Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ethnomusicology in Action

As I have every spring since I got my driver's license, this blogger has spent a part of each warm afternoon driving around in his car with the windows rolled down listening to beat-oriented music played real loud. The genre doesn't matter, rockabilly to rap, it's all good, but it has to be sunny, and the music has to be loud.

Millions of other red-blooded American men and boys do the same thing each spring, and I had always thought of this exquisite pleasure as a male passion unique to our national culture, like the Three Stooges or professional wrestling. I almost wrote a blog post to that effect until sloth intervened. Good thing, because I would have been very wrong.

It was sunny and not real cold last Sunday morning. For some reason, I was awake early enough to be outside before the papers were delivered, but just as the two delivery guys and their well-worn sedan came down the street.

They had their car windows open, and the music was loud, real loud. It was not, however, linked to American culture in any way. My world music knowledge has eroded since college, but the tunes coming from the car's CD player definitely originated in the Eastern Hemisphere, just the paper delivery guys.

No matter. It was nice out, the music was loud, and most of all, the two men were enjoying the hell out of being alive to savor both. I saluted them as bent to pick up the Times.

The universal Brotherhood of Man remains a distant dream. The universal Brotherhood of Perpetual Adolescence? That we got.


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