Appalachian Fall and Freedom of Speech

Poor planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part.

I like that. And thereby declare it true!

Don’t simply be a reactionary, getting sucked into every person’s world who’s having an emergency and only fielding problems/calls/e-mails all day long. Create the reality you desire. Be proactive. Identify what needs to happen, and make it happen!

This is not to say don’t help people. Do help everyone in your power; simply refuse to entertain emergencies.

Get your rest (I imagine that great work is seldom done by sleepless zombies), wake up and stay on point to accomplish the goals of the day.

I got the opportunity to check out Mr. Bela Fleck’s Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra this past month at its premiere with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra at the Schermerhorn. Excellent, excellent, excellent. He is a quick-fingered man. (Though this weekend marked the debut of that piece of interesting instrumentation, there is at least one other concerto out there for the banjo + orchestra.)

Some in the crowd were offended that on the first day of fall the program included “Appalachian Spring,” by Copland.

Though aside from the conspicuous seasonal timing—on the exact opposite day as the Vernal Equinox—it is a beautiful and powerful piece and appropriate as a debut for the banjo concerto.

I suppose it was the first day of spring down under in the Southern Hemisphere, eh? Happy spring, Australia! We’re thinking about ya, mate.

The night also included possibly the most complex arrangement of “The Beverly Hillbillies” theme ever.

Some are targeting a certain local publication with a propensity to stand against Islam. “Don’t patronize the businesses who carry that rag,” some say.

Now, I’m not speaking to whether the publishers’ theories are right, moral, logical or anything else here; I’m speaking against trying to intimidate businesses into removing a periodical when you’re offering no better product or solution.

Start your own paper! Instead of being an annoyance, a buzzing bee, if you have such a handle on what a proper world view is, why not bundle it all up in a neat little package (on deadline), hustle up the money to have it printed and give it to the public for free.

There are a few local organizations doing that, and that is commendable.

Or how about at least writing a letter or column . . . amongst all of the media in town, someone would use it.

Encourage businesses to display all of the free material they would like. Shop proprietors are hearing noise from a certain fringe group of protestors and arrive at the conclusion that if a paper can make someone feel uncomfortable, let’s get rid of the papers—all of the papers!

It’s a “free” country, right? (It’s not, but that’s the cliché for print and speech . . . ) Publications are free to print what they want; readers are free to debate what they want; consumers are free to use their money where they want. But if you’re going to say something, make it useful.

And for that, stands up the Pulse does, as Yoda would say.


About the Author

Bracken, a 2003 graduate of MTSU’s journalism program, is the founder and publisher of The Murfreesboro Pulse. He lives in Murfreesboro with his wife, graphic artist and business partner, Sarah, and son, Bracken Jr. Bracken enjoys playing the piano, sushi, Tool, football, chess, jogging, spending time in his backyard with his chickens, hippie music, climbing at The Ascent, bowling, swimming, soup, tennis, sunshine, revolution, defiance and anarchy. He can cook a mean grilled cheese, and can fry just about anything.

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