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Your Letters: Narco-Corridos, Obama's Nobel
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Your Letters: Narco-Corridos, Obama's Nobel

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Your Letters: Narco-Corridos, Obama's Nobel

Your Letters: Narco-Corridos, Obama's Nobel
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Host Scott Simon shares listener responses to his essay last week on President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He also reads comments on a story about narco-corridos, Mexican ballads that tell the stories of drug lords, arrests and violence.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of typewriter and music)

SIMON: I made a few comments last week about the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to President Obama and got lots and lots of comments in return. Many seemed to be displeased when I suggested that when the president said I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize, he deserves to be taken at his word.

Jim Tucker of Sacramento, California writes: The president fits into the category of past presidents and other recipients who have not personally suffered but who have significantly affected the course of history. The award of the Nobel Prize was a statement by much of the world of thanks to a man in a country that has regained its sanity. That is a major accomplishment and certainly worthy of recognition, praise and encouragement.

John Henley of Colorado Springs, Colorado says: Europeans have tended in the past to view us as a society of crime, guns, oppression of minorities, corporate greed, high taxation of lower-income brackets and jingoistic foreign policy. Electing a man like Obama as president is to Europeans a huge sea change, not too much unlike ending apartheid, hence the Nobel award to Obama. You need to step back and look at this from a different perspective, such as from the other side of the Atlantic.

Last week, NPR's John Burnett reported on the Mexican ballads known as narco-corridos, which tells stories of drug lords, arrests and violence.

Graham Smith, who hears our show on member station WABE in Atlanta, wrote: This music sounds like the gangster rap or hardcore rap that glamorizes urban violence and selling drugs. The more the Mexican government tries to censor the music, the more popular and violent the music gets. It's a lose-lose for Mexico. At least someone besides the cartels is making some money off the murder of others for a change.

Richard Cottas, who listens on Chicago Public Radio, says: One could argue that many of the narco-corridos are nothing more than folk songs, like the American Western folk songs which celebrated the careers of John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid and Jesse James.

(Soundbite of song)

SIMON: We welcome your responses. There are several ways you can share them. Go to NPR.org and click on the Contact the Show link, or post your thoughts in the comments section of each story. You can also reach us on Twitter. My username there is NPRScottSimon - all one word - or you can write to the entire staff at NPRWeekend - all one word. Now you can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/NPRWeekend - all one word. You'll find a discussion board to pitch story ideas, links to leave comments, along with videos and photos. That and more at Facebook.com/NPRWeekend.

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