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Dec. 9, 2009

Vol. 110, No. 6

Rejoice in the band

In response to: Yo, Band!

Let immaturity reign! Couldn’t hurt.

It’s been a long time since I laughed out loud reading a PAW article, but the P.U. Band (cover story, Nov. 4) has gotten to me yet again. Withstanding the test of time, they prove that “too clever by half” is sometimes a good thing indeed (and a new T-shirt slogan?).

I recall a football game in the late ’60s when parents and ­sweethearts were treated to a salute   to Princeton’s female contingent of ­critical-language students (those ­“cunning linguists,” the announcer ­proclaimed). I’m not so sure that explaining that to Mom and Dad was any less embarrassing than the performance itself. Yet, no harm, no foul. That I still remember the event 40   years later is both evidence of its timelessness and a direct compliment.  

What could be more appropriate in the age of Stephen Colbert than the Princeton University Band? We forget that every single day at any hour, pompous (and much less funny) pundits and preening (rarely, if ever, funny) politicians are insulting and embarrassing their targets, themselves and our intelligence with immature, tasteless, spineless, even racist and sexist diatribes — only to be promoted and paid handsomely by their handlers and enablers. Yet the University band must endure censorship? Is there no justice?

So to those stuffy faculty and alumni and those too precious and preternaturally self-important educational institutions here and elsewhere (there, have I offended everyone?), let me just say, rejoice! in the youthful silliness of our musical men and women. Most of them will still wind up doing good things with their lives, though some will no doubt become preening politicians and pompous media pundits. Get over it.  

As for our band, where’s the love?  

Stu Nunnery ’71
Little Compton, R.I.

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