Patterico's Pontifications


Phil Robertson Preaches While Paul Whitefield Crashes and Burns

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:34 pm

Phil Robertson is a heck of a preacher:

I watched this all the way through to the end — which was interesting, because he makes a point of saying Jesus’s name in his prayer . . . and noting how the television show edits it out.

Meanwhile . . . a fellow named Paul Whitefield at the Los Angeles Times preaches his own “wisdom”:

Having grown up living in a trailer — but having never, ever watched “Duck Dynasty” — I feel uniquely qualified to say this: Enough with the trailer-trash TV shows.

. . . .

But I also know the trailer life — been there, done that. I spent a few years crammed into an 8-foot-wide, 50-foot-long trailer with Mom, Dad, two brothers and two sisters. We moved a lot.

Sometimes people didn’t want us; sometimes they used names, like “trailer trash.”

Growing up, my brothers and I (even my baby sister) worked with Dad; he was a pipeline welder. Many of those guys were the salt of the earth, but others could barely read or write. And some of their views, their language, their morals were, to be kind, coarse. What we wanted, and what my parents wanted for us, was to rise above that. So we went to college.

And now I turn on the TV and see that the vulgarity, the racism, the sexism, the crudeness I encountered as a youth is not only being broadcast but celebrated?

No thanks.

Except, you just said you don’t watch it. You “never, ever” watched it.

So, how’s about you shut your pie hole? You’re “uniquely qualified” to show us (along with your co-tool Michael Hiltzik) how embarrassing blue state nincompoops have become.

I sent Whitefield this tweet tonight:

Ah, the irony! We’ll see if he bites. I’ll correct the record after a day or two, but let’s hope he flames out in the interim.

Oh, I read his piece all right. In fact, I think I have read this guy before. Yes, here we go. Paul Whitefield is the guy who wrote this piece in 2007. He thought he was being Jonathan Swift here, as you can tell from the phrase “Modest Proposal” in the headline. (He doesn’t trust you to grasp his cleverness.) Enjoy:

LISTENING TO President Bush’s speech on Iraq earlier this month, my first thought was: “Where the heck are we going to get 21,500 more soldiers to send to Iraq?” Our Reserves are depleted, our National Guard is worn out, our Army and Marine Corps are stretched to the limit.

Then it hit me: Re-up our Vietnam War veterans and send them.

They’re trained. They’re battle-hardened. Many already have post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, some have their own vehicles — Harleys mostly, which are cheap to run, make small targets and are highly mobile. I’ll even bet that lots of these guys still have guns (you know, just in case).

OK, some vets are a bit long in the tooth (or don’t have teeth — because of Agent Orange?). Or their eyesight isn’t what it was. Or their reflexes have slowed. But with today’s modern weaponry, how well do you have to see?

Too out of shape, you say? Listen, if Rocky Balboa can step back into the ring at age 60, all these Vietnam War vets need is a little boot-camp magic and they’ll be good to go. I mean, who doesn’t want to drop a few pounds?

Don’t want geezers fighting for us? Well, let’s face it, our young people have greater value right here. Most of us want to retire and collect our hard-earned Social Security, and we need those youngsters here, working and paying taxes — lots of taxes.

Finally, these Vietnam War guys are hungry for revenge. After all, they fought in the only war the U.S. ever lost. And they didn’t even get a parade. So this is their chance. We can throw them that big parade when they come marching home.

This is who you’re dealing with, OK?

Glenn Gould and Leonard Bernstein Perform the First Brahms Piano Concerto

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:32 pm

Browsing through the Web, I found this interesting recording — interesting not just for the remarkably slow tempo of the performance, but also for the startling and amusing disclaimer Bernstein presents at the beginning of the recording. Essentially, he gives a speech saying: “this wasn’t my idea.”

My view is that music should generally be played at the tempo that the composer indicated (not, as here, at half that tempo). Conductors are notorious for ignoring such directions, though. Almost nobody plays the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at the relatively breakneck pace indicated, Bernstein included. (They also throw in the occasional unindicated rallentando, start a crescendo in the wrong place, and so forth.) I once almost wrote Leonard Bernstein, in fact, over the absurd way that he raced into the next movement of a symphony (I can’t remember which one off the top of my head) ignoring a rest with a fermata (meaning the rest should be extra long). Instead of an extra long rest, he had no rest at all. I wanted to ask him if he understood what a fermata is intended to indicate.

So it’s not like Bernstein wasn’t given to his own, er interpretations. Still, this speech is remarkable — as is the performance . . . at least, what you can hear of it over the incessant coughing.

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