Letters to the Editor

Offensive effect

July 23, 2012


To the editor:

What a joy, earlier this summer, for my lady love and me to take our baby for his first concert, to hear the City Band at South Park. That night, during the band’s grand finale rendition of “Stars and Stripes,” that joy was juxtaposed to seething anger at the sonic battery by a National Guard-fired Howitzer. Fireworks go great with music. The Howitzer has a low, concussive blast that can damage even covered young ears.

In the grand scheme of things, I should expect this irresponsible stance towards the safety of children. Our so-called wars feature the “collateral” destruction of young lives in many ways. From Pakistani wedding parties transformed by remote hellfire into terrorism for the lucky children to remember, to Howitzer-fired, depleted uranium munitions toxifying the genetic environment for Iraqi generations and the future offspring of exposed U.S. soldiers, our “foreign policy” has a habit of mass child abuse.

Maybe next year the children of Lawrence will be treated, like the children of Gaza, to a Howitzer-fired white phosphorous show to go along with a non-emphasis on universal, inherent rights. If, by the subsequent year, we still haven’t figured out our patriotic moral duties, we should display some honest self-consciousness by taking the Stars and Stripes themselves, waved by local children, and fire live Howitzers at them. Then we could put on display habitual domains in which we seem to casually dwell — holier and holier symbols we use to justify blowing things and people up in the presence of children.


parrothead8 5 years, 9 months ago

If by "leftist" you mean "concerned for the welfare of his child," then yes, he is a leftist.

NotASquishHead 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow, get over yourself. The finale is the best moment of the entire oncert series. Makes most of us "Proud to be American!". They do it every yea, so you have two options... 1. Don't go to the concert. 2. Leave early. Just don't let your whining ruin it for the rest of us!

Mixolydian 5 years, 9 months ago

Howitzers with Stars and Stripes? That's odd. They usually go with 1812 Overture.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 9 months ago

And those pointy bits on top of the flag poles? You'll put your eye out, kid!

tomatogrower 5 years, 9 months ago

I happen to be a liberal who attends the concerts every time I can, and will rearrange my schedule for the finale. The cannons are for the 1812 Overture, which is a musical reenactment of a battle between Russian and Napoleon's French troops. The announcer explains the representation of the music and the battle at the beginning, as well as warn parents of young children to protect their ears. Yes, there are usually a couple of more rounds of the cannons during the Stars and Stripes, but many of the big booms at that point came from the fireworks.

I understand your concern about your child's hearing, but this will probably do a whole lot less harm than what you will experience when your child is a teenager with speakers stuck into their ears and music at full blast. You don't have a teenager yet, but when you do, cannons will be the least of your concerns.

This should be a teaching moment about European history and good music. Cannons often accompany the 1812 Overture, and I for one would not change this artistic expression. War is an ugly reality of life, past and present, and sadly future. Ignoring that it ever happened, is happening, or will happen isn't a road to peace. Working to make people understand how horrible it is will help. I for one, would not want any changes to the great City Band finale.

Catalano 5 years, 9 months ago

I guess he didn't hear the church bells ring (for joy), either.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

The problem didn't begin with your first band concert, Jerry. It began with a name like Jeremy William Rothe-Kushel. It makes you feel more important than you really are. It sounds something like Queen Elizabeth the whatever or Czar Nicholas the Horrible. Just chill for a moment, Jerry (you don't mind if I call you that, do you?).

Now if you'd like to write a letter about American foreign policy, about the morality of using unmanned drones on the battlefield, write that letter. If you'd like to write a letter about how we have a foreign policy that leads to endless wars, write that letter. If you'd like to write a letter complaining that we support others who engage in wars, then write that letter. But leave the metaphors to serious writers, those who use words as a tool of their trade. Your usage left the reader with a scrambled jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone. But thanks anyway, Jerry.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow. You don't usually engage in this sort of personal nonsense - I'm sorry to see you do so here.

Lawrenceks 5 years, 9 months ago

Please get over your leftist self! That is one great thing about the Good Ole U.S.A, if you don't like it, you can leave!!

friendlyjhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

Did you not hear the announcement regarding extremely loud noises that was given by the announcer? Or did you figure that didn't mean you and yours? Too bad you hadn't chosen to attend the yearly Children's Concert given by the band. This allows children (of all ages) to participate in marching around the park. Babies enjoy being pushed in strollers or carried in the arms of someone. Better luck next time on doing a little research about the concerts. The canons were fired for both the 1812 Overture and the finale of the Stars and Stripes. Long may that tradition continue! Oh, and stop whining!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

I understand the point he's making, but it should be pointed out that the 1812 Overture was written in commemoration of the defense of Russia against the invading forces of Napoleon. It has nothing to do with the War of 1812 between the US and Britain.

Should have refreshed this browser window before commenting-- looks like others beat me to this.

Clara Westphal 5 years, 9 months ago

Under the Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution, AG Eric Holder should be tried for treason. He gave weapons to the Mexican cartels so he could trace them. One was found near the body of a slain Border Patrolman. That is treason.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

And he shot those cannons off, too!!!

Oh, he didn't really do that, either.

temperance 5 years, 9 months ago

This letter encapsulates why many people hate liberals. The militarization of our civil society is a serious and troubling issue, but this letter does nothing but trivialize it. Jeremy should be ashamed for comparing the plight of children in Gaza to the minor inconvenience of his baby crying because the cannons went boom during a community performance of the "1812 Overture."

temperance 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure I disagree with BornAgain on just about every political issue of our time, but he makes a good point this time.

jaywalker 5 years, 9 months ago

You got startled at a concert and that devolved into an American foreign policy rant?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 9 months ago

joyva is a lousy, rotten spammer posting lousy, rotten spam

Catalano 5 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, I had the same (gag) reaction and then immediately started humming the Pina Colada song ("I was tired of my lady..." "I didn't think about my lady..." "It was my own lovely lady..." yada yada) and now I can't get the damn song out of my head. Thanks, Jeremy.

temperance 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes. I'm a typical leftist liberal who found the letter embarrassing. Nuance.

jaywalker 5 years, 9 months ago

I'd much rather we got all Vets the best possible therapy so they're able to overcome fireworks, not hide from them.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 9 months ago

From joy to seething anger...

Stick with Joy. She's much nicer.

racerx 5 years, 9 months ago

I've tried Joy, but prefer Dawn instead...in a pinch, however, Palmolive will do.

JackKats 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow Jeremy William Rothe-Kushel, that was quite an emotional journey you took from a being with "my lady love" to "we should display some honest self-consciousness by taking the Stars and Stripes themselves, waved by local children, and fire live Howitzers at them." You are a sick man. In light of the Colorado shootings your comments in saying we should line up children and shoot howitzers at them should warrant having you evaluated before acting out on your angry tirades. Sick Sick man Jeremy William Rothe-Kushel.

JackKats 5 years, 9 months ago

In addition, Jeremy William Rothe-Kushel, you said this was earlier this summer. Have you been obsessing and seething in rage for all this time over some cannon fire that is a typical with fireworks? I am more concerned for your child in having an obviously overly angry father than I am over some cannon fire.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.