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High Culture Belongs at Inaugurations

America is Over Wrote: Feb 01, 2013 2:21 PM
I thought it was a joke when someone sent me a link for the Kennedy Center "honoring" Led Zeppelin. I like Led Zep. I grew up with Led Zep and thought it was way cool when kids put Led Zep quotes under their HS yearbook photos ("and it's written that soon...") But is America supposed to "honor" them? Popularity has replaced honor.
In the days since the second Obama inauguration, I've been thinking about Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce. No, not the great lip-synching controversy, but the choice of popular entertainment for a solemn national rite.

That Beyonce apparently lip-synched her beautiful rendition of the national anthem is a triviality. It's cold on the steps of the Capitol and even the greatest singer might have trouble sounding good in those conditions. Kelly Clarkson apparently sang live (and perhaps paid a price in quality). Four years ago, at Obama's first inauguration, a quartet consisting of Yo-Yo Ma, Yitzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill (it sounds...