Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oh, the bitchery . . .

 van cliburn

In March 2011, US President Barack Obama presented pianist Van Cliburn with the National Medal of Arts.  It's a great honor to be presented with a National Medal of Arts.

The National Endowment of the Arts noted of Van Cliburn:

Van Cliburn has been hailed as one of the greatest pianists in the history of music as well as one of the most persuasive ambassadors of American culture. Cliburn entered the Juilliard School at age 17.  At age 20, he won the Leventritt Award and made his Carnegie Hall debut. In 1958, Cliburn’s victory at the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War propelled him to international fame.
Cliburn has received Kennedy Center Honors and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He received the Order of Friendship from President Vladimir Putin in 2004, and in 2003 President George W. Bush bestowed upon him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

So it was a little strange last week to hear the State Department decide to weigh in on the pianist.

Assistant Secretary Frederick Barton:  It reminds me of a Van Cliburn concert.  The guy looks great.  He's got the tails.  He can play the whole keyboard.  But at the end, you haven't necessarily settled on what needed to be done the most.  And the US can't afford to be Van Cliburn in these cases.  We have to be much more focused, much more targeted.

Though Barton chuckled at his own bitchery, no one else present was laughing.

Those were tacky remarks to make and had us wondering if bitchery was going to replace diplomacy at the State Department?
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }