13 November 2006

Still in the Dark

... for a couple more days, preparing for a hearing and dealing with client emergencies. I'll be back to something approaching full blogging speed later this week.

In the meantime, you might be amused by two related, but not yet connected by the media, distribution issues. On the one hand, the NEA is criticizing NPR for shifting away from radio music broadcasts toward talk radio, while NPR proceeds with plans for webcasting some or most of that music by mid-2007. <SARCASM> Of course, there's no chance at all that the partisanly controlled NEA is upset by the substance of NPR's news coverage. </SARCASM> On the other hand, there's the simultaneously welcome and disturbing trend in restoring older musical recordings to contemporary standards of clarity. It's welcome because it potentially introduces unfamiliar performers and music to a wider audience (that is, those who do not keep a well-maintained B&O turntable as parts of their stereo systems). It's disturbing because it implicates a prior controversy involving Naxos, which was entirely ignored by the linked article in WaPo.

Last, and far from least: The most appropriate way to honor this nation's veterans would be to celebrate Veterans' Day on Election Day. This year, that was different by three or four days, depending on whether one means the de facto day off last Friday or the nondelivery of mail on Saturday. The US involvement in the first segment of the Second Thirty Years' War (1914–1918) was significant, but not nearly as significant as many other conflicts; it thus makes little sense to continue prioritizing that conflict as the locus of honoring veterans. But then, since we have a holiday based on when we gave the King the rhetorical finger and not one for when we became a nation by ratifying the Constitution, and we have another honoring the (at best) second European to discover the New World, I shouldn't be too surprised that our celebration of Veterans' Day isn't scheduled all that rationally. What we don't need is to devalue Veterans' Day in favor of more department-store sales, which is all that most people really notice about it.