16 May 2007
The character, and my imagination associates him somehow with the name Mortimer, is a music critic for a major weekly magazine. But -- this is the twist -- Mortimer never writes about music. Somebody else in the newsroom (let's call him Basil) does a search at some point in the story.
"In the five years that he's worked here," Basil reports to some third party, "filing [some number] or album reviews and [some other number] of concert reviews, Mortimer has not yet expressed any considered judgment about rhythm, melody, or harmony -- about, in a word, the music."
The story can have some fun with the various subjects a non-musical music critic could write about to keep such a string alive for a Basil to discover. The design of the concert stage or album cover, the ups and downs in the popular reputation of the band under review, the lyrics. A non-music critic might last in this way for some time.
But the story needs a lot of development. Mortimer would have to react to Basil's discovery in some way -- there might be some comedy to be found in his effort to write something distinctively musical in order to shut Basil up and win the publication's turf war.
And there'd need to be some explanation of why Basil made an issue of it anyway. What is Basil's job? Ombudsman?
I've given up on it. If any of you wanted a story idea: Go.
Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.