Lip syncing, playing to tape or just plain faking a musical performance is never okay.
A professional NFL football player is paid a salary to play football on Sunday afternoons. Often, these players become celebrities — even to the point some fans attend hometown games to see a rival team’s stars sign autographs in the parking lot after a game. But at the end of the day, if the football player was paid just to show up and go through the motions of playing football without actually playing, I think the nation would erupt in anger.
In a culture where Americans are becoming increasingly lax in their understanding and appreciation of “good” music (e.g., the primetime American Idol karaoke television program), I commended President Obama’s choice in having Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma perform John Williams’ “Air and Simple Gifts”. BUT, the decision not to amplify the instruments — due to the cold weather affecting their tone and tuning — and simply rely on a taped recording to trick the millions of people watching was both unfortunate and unwise.
Itzhak Perlman told the New York Times, “It would have been a disaster if we had done it any other way…This occasion’s got to be perfect. You can’t have any slip-ups.”
I absolutely disagree. This was an orchestrated fraud (pun intended) on the day the nation was to come together under a new administration built on intangible concepts of Hope and Change. But this is no change. Really no different than Milli Vanilli’s Grammy, Ashley Simpson on Saturday Night Live, every musical float at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
The real slip-up was choosing musicians who can’t play their instruments in cold weather – IN JANUARY.
It’s pathetic, and America should be ashamed of not only Perlman, Ma and inaugural organizers who didn’t think we would notice or care, but a laissez-faire attitude in the general public that teaches our children that faking it when it’s cold is the new Presidential Way.