sequester the horns

March 9, 2013

Festival-2Razor cuts the throat all the time — and all that jazz.

Those highly-intelligent ‘sequester’ budget cuts are also striking the musical heart — up here on California’s north coast the US Air Force Band won’t be doing tooting its horns this year at the fabled Redwoods Coast Jazz Festival due to f*cked-up funding.
Not only will jazz-festival fans miss out, but local high school band students will also lose an opportunity for a musical-clinic experience provided by the military troupe.

(Illustration: US Air Force Jazz Ensemble, ‘The Commanders,’  found here).

From the best news source up here, The Lost Coast Outpost, last Thursday:

The Commanders, a jazz ensemble coming out of the proud musical ranks of the U.S. Air Force, are now canceling all engagements that require an overnight trip from their headquarters at Travis Air Force Base due to the sequester crisis, band commander Capt. Jason Plosch told the Lost Coast Outpost this afternoon.
That includes our own jazz festival, which is scheduled for later this month, and during which The Commanders have traditionally conducted workshops with local school kids.
“If we had our druthers here at the band, we’d love to be there,” Plosch said.
“But I think it’s just kind of a public perception thing.”
He said that at a time when Travis would possibly be laying off some civilian employees, non-mission-critical uniformed operations like the band and “The Thunderbirds” — the Air Force’s equivalent of the Blue Angels — would have to do their part, too.

Plosch said that he had every hope that the band’s travel ban would be temporary.
“I’m sure we’ll be back in the public eye and doing our outreach very soon,” he said.

Hope lies eternal…emphasis on lying.
This “sequester’ shit is one of the more-dumb-ass situations ever — politics trumps actual humans.
In DC, the flout is President Obama vs the GOP and all the ugly, stupid entanglements like no more White House tours, and no funding for presidential golf trips, and nasty so forth. Thus, on a higher, and wider note held apparently by a set of balloon lungs, and orchestrated in small batches, HuffPost has a good piece on the near-trivial-whimsy DC/national-media take on this $85 billion budget throat slash, and against how this not-funny shit plays with the general-mass, body public — in real life back down on the ranch, another song.
Beyond the Air Force band’s absence from the local jazz festival, cuts just within my living radius will make every-day life a little bit more taxing — the economy sucks. Little bites in small spots seemingly have a ripple effect.
A tiny example: Humboldt State University stands to lose $469,000 in research grant funding and $44,000 in student financial aid, according to university spokesman Paul Mann.
Not much on the audible, but weak waves together can create small tsunamis. As manager of a local liquor store, I reckon reality of the overall economy to be in way-bad shape, tethered to life support machinery, a situation most-forboding.
In my context, though, people will still buy booze and cigarettes all the way to the poor house — and once even there, will still figure out like-crazy how to get  them.

Music for the deaf.

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