Friday, May 18, 2007

from our FAQ

How does a Renewable Music item come to be written?

While there are naturally a number of procedures unique to this enterprise that we've chosen to keep proprietary, I can speak for the rest of the staff here in the Home Office in Praunheim and praise the work done by our R.&.D. team in Pacoima. The R.&.D. team has developed, with the aid of some programming outsourced to the South Asian offices of the Oublogo, an algorithm for determining the (a) frequency, (b) length, (c) principle, subsidiary, and dangling subject matters, (d) degree of sustained relevance to the subject matter(s), as well as determining, through extensive polling of a target audience (Island- and mountain-dwelling over-educated service sector refuseniks with mild-but-reasonable paranoia and over-sensitive moral fibers), the (e) nature of any opinion to be expressed in an item. Of course, in practice, the process is a bit more complicated, as when this week the program determined that the subject would be one tangential to the theme of Jimmy Carter, relevant to music, and contain an approximation of Wagnerian assonance, hence the post on Melisma malaise.

That's very interesting, but what do you do when the program is out of order?

The Home Office always keeps a manual data base (blue-and-red-lined white card stock, 3"x5") from which topics can be determined by our thoroughly-tested in-house method (seven perfect shuffles and a Carson City top-to-bottom force). The topics in this data base (e.g. food, making fun of the critic-who-shall-not-be-named or the American Music Cartel Center, food, the evils of contest fees, food, counterpoint, croquet) are continuously being updated and, as always, are thoroughly tested in surveys with a target audience (Slovenes, cable television meteorologists, active Hibernian-rite Masons and bridal photograph colorists). Sometimes, however, the data base is inaccessible, or lost, or just gone walkies with one of the kids, in which case Dr. Wolf simply writes whatever he damn pleases.

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