Friday, December 14, 2007


Ever wonder how editors decide on the sequencing of stories for either electronic or “hard copy” publications?

Or how bloggers make the same decision?

A basic rule for the news as a business is to present up front stories that affect individuals in the community, either as individuals or because of identification with a recognizable group. People will listen when they think the story is about them or about a group with which they associate themselves formally as a “dues-paying” or “card-carrying” member.

They will also listen if the subject is connected to their socio-economic status, particularly should disposable income be sharply reduced relative to the expenditures needed to sustain the life style one lives.

Less often, the choices will rest on a determination by the news “gate-keepers” that the public needs or has an inherent right to be informed about something that normally does not stand-out or draw much attention. Most often these are the issues of national-international affairs that have little or no immediate consequences but, left unattended year after year, gain a type of degenerative exponentially growing momentum that someday might well turn human life as we know it upside down.

And then there are the items that, in themselves, do nothing more than speak to the quality of the lives we have. Here are the pastimes of entertainment, of sports, of the arts – especially narrative (story-telling), poetry, painting, dance, and voice and instrumental music.

And this brings me to the point. We are in the Western world rapidly approaching the Christmas holiday, the observance of which includes what may be the largest repertoire of “specialized” or “seasonal” music.

But as you listen to and enjoy it – and one need not be “Christian” to do so – do not forget that Sunday is the anniversary of the birth of one of the Occident’s (and arguably one of the world’s) greatest composers, Ludwig Beethoven.

Were Charles Schulz still alive, one could be sure that Sunday’s “Peanuts” would somehow feature Schroeder – who has the musician’s soul – and possibly Lucy – who is interested only in how music and everything else in life can benefit or “profit” her.

So pause a moment – actually as many as 40 minutes worth of moments – this Sunday and listen to some Beethoven simply because it is Beethoven. You won’t “profit” in Lucy’s sense, but you might in Schroeder’s.

After all, it should not be news that some things in life are by their very nature worth experiencing.


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