Friday, January 23, 2009

Pre-recorded Music for the Inauguration and Pete Seeger

I have begun to see a few articles taking issue with the classical quartet for using pre-recorded music at the inauguration. They have been compared to the likes of Milli Vanilli and Ashlee Simpson. No comparison. The articles have obviously been written by someone who knows little or nothing about stringed instruments or people with little talent. If you don't have much talent to begin with, you don't want to be exposed before a live audience. If you play a stringed instrument, you know all of the things that can go wrong in an extreme weather situation.

Anyone who has ever played a stringed instrument knows how easily they are affected by changes in temperature and humidity. It is almost impossible to keep an instrument in tune in such extremes. Both the wood and the strings are affected. In extreme cold strings held so taut can easily break. Obviously the musicians were playing. We don't know exactly what they sounded like. Surely the instruments had been allowed to adapt to the cold, but who knows how well they held up.

It is hard to gloss over something so precise as classical music. Whereas, if James Taylor or Pete Seeger had hit missed a note we probably wouldn't have noticed. Changing the subject slightly, wasn't it great to see Pete Seeger on stage singing? A man who was a prime mover in the folk movement of the 1950's and 60's and who felt the wrath of McCarthy as a member of the Weavers. He was blacklisted and investigated and tailed by the FBI, so he could certainly identify with those who were blacklisted, wiretapped, and secretly investigated during the recent Bush era. What a great choice for the inauguration, and it was hardly noticed. I digressed, but maybe a good subject for a later post.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air

Hillary Clinton arrived at the State Department today to a rousing welcome from staffers. It must be a breath of fresh air to government employees countrywide. Having worked in government and known so many dedicated staff, morale often reached an ebb when bad leadership kept you from doing your job.

In any job, if you are dedicated and believe in what you do and your superiors are dedicated to tearing down what you do, then you and the job suffer. For eight years the Bush Regime tore down regulations and prohibited departments from doing what they were set up to do. The EPA wasn't allowed to continue to clean up the land water and air. The State Department wasn't allowed to deal effectively with other nations. The Defense and Justice Departments were forced to incriminate themselves. It has been a mess with corruption government wide. There have been thousands of good dedicated employees, who left jobs that they loved or were fired for effectively doing their jobs or questioning tasks that were assigned to them.

Hopefully, the new administration will clean up the mess left behind. And a mess it is. The last eight years of mismanagement have cost this country so much in money and moral degradation. There is some light, even through the dark that was left behind. Let's hope that the Lindsey Grahams and John McCains of the Republican world are not marginalized by the radicals that remain in Congress and that a new beginning will continue. One thing is certain, the mood of the country is more positive, and those who question for purely partisan reasons are going to fail in the eyes of the voters.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pray Obama Fails?

Today, I perused to see what kind of garbage they were spewing about the inauguration. I ran across a very anti-American article by the site's founder, Joseph Farah, entitled, "Pray Obama Fails." In his hatred of Obama, Mr. Farah also shows his lack of concern for his country.

If President Obama fails, the country will fall further into an abyss from which it would surely have trouble rebounding. Millions will continue to suffer, and the future of the United States as we know it could very well be in doubt. Of course, Mr. Farah would be delighted. The small minded revolutionaries that he represents would be poised to assume power and begin to turn this country into another Iran or Afghanistan. The primary difference would be that Farah's ilk would purport to be Christian.

To publicly state that you want to see your country fail is in my book almost treasonous. Certainly, Mr. Farah would call it such, were the shoe on the other foot. He would be shaking with anger at such a column, if it had been written by, say, Bill Moyers. Farah would call for his head on a platter and demand that NPR and PBS immediately cancel any agreements that they might have with such an abominable man.

Mr. Farah, you and your Neanderthals should crawl back under your rocks. You are in the minority. If Obama succeeds, you will be marginalized for years to come, thankfully. The young people, who are so excited about their government will probably vote Democratic for the rest of their lives. The African-Americans, who see such a fine role model at the helm of this country, will be excited about what they may be able to accomplish in their futures.

We face an uncertain future, but I hope and pray that the new President succeeds. I don't want to see this country driven into the ground. I want my son to have a bright future in a country that remains free to all, not to a fundamentalist Christian few, who continue to try to force their theology on the rest of us. You are wrong, Mr. Farah. You are anti-American Mr. Farah, and I would question whether God really wants to hear from you and your kind.