“I always advise people never to give advice” ~ P.G. Wodehouse
Well, it’s that time for the quarterly fund raising campaign at the local classical music station here in the mega-metropolis the Asylum is located in, where we’re also allowed to pay taxes for the sustenance of said classical music station.
It’s amusing, somewhat, that when the classical music station has their fund-raising campaign, they ALWAYS play the music of the greats – Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Handel, etc., in between their happy talk about nothing much. I heard one of the announcers say the other day…before the fund raising campaign began, that one of the complaints people have with classical music is that it’s music from a bunch of dead, white guys. I wonder if that’ll be that lead-in with their Fall membership campaign?
I’ve often waxed along in idiotic fashion, that “if only” the world could hear Beethoven, Mozart, Handel, etc., as devoted classical music lovers do – that all would be grand, with M&M’s falling from the sky and all politicians banished to the nether regions of the Antarctic. Such are the foolish thoughts I con myself with from time to time. One must refer to the great satirist, H.L. Mencken for level-headed thinking on the topic of educating the masses in music.
“Of all forms of the uplift, perhaps the most futile is that which addresses itself to educating the proletariat in music. The theory behind it is that a taste for music is an elevating passion, and that if the great masses of the plain people could only be inoculated with it they would cease to herd into the moving picture parlors, or to listen to demagogues, or to beat their wives or children. The defect in this theory lies in the fact that such a taste, granting it to be elevating – which, pointing to professional musicians, I certainly deny – simply cannot be implanted. Either it is born in a man or it is not born in him. If it is, then he will get gratification for it at whatever cost – he will hear music if Hell freezes over. But if it isn’t, then no amount of education will ever change him – he will remain indifferent until the last sad scene on the gallows.” H.L. Mencken – “A Mencken Chrestomathy” ~ circa 1920
I need to remember that. But I’ll still post classical and jazz music videos at the end of each piece…probably because I enjoy futile exercises. How else to explain why I continue to write!
And as we approach the ballot and election season with ballot measures to steal more of your money and a choice list of new lizards to pick from to represent us – it’s not just amusing but downright hysterical the amount of dung being thrown at us in this state. It’s about the 3rd ballot measure in the last 20 years for tending to roads and streets…taxes already allocated to that expense. But as our mayor here tells us with a smile that lets you know, “don’t worry, you can trust me”, it’s good for the state. Yeah, bud – I bet it is!
When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before. H. L. Mencken
And this just in…
And to end this post…more music from a dead white guy, arranged by a black guy, played by a living Chinese woman, in a Russian ballet and opera theatre.
Only the mainstream media would have us believe that we all don’t get along.
“Tea for Two” by Vincent Youmans, arranged by Art Tatum, played by Yuja Wang at the Mariinsky Ballet and Opera Theatre
Photo credit: http://www.unsplash.com/@francisco_legarreta