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A Missing Link

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Georges Perec

The following comment can also be read in the preferred language of the reader. The translation is made by computer. Please forgive errors.  

I am always struck by a quality in a classical music composition that puts into motion visions within us that show an unknown topography. Do humans know anything about that inward-looking panorama, hiding capriciously in cracks, lurking in ominous shadows?

A contrapuntal twist can shock, a harmonic flight can rock, a crunching chord can crush, but to what flights of fancy can our souls soar on unknown wings of music!

It is a fantasy of a Musical Author that transforms amorphous quirks that dot our innards into thrills that thrust us forward. Our MA forms a wall of missing links, making all again wondrous, a firm chain, bound anchors of magic.

- Lorin Maazel

P.S. Can the blog reader sort out what is missing in the above entry? Hint: read Georges Perec's "La Disparition", translated into English as "The Void"...and the following comment:

"OuLiPo, the Ouvroir de litterature potentielle (or 'workshop for potential literature'), an elite group of writers, mathematicians and mathematician-writers, founded in 1960 at a conference in Cerisy- la-Salle and dedicated to the composition of works in accordance with arbitrarily adopted but fiendishly difficult formal constraints, including anagrams, pangrams, palindromes and structures based on the rules of the Japanese board game Go (a game at which Perec, as one might have expected, excelled."

Super Bowl January 31, 1993


A half-time show to end all half-time shows...
Michael Jackson filling the space, children singing along with him in "Heal the World"
with its innocent, plaintive call for a better world.
Scene: Super Bowl 1993, 21 years ago.
This annual extravaganza has no parallel.
It is pageant, ritual, a catharsis unleashing furies,
raising/dashing hopes, giving vent to roars
heard nowhere else.
And half-way through, on that so memorable occasion,
a single voice, Michael Jackson, was heard intoning
his prayer for a better world we have, alas, yet to realize.
He was soon joined by tens of thousands.
The lyrics merit being heard...again and again:

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for
You and for me.

In the world of Classical religious music, composers set such wishes to music,
such as "Dona nobis pacem" (Give us peace).
The many-faceted voice of the Classics may not always be heard at football stadia but it is always within us, giving strength and hope.

- Lorin Maazel

The above comment can also be read in the preferred language of the reader. The translation is made by computer. Please forgive errors.   

Behind the Headlines

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Ertharin Cousin

The following comment can also be read in the preferred language of the reader. The translation is made by computer. Please forgive errors.    

There are armies of dedicated unheralded, unsung humans who keep putting back together what others tear asunder.
It is they who move in behind the scenes in civil wars, political upheavals, natural disasters, to feed, provide medical assistance, shelter.

We read every day of conflicts, assassinations, typhoons but little about the ongoing, unglamorous task of transporting supplies to millions who overnight find themselves without food, water, a roof over their heads.

The World Food Programme is one such organization, performing prodigies in a gigantic, round-the-clock effort to succor hapless victims of man's cruelty to man.

Governments drag their collective feet,
orators orate, moralists pontificate while the WFP quietly, quickly and apolitically does the job.
Example: the WFP is exercising damage control on an unimaginable scale on the heals
of the ongoing upheavals in the Middle East.
Cargo planes are flown into affected areas with the requisite staples.
Legions of volunteers and administration officials move in by truck
following every bomb blast, to distribute supplies, medicines, clothing.

An imposing moving force behind these awesome accomplishments is a modest person dedicated to her work, unflagging and determined, the Executive Director of the WFP, Ertharin Cousin.

I wish to salute her and the prodigious accomplishments of the WFP.
I truly believe that without the contributions of Doctors without Borders,
the WFP and a few other organizations out there in the field with no political axes to grind,
our world, as unsteady and reeling from the excesses of collective stupidity as it is,
would be a sorry place indeed.

P.S. Ms. Cousin loves Classical Music (well performed!)

- Lorin Maazel 

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