Times Hails Composers, Accepts Earthy Speech

Gratifying unsigned item on the New York Times editorial page today:

It’s easy to see why New Yorkers, being who they are, would like to claim Steve Reich as their own. He is widely considered one of the most important living composers, who along with contemporaries like La Monte Young, Philip Glass, Terry Riley and John Adams — and Charles Ives and John Cage before them — changed the course of music in the 20th century. And he is still very much a force in the 21st.

Incidentally, I also notice that Maureen Dowd was allowed to use the word “fart” in her column today. Does anyone know if that’s an official shift of editorial policy? In 2000, in an article on the history of electronic music for the Times, I wasn’t allowed to refer to the 1970s genre of electronic music, full of old-fashioned bloops and bleeps, universally referred to as “squeakfart music.” “Censorship!” I cried, and pointed out that any synonym would be less precise and a weak euphemism, but to no avail. If I ever have the article reprinted, I will reinsert the correct term.

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