Those who like to speak in forked tongues tend to appeal to FACTS to speak for themselves.
Too Many Gods Spoiling the Soup
Actually, what happened at the famous Tower of Babylon disaster was not that the people magically learned to speak more languages than we could ever dream of. No, what happened is that the various gods inhabited each available brick and let the bricks hit people over the head with facts. Talk about a well-founded, towering conflagration of the dumb-founded! Even today people try to get closer to the gods, on the same hallowed grounds, by claiming exclusive access to facts that speak for themselves, messengers of gods who have apparently lost all interest.
“The Proud, the Few, the ???”
But on to more important matters of fact. Every year, over 2000 classical musicians graduate from German universities and musical schools. They usually have practiced their instrument, about 6 hours a day, since age 6, with at least 6 different music teachers (“666″ the sign of the Wild Beast, nay, the Anti-Christ, according to Revelations, so what would you expect?) – having graduated they now compete for 150 positions in orchestras, etc., and not only against each other but against competitors from all over the world.
Now here is the rub: never mind how beautifully these applicants may interpret their pieces, during the application process – ONE wrong note and they are out. That wrong note is a fact. No room for interpretation or improvisation or creative transformation. Fact. Forget how many years, how many hours, how much love and devotion you have lavished on your dream of playing in a symphony orchestra. Next please!
Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin
Compare this, for example, to a seemingly much more deadly environment. The NY Times ran a story, today, about the estimated 26,000 sexual assaults, in a year, in the American military, of which “only” 3,300 were reported. Of those who did report these assaults, 62% were retaliated against. One case, featured in the report, concerns an Air Force officer, who was found guilty of rape, by a jury of his peers, only to have the conviction overturned by his commanding general. Senator Gillibrand is quoted as saying “So you have a culture where rapists go free, there’s no accountability for sexual assault, there’s a climate where everything is shoved under the rug and people are actually punished for reporting sexual assault.”
UNODC : Reported rape per 100,000 population (2011)
The joyous thing about these Air Force officers is that they are now busy punishing Islamic rapists in Syria and Iraq by dropping on them some of the finest bombs and assorted munitions that money can buy, from heaven above, Judgement Day.
As we can easily see: facts don’t speak for themselves, it is a question of cultural context. But then, as Supreme Court Justice Scalia wrote already so eloquently about the innocent language of facts: “Supreme Court briefs are an inappropriate place to develop the key facts in a case, here we accept the studies’ findings on faith, without examining their methodology at all.” And then let the facts speak for themselves, perhaps with a little helping hand from the prophets at law.
“Them foreigners”….(Meeting of victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Clearly, one mistake of an Air Force officer (up there closer to the gods than the Tower of Babel could ever have reached) and countless of innocent people could die. But these angels of destruction may apparently ruin the lives of women without being dismissed from their “orchestra.” Should we not hold people armed with tools of destruction to higher standards than people who enrich our lives with the beauty of music?
Oops, a Minuteman
Apparently not. Which is why we spend well over $1,000 billion on the military, while the same government spends only 146 million on the arts. (Germany, even with its shrinking market for musicians, spends ten times as much).
Are we continuing to take the wrong fork in the road, lamenting that the facts have spoken and are forcing us into a culture of violence? But then, to rape is a forgivable manly lapse, to play a violin in a classical orchestra probably should be classified under “don’t ask and don’t tell,” let the fact of your manhood speak for itself.