Learning to Talk

Most Americans have more in common than you might think.

Many years ago, symphony orchestras were common in American small towns. These symphonies played more than the classical works of such musical greats as Mozart and Vivaldi; they also relished the 20th century Big Band era and jazz. By 1964 they were starting to disband. Over the rest of the 20th century, small town symphonies were kept alive by sharing players.

Not infrequently, four or five small towns, even smaller cities, called upon the same dwindling supply of musicians. The musicians often had come to America, legally, from South America, Central America and Asia. They did not saunter across an open border, but had sought and received visas and the other legitimate documents.

Unlike the trouble-prone rabble that increasingly makes the news, these people from faraway lands brought refined culture. They worked in the daytime and shared their musical fruits of civilization where it had seemed lost.

Though these musicians could truly ignite the soul of listeners, the symphonies still suffered from an inability to promote themselves. They had not been able to reach a public who had never considered going to a symphony. One of the five small towns sharing a group of musicians had come to the realization that unless they could attract at least 105 attendees per performance, they could no longer sustain their "own" symphony.

And then a playboy came to town. Let's call him, "Randy."

Randy was not a rich playboy, but he was young and had enough cash to chase a few women in the area. He drove a sports car way too fast, told raunchy jokes, was obnoxiously flamboyant, had too many big city habits, hunted and fished and was loved by rednecks, hustled the unwary in billiards, and was not unfamiliar with bar fights.

Most of the symphony's rather large association consisted of wealthy stay-at-home Karens and introverted beta-males, while its Board of Directors consisted of a small core of dedicated, hardworking professionals who burned their candles at both ends while giving more than their share of time and effort to the symphony. The newly elected symphony President was Ann, who still hadn't realized that she was set up for the position because no one else wanted to be President in the year that the symphony would likely fold.

Word soon reached the symphony association that Randy had been a successful volunteer promoter with a few charities he had assisted. Ann had opened the symphony's financial books and posed, "What have we got to lose?" Most of the Karens and beta-males were opposed to the idea of even including such a insufferable extrovert, but, largely at Ann's insistence, Randy was immediately placed on the Board for the sole purpose of promoting the symphony. Ann saw Randy as a little brother and placed great trust in him, and as in the story, "MacBeth," Ann loosed her dog of war.

Almost immediately after moving to town, Randy had noticed that the town's population was incredibly divided. Conservatives and Liberals rarely spoke to each other. Protestants and Catholics, rich and poor, black and white, they rarely spoke to each other. They avoided speaking to each other because they didn't always agree. Whatever flaws he had, and they were considerable, Randy spoke to everyone. He didn't care about their race or religion or political beliefs. He didn't care if they were the town's most revered citizen or its lowest miscreant, Randy always took a minute to talk with them.

Randy's first meeting with his fellow symphony association members had come to a sad close as they lamented their inability to get a billboard. The Board had tried for two and a half years, but made no headway. Randy's mind began to churn.

A big grin came across Randy's face and it was obvious that he was starting to boil with his extrovert excitement. "Give me an afternoon!", Randy happily cried out before running out the door. Alarmed by Randy's ebullience, and not understanding what he meant, the symphony association members hurried to hide their daughters and lock their liquor cabinets.

Randy's first stop was at the office of a businessman, Carl, who was suspected to be affiliated with organized crime. Rightly or wrongly, he had been shunned by many. Carl owned an empty lot in the very center of town. Drive through town and you would pass Carl's empty lot. Using the authority loaned by Ann, Randy asked Carl if the symphony could place a sign on the lot and repay Carl with an ad in the distributed programs. Carl saw an avenue to the elusive respect he craved. The deal was made in seconds.

Next, Randy visited a town artist with considerable accomplishments. She would paint the sign but needed the paint. A welding company agreed to construct the sign but needed the steel parts. The town hardware store donated the supplies in exchange for an ad in the program. Five days later, the symphony's sign stood proudly in the center of town.

The symphony program handed out to attendees grew over four times its original size, chock full of ads from those businesses and individuals who had generously contributed. Randy made sure that the ads exceeded the expectations of the givers.

The symphony's Christmas performance season was approaching, and with it the last chance to boost symphony attendance. With the success of the billboard under his belt, Randy requested and received the symphony's finest violinist to accompany Randy through town. The violinist was a Chinese gentleman, "Mike", who was surprisingly tall and muscular for a classical musician. Quiet, humble, introverted, and not self-promoting, Mike's personality was the opposite of Randy's personality.

At Randy's request Mike was wearing his symphony tuxedo and Randy wore a suit. It was a chilly, overcast, Thursday afternoon. Mike would walk into a store playing a sample of the Christmas music on his violin. After about 30 seconds, Randy would walk in and warmly invite the stunned customers and clerks to attend. Store after store, Mike and Randy gave shoppers and clerks their dinner table conversation for that night.

Finally, the night of the symphony's first performance of its Christmas music arrived. More than the symphony association members, the Board sweated out the numbers. Would they be able to reach the agreed 105 attendees?

The trickle turned into a stream. Department store clerks, students, families, farmers, the generous people who made the billboard possible, they came. Over 400 climbed the steps of the auditorium to attend.

Ann was elated, as were the rest of the Board. Their hard work had yielded more than they dared hope.

For Randy the answer was obvious; they just needed to stop worrying about their differences and talk to each other. If Americans can put aside their differences, and freely debate their issues, imagine what could be achieved!

But, the symphony association members continued to hide their daughters from Randy.

Friendly Bear is a staff writer for Scragged.com  Read other Scragged.com articles by Friendly Bear or other articles on Culture.
Reader Comments

We are the world
We are the children.
blah blah blah

Kumbaya my Lord
c'mon.sing along with me.it'll make you feel good..

"Can't we all get along"
Rodney King

The answer is "no, we can't all get along. Just ask your kid in 1st grade if he or she gets along with all the other kids.

The author says we should "talk" to the leftists holding the megaphone in your face screaming at you that you are a deplorable, uneducated hayseed, not worthy of breathing the air you breathe.

This article would laughable if it wasn't such blatant pandering.

What happened to Scragged?

If Scragged censors this, Scragged should post that you are in fact, censoring comments and why.

May 13, 2023 11:31 AM

Steve, this article was aimed at two groups, Liberals who willing at least to have some discussion and Conservatives who refuse to try debating with Liberals. CNN was willing to host a Trump Town Hall event. That's an example of Liberals making an effort to communicate. Tump did exceedingly well and reached a lot of Liberals, some of whom might change their minds.

You are absolutely correct that we cannot hold a conversation with the green-haired, foaming-at-the-mouth, megaphone crowd. But, encouragingly, several state legislators around the country have switched from Democrat to Republican. Let's keep winning them over.

May 13, 2023 7:31 PM

Thanks for replying but I disagree.
You seem to have a very naive perception of reality. Let's just look at your perception of CNN. You state "CNN was willing.." As far as I know, Trump didn't ask CNN to host anything, CNN asked him. Why did CNN ask him? I'll throw a few possible/probable reasons.all self serving to CNN.
1. To denigrate, embarrass and humiliate Trump
2. To call him a liar
3. Greed...to make money, get ratings..

I live outside of Philadelphia. The entire state of NJ and Philadelphia are blue. So damn near everyone I meet are liberals. Some I consider friends/acquaintances although, since I don't discuss opinions when it comes to politics, they have no idea I'm a conservative (NOT A REPUBLICAN). None of these people are blue or pink hair crazies. And most are over 55. And everyone of them just takes for granted I am anti-Trump..they call us "Trumpsters".
The reason I know is because they all feel safe referring to anyone who's the slightest conservative as a "Trumpster". It's kind of a synonym for right wing, conspiracy theory nut job. And none of these name callers blink when they speak. I look right at them and none say "I'm sorry, I don't know where you stand and I'm sorry if I offended you. No! They're clueless. CNN, MSNBC, NPR, etc.has made society believe that wokeism is the majority, the norm.and Trumpsters a small minority. And guess what, if I say anything that gives me away and show that I'm a free thinker, able to understand and analyze, think critically, decide for myself, etc.. I can guarantee you they will treat me 180 degrees differently. When I say they are friends, I mean people I interact with socially and I enjoy their company in the limited time we interact. They really don't know anything about me other than what I allow them to see. And the reason I don't show myself is because I see and hear how the talk about others. Same phenomenon conservative college students experience... if "they" know or think you are conservative, you're done.
And Trump IS NOT "reaching" any liberals. My experience supports my belief. Dems changing parties to republicans doesn't mean a thing. Yes, some might believe the left had gone too far. Others do it as jib security. Manchin (WVa) one would think, should definitely switch..but he won't.
The left will not debate, because they know they'll lose. That's why the Gov of Arizona wouldn't debate Kari Lake. That's why "they" won't let Joe Biden debate.

And frankly, the time for "talking" is long gone. No matter what happens and no matter what had happened, the republicans haven't and won't take back 1 inch of lost ground. Remember these same telling us a short few years back re: obamacare."elect us and we'll get rid of obamacare..we promise".
Fool me once..

We need at minimum a 3rd party, preferably started and led by DJT. There should probably be a 4th party as well, maybe led by RJK Jr. The uniparty and the deep state are scared to death of this possibility as it is a direct threat to their ongoing existence.

Takeoff the rose colored glasses and see.
Take a deep breath and smell the rot.

I want to applaud your attempt to hope or feel a little positive.
I have zero hope. And I'm not being negative, nor do i feel negative or afraid. I watch, listen and observe and then analyze what I see, hear and observe and draw my own conclusions as best I can. You know the saying "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

May 13, 2023 10:31 PM

Take a look at this YouTube clip discussing the definition of woke
What is woke..


If you don't want to click link, search you tube for "James Lindsay at European Parliament- Woke Conference"

It's long but well worth the time. All the dots line up.

ps..James Lindsay is a conservative

May 13, 2023 10:40 PM

Steve, your neighborhood sounds identical to mine. Further, you and I agree on most of what you said.

My basis for disagreeing with trying to talk to at least certain Liberals is success of bringing some legislators over to our side. It has been responsible for passing bills that we support, this year.

I strongly encourage you to write an article here on Scragged.com and absolutely I will read it!

As a funny aside, several people who reviewed my articles prior to posting have told me that my articles were "edgy" or "needed refining" before posting, and that I should offer more positive ideas.

May 14, 2023 5:42 PM

Yes..absolutely no hard feelings Friendly. I have written a few articles here under nom de plume.
I agree that, as in any large distribution of people, there will(statistically) be a few outliers (leftists) that will be let's say - approachable. But again, statistically, if found, these people will be at the margins and there will be very few of them thereby have lithe no effect.
And please don't get me wrong, I felt kind of the same way your article suggests.hope. I quickly realized that hope is not good. It allows one to cloud or obscure reality, the truth. Hope also prevents one from being prepared to deal with reality the more it becomes undeniable. It's like walking through a room with your eyes closed. One can "hope" they don't kick a piece of furniture and break their toe or, they can open their eyes and see.
I prefer eyes wide open.

May 15, 2023 11:26 AM

"But, the symphony association members continued to hide their daughters from Randy."
actually ... they hate randy and can't wait to get rid of him as soon as possible.

May 17, 2023 10:32 PM
Add Your Comment...
4000 characters remaining
Loading question...