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The lottery of life and death

July 30, 2013
By George J. Bryjak

The great German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) once stopped performing when a group of military officers in the front row were talking and laughing. The often fiery Beethoven - who loathed the trappings of social rank - publicly berated the officers, stating they were nothing more than "accidents of birth," born into families of power and privilege.



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