Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Human Butterfly Effect

There is not any present moment that is unconnected with some future one. The life of every man is a continued chain of incidents, each link of which hangs upon the former. The transition from cause to effect, from event to event, is often carried on by secret steps, which our foresight cannot divine, and our sagacity is unable to trace.
Joseph Addison (1672–1719), English essayist

What a difference a person can make. Al Aronowitz (picture above), 77, whose obituary ran in the Los Angeles Times Friday, was primarily known for introducing Bob Dylan to the Beatles 41 years ago this month, brings home the point that one man, one woman or even a young adult can influence not just a generation, but a world.

Maybe because it occurs to me we are witnessing the end of era, otherwise I’m not sure why Aronowitz stands out to me, I never heard of him before, but he was one of the original writers of new journalism, according to the article (in which the writer becomes a central part of the story, possibly forefather to blogging), when he covered the Beat generation. His style influenced Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson.

He introduced The Beatles and Bob Dylan to each other, they most likely would have met anyway, but his interceding hastened a new era, an era where a singer or artist’s personal thoughts (word/lyrics) could be laid bare without cute double meanings and innuendos. His introduction ignited a new creative spark that helped transition the Fab Four from pop into more personalized lyrics and helped move Dylan into an electric sound.

What on the surface appears innocuous and mundane by a largely unfamiliar behind the scenes individual made a difference in the world. It is the Butterfly Effect, the notion of a butterfly flapping its wings in one area of the world causing a tornado to occur in another area of the world, but this time by a human, a creative and enthusiastic individual. The world certainly felt the Aronowitz effect.


cruisin-mom said...

As a huge fan of both the Beatles and Bob Dylan...that is a great story. I'm grateful to be old enough to have experienced and remember one of the greatest times in music history.

The Misanthrope said...

Thank you. His life helped change the world that much sooner. I too feel rather fortunate to have experienced some of this as it happened.

However, that does not discount all the millions of parents and children whose one act of kindness or creative ideas that may have started a methodical chain reaction over the course of many years and many lives.

Hamel said...

We all have impacts much greater than we realize, even if I'll never have an impact this great.

Because I'm a geek and would like to look into this, do you know when the two were introduced? I don't mean time of day and stuff, but even a year so I can read some lyrics of various Beatles albums pre- and post- meeting.

yeah, I'm that much of a nerd.

The Misanthrope said...

The day of their meeting was August 28, 1964, according to the article. Here is the link:,1,3829136.story

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