Plink, Plank, Plunk

Yesterday, Peg and I ventured out into the big world to visit the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Back in January, while driving into town I spotted a bill board advertising the place. It only took twelve weeks for us to make it there, now I am sorry we did. This museum like most museums is so large that it takes more than one visit to see it all. The museum is new, very modern in design, two stories tall, and huge. Within its walls are instruments from every country in the world. Do you know how many countries exist? I don’t even remember how many continents there are, and that is important because the country displays are within rooms classified as continents. Only the United States and Canada are separate rooms because they are so big, and well, because the museum is in the United States.

We used the escalator to move us up to the second level where a tour guide asked us where we wanted to start. We chose to begin in Africa. That was a bad move because we spent over an hour and a half looking at the primitive flutes, and lutes of the various countries within Africa. MIM has a unique display for each country. The instruments are flat against a wall or supported in mid-air on display around a video screen. We received a headset and a black box at the ticket counter. The unique feature of this black box is that when one walks to within range of a video screen it begins to play a video of natives playing the instruments on display. This allowed us to hear the instrument and to see it played. Many of the videos showed scenes of native craftsman chopping, carving, and sanding wood to shape it into something they could make sound with. Strings are usually animal hair or other body part. One instrument called the thumb-harp has a series of metal fork-like handles attached to a sound box. As the musician plunks the various length metal prongs they plink, plank, or plunk into the sound box to make a note.

By the time we hit Asia, Peg and I were beginning to fade. She carries a purse loaded with at least ten pounds of stuff and I carry a bowling ball belly that plays hell with my back. We literally raced through the Mid-east, South America, and Europe, and intended to skip the USA and Canada. As it turned out I got lost in Europe and we wound up running through North America. That is when I began to get glimpses of some fabulous displays and regretted our move to start in Africa and not North America.

While in the African room, I looked at a map of the continent which displayed all the different languages spoken in Africa. I quickly realized why Africa is still so primitive. Imagine if we lived in a place where every state is a country and every county within a state has its own language. I have enough trouble understanding regional dialects much less different languages. There exists, however, a universality among these many people s. It is in their musical instruments. Somehow, the good Lord gave us all a talent and want to create music, and deep within our brains is the blueprint for how to make sounds using tubes, skins, and strings. Just about every country has a form of stringed lute, drum, and flute.

Peg and I hope to return and to begin the tour counter-clockwise the next time.  Here are a few photos of the displays.

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Transforming America

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The debate about what kind of punishment to impose upon Syria for crossing the country’s redline continues at feverish pace. A lot of the arguments revolve around how the US will react to a successful take down of the Syrian dictator. What will we do? Will we have to send troops in to secure the country? Who will replace Assad? In the mean time, our leader remains unfettered and ready to blame Bush for whatever happens.

I think our liberal friends who elected this schmuck into office forget that Obama believes like most liberals and Muslims that the USA is responsible for everything that is wrong on the planet Earth. His campaign promise to transform America is the only goal he keeps his eye on. We are finally beginning to realize what he is transforming America into. He believes that America like all western nations is a colonial power that became exceptional by stealing wealth from poor, under developed nations. His goal, to transform America, involves bringing the USA down to the level of incompetency that exists in the Mid-east, Africa, and Asia. Obama wants the USA to fail so he can prove that the world will become a better place when it does.

The arguments about his current incompetency and his policy to lead from behind are all mute. He is doing these things on purpose to let the world know that America is no better than any other dung-hole of a country or continent. When he succeeds in making us a third world country his accomplished his primary goal, and he will be happy. The rest os us will wonder what-the-heck just happened and how did we get here.

Think about it. The best way to bring us down to third world status is to bankrupt us. How many things has he initiated to do that? Obama Care, loose border control and immigration policies, offering food stamps to any one who fills out the forms, free phones,  mortgages to Palestinians, millions to research how to stop women in Brazil from smoking, and now another war. In his mind he is doing great, so why do we even bother to debate any of it?

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