[Dixielandjazz] OKOM as an anti-terror weapon

Elazar Brandt jazzmin at actcom.net.il
Fri Dec 3 23:04:39 PST 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert S. Ringwald [mailto:robert at ringwald.com]
> Listmates, pardon the black humor here.

Shalom Bob and Lowell,

Humor is good -- black or otherwise. No problem.

In fact, like humor, I maintain that our music is a powerful weapon against the
kinds of threats our modern world is facing. Why? The humor and normal-ness of
our music melts the fears in people and makes them feel better, stronger, more
positive. I have long been maintaining that the best way to combat terrorism is
to not be afraid. Or as FDR put it, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

I have been playing OKOM in Israel, mostly in downtown Jerusalem, for going on 9
years now. It is one of the reasons I came here from quiet San Diego. I make a
point of frequenting and playing in places that have been or are considered
targets. Yet I have never witnessed or been close to a terror attack.

Or, to put it another way, there has never been a terror attack on my watch. I
have been considering offering the services of the Doctor Jazz Band to the IDF.
My theory is that the music repels terrorist types. It creates an atmosphere
where the potential "victims" of an attack are relaxed, comfortable, confident,
and not afraid. Since the terrorist thrives on fear, this atmosphere will be
repulsive to him, and defeats his purpose.

Don't believe me? Try it sometime. Go play in your downtown centers a couple
times a week for a few weeks. Watch the changes that happen. Watch how people --
shopkeepers, police, trash collectors, shoppers, bums, whoever is out there,
will light up when you arrive and start setting up. People will dance and sing
with you. You'll start getting comments that you made someone's day.

Now there are people who don't want this to happen. They are the people who like
to keep the masses subdued and under control. Government authorities, crooked
businessmen, and our neighborhood terrorists. They like it when people are weak
and afraid and miserable. There is always someone around who can't stand to see
anyone having a good time, and will do what they can to shut you down.

So I say, ruin a terrorist's day, and don't let him ruin yours. Go out and have
a good time in public. Travel. Go where you want and enjoy yourself. And best of
all, play that trad-jazz.

In fact, come on over here and dance to or play with Doctor Jazz. Listmates who
have been here recently will confirm that they feel surprisingly comfortable and
safe here. (That was your cue to speak up, folks!) You can avoid potential
trouble with a few simple precautions. Our police and army do a wonderful job of
keeping things quiet for us. I can't promise you a paying gig, but I can almost
surely fix you players up with a chance to play with and for some local folks.
And I have a very flexible schedule so I am happy to meet visitors and show you
around a little.

So, what's taking you so long?

Happy holidays!

Doctor Jazz Band
Jerusalem, Israel
Tel: +972-2-679-2537

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