So You Think You Know The Facts? Think Again!

Award-winning author William Faulkner may have been a pain-in-the-ass personally, but he always told the truth boldly as he saw it. When challenged by a young fact-finder reporter, he snapped: “Look kid, facts and truth really don’t have much to do with one another.”

Let me show you what he meant with some last-year facts. Half of all US workers earned less than $26,364 last year, whereas a typical household in the nation’s capital earned $84,523…just 1% of Americans accounted for 22% of the $1.26 trillion spent on health care…passengers left behind a total of $409,085.56 in change when they passed through airport security…Ronald Reagan’s name was invoked 221 times during the first 16 GOP debates with George W. Bush’s name spoken 56 times.

The more you check the facts the more Faulkner makes sense.

And here’s what he might have added. The usual reason the facts don’t always convey the truth is because of the unseen hands at work in the gap between the two. There are always behind-the- scene advisers…promoters…pollsters…spin-doctors. Of course we all understand this. What we may not understand are the less obvious hands at work doctoring the product.

Example? It’s sitting right there in your very own music collection. Seriously. Play any musical hit from pop to rock to Broadway, and yes even to rap. But don’t just listen to the singer. Listen to the orchestration backing them up. That where the magic either happens or it doesn’t. Ask any singer and they’ll tell you. In the making-a-hit business, the name of the game almost always starts with [and how right the name!] the arranger….

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  • Sinatra had Nelson Riddle and Billy May. Fact.

  • Fact, yes. But just knowing this fact can in no way convey the truth of just how their arrangements helped make Sinatra so great. I think ol blue eyes himself admitted this many times. Those two guys were perfect for what Sinatra was trying to achieve. At least that's how this Sinatra fan hears it...

  • "Look kid, facts and truth really don't have much to do with one another." .... Yes and Stephen Colbert has modified the statement into a contemporary schtick that speaks to an audience that has some idea that "The Facts" are often hogwash ... as for music ... the truth is revealed to the ear and the soul ... the works of many can be distorted ... having listened to hundreds of thousands of tunes as a ''DJ' I'm quite enamoured of the best interprtations ... and appalled at the productions of others ... a fine column as always Jack ... much thanks.

  • And thanks to you, Geezer, for fleshing out my thoughts...

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