Readers’ Forum

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Genuine music

Remember the story about the grumpy 9-year-old who hates piano lessons? He can’t even bear to sit in front of that black and white monster for more than about 10 minutes, but mom insists. As he grows older he starts playing Bach or Mozart, but his dislike only increases. Eventually, his parents let him quit after he can play a few simple church hymns, and then he lives happily ever after. Sound familiar? I was one of those 9-year-olds. Maybe you were, too. Regardless of how many stories like this we’ve heard, we’ve “quit piano lessons” as a society.

Not only have we turned our backs on musical greats like Bach and Mozart (yes, the one who wrote his first compositions when he was 5), but we seem to be moving away from all genuine music whatsoever. But what is genuine music? It’s real, living people singing or playing real, tangible instruments. I’m not simply talking about classical music, I’m also talking about Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, B.B. King, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, Elton John, Frank Sinatra and countless more. Although you might chance upon one of these artists on the radio, it’s unlikely. The problem is that so much of today’s popular music is electronic. The point is, we aren’t listening to these genres anymore – not because they aren’t enjoyable or exciting, but because we’re being distracted by other, more modern genres.

As a teenager, my iPod was full of rap, probably the furthest thing from classical music. It wasn’t until I grew a little older that I started to appreciate the same music I used to dread because I actually gave it a chance, and that’s all I’m proposing: give it a chance. I’m not suggesting we delete all the pop music from our playlists, but why don’t we listen to more Duke Ellington or James Taylor? As a people we need to take up piano lessons again and be willing to open our ears to genuine music – no auto-tune and no computerized effects – just real musicians making real music.

— Nate Campbell

Bountiful, Utah

Gas or hybrid?

There has been a lot of discussion on whether people should buy hybrid cars. And lately, more and more people are buying hybrids. Now before you buy into what the media is telling you, please hear me out and let me tell you why you should reconsider buying a hybrid.

Firstly, do you want to have fun driving your car? Would you prefer to not be bored to the point of falling asleep behind the wheel? A hybrid car will typically pack a lot less punch than a gas car. You will not find the same feeling of power while driving a hybrid as you would driving a gas car. You won’t hear the same rewarding sound of a gasoline engine if you are driving a hybrid. The engine is much quieter in a hybrid, resulting in a more artificial driving experience.

Another interesting point is that hybrids don’t necessarily get better gas mileage than gas cars. In the first place, gas mileage greatly depends on your main driving routes and your driving style. Buying a more fuel-efficient car does not guarantee that you will get better gas mileage. If you frequently drive on highways, then gas cars will sometimes perform as well, and possibly better, than hybrids. Even if you get slightly better gas mileage, at most you will save a few bucks every time you fill up at the gas station.

Furthermore, hybrids are not as environmentally friendly as many people are led to believe. A hybrid car has two things that power it: batteries and an internal-combustion engine. Just like those evil environmental killing machines known as gas cars, those angelic hybrids also have gas engines. Thus, hybrid cars contribute quite a bit to harmful emissions in our atmosphere.

To sum up, the benefits are outweighed by the negative consequences.  Don’t give in to the trends of modern society and follow the crowd. Most importantly, think! Don’t just take my word for it, go ahead and find the time (and the drive) to research these things.

— Jordan Park

Anderson, South Carolina

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