Day 59: Bach’s Birthday!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Today is the first full day of spring and the birthday of one of the world’s greatest musical geniuses: Johann Sebastian Bach. If I had to spend the rest of my life on a spaceship heading into outer space and could only take with me the oeuvre of just one composer, I would choose Bach . . . as heartrending as it would be to leave behind Handel, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rachmaninoff and all of the others in the pantheon.

That men of such unfathomable genius existed proves to me the existence of God, so it is fitting that Bach’s Orgelbüchlein will be performed this evening by the organ virtuoso and music historian Raymond Nagem on the Great Organ at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.

It’s a rainy, dreary day in New York today, so the prospect of hearing the Orgelbüchlein is cheering. Hopefully it will banish today’s dreariness, which was made worse this morning by an encounter I had with a Trump-hating woman while waiting for the ferry. When she saw my blue MAGA hat, she had a mild hissy fit, letting loose with a string of ad hominem attacks on Trump, calling him hateful, stupid, inarticulate, an embarrassment, a disgrace who has done terrible damage to the country.

I replied, “That’s interesting; I’ve heard him speak many times and he sounds very intelligent to me, even though he does speak in shorthand sometimes. So, which of his policies do you specifically disagree with?” I should have known better than to try to have a rational discussion with such a person.

Her response was to become even more muddled and inarticulate (the irony). I calmly asked again, “But what is it, exactly, that Trump has done that you disagree with? Which policies and goals?”

She was incapable or unwilling to have a rational conversation, and merely continued to sputter insults at Trump.

Typical Democrat: irrational, uninformed, brainwashed, hyper-emotional, inarticulate, narrow-minded, and rude.

 

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