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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Time is Illusion: Life, Death and Superconductor

A holiday reflection on the year that was.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
George Michael, 1963-2016
I've had a lot of deaths in my life, of family, friends, and people close to me. My father died on Feb. 11 1985. My uncle on Nov. 19 1999. My mother on March 8 2005. I used to obsess about these dates like I was living in perpetual Lent. A  smartfew years ago, my very therapist pointed out to me that because of leap days every four years, what actual day I was mourning had shifted by one or two or three. That got me thinking about the nature of time and the death of George Michael yesterday was the impetus of this post.

Douglas Adams once said that "time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so." He was right. Time as we know it an artificial construct that we human mammal people have universally agreed to use to measure things and understand the world based on the movement of the big rock we all live on around our localized self-powered fusion reactor and past historical incidents, depending on whether we follow the Gregorian, Jewish, Chinese or Muslim calendars, which all disagree as to what year "2016" actually is.

Since the Roman Empire, the Western calendar has had twelve periods called "months" where a lot of musicians and artists and singers and actors have passed on to the next world. Some of the losses were expected. Some were inexplicable. Additionally, a lot of us biped mammals, myself included, did not get what we wanted politically this year, what with the rise of Donald Trump to power and the inexplicability that is Brexit. So there's some potentially scary times ahead in 2017.

However, that's not the particular fault of "2016." Historical incidents can happen in any period called a calendar year, and some are good things and some are bad things. It is not the fault of the "year 2016" that all this shit happened. And it won't be the fault of 2017 that so-and-so may die or so-and-so may get elected. We will will deal with it as it happens. We will fight and light our candles in the darkness. And eventually the darkness will lose.

In the face of despair, hope is a beautiful thing. Hope was the last thing left in Pandora's Box when the plagues and deaths had gone wailing forth into the world. Hope is the finest and noblest weapon we have against the darkness, whether it be political, personal or wishing for long life for remaining music icons. Hope is why we make music, listen to music and appreciate it. We will continue to have hope in 2017.

As this holiday season rolls around, I'd like to end this by wishing all my readers a warm and wonderful holiday season. Thank you for reading Superconductor and thank you for supporting this blog for (almost) a decade. February 2017 is our ten year anniversary (or when I'm celebrating it anyway) and you are all invited here, as I continue to try to write words that are worthy of your attention.

My very best wishes for the holiday season,

Paul J. Pelkonen,
Editor/Publisher/Chief Mugwump
Superconductor

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.