Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's Just Hair

So on Friday the Virginia Tech baseball team held a "Shave for the Brave" event, where team members had their heads shaved in solidarity with pediatric cancer victims ... and ideally to raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

When Tara Wheeler, one of the anchors on the Fox 21/27 Morning News where I work, got the call to take part, I hear them ask her on the phone: "We know you shaved your head a few years ago for St. Baldrick's, so we won't ask you to do it, but maybe you could challenge someone on your show."  I'm standing there right in front of her, and her eyes raise up as she says, "Hey, Bruce, you wanna' get your head shaved?"

"Uh, sure."

Jennifer, my wife, posted an after picture of me on Facebook, and the "Likes" and supportive comments rolled in -- things like "very brave move" and "way to go."  That was pleasant and rewarding, but after a while I began to think: It's not like I really did anything.  I mean, it does open the conversation about contributing towards finding a cure for pediatric cancer, but that requires no particular sacrifice from me, and I'm very happy to say I have no particular experience the cause.  It's not like I'm actually working on a cure, or suffering in some way.  In the end, I just cut my hair.

So join with the baseball players at Virginia Tech (for whom losing their hair was I bet more jarring that it is for me) and give.  I'll take your admiration and comments on other stuff.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"We Will Rock You"

Max Raabe.

Found this the other day while looking around at other stuff.  I remember in high school, when it was first released, thinking -- as I still do -- that this and its companion, "We Are the Champions," were expressing remarkably fascist ideas.  In other words, the lyrics could be transferred wholesale to the mouth of a young Hitler and not seem out of place.

That's not to say I condemn the song or its sentiments; it simply is a statement of overcoming perceived injustice to a position of superiority -- "No time for losers, 'cause we are the champions."  And certainly the bizarre racial theories of Hitler and his fascists is totally absent.  It was just interesting to me that you could have performed it, probably to rousing cheers, in the beer halls of Munich in 1929.

Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester also fascinate me in general.  I happen to like 20s style music, but I also truly enjoy taking things out of context and looking at them again in a radically different way.

There's also an excellent version of Bohemian Rhapsody done as bluegrass ...