Response to ‘Brad vs. Beethoven’

In last Thursday’s article entitled, “Brad vs. Beethoven,” Brad talks about how in recent news, doctors have found that Beethoven may have died prematurely. He goes on to state that this news isn’t really important and that one day he will be just as, if not more important than Beethoven when he dies. I don’t know if this is just some guy’s opinion after he’s been bored and let his mind wander, or if he actually thinks this to be true.

First, I’d like to rewrite the second paragraph of the article: “It sounds really interesting but Ludwig’s doctor killing him is sub par compared to the fact that people even care.” Now I don’t know if these are Brad’s exact words, or editing mistakes from retyping the article, but that paragraph alone looks like a TAAS warm up we did in high school to find all the grammar mistakes. Even if it was an editing mistake, Beethoven dying early is very important. We are talking about the same Beethoven, right? The composer who was a transitional figure between the Classical and Romantic era in music? Ok, just making sure. Beethoven was one of the most important composers in history. The music he wrote 200 years ago is still being performed today. Think about music today. Songs are lucky if they are played on the radio for a year or two. His music is almost a quarter of a millennium old and still being played. If he had died prematurely and could have written another symphony or two or string quartet before he passed away it could have changed music history.

Think about if Martin Luther had died before he finished the 95 Theses, Newton died before he wrote the 3 Laws of Motion, or if Franklin had died before he discovered electricity. But Beethoven dying early is sub par, right? I’m going out on extreme a little, but in the music world, Beethoven dying early is comparable to one of these great men dying before they made history.

Also printed in last week’s article, “I don’t think id go out like a chump like Beethoven.” Let’s paint a little picture here. First, lead poisoning is not the only thing Beethoven suffered from. All his life, Beethoven suffered from stomach and digestive problems, and after being treated for pneumonia, Beethoven’s stomach became severely bloated, causing the doctor to have to puncture his abdomen 4 times in the next two months to drain the fluid. Each time, gallons, I repeat, not ounces but gallons of fluid poured out, some of which spilled onto and soaked his bed. Beethoven is said to have complained about the bugs and the odor.

So here is one of history’s greatest composers getting even sicker from his “antibiotics” and having his stomach cut open twice a month to have gallons of fluid emptied out while laying in a bed soaked in the fluid which smells and infested with bugs. Way to go out like a chump, Beethoven. You really should have found a more manly way to go. So unless you’re planning on changing music history with your compositions, or want to be remembered 180 years after your death, you should probably get to work. And yes, in a day where Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are on the news just as much as the War in Iraq, news about someone who actually did something constructive with their life dying before they were supposed to is pretty important. Maybe not as important as if he had found a lot cooler way to die though, right?

-Joshua Gibson

stdjag18@shsu.edu

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