Friday, March 1, 2019

"The Real Underdogs"

I have always supported the underdog. 

But who doesn’t?  (Sitting presidents, excepted.)

Who roots for the Yankees?  Or the Patriots?  Or, in their high-flying heyday, the Montreal Canadiens.  (That’s the French spelling, computer.  Knock off the red line.)

It feels better – Read:  morally superior – to root for the Brewers, the Bills or the Bruins.  (You think it’s the “B’s” that are holding them back?)

(I will put, “Or is it just me?” and the beginning, to preserve “metronomic fluidity.”)

Who hasn’t favored a quieter cut from an album over the blaring “show-off”, inevitably chosen as “The Single”?

Who hasn’t preferred a less flashy “Shirelle”?

I once caught flak arguing Chico was the funniest Marx Brother.

(Man!  Those “Groucho People” are rough!)

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Risking political incorrectness, my focused concern – because I am more sensitive than most people – is, sure, on cultural minorities – being one of them myself; wait, two – Jewish and “monocular” – where was I?...  Oh yeah.  My focused concern is not on minorities per se, but on the substrata – Latin, Neuter-Plural – of those particular minorities.

My heart, for example, goes out to…

Gay men with a disinterested “Color Sense.”  African-Americans, shrugging at whatever African-Americans are, wrongly or rightly, believed to be interested in.  I think about Asian students who go, “School?  I can take it or leave it.”

(Did I step over the line, there?  “Clarifying examples.”  As I assiduously move on.)

I worry about those people. 

At the imagined “in-house” heck they receive. 

And, being the super-sensitive person I am,

There’s more.

I grew up liking musicals.  I’d buy the hit shows’ “Original Cast” albums as soon as I could.  (Saving enough from my weekly allowance and my arduous paper route.)

Countless hours, I’d consume those coveted albums with my ears.  And invariably, I would love not the hit tunes – and back then, Broadway musical songs made the “Top 40” playlists – but instead always the “little” ones.

Songs they put in because they were changing the scenery and needed vocalized “filler” to “cover” the interlude.

In West Side Story, it wasn’t the soaring “Maria” that caught my enthusiasm.

It was the quieter “One Hand, One Heart.”

In Guys & Dolls, it wasn’t the show-stopping “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat” I played over and over.

It was the shamrocky “More I Cannot Wish You.”

In Paint Your Wagon, it wasn’t the popular “They Call The Wind Maria” I cherished.

It was the moving, “I Still See Eliza.”

That’s my kind of music.

Understated but spectacular.

Just like me.

I am chuckling.

But I mean it.

I don’t watch those network talent shows.  But when I am blindsided by their commercial “promos”, the contestants are all singing their guts out.

Maybe they need another show:

“The Quieter ‘Voice.’”

I’ll tell you one thing.

If they had that,

I would definitely root for it.

And now – if I can find one on YouTube, an aforementioned soft but glimmering example.

Though I won’t be surprised if I can’t.

Hey, I found one.

Enjoy the artful simplicity.


Wendy M. Grossman said...

If you're going to go for underdogs, shouldn't you be making the case that *Gummo* was the funniest Marx brother?


Mike Barer said...

I made an exception with the Chicago Bulls, with Michael Jordan. I just thought he was a great ambassador for the game. He also embodied the team. No Michael, no Bulls.