Thursday, March 2, 2017

Chronicles of a Baby Boomer - An Idiot with a Stick

I'm kind of an iconoclast. I'm always breaking norms and demanding proof for well entrenched ideas. I could just go along, I guess. Accept the current thread. Accept the current. Flow down the grand current to the inevitable sea ahead. Watch the cliffs and rock faces give way to the gentle plains and passages to the funnel of conformity. And poop out into the sea of...

Bullshit. I ask why. I ask for proof. I ask for perspective. I ask for rebuttal. I can be wrong, after all. I often am. So can you. Prove it!

An experience I had in college shaped my thinking. Or maybe it just reinforced what I already believed. At lunch one day a student at the table was dominating the conversation. He was obviously charismatic and had the sense of the table. Even back then I felt that this was dangerous. Well, this boy's current gripe was orchestras. Yes, musical orchestras. He said he couldn't understand what was the deal with conductors. They just stand there and wave a stick around. How stupid was that? I can wave a stick around. A conductor is just an idiot with a stick.

I should have recognized this for what it was. A precursor to the Internet Troll. I should have just let the idiot with a mouth vent his ignorance. But I couldn't. I shouldn't but I couldn't.

You know, I incautiously said. The conductor knows the whole score. He knows the capabilities of each and every instrument plus how they work together and the conductor makes all of that happen. He's not just an idiot with a stick. He's the one with the grand idea. He was shocked and so were his worshipers. I guess they preferred idiocy.

But then, how can you talk to an idiot with an Internet connection?

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