As I posted earlier, the end of the year brings with it a variety of 'retrospective pieces' to the media, usually nothing more than assemblages of what news producers consider the best and the worst of the departing year.
One of the problems I have with these is that the perspective, all too often, is a shortsighted one, where the 'best' and the 'worst' is often determined by the heights - or the depths - something reached in just the last twelve months ... with little or no attention paid to 'the long view.'
One of these that struck me was a retrospective in 2001 that bemoaned the loss of current pop stars, but neglected Isaac Stern ... I mean, come on ... was his life really of such insignificance as compared to, say, Aaliyah ?
Anyway, that's one of the reasons I've been enjoying, this week on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," a series called 'The Long View' featuring "conversations with people of significant experience, people who can both reflect on the past and look ahead to the future." Today's segment was especially interesting - George McKee Elsey, who quietly witnessed and participated in the making of American history as an aide to two presidents -- Roosevelt and Truman. Now 88, he tells his story, and compares what he experienced, then, with what is happening - in the White House, across the nation and around the world - today.
I STRONGLY recommend the series to you, whether you listen to it, right now, on the radio or, at your leisure, on the web.