Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tuesdays with Paulie (Very Late Edition)

My apologies for this very late edition of Tuesdays with Paulie.

SRV, ABB, BTO & Elmo

For nearly twenty years I have been attending great performances at the Holiday Star Theatre in Merriville, Indiana. The Star, as it it now officially called, is a smaller venue that has always attracted top acts and provides the patron with an upclose experience with decent sound. My concert list includes Stevie Ray Vaughn in 1987, the Allman Brothers reunion show the same year as well as bands such as Kansas and Marshall Tucker. Throughout the years I've seen multiple Allman Brothers and Greg Allman performances. I saw the original Bachman Turner Overdrive and was even duped to seeing a fake version of the band when the brother of Randy Bachman took a group on tour using the name. Ironically they were still great.

Last night I added a new type of show to my resume. I attended a performance with my wife and oldest son, Ethan, to see...Elmo. that's right, the same stage that I saw guitar legends Stevie Ray Vaughn, Dickie Betts and Buddy Guy, was now featuring possibly the most popular children's character of all time. Elmo was joined by Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Burt & Ernie and a the entire Sesame Street puppet gang.

To say the performance was entertaining for myself and Shannon would not be correct. However, the joy a parent gets from seeing unbelievable excitement in their child's eye as well as the children all around the auditorium is indescribable.

During the hour drive home from Northwest Indiana, I was reminiscing over the great times I've had at the Star theatre. Last night was possibly the greatest time of them all. No, the show didn't compare to watching a twenty minute Allman Brothers Jam or hearing the voice of Steve Walsh (Kansas) as he pours he heart into Carry On Wayward Son or Hold On. This show was simply about watching the happiness of my son. That's a joy only a father can experience through his child.

Hats off to Oprah

I have never been one of these right wing pundits who enjoys bashing Oprah Winfrey ever chance I get. The fact that she is a liberal who donates big money to Democrats is her right. I worry that we often judge people to be bad or evil simply because our political beliefs are different. With that said, I want to give her kudos regarding her work exposing the horrible crimes against humanity occurring in many parts of Africa.

Yesterday her show featured a now 14 year old Ugandan girl who was kidnapped, beaten, rapped, forced to fight and left for dead by Lord's Resistance Army—or LRA—led by Joseph Kony, an elusive man who reportedly believes that he is God. Similar crimes are being committed in Sudan, Chad and the Congo. I believe Oprah deserves credit for bringing this Genocide to our attention. TV personality Lisa Ling and actor George Clooney have gone to these regions themselves to bring these tragedies to the worlds attention. I give them great credit and to many surprise I include Clooney. Once again, just because you disagree with a persons politics and methods of expressing them, does not mean you should ignore the humanitarian efforts they make.

I urge everyone to educate themselves of this modern day Holocaust. As a Jew, I have always believed that the greatest crime mankind can commit is to allow the atrocities committed by the Nazi Germany to repeat itself. I believe it goes without saying that man has failed to not allow history to repeat itself. This have always been the reason why I despise the United Nations, have no faith in Europeans and support our efforts Iraq. To sit back and watch genocide repeat itself is a crime the world continues to be guilty of.



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