Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Store attacked for its honesty

Sonny Starks’ Soundoff (News-Times, Jan. 26) would have you believing Dave’s Music is actively trying to corrupt the youth of North Whidbey Island in order to make a profit. I take issue with that view.

Starks makes his first point by pointing out how the lyrics of today’s popular music are lewd, vulgar, and violent, not ever linking them to Dave’s. He neglects to mention that this music is widely available. MTV and Wal-Mart willingly distribute ‘censored’ versions of the “artists” he cites, which leave nothing to the imagination, and the internet, which can deliver any song, has no built-in censorship.

He appears to attack Dave’s only because the store is up-front and honest about what he does. Starks then goes on to set up a disgustingly fantastic comparison, saying anyone who’d cite free speech in order to justify the ability to buy whatever they like is no better than a pedophile. Starks’ column is long on propaganda and short on relevant facts.

Dave’s is one of two independent music stores on the Rock. If Dave Willis were worried about raking in the profits, he would not be running a music store on Whidbey Island. Dave’s sells used albums; for eight dollars I can get a CD that would cost me fourteen at either of the ‘Marts. This is significant for all of us students and thrifty spenders.

Dave’s sells albums by artists that won’t allow their music to be distributed by large corporations; I can walk into Dave’s and pick up Tiger Army, CKY or Rancid without any trouble. I’ve never seen those bands at Wal-Mart or Kmart. Dave’s also sells instruments, stickers, patches, effects pedals, hard-to-find and imported albums, and loads of music paraphernalia which aren’t in just any store. Another thing is that Dave’s treats us minors like people. As someone younger than 18, I’ve never felt unwelcome or ignored in that store.

Starks asks what you’d want your (insert young family relation here) spending their Christmas gift certificate from you on. Most people give gift certificates as a way of saying, “I don’t know what you’d want, so I’ll leave it up to you.” If you desire to control what that person listens to, buy them an album and give it to them. Better yet, talk to them about what they listen to, and get a handle on what they think of their music.

Something that really makes me burn is that Starks doesn’t trust parenting to win out on this. If you have a problem with certain kinds of music in your house, then make sure they don’t come in. Starks wants to be a parent for hundreds of children, who have nothing to do with him, by preventing them from buying music he doesn’t agree with, regardless of what their parents what for them.

I am an honor student. I am part of my school government. I am polite to most people. I fervently believe in the freedom of speech and the rest of the Constitution. I am aware of the world around me. I like nice music like Laura Love, Sheryl Crow, U2 and The Beatles. I am also extremely fond of bands like Corrosion of Conformity, NOFX, Bad Religion, and Metallica, some of which are probably on the church-circulated list that Sonny Starks cited.

Being as how this is America, we have the freedom to choose Dave’s as a place to shop. We also have the freedom not to shop at Dave’s. That same freedom is what allows Starks to write columns largely devoid of fact. From his column no one can actually tell if he has ever been inside of Dave’s Music. He appears to be condemning the store sight-unseen. I am a long-time customer, and I rarely see young children in there. Dave’s Music is a good, dependable place of business that has not hurt anyone. Sonny Starks’ battle against objectionable music should be fought in the home, not in the store.

Nick Short


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