Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Pearls Before Breakfast.

My first hit-and-run piece in awhile went live today on the Motley Fool, but I don't want to link to it because I'm not entirely happy with the final editing. I shouldn't complain, because they are paying me to supply them with content, so they have the right to do whatever they please. If I don't like it, I can go write for free all I want and as a consequence lose access to their very large audience. I'm quite happy with the current arrangement -- although I don't mind saying that I was pretty displeased with the editing on last piece I wrote a few months ago. I've been keeping that one a secret from everybody.

Instead, I'm going to link you to an entirely brilliant sample of writing. Modern journalism never really moves me in any meaningful way (and really no contemporary writing to speak of in any format), but I was dropped to my knees by a recent article from Gene Weingarten in the Washington Post.

The article tells of a recent thought experiment which was subsequently carried out by the Post. Put simply, they wanted to find out what would happen if the greatest classical musician in America with one of the greatest musical instruments ever produced worked as a street musician for a day. "The event had been described as a test of whether, in an incongruous context, ordinary people would recognize genius." The musician was Joshua Bell, a former prodigy whose playing Interview magazine once said "does nothing less than tell human beings why they bother to live." The instrument was a $4 million violin made 300 years ago by Stradivari himself during what is known as his "golden period" and is said to be perfect.

The experiment was carried out at a subway station in Washington D.C. called L'Enfant Plaza. To my utter dismay, I had been to this metro stop just two days prior on my trip to Washington D.C. I would have given anything to have been there.

The article also includes video captured from the metro cameras, including the first clip which shows Bell playing Johann Sebastion Bach's "Chaconne," which Bell himself calls "not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history."

You can register at WashingtonPost.com for free to read the article, or you can probably Google the title and read an illicit copy piece off of someone else's blog.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am embarrassed of the shallowness our country men displayed....

Mom

Sarah said...

if you read the life section more often, you might find better journalistic writing :)

that was an awesome article, though!