Rich guy forces ukes on helpless world?

May 6, 2009

We have a heartwarming story today about billionaire Warren Buffett, and how selfless he’s been in helping to nurture ukulele music, donating instruments and lessons to young girls and stuff like that.

My readers, ever compassionate, are already writing in to ask, “Bobby, isn’t there any damned thing we can do to stop that guy?”

I don’t think there is. When you’ve got $40 billion behind an effort to roll over fine music with ukulele plinking, nobody can stop you.

How powerful is Buffett? Well, ukulele music is best-known in Hawaii, and where is our new president from? You see what I mean about pulling strings, pardon the pun?

Let’s be honest here, readers. The ukulele isn’t the worst instrument on Earth. That would be the accordion. So what we’re talking about is the second-worst instrument, and I just don’t think we can hit enough of those things with sledge hammers to stay ahead of a real rich guy.

Indeed, all any of us can REALLY do is hope that Buffett never shifts his affections to the accordion.

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Above: Billionaire financier and Berkshire Hathaway Chief Executive Warren Buffett eats ice cream at a shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska May 2, 2009. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Files

Left top: Singer Elvis Costello sings and plays the ukulele in a 2004 file photo. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Left bottom: Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas plays a ukulele in a 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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14 comments

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I think it’s not really the instrument but how you use it… look at what Bill Clinton does to a saxophone, and by comparison ukeleles and accordions sound heavenly!!!

Posted by M | Report as abusive

I can’t pronounce it properly.. ukulele? imagine him trying to play the ice cream at the shareholders meeting..

Posted by caglar | Report as abusive

Caglar,It’s pronounced yuke-uh-LAY-lee. You should indeed know how to pronounce it, in case your children are ever given one by Mr. Buffett, so you can say “Get that FRICKIN’ ukulele out of my house!”

Posted by Robert Basler | Report as abusive

“The ukulele isn’t the worst instrument on Earth. That would be the accordion.”Mr. Basler doesn’t know what he is talking about. I invite him to listen to magical pieces of accordian melody from the likes of the late S.D.Burman, the late Shankar Jaikishen and their late ilk. (Don’t know who these are? Well, there’s Google…find out, if you really want to know.)While Mr. Basler’s ignorance is not worth a second thought, the real regret is that with the arrival of the electronic music tsunami, the incomparable accordian will soon be relegated to history.

Posted by Raj Chander | Report as abusive

Correction – accordion, not accordian, of course…

Posted by Raj Chander | Report as abusive

Someone call an exorcist…I’m fairly certain Mr. Buffet has been possessed by the spirit of Tiny Tim…

Posted by K | Report as abusive

According to my Hawaiian friends, it’s pronounced oo koo lay lay.

Posted by Larry Dewey | Report as abusive

Mr Bob,I have to agree with you on the fact that accordions are the worst instrument in the world.Flutophones, as played by fifth graders, is, by comparison, the sweet sound of beautiful music, as envisioned by younguns, who are too young and their brains not fully formed, to even grasp the fact that maybe an accordion is in their future.But ukes?EVIL!Worst yet than nukes!Anyone that is close to a nuke going off has nothing more to worry about.A bit farther out, their eardrums are shattered.But I digress.All right, why is the uke worse than a nuke?Have you ever lived next to a young girl that knows nothing about music, plinking on a uke?Day and night, 365 days a year?It seems that anyone could learn in a year how to make something resembling music, right?Come visit, Mr Bob. Share in the agony of hearing this young lady slaughtering everything that she tries to play.Let’s not start on how her brother is trying to master the banjo.And all of this in their yard, because their parents realise, on some level, that their kids have tin ears.So yay! The neighbors decided to let the world share in the families misery!You may not live through a nuke attack.And yet, I pray for one to occur right here.

Posted by tim | Report as abusive

Don’t take the absurd news so seriously Mr. Raj Chander.The accordion has been the butt of jokes for as long as anyone remembers.Daumier created by zincography a picture published in Le Journal Amusant in 1866 of an accordionist and a man playing snooker who stated in the caption: “One does not yet have the right to kill the people who play this instrument, but there is hope that we will soon get it.”Neither you nor Mr Bessler mentioned the patron saint of the accordion, Alfred Matthew “Weird Al” Yankovic. He sums it up. My discourse on the Uke must wait, for the police have arrived.BTW, Mr Basler’s ignorance is certainly worth a second thought.

Posted by Johnny Lawny | Report as abusive

It could be worse, it could have been ……. BAG PIPES!

Posted by some guy who's not Tiny Tim | Report as abusive

I did not mention bagpipes in my rant because it is my understanding that nearly all parts of the world have outlawed this instrument, and most so-called bagpipers are now behind bars or in hiding.If this is not the case, then I will need to reconstruct my list.

Posted by Robert Basler | Report as abusive

2 things:1. The ukulele is awesome. One only has to type “ukulele” in YouTube to see thousands of examples. I immodestly present my own here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olE1 FJifUmsFurther, you have to type “tiny tim ukulele” in order to see the terrible performance that typecast ukuleles forever.2. Technically it’s pronounced “oo-kuh-LAY-luh” but “yuke-uh-LAY-lee” is accepted outside of Hawaii

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

My guitar gently weeps

I think that’s rather unfair of you to call the ukulele the second worst instrument in the world. The Bagpipes now feel rejected

Posted by S | Report as abusive

[...] I want actress Glenn Close and that billionaire ukulele dude Warren [...]

[...] I want actress Glenn Close and that billionaire ukulele dude Warren [...]

[...] I’m also thankful that as of 2:30 p.m. today I haven’t caught even the briefest glimpse of the Macy’s Parade, and that I live in a country where nobody can force me to listen to ukulele music. [...]

[...] I’m also thankful that as of 2:30 p.m. today I haven’t caught even the briefest glimpse of the Macy’s Parade, and that I live in a country where nobody can force me to listen to ukulele music. [...]