Bad Music: Easter/Passover Season: 2004
There’s “good” music, and there’s “bad” music, and last Thursday at the University of Alaska, I learned about some very “bad” music and a very bad situation, during return to my district during the Holiday.
I was asked by a friend - who is a gifted trumpet player in the Anchorage Community Concert Band in which I play - and who is also a practicing member of the Jewish faith, to a lecture by an adjunct music professor at UAA about a cantata the professor composed entitled “The Skies are Weeping.” The cantata glorifies the death in the Gaza Strip in Israel of an American woman named “Rachel Coorie,” who spewed anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, and burned the American flag as a member a radical Palestinian organization that has condoned homicide bombers. Worse, that adjunct professor attempted to dedicate the cantata to the president of the University! Also present at the lecture was Rabbi Josef Greenberg, and several members of the Lobovich Congregation – as well as a scruffy bunch of radicals from who knows where.
I must tell you it was an “eye-opener.” I could hardly believe an American professor - an Alaskan professor – at an Alaska campus - could utter such anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism on the campus of one of our universities. So-called academic freedom didn’t apply here, because the professor was lecturing outside his field of expertise in music, in matters of politics involving world affairs, attacks on our president, and one outrageous anti-Semitic remark after another – including offensive words about people who “look like Jews.”
I’ll never stand still for such conduct, so I stood up, identified myself, and said, “I am outraged. We had over 3000 persons of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, and religions killed on 9/11 – why didn’t you write a cantata about them? This is a time of Easter, a time of Passover, but it’s not a time to glorify an American who burns an American flag in a foreign country, and there’s never a time to promote anti-Semitism!” It was all I could do not say even more.
Mr. Speaker, it’s sad that such anti-Semitism is occurring not in some far off land, or somewhere in the Lower 48, but right here in Alaska. I think we need to compose beautiful music of love that’s appropriate to this time of the year that’s so meaningful for Christians and Jews – not the bad music of hate.