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Thursday, December 19, 2013

An NYT Tongue Bath

Warning: Do not read this NYT Op-Ed without a sick-sack at hand. (Those with sensitive stomachs should give even the following quote a miss.)

Democrats have more of an affinity for jazz than Republicans. Even Jimmy Carter, not everybody’s idea of a hipster, invited Dizzy Gillespie to the White House. But among the Democrats, President Obama is the one who comes closest to the style of bebop called “the Cool.”

Cool jazz is exemplified by the saxophone of Lester Young and his protégé Stan Getz; the trumpet of Miles Davis (especially on his 1957 album “Birth of the Cool”); the vibraphone of Milt Jackson and the song stylings of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and June Christy.

Like the president, cool musicians carried themselves with a regal bearing. Some members of the generation before them had to engage in minstrel-like antics to make a living. Cool musicians demanded respect, and when attacked didn’t blow up, but, like the president, responded stoically. One of his favorite words is “persistence,” the attitude of his hero, the saxophonist Sonny Rollins, the greatest surviving bebopper.

Gurrgh. Urrrrp. Yuck.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that's worse than Barabara Walters thinking Obama was a messiah.

Clovis e Adri said...

Being the most distant observer of you guys, I can say that one marked difference in our cultural upbringing is the way interpersonal relationships develop.

You guys are in the anglosaxon world, where you always keep a distance. I am in the Latin world, where there is always a hug and kind words (even if you don't really mean them).

I say so to remark that, when you guys do want to send kind words and show admiration, you pretty much make a mess of it. That's the cultural lesson I take from this NYT piece :-)

Anonymous said...


That's not because we're Anglo-Saxon, but because we're nerds.

Hey Skipper said...

It is embarrassing to see this kind of mancrush in public.