x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Taylor Swift: the voice of her generation

A reader writes that the musician has been responsible for pushing the boundaries of country music in directions ranging from pop to rock.

A reader nominates Taylor Swift as the 'Voice of her Generation' because the stories that her songs tell resonate with her young fan base.
A reader nominates Taylor Swift as the 'Voice of her Generation' because the stories that her songs tell resonate with her young fan base.
In his article The sound of a generation echoes (November 8), Ben East reviewed, in passing, Taylor Swift's new album Speak Now, the fastest selling US album in five years.
I must disagree with his position on Swift. His analysis focused mostly on the album's cultural impact and potential future importance, based only on the fact that album does not push the genre of country music in new directions, and that, in his opinion, the songs are not memorable.
As far as the songs being memorable, I will not argue that point, as it is fairly subjective. Concerning pushing country music in new directions, here I must wholeheartedly disagree. Swift has been responsible for pushing the boundaries of country music in directions ranging from pop to rock to such a degree that many country fans have accused her of not making "real" country music.
Finally, I believe that if we are discussing the merits of somebody being the voice of a generation, we need to be discussing what they are actually saying - or in this case, singing. As almost everybody knows at this point, Swift's songwriting inclinations tend to run towards love and relationships. It has been widely documented that a large section of Swift's fan base supports this, in that they associate the life experiences Swift tells about in her songs to similar events in their own lives.
In any event, it does seem rather evident that Swift's lyrics do reflect the emotions of her generation. Also, the perceived "quality" of an artist's work should not necessarily reflect their ability to represent their fans. Bearing that in mind, "Voice of a Generation" doesn't seem like an inaccurate label to me.
Harley Kaufmann-Sacrey, Canada
Proof that Airbus performs well under pressure
The front page business article Jet failure hits shares of Rolls-Royce and EADS (November 5) reported that the companies' share values fell sharply after an Airbus A380 operated by Qantas suffered an engine failure over Indonesia. Shame on the shareholders. This clearly shows they have little understanding of the engineering products that they have invested their money in. This case is clear evidence of the hard work that is performed in the design phase of these aircraft to ensure they keep flying, even after suffering one of the most violent types of failures possible.
For an aircraft to be subject to such a catastrophic failure with its resulting impacts on the aircraft's wings and embedded systems goes to show just how well designed the jet is and how much safety analysis has gone on. Clearly, the aircraft was able to fly safely for another hour and land with no further problems which is evidence that all other critical systems were operational - no mean feat in this case.
Sadly, the press and those not in the know are always quick to deride the aircraft itself, but with a bit of background knowledge and understanding, they would be able to conclude just how safe this aircraft is in the air. Airbus (and its stockholders) should be holding their heads up high and with pride.
Ian Ray, Abu Dhabi
Another crime against humanity
I am deeply saddened to read about the terrorist raid in a Pakistani city that killed dozens of worshippers ( Bomber kills 66 at Pakistan mosque, November 6).  In the last three years of violence nearly 4,000 people have died in terrorist attacks in Pakistan, the majority of them innocent civilians. 
This continuing unrest can be termed as an undeclared war on the humanity of modern society, which I believe cannot be routed by explosives. Humanity requires a mindset that realises and values the depth of true existence. Sadly, only humans can recognise humans.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman
Media frenzy over Obama visit
The UAE and the Indian media seems to be in the throes of Obamania these days. They have have left virtually no camera unturned to rigorously and vigorously report on each and every moment of the US president Barack Obama and his lovely wife Michelle's three-day sojourn in India. Right from the time he landed in Mumbai on Saturday, the media has danced to the Obama tune, providing us with the minutest details about the  presidential visit even as the president and his wife shook a leg with some school children in Mumbai.
Thanks to the media,the world knows that this is the longest time that Mr Obama will be spending in any foreign country as a president.We also know that the presidential suite where he spent the night in Mumbai costs Dh56,000. Eating out of the Obama hands, the media dutifully report the exact menu of every Obama meal.
While all this will certainly appeal to sections of a celebrity- gazing audience and the Indian tourism department, one fails to understand why such priceless nuggets of information need to be  front page news at the cost of more important international news and issues. 
Amitabh Saxena, Dubai