YEP Letters: July 8

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Riding a bike doesn’t make you a saint

Phil Cook, Leeds 6

This probably a heresy, but can we all just get over the Tour de France?

The BBC is obsessed with this weird nostalgia for last July’s events and the YEP isn’t far behind.

Not everybody was ecstatic, and it comes to something when we’re made to feel like bad citizens for not rejoicing in the surrender of the city to cyclists.

As for the famed ‘legacy’, apart from boosting the social status of Gary Verity on the backs of hundreds of volunteers, it seems to consist of hordes of middle-class come-latelys swanning around the city’s roads in expensive lycra looking sanctimonious.

And don’t get me started on the ones who wear cameras on their helmets so they can punish drivers or pedestrians who don’t kowtow sufficiently.

Ride your bike by all means, but that doesn’t make you a saint.

Moaning gold medallists

Nick Keer, Cottingley

I write following the item on moaning by Blaise Tapp (Page 16 YEP 6 July).

He talks of moaning being an Olympic sport. Well, if it was, he’s absolutely spot on about this country being at the top of the league table!

As for the recent heatwave, I love it and would never grumble about this! It’s great to go out for long walks in the warm sunshine.

Swimming and jumping into rivers is a rare pleasure too and so is sunbathing wearing very little. I say enjoy the heatwave while it lasts.

But we all know where most of the moaning comes from don’t we? OAPs. They’re the real number one seed gold medallists at moaning. And it’s not just the weather they moan about is it?

Respect for married couples

Edna Levi, Leeds

Have two words been removed from our vocabulary?

These people are wife and husband.

It is becoming more and more “normal” for these to be replaced with “partner” when introducing one’s legally married spouse.

I have no grouse about anyone in an unmarried situation being referred to in this way, but I think the “little woman” or “old man” should be given the respect they deserve after uttering those memorable words “I do”!

Vacuous nature of modern music

Terry Maunder, Kirkstall

I read with interest the letter about modern composers comparing them with the “classic” composers that many of us of a certain generation are familiar with.

Not sure about Lloyd Webber but I would certainly agree with the statement that the other composers put today’s songwriters to shame.

I would add, from the more recent past, however, Lennon and McCartney (especially post-Rubber Soul), Brian Wilson, Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Laura Nyro, Captain Beefheart, Scott Walker, Carole King, Tim Buckley and Leonard Cohen and many “soul” writers (Tamla label, for example) as being consistently interesting and inventive.

I was reading Mojo the other day and looked at a review of the new album by Sleaford Mods.

It quoted a piece of musical research/marketing analysis by Andrew Powell-Morse which has concluded that modern pop music is at it’s “most dumbest” (ahem) since the new millennium.

It is characterised by limited vocabulary and repetitive words (such as the utterly irritating habit of repeating a word several times at the end of a line because the writer is too stupid to think of any other words words words words).

It was 50 years ago that Dylan released Highway 61 Revisited ; compare the lyrics of Desolation Row with anything by Rita Ora or most judges on any talent show (note how these people use only one adjective in their feedback: amazing) and there is no contest.

Every advert I see on TV for modern compilations or the racket coming from car radios/stereos confirms how utterly vacuous the modern idiom is.

It reflects, I guess, the vacuous nature of many aspects of modern culture: reality TV being the prime example coupled with modern ideas of what constitutes “celebrity”. Sad, really.

There can be no comparison, surely, between the thrill of taking home, say, Blond On Blond the day it came out in ‘66 and any album by anybody currently hailed as a “genius”.

An obituary to old Hunslet

Ernest Lundy, by email

What does the name old Hunslet mean?

Locomotives famous the world over, tractors, chemicals, textiles, petroleum, sportsmen, film stars, authors, playwrights, steelworks, printers, MPs, dripping and bread, rag and bone collectors, Wall’s ‘stop me and buy one,’ Boots for Bairns, unemployment and some deprivation between the wars.

Yet this community came through it all, providing the workforce to produce such a variety of famous people and commodities.

Surviving it all with pride in honesty, hard work and companionship with neighbours; when doors could be left open in complete trust.

In so doing becoming an island of industrial achievement and harmony in the larger city of Leeds.

Now long gone, the old place, like the name Blackpool going through their rock, is just as indelibly engraved upon the hearts of Hunslet folk for all eternity.

It’s just a pity the Hunslet of old wasn’t valued more highly by those who demolished it in the so-called name of progress!

Pride in women footballers

Jack Banner, Meanwood

We should all be incredibly proud of our lady footballers .

What a wonderful performance , not a hint of the vanity that pervades the male dominated game .

They really do need to know how proud of them we are even in defeat.

They approached the competition with total honesty and absolute integrity.

So proud of you all.

YEP Letters: August 18