Hannah and Papa J

Hannah and Papa J

Thursday, June 28, 2018

To a few brave Mexicans

Dear Hannah,

The press says that this election season, eighty mayoral candidates have been shot down in Mexico.  At first you hear this number and think it's bizarre -- a footnote on some banana republic beyond the rule of law and order. But when you really think about what's happening, 80 men and women wanted to save their own cities, and as the people started listening and thinking maybe things could get better*, these hopefuls found themselves walking to their front door in the middle of the day or heard a loud bang on their office door, a masked man or two made an appearance, and their brains were splattered all over the ground.

Monday, June 25, 2018

How to label your music like an ass

Dear Hannah,

You begin to get the impression, upon entering the world of classical music, that nobody wants you there.  And the truth is that few people actually do.  Certainly not the composers, not their wealthy fruitbasket fan clubs, not the symphonies.  That might be a reason why the symphony, which has exactly half the sensory experience of a movie, costs $60 a ticket and a movie costs 12*, and why Rachmaninoff named Prelude Op. 3 No. 2 in C# minor Prelude Op. 3 No. 2 in C# minor.  Imagine all the horsepower beneath that skull of his and all the other musicians', the sheer brilliance combusting in a single passion of manly and soul-transforming acoustics, and then, almost in defiance of art itself, slapping a jumble of letters and numbers on it.