I Strongly Disagree With Connellsville High School's Choice For The John Philip Sousa Award

Top Headlines

Local

Man Races Against Time To Take Out Trash Bag With Widening Puncture

RIO RANCHO, NM—His pace steadily quickening as he rounded the corner out of his kitchen and made a beeline for the front door, local man Henry Parnasse reportedly found himself locked in a race against time Wednesday morning to take out a trash bag with a widening hole in its side.

Man Pushed Off Plate Of Chicken Wings By Larger Male

WARMINSTER, PA—Looking on as the intense display of aggressive behavior played out over several minutes, sources at Flannigan’s Bar & Grill confirmed Thursday that local man Pete Samuelson was pushed off a plate of buffalo wings by a much larger alpha male.

Grandma Guts It Out Through Lunch On Sunny Patio

MALVERN, PA—Making the audacious decision to dine outdoors with her family despite a noticeable lack of umbrellas or awnings, grandmother Diane McGilvery, 83, reportedly gutted it out through lunch Friday on the sunny patio of a local restaurant.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

Motorcyclist Salvaged For Parts

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Following a multiple-vehicle accident on Interstate 90 that temporarily halted traffic in both directions, sources reported Friday that a motorcyclist involved in the crash was hauled off and salvaged for parts.

Detective Not Sure He Was Close Enough To Partner To Endlessly Pursue Killer

DETROIT—After his partner of three years was gunned down last week while the pair were on duty, Detective David Killian of the Detroit Police Department’s Major Case Squad told reporters Wednesday he was unsure whether he had been close enough to his murdered colleague to single-mindedly pursue the killer for as long as it takes.

Man Pretty Cocky Since Beating Cancer

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Whether he’s bragging about his newfound appreciation for life or arrogantly refusing to take anything for granted, local man Daniel Oretsky, 38, has been acting insufferably cocky since winning his two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Area Man Under Impression He Got Dressed Up

PROVIDENCE, RI—Explaining that the dinner he would soon be having at an upscale restaurant required him to wear something a bit special, local man Kyle Finnegan was under the impression that he had just gotten dressed up, sources said Thursday.

Man Honestly Thought Breakdown Would Be More Obvious To People

MAPLEWOOD, MN—Explaining that he had assumed the deterioration of his physical and psychological state would be readily apparent, 3M sales associate Mark Uhler told reporters Wednesday he honestly thought his ongoing breakdown would be more obvious to everyone around him.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Neighborhood Busybody Reports Sound Of Gunshots

INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Man Proud Of Food He Ordered

DEDHAM, MA—Noting how the man grinned with satisfaction after his Buffalo Chicken Ranch sandwich with a side of spiced panko onion rings arrived at his table, sources at Chili’s Grill & Bar confirmed Tuesday that local diner Matt Schoesse ...

Fast Food Drive-Thru Just Cow Carcass, Bucket For Money

VENTURA, CA—Calling it the ultimate combination of freshness, value, and convenience, local fast food chain Sunshine Burger announced that, beginning this week, its regular drive-thru windows would be replaced by a cow carcass and a bucket for money...

Oh God, Teacher Arranged Desks In Giant Circle

OVERLAND PARK, KS—Appearing stunned and unsettled as they entered her classroom Wednesday, students from Ms. Frederickson’s fourth-period social studies class were reportedly overcome with panic 

Disgusting Couple Always Interacting In Public

MINNEAPOLIS—Saying the pair was making everyone nearby feel uncomfortable, onlookers stated Wednesday they were disgusted by local couple Tyler Meacham and Caitlyn Ashford’s habit of interacting in public.

Siblings Quietly Relieved Oldest Brother Setting Bar So Low

CHARLOTTE, NC—Explaining how the 25-year-old’s personal and academic shortcomings had made their relationship with their parents far easier, siblings Eric and Theresa Conrad confided to reporters Friday that they were quietly relieved their ol...
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Good Times

Sleep

I Strongly Disagree With Connellsville High School's Choice For The John Philip Sousa Award

It is with heavy heart that I, John Philip Sousa, composer and patriot, address you today for the purpose of setting right a great injustice. Every year, the entire music faculty of Connellsville High School comes together to present one outstanding student with the John Philip Sousa award—a glorious wood-mounted plaque that shines as brightly as does my own legacy in the marching arts. And every year, they have done well in upholding my name. That is, until they announced the recipient for the 2007-2008 academic year.

The winner? A gum-snapping ne'er-do-well by the name of Brittany Collier, who in no way exemplifies the spirit of John Philip Sousa.

Some 30 years ago this institution, in an act I am most grateful for and not in the least surprised by, established the John Philip Sousa Award for the student who exhibits the most talent and dedication toward the live performance of marches. Yet that selfsame school has made a mockery of the honor which bears my name by awarding it to someone undeserving at best and scandalous at worst.

Brittany Collier. A brutish young imp with all the quick-stepping and gay revelry of a rotted barrel of Bartlett pears.

When I survey the long list of recipients across this great land, from Lane Tech in Chicago to the Virgil I. Grissom High School in Huntsville, Alabama, I see nothing but excellence in marchistry. Collier's inclusion among their ranks is more than a mere blemish on this veritable hall of heroes. It is a boil, a scar, an open, festering wound.

She is no better than a discordant note in an otherwise triumphant melody and if she continues to gorge herself on sweet cakes, nay will the greatest of my early marches be the only thing called "The Thunderer."

Know you that my consternation does not stem from the fact that the winner is of the fairer sex. In 2001 it was a young woman named Tina Aberdeen who lived up to the spirit, flair, and oompah-pah that is synonymous with my name. She was granted the award, and to it she accorded due respect. But Brittany Collier, who sits in the first chair clarinet—just one more honor for which she is utterly undeserving—is callow, of an easily distracted temperament, and cannot march for a hill of beans. She has made the name John Philip Sousa ring loud, clamorous, and hollow.

She doesn't even use her spit valve.

Last year's winner, Danny Klein, was by all accounts a deserving chap. I'd be proud to serve alongside him in the Marine Corps Band. I wonder what he's up to now? No doubt he's busy inspiring our men in uniform with his tuba playing. Now that's the spirit of John Philip Sousa! Not listening to Shakira on headphones until it's time for lunch, then bolting out the door to smoke cigarettes with one's friends, Miss Collier.

The very thought makes me shudder.

When I wrote "The Liberty Bell," it was meant as an homage to the spirit of patriotism and parades that filled my heart, not as a cheap melody to be slandered with vulgar raspberries and half-hearted toots. I fear something altogether different fills Miss Collier's heart. What has taken a century to build this classless harlot undoes with a single flat Fin the second strain. Her timing is off, her triplets sloppy, and her dress better befits a strumpet than a member of the noble regiment.

The John Philip Sousa Award used to be a true measure of excellence. It was bestowed upon young men and women who possessed the gravitas required to step in rhythm while dressed in the reddest of outfits and the highest of hats. It was never meant to fall into the hands of a scatter-brained oaf whose true passion is for jazz band.

If I were the one to pick—and by rights I ought to be, by God—I would dictate that this year's award for Connellsville High School's most revered musician should undoubtedly go to Tim Jenkins. Now there is a boy of promise. While he may not be the best performer, young Jenkins has worked harder at his instrument than anyone else in his class. His gaze is steady, his aim true, and his constitution strong. When his cymbals come together, the hills themselves shake. Never has anyone played them with such gusto. Certainly not that brazen, cow-eyed ragamuffin Brittany Collier and her equally contemptuous boyfriend, Terrance Krane.

Mark my words, Connellsville High Scool Class of 2008: If we don't honor this nation's great marching traditions, it may readily fall.