Friday, December 4, 2009

Give It Up

Idealists foolish enough to throw caution to the winds have advanced mankind and have enriched the world.

Emma Goldman

It'll Never Work
The Same Old Baloney

Many years ago I had a job as a classical music radio announcer. One night I was about to play a Mahler symphony. But just before I did I recounted this incident. I was having lunch in a nice restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. At the table next to me were two men, a young man and an older man. I heard the older man say "Well, healthy imagination is a good thing. But you don't want to let it run rampant."

After I told that story I introduced the music by saying "And here is imagination run rampant. Otherwise known as the Symphony Number 5 by Gustav Mahler." Almost immediately I received a call from a man who congratulated me for making that remark,

Ludwig, you're starting your first symphony with an unresolved chord, a dissonant chord? Don't do that. Nobody begins a piece of music with an unresolved chord. It's just not done. The critics will tear you apart. Now erase that and start over.

What's that Alex? A telephone? What does it do? You talk into it? Okay, and then what? Somebody answers? Okay, but why do you have to talk to him with that thing? Because he has one of his own? Well, good, but why not just have a conversion with him? He's somewhere else? Where is he, in the next room? In the next state?!! Oh come on, Alex, that won't work. Write him a letter.

You want to paint pictures on the ceiling of the chapel? Forget it, Mick, you'll just get paint on your face, in your hair and all over the place. It'll be a mess. Just paint the walls and leave the ceiling alone.

What are you guys up to? You're trying to build a machine that flies? Go fly a kite if you want to fly something. You want to sit in it while it flies. Don't be ridiculous. Man can never fly, everybody knows that. Leave it alone and go back to fixing bicycles.

Roger, a man can't run a mile faster than 4 minutes. Don't even think about it.

Herman what are you doing? You're writing a novel? What's it about? A whale? What is it a children's story? A crazy captain and a big white whale? Are you sure it's not a children's story? Well, okay, if you want to, but it probably won't sell.

You there, what's that? A what? A wheel? What's it do? Swell, it goes around, so what? What can you do with it? Move something? Go hitch it up to that wildebeest if you want to move something and leave that so-called "wheel" where it is. It'll never work.



Joyce said...

What a great entry DB. In the words of my dad talking to his two young (school age) children, "The possibilities are endless. Why that TV you're watching used to be Science Fiction."
Hugs, Joyce

Linda's World said...

Another good one! I'm ready for summer. 31* here tonight. Linda in WA