"Genius" is a word thrown around in hyperbole, but have you ever encountered real genius?
Here's a few, perhaps, for your consideration.
As readers know, I have always loved the music of Bob Dylan. I recognize that his voice is not for everyone's tastes, but lyrically, I find his work to be wonderfully complex, even as the music itself is deceptively simple. I appreciate operatic singing, as well as the beauty of Bing Crosby's voice, or the depth of Aretha Franklin, as well.
I love classical music because of its complexities. The ability to elicit emotions from
It made the NY Times bestseller list and received rave reviews from critics. Since turning 60, he has been a NY Times bestseller, an accomplished artist selling his works all over the world, a successful award winning radio host, poet, and even has acted in several movie and television shows.
Author, artist, musician, actor...at 71 years young, he is now embarking on a new tour playing to audiences of all ages. Folk, rock, country, ballads, crooning, jazz, blues, Americana, Gospel...you name it, he has done it.
Yet, it was not until I read his autobiography, "Chronicles Part One" that I saw "genius" in him.
I don't know Steven Vai's music, but have seen him play guitar on TV. His talent is obvious, even if his music is not your cup of tea. (see above)
I was in the 8th Grade, playing 2nd Trombone, when our incredibly talented teacher, Mr. Eugene Timpano, had someone hand out music sheets to everyone. There were specific parts to be played by the trombones, the trumpets, clarinets, tuba, saxophone, and on and on. In sections, 1st trumpet might be different than 2nd trumpet, and so on. Flutes, obo, cello, strings, horns, percussion and on it went.
A high school kid had written his own composition, "Golden Oasis" and had written the music for each and every instrument in the high school band.
There was this strange, rather dark and quiet kid, named Steve Vai, who was a loner who was said to stay in his room and do nothing but play guitar.
Amazing talent to the point where I struggle to grasp how he has done the things he has done.
Who listens to a person say, "I left my house and went to the store" and recognizes, intuitively, that there is missing information there?
Who has the nerve to say to law enforcement, "When you hear someone say 'I didn't do it', believe them" and be right?
Who is copied by everyone and anyone in the world of interviewing, interrogation and Statement Analysis, including those who make claims of ownership of the work, as if it is their own?
Who has assembled a body of work, assigned percentages to it, and has been proven right, by both academia and on the ground law enforcement?
Who has made claims of scientific procedure only to be found correct in decades of challenges everywhere?
Who is responsible for the FBI's training (though lately he may not want the credit), as well as that from our Central Intelligence Agency, every major and minor law enforcement agency I can name, and Fortune 500's companies where internal issues of deception are vital?
He quietly goes about his work, watching everyone take credit for his work. I await his book on Genesis, wanting it so much that I have considered getting the Hebrew version now, and a lexicon and working my way through translating it.
As if I have the time!
I will wait.
He is genius.
He doesn't protest as he sees others' careers gain traction from his work, or take credit for crimes solved by his formulas.
He is genius well familiar with the language of humility.
Even the slightest compliment from him is to be treasured for life.
Even when I have felt that I have done a really good job in analysis, and have brought out everything possible within a statement, I have watched him (in live, on line training) ask simple questions of us, the students, including fabulously talented Kaaaryn Gough, which brought out more, and then more information from the text.
Like the ancients, he asks questions of his students, pushing us to think, for a fee of a pittance compared to the level of excellence he brings forth. Question, answer, question, answer, question, thoughtfulness...answer.
Every journalist should not only take his course, but learn it.
Sadly, I have met many who have taken his course, (in one form of another, it is his), completed it, and have not learned how to employ it.
I liken the course to learning how to play all the basic chords on the guitar. You now know how to place your fingers on the frets, precisely as any professional does, but without many hours (1,000?) of practice, you'll sound nothing like Steven Vai, Eric Clapton, or Stefan Grossman.
I've seen talent here, as has Kaaryn, and occasionally, I reference them and will now consider publishing some of readership's work here.
We've come this far.
Genius is rare, and it is a gift.
We should honor it when it is evidenced in our midst.