Mailbag

Celebrate music and Record Store Day

I refer to Eddino Abdul Hadi's article No Fun Letting A Computer Tell Me What Songs To Listen To (Life, April 19).

We love how our music defines us. We exult when we are known for our love of the music of Julia Holter, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Lunarin. We cringe when we are caught listening to Bruno Mars and Tokyo Square.

We want to be able to say we love Omnipotent Youth Society, Hedgehog and Carsick Cars because the nice man running a music shop in Beijing sat us down and played CDs for us for hours to enlighten us about the burgeoning indie music scene there. Not because that kind of music just "happened" to be in our Spotify playlist one day.

We are the sum total of our life experiences and that informs our musical choices. We have already let technology rule much of our lives. It is just one small step to surrender our will and let a computer algorithm decide what music we listen to.

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We must actively decide, whether through reading reviews on music websites or in magazines or through talking with music fans, what we want to listen to.

Better yet, we should pop by one of the last few music shops here, especially one purveying vinyl records, today and hold music in our hands and conversations with fellow music lovers.

For today is Record Store Day.

Colin Lim


Teach students origin of swear words

In his article (It's Perfectly Fine To Use The S-word, Sunday Life, April 16), Mr Andy Chen makes no bones about cursing or swearing, even for young kids .

He says s**t is "an inelegant word perhaps, but it is neither rude nor an expletive, unless it is hurled at someone as an insult".

There is no right way to swear. To youngsters, cursing and swearing is one of the many habits they pick up to conform to their peers. Schools can teach the etymology of common swear words and students can discover for themselves that many of these terms are actually euphemisms with ugly, dark or offensive origins.

Ooi Mun Kong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2017, with the headline 'Celebrate music and Record Store Day'. Print Edition | Subscribe