Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維 (webcowgirl) wrote,
Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維

The two articles that made me think this weekend

First, because I have less to say about it, this article in the New York Times Magazine, about how they're trying to figure out how to reduce the number of animals left in animal shelters by better evaluating the animals and training the people, was really interesting for me as a dog lover. It made me thinka bout the work that dagmar_b does with the Seattle Animal Shelter dogs, and about vorona's comment about a dog being destroyed because it had just been behind bars too long. It's sad, though. Three pages long, and save the video for last.

Second, my brother recommended this article in the Washington Post, and he's right; it's well-worth the 20 minutes it takes to get through it. Reflections on modern life, art, and people's capability to enjoy beauty, with some lovely violin playing. I liked it enough that I finished it up when I woke up this morning. "Pearls before breakfast," the article is called ....

It was 7:51 a.m. on Friday, January 12, the middle of the morning rush hour. In the next 43 minutes, as the violinist performed six classical pieces, 1,097 people passed by. Almost all of them were on the way to work, which meant, for almost all of them, a government job. L'Enfant Plaza is at the nucleus of federal Washington, and these were mostly mid-level bureaucrats with those indeterminate, oddly fungible titles: policy analyst, project manager, budget officer, specialist, facilitator, consultant…

Each passerby had a quick choice to make, one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the cityscape: Do you stop and listen?...

On that Friday in January, those private questions would be answered in an unusually public way. No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made. His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities -- as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?
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