Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Reflections

By Bobby

Political Correctness Run Amok. General Motors' announcement of the ceasing of the Pontiac brand had me pondering the Pelosi / Obama Administration scoring another check mark on the win total for political correctness, knowing of the Indian name and logos. How much of this could be in the Administration's politically correct attitude trying to force companies out of Indian names in the same manner college sports has attempted to eliminate Indian names from sports teams? Of course, it was in 1991 when the American Indian movement went after the Atlanta Braves in the World Series, knowing its heritage of the Indian name. They did take out many teams with Redskins, Indians, or other tribal-related names.

More PC Craziness. Brown University's abolition of the Columbus Day break is another sign of political correctness going haywire in this era. The seemingly official Politically Correct Guide to Holidays mandates that Christmas, Washington's Birthday, Lincoln's Birthday, Easter, Columbus Day, and Thanksgiving not be celebrated, but we can celebrate Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and birthdays of Lenin, César Chávez, and other politically correct leaders of the modern left.

Hymns at the Opera, but Not at Church. It was ironic at the performance of Our Town (the opera version) that the hymns “O God Our Help in Ages Past” and “Blest Be The Tie That Binds” were sung at the church in Grovers Corner. You are not likely to find a hymn to be sung in too many churches today as the rush to advance to modern rock is prevalent in churches today. The Sacred Music America site noted church leaders have eliminated the high standards in favour of the lowest common denominator requiring no “spiritual effort, intellectual growth, or acquired understand, basic music, both sophisticated and simple.” They also criticise the pop tunes prohibiting “texts that witness to human fraility.” They referenced the sonorous tune and multivalent text of the hymn I mentioned earlier, today it has been replaced by pop/rock tunes of simple refrains. (

Keep Your Emotions In Check. Larry McReynolds wrote in The Big Picture that you have to keep your emotions in check, and at the parking lot outside Bristol Motor Speedway before an event at the Tennessee bullring. The same could be true of me having to keep my emotions in check attending Our Town. I told a few friends that of the three performances, one did not have my voice teacher – and it was the one I attended. I said I could put my focus on the whole opera, and not on one person. There have been times I attend musical events where I have to be on the lookout for those who know me for associating with the teacher. Maybe being able to watch the opera with everything focused on the story was a good thing to help. Of course, we saw each other as we exited the theatre. The most famous moment however was two years ago, when we saw each other in the seats, and she being single, she asked me out as a date. I agreed. It was a fun date night for both of us! When you're a single guy and there are single women who are singers, it seems you want to date these “sportsman” singers.

Boylemania. The discussion over the Britain's Got Talent (part of the RTL “Got Talent” franchise) contestant Susan Boyle with the performance of a selection from Les Misérables is one that has people talking about the contestant and her performance. But one thing I haven't heard much, sadly, is an issue that I have learned through vocal studies over the years – amplification is the biggest no-no in music. That's the problem in churches too as more youth and especially women sing in church to amplified karaoke. Real singing needs real instruments without amplification.

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