Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

domingo, marzo 18, 2012

Well, What Did You Expect?

So. AP and USA Today would have you believe that crazed Mexicans are stealing tubas so they can imitate Banda el Recodo:

They've still got their trombones and their trumpets, their cornets and their clarinets.

But the high school marching bands of Southern California are tuba-less these days, and their music directors think they know why.

There's a banda bandit on the loose, they say. Someone, they believe, is breaking into high schools from the east side of Los Angeles to the shores of Manhattan Beach and stealing expensive tubas to supply a fast-growing black market for banda music....

"Musically, it's appealing because it's so dynamic and colorful and bright," Josh Kun says of the fast-paced, joyous dance music that sprung from the polka tunes that German and French immigrants carried to the Mexican state of Sinaloa in the 19th century.

"Beyond a purely musical context," says the University of Southern California expert on cross-border popular culture, "it is attractive because it is also the musical context for Mexican immigrant life. … It's about living between two worlds and sustaining your identity in that balance."

Right. There must be all of these people running around in Southern California in the middle of the night with hot tubas. Because, well, tubas are so easily concealed. A tuba will probably not fit easily in the trunk of a small car. So if you steal one, let alone two, it's kind of like stealing a bathtub. Or a couch. Or two. It's very hard to make your getaway. And then, let's not forget that there are so very many tuba players who want a hot tuba and don't already have an adequate tuba. And all of these tuba players are also running around Southern California, too, searching for hot tubas or stealing them themselves. Please. Spare me.

Look. I love the music too. But this story is just crazy.

What? You don't know this music? Here:

Now maybe you get it. And given this music, maybe it makes sense to steal tubas. I mean: to make music like that, you need tubas. But it takes more than desire to play an adequate Banda tuba. You have to learn how to play it.

Think about this. If tubas are disappearing from the high schools, I bet there are zillions of itinerant tuba teachers running around Southern California, too. "Look, kid, this is how you do it, but don't tell me where you got the horn. Let's start at the top. It's in 3."

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