Arts slighted for athletics

  • Follow Letters

For approximately 25 consecutive years, I tuned and serviced the 12 pianos in the McDuffie County school system. The Board of Education always paid the bill.

In 2010, I was informed that the funds were not available to have the pianos tuned that year. The same was true in 2011 and this year.

I realize there have been drastic budget cuts in most school systems throughout Georgia. However, it makes me sad that several hundred dollars are not available to have the pianos tuned, but $3.8 million is available to do work on the football field in Thomson.

I realize this money is coming from special-purpose local option sales tax funds, and that it was designated for the purpose of making repairs and improvements to the football stadium. I often wonder what it would take for some of the SPLOST funds to be designated to tune the pianos in the school system.

I like sports about as good as anybody. My youngest son played on a AAA state championship football team for coach Luther Welsh in the 1980s. I have three grandsons playing baseball and/or football in Thomson.

There is a wonderful movie titled Mr. Holland’s Opus. Mr. Holland (played by Richard Dreyfuss) gets a job teaching music appreciation at John F. Kennedy High School. He intends on teaching for only several years; however, he ends up staying there for about 30 years.

Near the end of the movie, Mr. Holland is forced to retire because budget cuts to the music program. On his last day at the school, he and the football coach are talking. The coach is somewhat concerned about his job, too. Realizing his concern, Mr. Holland tells the coach that “the day they cut the football budget in this state will be the end of Western civilization as we know it.”

What a true statement. Sports has become one of America’s gods. How sad, and what a shame.

Tommy Burnley

Thomson

Comments (11) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
specsta
6073
Points
specsta 05/31/12 - 01:47 am
6
2
Art Is Most Important

There is nothing wrong with sports- but it has no lasting impact on society. Games come and go, and most are forgotten to all, except die-hard sports fans. Art and creative expression has impact and influence, lasting for generations, even centuries.

Art pours life into the soul, it is the part of us that is closest to God. The ability to create music, theater, dance, visuals, etc. is an amazing process that is to be revered and respected.

To be fair, there are some great athletes and memorable moments in sports - but none will endure like the beauty of the Sistine Chapel or a Mozart concerto or an Ansel Adams photograph or even cave paintings by our ancestors.

Sports has its place - but it is madness for an athlete to make 30 million dollars while throwing, hitting, or shooting a ball, while a gifted artist can barely eat.

If you have had the privilege of seeing the heavy brushstrokes and layers of brilliant color in an actual Van Gogh painting, and realize that this man died penniless in his time, you will understand the ridiculousness of the way we reward and worship athletes.

Van Gogh produced almost 2000 works of art and died a pauper, yet his influence on art is paramount. Even though he only sold one painting while he was alive and struggling to survive, his work now commands some of the highest auction prices in the world, some over $80 million dollars.

But the glory and the recognition usually comes too late for most artists, if ever at all. When schools and education gatekeepers pour money into sports and neglect teaching the arts, which impacts the whole world for generations, we all lose a bit of the beauty that could have comforted our spirits.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 05/31/12 - 03:17 am
0
0
Art is wonderful but it
Unpublished

Art is wonderful but it doesn't put thousands of people in football stadiums on friday night...that's just the way it is.

Jon Lester
2269
Points
Jon Lester 05/31/12 - 03:44 am
4
2
Arenas vs. clubs

Hey, the powers that be will always want to give us bread and circuses, but some of us will always prefer beer and live music.

effete elitist liberal
3018
Points
effete elitist liberal 05/31/12 - 09:46 am
1
3
Mr. Holland

“[T]he day they cut the football budget in this state will be the end of Western civilization as we know it.” While Mr. Burnley did not mention it, this line is, and was intended to be, ironic and bitterly funny. Lots of folks in the South no doubt believe Mr. Holland's remark to be totally accurate! In the typical southern white male mind, soldiers and athletes are anointed "heros," and only one of the truly sad things about these soldiers and athletes is that they go through the rest of their often mediocre adulthoods believing that what they did in their teen and twenties in the service or on an athletic field was the high point of their lives. It is quite sad that our southern politicians spend so much money to perpetuate these distorted values and let the arts go unsupported.

Bizkit
29143
Points
Bizkit 05/31/12 - 10:28 am
4
0
Good posits Specsta. Nothing

Good posits Specsta. Nothing wrong with sports and nothing wrong with music. I did both but now all I have from sports is pain (old injuries, etc) but music is still alive a well. Another editorial was lamenting our education system and the warped emphasis on sports rather than the more liberal arts. Our education will maintain this neolithic status as long as being a barbarian and neanderthal is more virutuous than beauty, art, and music. It doesn't have to be an either or proposition.

avidreader
2957
Points
avidreader 05/31/12 - 10:49 am
4
0
Well Said!

Mr. Burnley, thanks for speaking up! I also loved that movie.

Bizkit
29143
Points
Bizkit 05/31/12 - 10:52 am
2
0
You have to wonder why

You have to wonder why culture hasn't reflected the merits of an education and the arts but still romanticize the Ferris Bueller and Animal House mentality.

RoadkiII
6445
Points
RoadkiII 05/31/12 - 01:52 pm
2
1
Elitist Liberal, you name

Elitist Liberal, you name says it all. My time serving this country and preserving YOUR right to say what you want to. I also preserved my right to tell you... oops, that right is gone. Well actually I still have the right to say it and the AC has the right to ban me.

Jake
31650
Points
Jake 05/31/12 - 03:01 pm
3
0
Sweet music

Since the state of California no longer provides funding for music programs in our schools, we parents have banded together to raise the funds necessary to continue the music programs. We have the Redwood City Educational Foundation and we hold fund raising events and solicit donations from various businesses. Music is still heard in our schools and after attending a couple of end-of-the-year concerts this past week it was quite a joy to see the children and teens enjoy their participation in the programs. Playing an instrument in an organized group is very helpful in developing self esteem and teamwork.
Maybe if enough caring parents in McDuffie County would get together and form a group that could help get the required funds to aid the music program. Once you get out into the public with an agenda you might be surprised with how many will donate to this cause.

Little Lamb
43821
Points
Little Lamb 05/31/12 - 03:02 pm
2
1
Piano Tuning

Hey, I just thought of a solution to the letter writer's dilemma. They could make piano tuning a required course in the new Richmond County Technical Careers Magnet School, set to open to ninth graders this August. Then when the students demonstrate proficiency, put them on the school bus for a field trip to McDuffie County and let them tune all the pianos in the school system. McDuffie County could fill the bus with fuel and everyone would be happy.

burninater
8847
Points
burninater 05/31/12 - 04:40 pm
4
0
Everybody knows its

Everybody knows its impossible to play football unless you're on a $3.8 million dollar field. Sheesh.

debbiep38
381
Points
debbiep38 05/31/12 - 06:06 pm
0
0
OK, ACES, what about EEL's
Unpublished

OK, ACES, what about EEL's 9:46 am post? Policy violation? What if I had said "typical black male"? And by the way EEL you may or may not be interested to know that I think sports fanatics are of the lower human element. White or Black.

Gage Creed
15660
Points
Gage Creed 05/31/12 - 09:05 pm
2
0
something about you can tune

something about you can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish....

Back to Top

Top headlines

Mother of newborn left in car to face possible indictment

Richmond County Civil and Magistrate Court Presiding Judge H. Scott Allen ruled at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing for 20-year-old Alicia Manigault that her case would be bound over to a ...
Search Augusta jobs