I Love Dave Brubeck

April 5, 2008

Yes my fiancé Mick knows this. As I prepare to write my final paper it occurs to me that a prequel is in order. During my senior year in College I discovered jazz. Many of my friends were great musicians and played in the jazz band. Since I didn’t see what all the hype was about I decided to take Introduction to jazz. I wasn’t impressed. Ragtime and Dixieland didn’t do it for me. Then, my professor played one of Dave Brubeck’s records, and I got it. His time signatures were amazing and different from anything that I’d heard before. They just drove the songs. Ever since then I’ve been a fan and have heard him three times in New York, twice in Maryland, and three in D.C.  By the time my paper is done I’ll have actually seen him four times in D.C. since he’ll be playing at the Kennedy Center on April 13. Instead of gushing and making this a boring entry let me share some of my memorabilia. Two photos taken with him and two autographs that he signed for me. I tend to sneak into the after parties when I see him play. The first time I met him though all I could say was, “you’re the whole reason I love jazz.”





What surprised me most about this week’s reading assignment was how poignant the blogs were. So much more so than a traditional news report. Living journals don’t just educate us but they also allow us to feel what the writer is feeling. Seeing all of the young soldiers in Army of Dude and hearing the writer discuss his comrade’s deaths was heartbreaking. Just a bunch of teenagers facing death everyday. It doesn’t seem fair. 


On the flip side seeing how Iraqis are affected is just as heartbreaking. In Hometown Bagdad we follow young Iraqis through their trials and tribulations in Iraq. If they’re lucky the public power works three hours a day. They live off of generators run by oil which is hard to come by in a country teaming with it. Professionals such as doctors are not given certificates when they graduate. The government wants them to practice in Iraq for three years before they give them the certificate that they earned. Students are targeted by terrorists while they are trying to gain an education. What’s very interesting is that the young men that we follow swim in an indoor pool located in a house that was abandoned when the owners fled the country. The house is very opulent. From mansions to hovels with the owners of the mansions being able to afford to get out of a bad situation and the others forced to stay.


Those that do get out aren’t doing much better. They are refuges from their own country. In Bagdad Burning we follow the story of a young Iraqi woman who flees her native country. She shares her sadness at leaving but the relief of having some semblance of safety. What a horrible way to live. Again it really brings home the point of what is happening overseas.


Should this reporting by soldiers and residents of countries on the front line be allowed? I think so. People with something to say need to get it out and we need to hear what is really happening. First hand accounts of people that are experiencing the horrors of war are a lot more real than a second hand account.