Cue the Adagio for the decline and fall of American greatness

Last night I watched most of the second U.S. presidential-campaign debate. You know, that’s the one in which Trump refers to his comments in the now-infamous video as “locker-room banter.”

Tonight, I listened again – though for the first time in quite a while – to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. The string quartet version is the one I like best. I always go to the Dover Quartet performance on YouTube. They really put their hearts into it. You can see that, as well as hear it. That’s flattery I’m sure they would be glad to hear.


The Dover Quartet in concert

As I was listening the thought occurred this great music is well-suited as background for the tragedy now unfolding in that great country, the world’s first liberal democracy. Yes, liberal.  Continue reading

The soul of a great democracy is in grave danger

The technical support woman on the other end of the line somewhere in the U.S. south or south-west sounded weary, and a little stressed.  I always try to exchange a little small talk with those call-centre/tech support folks; after all, I’m a real, live human being, and so are they. It often leads to something interesting. This time was no exception.

I took a risk and sympathized with her and her great nation about the present “political situation” it finds itself in, “what with Trump and all.”

I went a little farther than that even by suggesting the man and his careless mouth are playing “a dangerous game” with the future of his country and the world. “There’s a reason why we study history in school,” I said. “It’s happened before, somewhere else, and not that long ago.” Continue reading