Monday, January 2, 2012

Auction, "Imagine", and Proper Hat Etiquette

Happy New Year to you all!

Yesterday, was the first day of the KCVI Charity Auction.  We just started our silent auction and every two weeks we will have 4 more items up for bid.  This silent auction is a great way to get items for cheaper than what our more public, ebay auction, will run.  Also, it will feature some very unique items.  It is very easy to bid: go to, click the auction button, click on the item, give your bid and contact info, and you will get an email if someone has outbid you.

Our first four items are:
Lyric Opera of Kansas City Ticket Package - bid starting at $20
Stephen Flaherty Autographed CD "Seussical" - bid starting at $1
Gregory Porter Autographed CD "Water" - bid starting at $1
Eric Whitacre Handwritten & Autographed Score - bid starting at $100

The item from Eric Whitacre is very unique in that the winning bidder can select any of his pieces and he will hand-write the piece or a segment of it, dedicate it to whomever they choose, and autograph it.


All of the proceeds will go to the items' respective scholarship fund.  Also, I will always update on this blog with more information about any new items.  Other items will be up for auction on eBay beginning in the middle of the month.

As to the New Year, I can't help myself from commenting on Cee Lo Green's version of John Lennon's immortal song "Imagine" at Times Square on New Year's Eve.  If you missed it, just listen.

I only have two thoughts for everyone on this, (1) he messed up the words and (2) listen to it again with your eyes closed and tell me that he isn't related to Roseanne Barr!  Seriously Cee Lo, it's a simple song. You didn't have to sing the last half up an octave.

Oddly enough, bad performances don't just bother me alone.  Evidently, the State of Indiana has some issues with people singing the National Anthem all crazy-like.  They are introducing a bill making specific performance standards for performing the National Anthem, which will be decided by their State Board of Education.  They will also enforce a $25 fine on any performer who violates the law.  I know I love to critique public National Anthem gaffes, but even I think that laws like this go a little too far.  It's certainly our American culture to have artistic freedom with such things; I don't think a law will change that.

Amazingly, other states have passed similar laws.  Little did I know that Michigan has made it illegal to sing the National Anthem with embellishments - good luck attracting the Super Bowl to Ford Field again!  Igor Stravinsky was warned not to play his arrangement of the Star-Spangled Banner while in Massachusetts in 1940 when a police officer told him that he would be arrested for playing an embellished version of it within the state.  Stravinsky didn't perform the piece.  And on a further note, I found out that it is a Federal Law for men who aren't in the military to remove their hats and place it over their left shoulder during the National Anthem.  

Perhaps I'm a nut, but isn't it quite strange that only men are required to do this?  And why do we do it in the first place?  Obviously, anyone would say that it is the right thing to do because of "respect".  In all seriousness, does anyone really know why that is respectful?  "It's respectful because it's respectful" as one internet source so logically put it.  Circular arguments are not good enough for me, so I found a very interesting article on the history of donning and doffing (putting-on and taking-off) one's hat.  Evidently it extends to a Dark Age ritual of Knights lifting their visors to show that they were friendly.  If people have the freedom to scream the National Anthem any way they want, shouldn't men be able to don and doff their hats during the National Anthem with freedom?


So, if you get angry when people wear their hat during the National Anthem, I fully expect you to take your hat off when speaking about your late great-grandparents, leave your hat on while eating at a diner or cafe, and tip your hat when asking an elderly man for directions as any respectful person would do. As for women, from what I have "researched", they have the freedom to wear a hat in almost any situation!  Good grief!

That's all for now, I'm off to Dallas this week to watch my Alma Mater in the Cotton Bowl.  Go State!!

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