Saturday, February 27, 2016

The difference of a day

Last night at 9pm an "In Performance at the White House" program on PBS focused on the music of and memory of Ray Charles.  This was the first time that this program had been aired.  It was a series of wonderful performances by some artists not known here and others well known, all backed by a 17 piece Ray Charles style band.  Notable here were Usher, Brittany Howard, Demi Lovato, and Sam Moore, still around and still compelling, "Hold On...".  Others were exceptional but names are not available as sitting with a pen in hand while enjoying a program is a good way to ruin the experience.

The program reminded me of people that I miss and enjoyed music with for many years, in particular my parents.  It is possible that I was dehydrated by the end.  What little nitpicks that there were here are not worth mentioning.  It was a joyful evening in the White House with all in good spirits, especially the musicians, and with the decorum that the setting deserved.

The night before at exactly the same time I was watching something else.  That was a group of candidates running for President behaving like politicians in a struggling and fractious Eastern European kleptocracy.  Their attention seeking jibes, constant negativism, pompous rhetoric, mean spirited self promotion, and joyful venom was quite a contrast from the White House performance. The explanation by some will be that this is a competitive political campaign, so "what do you expect?"  That is understood to some extent, but it seems that we could expect a least a modicum of decorum from the major candidates running for the office of President of the United States.  The whole world is watching.

To say the obvious, what a difference a day makes.


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