Photo of tuba player's finger not vulgar


On Tuesday night, I received a black and white scanned clipping of Monday's feature photo from the Arizona Daily Wildcat. In this photo, titled "School Spirit" by Charles C. Labenz (Oct. 23), it shows me closest to the photographer playing a tuba and supposedly "flipping" him off. The caption that is written also hints that this is an act of vulgarity. This is extremely misinterpreted.

The horns that we play weigh in excess of fifty pounds, and the routine that we were involved with at the time of the picture requires us to swing the horns as fast as we can in rotating directions. This can last for as long as fifteen minutes and regardless of choreography, we are still required to play. To both play and execute this difficult routine means that I have to hold the horn by non-traditional means. I have to grip the base of the horn with my right hand that usually is used to press valves. But since we still have to play, I still need to push valves and to do this I wrap my hand around the outside of the horn and grasp the exterior body. Since this part of the song requires only the use of one valve, I only use one finger, and it turns out that the only finger long enough to reach it this way is my middle finger. I've played this feature with identical methods, however unorthodox, for four years, and this is the first time it was ever interpreted as being vulgar. Usually to the naked eye it's impossible to notice, but with fast film or a flash it becomes very apparent.

Regardless, I would never "flip off" a photographer. There are always numerous photographers at football games whose affiliation to me is completely unknown. This was no exception.

Also, it is very poor idea to flip off anyone in a visiting stadium, especially Arizona Stadium.

I am truly sorry if people still believe that I was being vulgar, but please understand that this was not intentional. Thank you.

Jason Berman

Sociology Major, University of Washington, Seattle

Husky Band, 1991 to present

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