guess what? sorry to say, but if you want to see more shows, then those meat heads and those ditzy girls are your best friends. Most Ska bands scrape by on what they earn from playing, it looks fun but it's hard work to be in a full time band. Five hundred dollars for a show might sound great, but split it six or eight ways and it isn't so exciting is it? Money makes the world go round, and it definitely makes a band travel. If a band attracts a good audience word will get out. Club owners want profits, not to tend to your need to feel special and cool because you listen to underground music! They will bring in the bands that bring in the cash, so if your favorite Ska band brings in the cash chances are you are going to see a lot more of them at the clubs in your area. In the end that IS what you really want isn't it? If it isn't then maybe you should check your own reasons for going to shows and listening to Ska. Because if it isn't, then what separates you from those mainstream monkeys you love to hate? Besides, give it a chance and the hoopla will blow over, shallow people and long term interests have very little in common, and anyway, you're an individual right? So do your own thing and let everyone live the life they are inevitably going to lead anyway.
            "Stay Rude, Stay Rebel!" -The NoSports
Exclusiveness? By Russ Costa
Think of a time when someone didn't accept you because you were different. It has happened to almost everyone who displays some sort of individuality, whether it be in hair style, clothing, musical taste, actions, or beliefs. I think most of us would agree that we should accept people for who they are, even if they are different. However, many who agree with this policy of acceptance do not practice it. Many of us were listening to ska music before it was "trendy". Friends have said things to me such as "why do you listen to that shit that nobody has ever heard before?" I'm sure many of you once heard similar comments. Of course, now that ska is becoming more popular, the frequency of those remarks are declining. But today, I hear many rudies saying things to the effect of "your music sucks and you suck because you listen to it!" These speakers are the same people who once took shit and hated it for the music they listened to. I'm not saying that you should like every type of music ever created, only that you should respect all music and its fans. Although it seems this point is driven into the ground and well known, I still hear rudies saying punks suck (and making fun of their clothing, dancing, and music), and punks saying the same about rudies (insults about dress, dancing, and musical taste included). Also, both punks and rudies criticize punk-ska. There is nothing wrong with not liking the music, but most of the comment are not "I don't like ______,"but rather "You and your _______ music sucks." In a sense both the punk and ska scenes (ands many other genres) are in a similar situation - they are not about a vastly popular style of music, and most of the fans are expressing some form of individuality, and are being somewhat different, by listening to whatever form of music they chooseto; and most likely, they are dealing with some lack of acceptance for listening to it. Yet these are the same people who tear down someone else for not listening to their style of music. Hypocrisy? Yes. Problem? Yes. There is a relatively easy solution to this problem, though - OPEN MINDS. No, we don't have to like everything, but we shouldn't irrationally hate everything that's different from us or our tastes. I think one can also see how this problem extends beyond simply musical preference.
Get off Yer Arse! By Chris (Web editor)    Ska is still small time, sure, there are a couple of bands on eMpTVy with videos, and you can sometimes catch a commercial with Ska background music, but in the grand bugger all that is the mainstream music scene, Ska is a small pimple with dreams of boildom, and that isn't just a disgusting description. I really hope that when Ska hits the big time it makes all those fat corporate record label hogs scratch their asses in irritation because it won't lie down and stop making a unique contribution to mass music culture. But anyway, back on topic, Ska is still relatively "underground" in that it doesn't enjoy a wide spread audience right? So why the hell is everyone acting so bloody stuck up lately? What I'm talking about is the criticism and rejection of little known and unsigned bands that I've noticed lately. Seriously, it seems like most local bands have to stay home if they expect anyone to turn up, let alone dance to their music anymore. There seems to be some kind of bullshit elitism going around that accords people the right to ignore a band just because it's not on the Moon Ska line up! You know exactly what I'm saying, everyone sits around smoking and staring at the band, which is composed of a bunch of individuals who's excitement and dedication is directly affected by the amount of acceptance they receive. So what do we do? Instead of giving them the encouragement they deserve just for getting up in front of everyone and banging away, we make them feel like they suck. Guess what? Most of those big bands that are "cool" to dance to were small time once, they probably weren't too tight, their singer's voice may have cracked on stage, all in all they weren't too great, but they stuck to it and it got them somewhere. If small time bands have the level of dedication to keep getting on stage and performing, and practicing, don't they at least accord the right to some respect? Hell yes they do. Perhaps you don't realize it, but think of it this way, even if you are a loafer, you can't play an instrument for the life of you, or you lack the courage to stand on stage, you still have an effect on the future of a band, simply by giving them the support they need. That way you can gain some small confidence in the fact that you were partly responsible for the next Toasters, or Johnny Too Bad. I admit to having been one of these offenders that I am complaining about, but no more, it's time to stop the stupid competitiveness that has infiltrated the fan contingent lately. I mean, it's bullshit, where do fans get off being cocky? What have you done that's so special? Stand around looking cool? Try PERFORMING for people tough guy! Then you have the right to have an ego. So, start going to small Ska shows, turn up to actually see the opening act PLAY, not to watch them pack up their equipment. Go up front and dance, so what if people stare?, you deserve more respect than they do because YOU support the big bands of tomorrow. I'll see you at the next show. 
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