The Over-Rated George Martin

I’ve always been puzzled by the legend of George Martin’s contribution to the Beatles’ success.

I had never doubted it….  until he produced the soundtrack for “Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band”, the movie.  The soundtrack was not merely awful.  It was pure and unadulterated dreck.  It was so bad that I could not help but begin to wonder if his contribution to the Beatles had been exaggerated in some way.  It is very, very hard to imagine that the same mind that produced the segments with Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees and Aerosmith on the soundtrack also helped shape “Eleanor Rigby” or “Girl” or “Penny Lane”.

Was it all a misunderstanding?  Maybe people underestimated Lennon and McCartney’s shares of the credit.

After the Sgt. Peppers’ debacle, he also produced Neil Sedaka, Cheap Trick, Little River Band, and even Celine Dion, all with notably unremarkable results.  If George Martin was the musical genius everyone says he is, surely he would have had some great results with some other bands.  He really did not.  We surely would be saying today something like, “Well, Neil Sedaka generally sucked, except, of course, for that album produced by George Martin, which was brilliant”.  Or “Cheap Trick must thank their lucky stars for George Martin every night: that album he produced saved their careers!”  We do not say such things because his work with those artists never raised them above the mediocrity that was theirs forever.

So tell me again, who was responsible for the Beatles’ success?  How about the Beatles.

And was it because they practiced for 10,000 hours, as Malcolm Gladwell would have it?  No, it was because they were talented.  And they practiced.

[whohit]The Over-rated George Martin[/whohit]

Terror Terror Terror!

The CBC loves the word “terror”.  If a squirrel gets run over by a car, the CBC correctly points out that it was not a terror attack.  However, the police are still investigating.  The squirrel may have been wearing a turban.

Today, a man– who appears, at first glance, to be mentally disturbed– attacked some soldiers at a recruiting center.  Almost all of the media outlets incorporate the word “terror” into their news coverage even though there is no evidence, as of yet, of any links to any terrorist organizations.

A man attacks military personnel with a knife and is arrested and no one dies.  Such a Canadian crime story.  In my opinion, the attempts to link or unlink the incident to “terrorism”– a word the all of the media loves– is confusing to me.  What is the point?  Is it less awful if it’s not “terror-related”?  Is it more awful because he is Islamic?  Do the people who feel the urge to label it as terrorism feel that other people don’t understand how awful the attack was if they don’t?  Is it all just politics?  How many similar incidents involving people being attacked and harmed by someone disturbed or not receive similar coverage?

Well, we know why.  If you are scanning radio stations looking for something to listen to you don’t stop at the thoughtful explanation of how the financial crisis unfolded and why millions of people lost their retirement savings.  No, you stop at the word “terror”.

Even if the CBC and CTV correctly report that the man has no links to any terrorist organizations, the trumpeting of the word itself serves to inflame and provoke, to keep the public mindful of this terrible threat roaming our world just waiting to strike out us!

Yes, let the government into my iPhone!

No– that’s not what those people want.  They want the government to be let into YOUR iPhone.

You’re welcome.

[whohit]Terror! Terror! Terror![/whohit]