A pull-together portrait of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the best old-time traditions of the New York Times reveals, in passing, that the Boston Bomber was an accomplished pianist who liked to play classical music. Here’s the passage:
During registration for a (boxing) tournament in Lowell, he sat down at a piano and lost himself for 20 minutes in a piece of classical music. The impromptu performance, so out of place in that world, finished to a burst of applause from surprised onlookers.
“He just walked over from the line and started playing like he was in the Boston Pops,” his trainer at the time, Gene McCarthy, 77, recalled.
What can we reasonably derive from this snippet of cultural information?
1 That the dreadful old Soviet system delivered a more rounded form of education.
2 That music can play a calming role in confused and alienated lives.
3 That no young person need ever feel ashamed of playing classical music in the gym.
4 That classical music does not make anyone a better human being.
I find all aspects of this trainer’s anecdote deeply troubling.