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Missed Opportunity.
2008-04-23 10:44
by Will Carroll

This film, much like the Pulitzer-winning story about Joshua Bell in the subway, is heartbreaking.

I'm more surprised by Bell. In the video in the story, you can see the people who simply HAVE to hear the music. For the art, it's just there. With ubiquitous advertising, people can tune things out and it doesn't exactly "pop." Keith Haring's work is some of my favorite and it began as graffiti.

Yes, I can enjoy the stilted arty people getting their noses rubbed in it, but to make a broader commentary on it is harder to do. Do people just not notice? Too busy to stop and smell the roses? Late for a meeting? So inured of any beauty in their daily life that they can ignore the best the world has to offer? (YMMV, of course.) I'm just not sure.

Which brings me around to the term "elitism." It's a pejorative now and without going too poltical, I want someone to stand up and own it. "Damn right I'm an elitist. I want the best," Obama could say. "I want people to demand the best from themselves and our society. I want my kids to go to the best schools, but I also want your kids to have the best schools or at least give you the opportunity to afford the best schools." I could go on and on, but I won't and it's not strictly an Obama issue, so don't make it one. Just an example.

It's in stark contrast to what I do and what I believe baseball analysis should do, which is work for the masses. I have to explain what the world's best doctors are doing to the world's best athletes in terms that non-medical people can understand. I want to figure out how to explain the amazing work the rest of the BP team is doing so that people can go "Oh, okay" and understand a little more about the game, but not do it in such a way that you can't just go and have a beer and enjoy the game.

I feel like so much of life for so many people is just a missed opportunity. What about you?

2008-04-23 11:13:20
1.   MC Safety
Mogwai rules.
2008-04-23 11:18:31
2.   Todd S
I imagine I'm in the minority, but as far as I'm concerned, Obama, Clinton, and McCain are all elitists. And not in a good way.
2008-04-23 11:40:40
3.   Chyll Will
2 What candidate in the last twenty years is not elitist? Even Nader thinks he's the difference-maker (he may have been right once)... The candidate who has the most money come election day usually wins. Just like the Holy Roman Empire.
2008-04-23 11:59:19
4.   Schteeve
You live for like 80 years. You can only be in one place at a time. Yeah, life is nothing but a shitstorm of missed opportunities. So you better make the ones you don't miss count.
2008-04-23 15:50:36
5.   Bluebleeder87
To be really honest I think I'd be one of the people that wouldn't look (I just don't know art all that well) I'm just being honest here.
2008-04-24 09:57:25
6.   jgpyke
Who gives a fig about some fancy fiddle playin'? If I am on my way home from work, I would much rather see my wife and daughter than listen to some busker, even if it is the magical Joshua Bell. It's about priorities.

On top of that, I just don't dig classical violin like that. I imagine lots of people agree. Ask a symphony musician (my father-in-law is one).

2008-04-25 09:38:48
7.   JasonO
The first time I heard Itzhak Perlman play Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata, I couldn't believe that a human being could play an instrument like that. The early 70's Decca recording with Ashkenazy on blazing fire coming from Perlman's fingertips.

Long, I have no problem with elitism as a personal philosophy: I try to excel, to be "elite," in everything that I do. In a related matter, the thought police have sullied a great word: Discrimination. I'm in my 30's and I remember as a kid hearing the compliment: "A discriminating taste."

Elitism in politics is a much different story. Obama is the kind of elite who thinks nothing of destroying liberty by using the government as a vehicle to pursue his notions of "justice." It's a moral/religious imperative as a the basis for public policy: If you're not on board with this, then what the fuck is wrong with you? Don't you "care?" You must be a racist/sexist/capitalist pig/homophobe.

HL Mencken is correct, as a rule: "Whenever A harms or annoys B on the pretense of saving X, A is a scoundrel."

2008-04-26 08:15:18
8.   jgpyke
I'd like to see this experiment repeated, but this time with a Hustler centerfold blown up to the size of a mural. If people still don't stop or notice, then you may have a point, Will.

Otherwise, this whole experiment is freakin' straw man city.

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