Monday, April 26, 2010

Thinking Globally AND Locally

Today's question: In what context do you see ugly baseball caps together with nice looking men's suits? The answer? Twice a year - the NFL draft and the NBA draft. The young men selected come to the draft venue dressed to kill, then, when their names are announced, they put on the hats provided by the drafting teams for a predictable but strange effect.
This past weekend it was football's turn. I don't think I'd watch the draft if I only had one channel coming in with a blizzard going on outside. But it struck me that this ensemble actually carries a message from the otherwise not-too-articulate young men. "Yes," (pointing to the hat) "I choose this sport as my profession and will dedicate myself to it. But in return, you (pointing to the suit) must be prepared to pay an exorbitant salary, even if I'm hurt in your service." The average NFL career goes all of four years, so this year's group of future stars had better be "ready for some football."

There are talents we can recognize in others, but sadly lack ourselves. What's perplexing is when the gifted ones try to explain how it is that they do the things they do. I rented a surfing video recently. It is a subject in which I have zero personal experience, though watching those guys on the big waves combined with the gnarly (Is that still a term?) music is pretty darn exciting, even if it's just a DVD. This particular one had a scene in which one of the surfers explains how it's done. I listened hard, but the guy just made no sense to me. It was a little like hearing my father explain how he played the piano by ear, creating extemporaneous full arrangements while knowing only the melody. I never understood how that was done, either.

The world's airways were shut down over a good part of the world last week, and, for once, there was no one to blame. Nope, it was the fault of that unpronounceable Icelandic volcano, spewing ash which blew all over Europe, causing airports to shut down. A group of madrigal singers from one of our high schools was delayed for a week in Italy. Considering the alternatives just in Europe, I guess it could have been a lot worse. Ciao!


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