Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Art of Prescience... Two Singular Voices - The Ultimate Results

The power of prescience appears in all human pursuits - sometimes it is unconscious, such as Scarlatti's legendary Sonatas, written during a period before the piano, but fit the piano so superbly, that there are those who feel that pianists like Horowitz and Gilels bring to ultimate reality the full potential of these masterpieces, even though they were written for the harpsichord.
Or, take the sonatas for piano written by Beethoven, many of which were so powerful that at times instruments being built during Beethoven's time were damaged, during performance of some of these masterpieces; however, the addition of metals to support the language of Beethoven eventually gave us the piano we know, even though Beethoven never saw what many of us have in our living-rooms.
But at this time my thoughts go to the art of prescience as it applies to two singular Britons, each with a message of warning, and each with a different reason for the message.
Winston Churchill, during the decade before Hitler went to war, was one of the few voices in a Britain that decried reality, primarily because of the horrific price the island nation suffered during World War I. But Churchill's persistent and eloquent voice prevailed, and the world knows that his warnings were vindicated when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, and Churchill became Prime Minister of a country at war with Hitler.
Another voice of warning was that of one Lady Lucy "Poppy" Houston, a stout defender of the Empire, her reason simply being that the Empire MUST be looked after. She once said that any true Briton would rather sell his last shirt than give in to those who do not believe that constant vigilance is a prerequisite for the maintaining of the Empire.
She once gave a large amount of money to Aquamarine, the plane-builders, in order to make sure that they could compete in the Schneider Air Trophy races, held about ten years in Europe, and one of the most prestigious events in the world of water-based airplanes during the early twentieth century.
What is interesting, really fascinating, is that the kinetic health, financially, of Aquamarine. primarily due to the gift of Lady Houston, improved to a point that the genius airplane designer, R. J. Mitchell, was called upon to design the planes for some of the races, and that the basic all-metal design that Mitchell created led to his being asked by the British government to design a warplane based upon his design visions for sport-racing.
That request led to the creation of the plane that ultimately was the leader in the defeat of Hitler's air force over England, which spelled the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany, as Hitler turned to the East and invaded Mother Russia.
That plane; that lynchpin, was the Spitfire.
And it all started with a grand lady's warning about preserving the Empire...

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