[lit-ideas] Re: Writing while drinking

  • From: Paul Stone <pas@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 12:17:56 -0400

At 12:07 PM 10/18/2006, you wrote:

Genetics has to combine with environment.  Someone with a genetic
propensity who indulges in self destructive behavior is almost guaranteed
an early death.  I'd say that genetics are more important, and given that
insurance companies charge you more if your father died under the age of 60
and mother under the age of 50, most likely, it's pretty settled.  Having
said that, if one is genetically predisposed but goes out of their way to
live healthfully, they probably level out the playing field.  Also, if an
occupation keeps people working, in general, into their 70's and 80's and
90's, it's a pretty fair bet that there's something protective in it.  I'd
say too that we have to distinguish between heart failure and heart attack.
They're very different.

Okay, meet me halfway here... yes, you can conduct into your later years and people often do. But... there is little doubt that being a conductor -- in the maestro league -- is very stressful and the ones who get into it who are predisposed for heart problems probably have an even greater risk because they are conducting. If you aren't bothered by stress or predisposed to keel over because of it, then you can conduct orchestras etc. into your later years. I was just making the point that while conducting looks like its rather melifluous, the behind the scenes stresses as well as the performance anxiety (natural offshoot of performing in front of people where if you f it up, it looks bad) is a recipe for disaster if you are already headed down that path to heart failure.


Paul Stone
Kingsville, ON, Canada

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