Update: Blame It On The Name

On March 31 I blogged about the controversy surrounding one of my favorite new bands, Viet Cong. Many people both within the Vietnamese community and those not directly connected to it found the band’s name offensive. Turns out the band, after careful consideration, has decided to change its name.

This is a wise choice. The actual Viet Cong committed terrible crimes and tore families apart. Although they have nothing to do with terrorists, the four Canadian rockers erred on the side of sensitivity.

The band hasn’t picked a new name yet. Will the music industry, when reviewing their next album, refer to “the band formerly known as Viet Cong,” as was the case when Prince went by a symbol instead of Prince?

The biggest question of all: under what name will I file their old albums on my iPod? Until then, here’s my original post.


Blame It On The Name

Pseudo hipster that I am, I recently discovered the band Viet Cong on Pitchfork. Their eponymous second album is a blistering cascade of art-noise. These four lads from Calgary have been destroying my iPod the last five days.

Two weeks ago the band released a statement regarding their controversial moniker. It turns out the promoter for their March 14 show at Oberlin College found “Viet Cong” offensive to Vietnamese and Vietnamese-Americans. (No mention of Vietnamese-Canadians). In the name of tolerance, the show was canceled.

Liberals once again castigating liberals for hurting marginalized groups with words!

Viet Cong don’t write political songs. As Ian Cohen notes, they don’t even write love songs. They don’t endorse the policies or tactics of the actual Viet Cong, which dissolved in 1976.

When someone associated with Oberlin College, a private liberal arts school known for its progressive values, cancels a concert by a band whose members, it’s safe to assume, don’t agree with any of the nonsense conservative numbskulls like Ted Cruz spew—only liberals get hurt.