Kudos for Jazz over Michael Jackson
The headline today was “KING OF POP DIES.” I knew vaguely that this referred to Michael Jackson, who was technically 50 years old, but one might say his life really ended 10 or 15 years ago when he sort of went crazy. One fan was quoted as saying, “I don’t think you can hear a musician today talk about their music without mentioning Michael Jackson.”
What said fan calls a musician and what I call a musician are miles apart.
Upon reading this day news I took out of KING OF SWING album (on CD) and enjoyed listening to Benny Goodman and his marvelous recordings of the tri and the quartet on the Bluebird label.
What great jazz instrumentalists they all were! What exhilarating sounds they produced: Benny himself on clarinet, Teddy Wilson at the piano, Gene Krupa on drums and Lional Hampton on the vibraphone.
These great performances turned the world of music around for me, a struggling trumpet player. They made me glad to be alive during the difficult years between the Great Depression and World War II.
David L. Smith
Get a life
A plea to the Bud Lite litterbug on Ridgeway Road: Get a trash bag, get a life!
Letter of protest
Late Night David Letterman’s recent departure from common decency is indefensible. In case you missed his TV comments he said that Governor Sarah Palin’s 14 year old daughter got “knocked up” during a Yankee baseball game. He further referred to Governor Palin as having a “slutty flight attendant look.” These were not off-the-cuff spur-of-the-moment comments. They were carefully scripted by Letterman’s so-called joke writers.
Asked for comments, Governor Palin said that Letterman didn’t have to apologize to her, but rather should apologize to all women. At the same time, he should apologize to flight attendants and children. Public officials often have said that their children are “off limits” as they campaign or serve in various capacities. Such was the stance of the Clintons with respect to their daughter, Chelsea, and President Obama during his recent campaign.
How can we judge Letterman’s malfunction? The simple answer is to compare him to Jay Leno. Jay would never stoop to such a level.
Interesting that Letterman said he meant to refer to Palin’s 18 year old daughter and not her 14 year old. One wonders how there would be a distinction. Statuary (sic) rape would be equally unacceptable no matter what the age of the girl. As public outrage increased, Letterman made a so-called apology. It was a complete flop. More recently he tried again to apologize and admitted that his words amounted to a “bad joke” and that he was sorry.
I sent a letter of protest to the home office of CBS in New York City. I suggested that Letterman be fired. If not fired, I requested that he be suspended for several months without pay.
It has been surprising that in this whole ordeal NOW (National Organization of Women) has remained silent. One wonders why they wouldn’t condemn Letterman.
It will be interesting to watch this play out. Whatever else, let’s hope it has been a learning experience for Letterman. Comedians need to learn that the public demands boundaries for their humor.
June 30, 2009
Volume 18, No. 26
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