So Classical Music… Part 1

From time to time in life, I’ve been asked what is the appeal of classical music for devotees like me, and whether there’s any point in someone the questioner’s own age giving it a try. I’ve usually stumbled answering such questions, and lately I’m hearing them a little more often.

Here’s a one-evening stab at answering them. Be forewarned: the question is not entirely simple and the answer is not entirely brief.

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Things I wish I’d learned

Things I wish I’d learned as a younger man.

Rules that rhyme are full of it.

You know the ones I mean. For instance, “No pain, no gain.” Clearly a victory of poetic impulse over genuine insight, it’s usually said about exercise, where it couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is that for ordinary people, most of the benefits of exercise accrue, to borrow a thought from Woody Allen, just from showing up. (“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Annie Hall)

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Google’s the most successful son of a bitch in Finland

I have bit of deliberate ambiguity for you today, specifically how to interpret the word Google’s in the title of this post.  All that “glitteringly glitters” is not what it purports to be.

Once back in 2011, I read a story in a Finnish newspaper about a choirboy accidentally throwing up into a Steinway Model C valued at around 100,000 — or as it’s written in Finland, 100.000.  This post is about how Google Translate hilariously mistranslated the story to English in 2011 and again differently in 2018.

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Hatching a Plot

I saw an interesting blog post the other day from a writer talking about her Frankenstein method of plot outlining.  This brought a smile to my face, as I can identify with both the problem she describes and her eclectic solution.   I’ve recently returned to writing fiction after what looks to have been about a 16-year hiatus.  It’s hard for me to believe it’s been that long, but that’s what the evidence I’ve uncovered in recent weeks appears to show.   Of course in that amount of time, you accumulate a lot of old hard drives, etc.  Even with the most hygienic of intentions, it’s easy to end up with too many copies of important .zip and similar archive files, leading to headaches in determining what was once most current.

So here I am, poised between Project B, my latest enthusiasm, and Project A, which I abandoned around 2001 for reasons I’m only beginning to recall.  The most compelling reasons were external to the project and simply stole the time I needed.  But there were others more intrinsic to the work.

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