Saturday, August 20, 2011


I am sort of out of sorts. I should be happy that I have a new computer with Windows 7. With Microsoft Office 2010. A new laserjet making a trip through the mails from my son Sean in Sonoma. A new scanner on the way from Dell. But starting on August 11 when my old computer died a sudden death, nothing in my life has been easy. I’m sure down the road I’ll be back to my normal sunny self; in the meantime I am a bit out of sorts about not exactly knowing what I’m doing on the computer.

But it’s not just me. I’m seeing a lot of confusion everywhere. I see the grammar police are after our Governor Brown for saying, “He should have went…” Fie, Governor Brown! You should have known better than that. But now there’s a big deal in my favorite newspaper about whether or not the writer (or the editors) should have put a (sic) after the quote. And there is no consensus. Are we going to be polite and not correct our Governor’s boo-boo in front of God and everybody by using sic? The newspaper says let his words stand there, glaringly wrong. So a big grammar brouhaha is fomenting.

But there is more: A lovely young oriental pianist appeared this month in a most untraditional dress at a Hollywood Bowl concert. As she walked out on stage, the audience’s collective mouths dropped open. I suspect the male patrons were exceedingly delighted at her visage, but their wives/girlfriends may have delivered jabs into their companions’ ribcage to encourage them to get their eyeballs back in their heads. Apparently orchestra members are told what they are to wear, but the featured soloists can wear whatever they feel like – no holds barred. I hear lots of disgruntling is going on among concert goers.
Now there is a stunning young organ player on the music circuit and he sometimes appears as flamboyant, in his own way, as Liberace did in his heyday. His name is Cameron Carpenter, but once he puts his fingers on the organ keys it is impossible to think about what he is, or isn’t, wearing. Again, the rule is that he can wear what he wants. More tsk-tsk-tsking.

You won't be surprised that there are a group of people – traditionalists, mostly – who are out of sorts by the lack of more formal attire. And the newpaper articles and letters to the editor fly back and forth. They make me laugh, because my minor little concerns can at least be eased when I get my hands on a “Windows 7 for Dummies” book.

You may remember a month or so ago I wrote a blog about whether graffiti, some or all, can be considered “street art” and whether such “street art” can really be considered “art” at all. Some say yes, some say no. Everyone digs in and no one is really very happy about it. The discussion is still going on.

Here's a new idea to get people's gruntles going:

Seems an Orange County orchestra is trying to entice the younger adults to come to more classical concerts. The average age has of attendees has risen to, well, lets say “senior citizen age.” And this orchestra doesn’t like that trend. So they are considering how to use electronic gadgets to make the younger group of patrons feel comfortable in a concert hall and come back. They did a test with a young mid-twenties professional woman in OC and offered tweets that corresponded to what was going on musically. She could read thing like the following:
The tweets popped up as real-time program notes. During Saint-Saens' ‘Carnival of the Animals,’: "The 'kangaroo-hopping' effect you hear is accomplished musically via the use of grace notes: small quick notes added just before each beat."
The idea of a little music education in real time can certainly makes it easier to get more out of the concert itself – and the test was to see how a real live twenty something liked it (she did). But if I am to believe the letters to the editor that poured in after this article appeared, a whole lot of concert subscribers with grey hair didn’t like the idea of having brightly-lit electronic media assaulting their eyes in the darkened concert hall. Put the younguns and their gadgets in the balcony was one suggestion. More than one were a little out of sorts about the whole thing -- “If ears have been good enough for listening to Saint-Saens all these years, then they should be good enough now! Oh my, I do tend to agree with them.

On the political front there are all kinds of grumpy people too; the grammar police are vigilant, the religious police are going at it tooth and nail – and as a nation we just seem to be at a point where nothing seems to be working very good. It’s not just me that gets out of sorts on occasion.

Although I admit to being a tinch out of sorts now, I must add this in my own defense: It doesn’t happen often and it doesn’t last long. I do have a lot of new goodies to play with. All my kids are exceptionally solicitious of me, giving me every kind of help, encouragement, and advice I could ask for. My husband right now is down at the Laundromat doing a wash. And most wonderful of all is that I have a brand new tiny great-grandaughter in Florida with the amazing name of NaomiHope. So what if I have an out-of-sorts kind of a day? Look what is “in-sorts!” And there’s just no comparison!

1 comment:

Olga said...

I recall that the clothing I wore in the 60's signaled the end of Western civilization (according to my parents) and my brothers' long hair, oh, my...