Monday, December 13, 2010

Phenomenal Trumpet Solo

This is Maynard Ferguson, recorded some time in the 1960s. Ferguson, who died in 2006, was best known for his incredible range with the trumpet, easily able to hit notes more properly in the range of a piccolo. As a teenager playing trumpet in the high school band in the mid-70s, this man was my trumpet playing role model. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say...

A few minutes ago, I saw a breaking news bulletin on Yahoo saying that Elizabeth Edwards had died. This came just a day after announcing that doctors had advised her that there was nothing more they could do and that she’d decided to stop treatments.

After reading the short announcement, I scrolled down to read the comments. Though many people posted respectful condolences, many others saw this as an opportunity to spew hateful, grammar- and spelling-challenged remarks. For some people, everything is an opportunity for partisan politics and no exceptions are made, even to respect the grief of those in mourning. To such people, if you do not believe as they do, then you have forfeited any considerations of courtesy and common decency and it’s open season on you and yours.

I would think the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”, should apply in such instances for everyone who has any character and integrity at all. If you don’t like Elizabeth Edwards or her husband, fine, but simply don’t comment on such articles at all if you can’t be respectful. A person’s death notice is not the time nor the place for partisan politics.

But the literacy-challenged trolls who haunt the comment sections of Yahoo News and other similar sites do not limit their vitriolic political spewing to articles relating to politics. They post comments trashing their political bugaboos on nearly every article posted, even those that don’t have even the remotest thing to do with politics. Apparently, no one has told these simple-minded fanatics that not everything in this world has to do with politics.

There are several ultra right wing politicians I find completely reprehensible, but I would nevertheless grant them the respect of my silence if they or someone in their family were to die and allow them to grieve in peace. Time and place, people. There are certain niceties that are the hallmark of a civilized society, and respect for the mourning is one of them.