Checked out a much needed cultural event in Östersund today. Here is the background. Swedish hiphop act Kartellen is big news in Sweden and they are on the road and will perform here tonight. Some of the lyrics have been about shooting cops etc so they are quite controversial. Jens Ganman, a local author, writer and artist (a man with a clear head and loads of talent) contacted the organisers and asked for a chance to debate the current climate with Kartellen and main man Sebbe Staxx agreed, so a chat was set up for the general public to attend.
It was moderated by journalist Ametist Azordegan, who has backed up Kartellen on her own radio show for years and she opened up proceedings with a talk on the subject of “moral panic” and music. I could agree with much of what was said (been there, done that – but with Classic Rock and Metal), but there is a side there that is hard to understand. The punk/hiphop love for anarchy. That´s just nuts. But this is what this talk was about, taboos, politics, censorship, common sense etc. Freedom of speech and everything connected to it.
Anyway, Jens and Sebbe talked about incredibly important matters for 45 minutes, and I do feel that this sort of thing is much needed in this country. Sebbe talked about the anger he felt when he was a criminal and that some of his controversial lyrics came out of a sense of hatred. He assured everybody that he is a changed man now and that he would not write lyrics like those again. Jens added many interesting thoughts to the evening and it was very nice to witness a quiet, unedited, live debate in the sun.
Maybe this is what is needed? If television had been there it could have done a lot of good had they shown the entire debate as it were. More debates could have followed. This was a good thing, and I think Jens is one of the few voices of reason in the country today. We need people like him.
He is not too keen on the political correctness that has stifled nearly everything in this country, and dares to point this out. On the other hand, I think many did agree with much of what he said. Jens is just one of these few brave souls that dares to say things like this right now.
As for Sebbe, I sincerely hope that his official stance will remain intact. To his credit, he´s not performing the worst songs any more. His voice is needed too, the success of his band proves it. The negative feelings and the hatred that many feels in our ghettos is real enough. But anarchy? To me, that is old school, immature communism, and it solves nothing.
The crowd was interesting to see, not too many young people. Old ladies mostly, or 50% maybe? Well, they are the ones that read books so why am I not surprised?
(I will not comment further on this post, please respect this!)