Thursday, October 30, 2008

Joe the Cellist

I've been planning to write a "Joe the Orchestral Musician" post for a while, but last night Yo-Yo Ma beat me to it -- announcing on The Colbert Report that he was "Joe the Cellist":

for Canadians, watch the clip here
Colbert: How does it feel to be the #1 at something in the world?

Ma: Well, for people who watch Arthur, you know Mikey the 8-year old cellist? I'm a superstar, because I'm in his show. And so he probably thinks of me as -- "Joe the Cellist."

Colbert: Are enough candidates addressing the concerns of Joe the Cellist?

Ma: Well, you know, I think it could take a while.
That sounds like a side-step to me. I thought maybe I would pick up the subject and ask, what are some of Joe the Cellist's concerns?
  • arts funding (so he'll keep getting paid to play)
  • music education (so kids will keep wanting to take lessons)
  • safe and lively urban centers (so people will keep coming downtown to see his concerts)
  • affordable health care (in case he gets tendinitis)
  • public transportation and infrastructure (so he can make it to his gigs on time)
  • floors made of penetrable materials (so his endpin doesn't slip)
Those are just off the top of my head, and I'm sure there are others. On all of these issues, though, I prefer the solutions offered by Barack Obama. (Note: Obama hasn't yet proposed to install slip-proof floors everywhere, but perhaps in his second term.) That's why he has my support in this election. If any actual cellist (or Joe) wants to give your take, please feel free to comment!

And please visit Drew McManus' blog Adaptistration to watch more Stephen Colbert interviews and vote for your favorite classical music interviewee -- Yo-Yo, Alex Ross, or Lorin Maazel.

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