[Dixielandjazz] This is nutz

Charlie Hooks charliehooks@earthlink.net
Mon, 16 Sep 2002 10:01:21 -0500

    I had forsworn more postings on the music list in deference to those
pure musicians and camp followers who abhor anything other than lits of
coming festivals, but I'm making one last exception.  And I have indeed
patched in a musical content as a general question.

    Intended originally for the Right Guard members (the conservatives on
the music list, folk interested (oh, gasp!) in things beyond OKOM--even
beyond (double gasp!) music itself--I have decided that we all, especially
our moral superiors in other lands, might be amused by the following post:

    Just this morning I wrote:

    Here in Chicago the columnist, Bob Greene, younger person who admires
the "Greatest Generation," friend and biographer of "The Man Who Won the
War," General Paul Tibbets of the Enola Gay, fighter for kids everwhere
(even if he is an Elvis fan, I forgive him!) has just been fired from the
Chicago Tribune for having "broken trust" a decade ago by (are you ready for
this?) having an affair with an 18 year old girl (note: OVER the age of
consent!).  The big scandal?  He had met her because of his job at the
paper.  Wow!  Boy, are these Trib folks clean-handed!  See, they had this
little rule...

    They've shot themselves in the foot on this, of course, since Greene's
international rep is far bigger than the Trib.  He'll probably make money on
the incident.  But I wondered how the list would view an analogous

    Say that as a result of your musician's position onstage you've met a
young person who wants to...umm, how can we put this?...well, you know...
You are 45 years old (as Greene was a decade ago) and this attractive young
person is over 18.  Let's say that rather than calling out evil names, you
indulge this young person's desires to your mutual enjoyment.

    Question: if, ten years later, someone sends the bandleader an anonymous
e-mail remarking on this incident but not mentioning names, should the
bandleader be shocked and scandalized to the extent of scouring records to
identify you as the miscreant?

    Then, having located you and secured your "confession," (as in "Aw,
yeah, man!  Now I remembrer her.  Ooh, she was fine, fine!) should your name
be published, front page, Sunday paper, as having "improper relations" with
a girl "in her late teens" and for that reason being terminated?  First
thing you think is: girl is 16 or 17, right?  But wrong: she's over 18.  A
fact which is buried down in paragraph wherezit on the FOLLOWING day.

    Of course, we all know that this has never ever happened to a musician.
And that, if it had, each of us would have shouted, "Begone, thou devilish
tempter(ess)!  Unhand my...ooh, dear..."

    So I sent the following letters--to the Trib vox pop, to the Great
Editor General, Mary Ann Lpinski, and to Steve Chapman, the only level-
headed conservative on the Trib general staff:

Mr. Chapman:

    As one of the few people at the Trib who actively uses his
(considerable) brainpower, I wonder how you view this letter:

Ms. Lipinski:

    Bob Greene's real mistake was in neglecting first to get himself elected
president; then he could even have lied under oath and still kept his job.

    He should feel complimented: you hold him to higher standards than does
the Senate Bill Clinton!

    Worst of all: you hold back the "detail" that the girl was over age!  I
had to dig that out only this morning, and not from a lead paragraph.  Yet
THAT was what we all wanted to know first!

    In trying first to CYA on Sunday, you succeeded in making such a huge
ass of the Tribune that no cover is large enough.

Charlie Hooks

    Steve: Am I wrong?  (I'll take your word on it.)