As I walked my dogs through the neighborhood the other morning, my private, discreet listening of a Haydn symphony (via my iPod) was interrupted by a repeaded booming. The sound was loud and disturbing. Looking around for the source, I saw a car coming toward me. It was more than a block away. As the Cadillac Escalade grew closer, the explosions grew louder and louder. It wasn’t a backfiring engine, it was the Cadillac’s sound system “playing music” for the passengers to enjoy (as well as all of Farifax County, apparently). Rap “music” roared – lower frequencies shook the neighborhood & flexed the Cadillac’s windows in their mounts. The closer the vehicle came, the less I was able to hear of my iPod. Haydn survived the assault, and returned to me once the offending vehicle was 2 blocks beyond me. I simply don’t get it.
20 years ago, Tower Records in D.C. was a fun place for classical music lovers to visit. The CD was a new concept, and Tower offered thousands of them. Not thousands of CDs, thousands of classical CDs! Over the years, the huge classical music room at Tower has gotten smaller & smaller. The Alexandria, VA location used to have a Classical CD room. Now it has a rack or two of classical music.
Growing up in the suburbs of New York City, I was a Knicks fan as a kid. I watched basketball games & marvelled at the shooting skills of NBA players. The sport was referred to as a ‘non-contact sport’. Jamming the ball was not legal, and finesse abounded on the court. Today, basketball games are shoving matches – players ram their bodies toward the net in a perpetual jam-fest. There is no finesse in the game. It is a full contact sport now. Just as I can’t listen to today’s pop music, I can no longer watch basketball. I simply don’t get it.
We have lost finesse in America. It has been replaced with force. We are good only if we are fast or loud. Whether it’s the yelling and pounding of rap, or the torpedoing toward the hoop, it is not what it once was – it is not how I want to experience things. I simply don’t get it.