Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Thousand Thanks (at least) - III

A Thousand Thanks (at least) concluded


I give thanks for my unexpected reconnection with the Episcopal Church over the past year and for finding a place in the community that is St. Richard’s Episcopal parish. I give thanks for the rector there, Alison, who is a fellow graduate of my seminary in Berkeley. Alison reminds me of the many wonderful things I was given a chance to learn in seminary for which I am deeply thankful. I am grateful for the inclusive spirit of that congregation and the occasional opportunities I am offered and can take to participate in the worship and education programs there. Even in the darkness of the Diocese of Central Florida, light shines.

 I also remember with gratitude my time at St. Philips parish, San Jose, and the wonderful community which welcomed Andy and I into their lives. Those four years in California changed our lives and I will be eternally grateful to the people who made that possible.  

In particular I am grateful to Bishop Richard Shimpfky, may he rest in peace, for taking a chance on me and ordaining me priest. I cherish my priesthood and am thankful for the occasional opportunities I am offered to exercise it.

I am deeply grateful for the Third Order Franciscan community of which I am a part. I celebrate 20 years as a professed Franciscan this year. I thank Joan Verret for having recognized my Franciscan vocation so many years ago and for the Order which patiently guided me through the process to profession. Peace and all Good!


I am deeply grateful and greatly relieved that Barrack Obama was reelected President this month. I am not sure America totally deserves a president as capable as Obama but I am glad that we did not take the bait for yet another round of privileged white boy mediocrity this time. I am also thankful that American politics appears to be finally throwing off the yoke of its white straight men of privilege and beginning to reflect the wonderfully diverse people we have become as Americans.

I give thanks that the presumption of homophobia which has darkened the American ideals of equality and justice so many years is finally giving way to the practice of justice in places all over America. And I look forward to the day when Equal Justice For All will be more than a mere inscription over the doors of the U.S. Supreme Court where Andy and I were legally married.

For All My Teachers:

I also give thanks for all the many teachers in my life, both formal and informal, in all areas of my learning, growth and development. I will forever be in your debt. I only hope I was mindful enough to thank you for your patient, tireless gifts to me.

Among my teachers, I am most grateful to the peoples and cultures of Latin America who have so strongly shaped me these many years in ways the little boy growing up in Bushnell, Florida, could never have imagined.  And I am grateful to the many working poor people of color among whom I have worked most of my life. It is they who have patiently taught me about my own unearned privilege and all the unfounded presumptions about the world such privilege generates, of my obligations to the larger world outside myself and my immediate circles. It is they who have taught me the meaning of true generosity and the truth of our profound interdependence. Bill Clinton sums this up well with this observation: “We’re all in this together” is a far better philosophy than “You’re on your own”.

 And so much more:

Writing a list of that for which one is thankful is a dangerous business on a good day. It is fraught with the potential of omitting gifts one ought to mention and people one does not want to appear to take for granted. The following is a sort of post scriptum which recognizes the potential for omissions and inconsideration and begs pardon in advance for those gifts and their givers whom I fail to mention:

I give thanks for the Florida Humanities Council and the many opportunities it provides me to serve the community outside academia. I often feel most alive when I am present at those events.

I give thanks for living in a lovely city which cares for its appearance and spends money on landscaping to maintain its self-designation as “The City Beautiful” even as it treats its homeless people like detritus. Beauty is far too often but skin deep. I also give thanks for the landscaping and custodial crews at the university who do their best to make the highly unimaginative architecture and largely dysfunctional physical plant (the reason one should never let linear thinking engineers carry out the minimalist plans of bottom line businessmen) a bearable place to work.

I am grateful for my opportunity to become a lawyer and the experience I gained as an attorney. I am even more grateful that I no longer have to make my living practicing law.

Finally, I give thanks for the stellar beauty of this Thanksgiving Day and for the food and fellowship which awaits us.  In remembering with deep gratitude all of the people who have shaped my life in so many ways, I conclude this litany of thanks with the prayer for all occasions taught me by the Very Rev. Bob Vanderau, one of my life’s greatest teachers and loyal friends:

For these and all thy many other blessings may G-d’s holy name be praised through Jesus the Christ our Lord. AMEN.

The Rev. Harry Scott Coverston, M.Div. J.D., Ph.D.
Member, Florida Bar (inactive status)
Priest, Episcopal Church (Dio. of El Camino Real, CA)
Instructor: Humanities, Religion, Philosophy of Law
University of Central Florida, Orlando

 If the unexamined life is not worth living, surely an unexamined belief system, be it religious or political, is not worth holding.
Most things of value do not lend themselves to production in sound bytes. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A Thousand Thanks (at least) - II

A Thousand Thanks (at least) continued

Harry Scott Coverston with Grandfather, Thomas Burton Webb, Gainesville, FL,1954

Family of Birth:

Family means having had two wonderful biological parents, intelligent, loving, protective and supportive. Family means being the child of flawed human beings who produced yet another flawed human being in this child. But family means that while we like people because, we love people in spite of. Family gives us much to work with in both categories. I am grateful for my family of birth this day. They have provided me deep roots upon which to grow my own very rich and fortunate life.

Family means missing my saintly mother every single day of the five years she has been departed this realm of existence. Family means watching my 83 year old father - who misses her even more - creaking and groaning as he tries to retain a dignified life as grandfather, father and a revered teacher in the small county where he was born, taught and still lives. Family means ignoring the blaring Fox Entertainment Channel while visiting him.  Family means being thankful for every day my Father still has to spend on this earth and wishing I could spend more of them with him.

Family means bobbing in the flood of memories that comes unbidden every time I visit the woods where I spent 11 years of my life as a child. It is the 300 year old live oak sprawling across half an acre on whose moss covered limbs the three of us once walked as children. It is the remnants of a rock garden where I once worked out my grief over never fitting into that farming, football and firearms culture I could neither completely comprehend nor fully participate in. It is the photos on the wall of our home that remind me of painful proms, of the fun of being in the high school band, of defending my brother with his partial cleft palate against the brutish redneck kids who teased him unmercifully, of family meals and trips together. It is recognizing that, painful as that growing up experience may have been, it taught me many things that I probably could not have learned any other way for which I am grateful this day, albeit from the comfortable distance of time and space.  

Family means being grateful for a wonderful Sister who my Mother once described as my “slow twin,” separated by 10 years but uncannily alike in more ways than either of us like to think about. She is one of my life’s great delights. Family means loving her two boys growing into young men, hoping for the best for each of them. Family means loving a Brother who could hardly be more different from me and yet knowing that our lives will always be intertwined, that we need the other more than either of us wants to admit. Family means loving his wife even as we all continually worry about her myriad health problems. Family means never talking about religion or politics with either of them. Ever. Family means loving their children, two hard headed Coverston young men and a little jewel of a daughter. Family means being an uncle who adores that little red headed, freckled, ice blue eyed girl and watching her turn into a brilliant and beautiful young lady amidst the fish tanks, hermit crabs and snakes with whom she shares her bedroom. And Family means watching my nephew from afar, finding himself – finally – in the deeply generative culture of San Francisco with his very patient and loving partner.

Family means loving aging aunts in places from Pensacola to Providence, RI, as the last vestiges of my father and mothers’ immediate families fade into history.

 Family means being grateful for the privilege of being a member of such an interesting, brilliant and loving family of birth. I am the recipient of a very fortunate birth. And I never take that for granted.

Family of Choice:

I have always said that I have the best friends in the world. My family of choice is nearby and far away. I hear from some by Facebook, some by email, some by phone and some I simply see every week. They are too numerous to mention by name here, again, a problem many probably wish they had. But, I have always recognized how fortunate I have been to know such bright, talented, compassionate and devoted people. I am deeply grateful this day for my family of choice without whom my very fortunate life would be greatly impoverished.


I am thankful for the relatively good state of my health. Truth be told, I could be healthier. This has been a very long and draining semester. I’ve put on about 10 additional pounds and have largely been unable to do any walking. I’ve also had to undergo laser surgery to prevent a detached retina. Even so, those are relatively minor concerns (particularly given those some of my friends have faced this year) and I am fortunate enough to have insurance to cover my medication and treatment, something not everyone in America can yet say. I also have a lighter term coming up this spring that should allow walking and commuting to work by bus to reenter my routine. I am grateful for that.


It is little secret that I have been fairly unhappy with my work the past year. Devoting one’s heart and soul to a factory process that is focused mostly on numbers and dollars is a losing game for anyone with an IQ above a rutabaga and an awareness of the world that doesn’t stop at corporate cable TV or the local big box store.  

Even so, I am thankful I have a job when so many Americans are out of work. And I am grateful that I am fortunate to work with bright, compassionate people, many of whom share my concerns about the corporatization of the university and the consumerization of the student body. A number of them I include in my family of choice.

I am also privileged to work with a handful of students who actually want to become educated and do not resent being called to do so above and beyond the mere procuring of credit hours needed for the degree required for working credentials. It is they who make it bearable to carry along the many mere warm bodies in seats and online. You know who you are. And I thank you.

For the colleagues who care and the students who allow me to feel that my efforts actually do make a difference, I am very, very thankful. And for the glimmer of hope I have that my work situation might actually change in the next year, I am even more grateful.


The Rev. Harry Scott Coverston, M.Div. J.D., Ph.D.
Member, Florida Bar (inactive status)
Priest, Episcopal Church (Dio. of El Camino Real, CA)
Instructor: Humanities, Religion, Philosophy of Law
University of Central Florida, Orlando

 If the unexamined life is not worth living, surely an unexamined belief system, be it religious or political, is not worth holding.
Most things of value do not lend themselves to production in sound bytes. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A Thousand Thanks (at least) - I

8:43 AM Thursday, November 22, 2012

It is Thanksgiving morning. It’s unseasonably cool here in Central Florida with temperatures in the low 50s. The sunlight is brilliant against a deep blue sky, not a cloud in sight. Tonight the weather folks are predicting it will finally drop to the upper 40s here in town. We may light our first fire in the fireplace tonight. One of life’s little joys.

The turkey I will serve at my friend’s home this afternoon is in the oven still defrosting but before the day is over will be crowned with a tiara of onions and mushrooms held on by toothpicks which will allow the marinade of sauvignon blanc, butter, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and spices to flavor and tenderize the old bird until ready to serve. I usually give the turkey a name each year. Perhaps I’ll call him Mitt this year. What a turkey he was!

The ingredients for my stuffing sit by the oven ready to be mixed together: cornbread stuffing mix with wild rice, walnuts, celery, onions and water chestnuts.  And my famous yellow squash casserole is ready for preparation as well with the squash, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic, several different cheeses, Dijon mustard, Greek yogurt and basil on standby. It will be a glorious feast.

I head out for mass shortly. I will pick up my priest friend visiting from New York and my  legally blind friend, Charles, who will go to church with me. The gathering at St. Richard’s Episcopal Church will be small and sweet this morning. While I no longer have to go sing in the cathedral choir anymore as in Thanksgivings of the past, I still find it important to go to church to give thanks to an incredibly gracious G-d on this day.

 I have at least a thousand things to be thankful for this day. What follows is the abridged list. It is hardly exhaustive and any lack of mindfulness in its recitation should NOT be seen as a lack of gratitude regarding the many gifts which have marked my life. Indeed, at some level one of the downsides of having so many things for which to be grateful is the possibility of losing track of all of them when it comes time to say thank you. It's a problem most of us would love to have.

I begin with the lyrics from one of my favorite films of all time, The Wiz. 

When I think of home
I think of a place
where there's love overflowing
I wish I was home
I wish I was back there with the things I been knowing…

Maybe there's a chance for me to go back there
Now that I have some direction
It would sure be nice to be back home
Where there's love and affection…

And I've learned
That we must look inside our hearts
To find a world full of love
Like yours
Like me
Like home...

(“Home,” The Wiz, 1978) 


That closing number from The Wiz sung by a homeward bound Dorothy always reminds me of my own deep need for home both as a place and as a state of existence. One of the deepest crises in my life was the loss of my home in 2004 to Hurricane Charley. And one of the greatest tributes to the many qualities of my husband, Andy, was his ability to see us through the four year process of rebuilding our home. It was a long and grueling endurance test. But we have our home again.

Home means the jungle of tropical and subtropical plants which surrounds our home, New Coverleigh, shrouding it from the view of the passerby on the street. The running joke in the neighborhood is “Rumor has it there is a house back there.” It is a green oasis in the middle of a city for owls, osprey, and a wide range of smaller birds, a home for squirrels, rats, the occasional snake, possums, raccoons and the neighborhood cats. It is a yard brimming with flowering plants and the butterflies that come to visit them reminding me of my Mother’s ongoing presence with me.

It is the final resting place for five of my fur babies who lie together in the southeast corner of my yard beneath a bamboo stand. It is a sanctuary dotted with sculpture representing various world religions in front of which I periodically burn incense thanking the divine for the holiness of the good earth itself. It is a joy to wake up in this place each morning with the sunlight filtering through leafy branches. I am very fortunate to live in such an oasis and I am thankful for it every day.

Home means sunlight pouring through my home’s picture windows aligned east/west to the rising and setting sun illuminating the assemblage of colored glass bottles and blue glass birds that fill the window sill. Home means stacks of books reflecting my life’s many faceted intellectual journeys, art from around the world reflecting my life’s actual journeys, and photos of the many human animals who have graced my life placed around my family altar in our bedroom. I go to sleep and awake with the communion of saints overlooking me. When I burn incense there, I always say a prayer of gratitude for their presence in my life conclude with a prayer to help me always remember who I am and where I come from.

Home means peering out windows with no curtains into a jungle which protects our home from public view, a home in which outside flows in and inside expands out onto a large deck in the back with its hammock from which one might swear they are anywhere but in the heart of a city of 2 million. I am thankful for this refuge from the madness and mania that often marks my life.

Home means a houseful of living beings that begins with three aquaria from 20 to 50 gallons full of fish. My two large goldfish have now been with me five years and lumber with grace around the large tank separating living room from dining room. I am thankful for their beauty and their companionship.

Home means being owned by three cats, the first a beautiful ebony boy named Romero with a mind of his own and a determination to gain attention precisely when he wants it (e.g., by standing in front of your computer monitor or TV screen) and no other time; a beautiful silver tabby named Magadalena who is the world’s biggest drama queen, flopping herself at your feet when you enter the room and then screaming bloody murder when you pick her up to love her (Call the ASPCA!  Wait, I’ve got it on speed dial!) ; and a sweet little golden tabby named Frida, a rescue from the parking lot of a campus residence hall, who organizes and lobbies for the daily snack time for all the cats and allows her daddy to pick up his little golden dewdrop just once each day. I am grateful for them all.

Home means a beagle named Daisy who loves to howl at the rats skittering along the back fence and a new black and tan dachshund puppy named Oscar who loves to chew on sticks and decorate the living room in rolls of shredded toilet paper. They are the joys of our lives. It is their kisses I experience first thing in the morning and their warm slumbering bodies next to my own that I experience last thing at night, the time I spend thanking G-d for all the blessings of my life and marveling at how I got to be the luckiest man in the world.

Home means remembering the animals I have lost the past two years, now resting in the pet cemetery in the corner of my yard: Julian, my dachshund of 17 years who along with Simeon, the black cat who owned me for only 15 years, got me through graduate school. There is also Magnificat, my mystical cat who came from the Rosicrucian neighborhood of San Jose and could, according to my friend, walk through the walls when she thought no one was looking. She departed our home last year after 17 years of companionship. It’s been a rough couple of years for New Coverleigh animals but I will always be grateful for their having graced our lives so many years.  

Home is the place where I live with all my babies including my biggest baby. Home means sharing my life with a beautiful soul named Andy whose generosity of spirit and depth of soul continues to amaze me even after 38 years of knowing and loving him. Home means understanding implicitly Aristotle’s assessment of loving friendship as “a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” Andy is my life’s greatest gift, a fact that humbles me when I think about it and often makes me wonder how I could ever have deserved such a gift. I never take that precious gift for granted and on this day of Thanksgiving it is the gift for which I am most grateful.


The Rev. Harry Scott Coverston, M.Div. J.D., Ph.D.
Member, Florida Bar (inactive status)
Priest, Episcopal Church (Dio. of El Camino Real, CA)
Instructor: Humanities, Religion, Philosophy of Law
University of Central Florida, Orlando

 If the unexamined life is not worth living, surely an unexamined belief system, be it religious or political, is not worth holding.
Most things of value do not lend themselves to production in sound bytes. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Monday, November 19, 2012

It wasn’t a good idea the first time

This is like deja vu all over again
-       Professional Baseball Legend Yogi Berra

The Episcopal News Service is reporting that the Diocese of South Carolina has voted to leave the Episcopal Church:

Charleston, South Carolina - The majority of South Carolina Episcopalians who attended a special convention at St. Philip’s Church here Nov. 17 affirmed actions by Bishop Mark Lawrence and the diocesan Standing Committee a month ago to disaffiliate the diocese from the Episcopal Church.

The bishop referred to the special convention as “the Valley of Decision” during his address and asserted, “It is time to turn the page.” He referred to attempts to prevent separation of the diocese, and his oft-mentioned issues of theology, morality and disagreement with church canons. “So be it…We have withdrawn from that church…We have moved on. With the Standing Committee’s resolution of disassociation, the fact is accomplished: legally and canonically,” he said.

Hmmm. This story sounds awfully familiar. Wait, I think I’ve got it:

[U]pon arrival of the news of the Republican victory, the General Assembly, on November 10, 1860, called for a Convention of the People of South Carolina to draw up an Ordinance of Secession. …On December 17, 1860, the Secession Convention convened in the Baptist Church in Columbia. The spirit of Nationalism, Sectionalism, and Secessionism filled the air! One observer said that restraining the spirit of the Convention was like restraining the wind. On this first day, the Convention passed a unanimous resolution to Secede from the union. There was at that time an epidemic of smallpox in Columbia, so the convention adjourned to Charleston."

The next day, the Convention met in Charleston's Institute Hall and formed several committees including one to draft an Ordinance of Secession. Then on the heroic day of December 20, 1860, the Convention met in St. Andrews Hall on Broad Street an adopted the Ordinance of Secession on roll call vote. On the question being put, "Will the Convention adopt the Ordinance?" it passed in the affirmative. Yeas, 169; Nays, none.

-       “South Carolina Secession Convention, November – December 1860,” Author Unnamed, Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton Camp No. 273 Columbia, S.C. Sons of the Confederate Veterans site,

Leaders who proved lightning rods

There are some interesting if ironic similarities in these two conventions beyond the fact they both occurred in Charleston within blocks of each other. Both of them involve the election of a national leader who proved to be a lightning rod. In the 1860 event, it was election of Republican Abraham Lincoln whose abolitionist sentiments frightened the gentile Southern aristocrats fearing the eminent loss of their privileged existence at the expense of an entire class of African descent slaves. South Carolina’s secession and the attack on Ft. Sumter in Charleston’s harbor a mere five months later would plunge the nation into a Civil War that would prove to be its bloodiest conflict in 236 year existence.

No doubt conservative South Carolina Episcopalians felt a sense of déjà vu in the election of ECUSA Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori. As the unprecedented first woman presiding bishop in the US church, she has proven to be an enormously talented and visionary leader who has negotiated ECUSA through an expansive and painful process of inclusivity that has steadily sought to remove the last vestiges of institutional homophobia and sexism in the church. As such, Jefferts-Schori has been a lightning rod among conservatives throughout the Anglican Communion who have, from time to time, excluded the American primate from Communion gatherings or made the participation of this woman bishop – itself still a point of contention in many quarters of the Communion - conditional upon being silent. She has endured much indignity in the process to say the least.

Jefferts-Schori has also had no shortage of antagonists within the American church. South Carolina is not the first diocese to see major defection from the church upon her election. The path to departure has been particularly stormy in South Carolina. The election of Mark Lawrence as the bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina did not come easily. He was initially rejected by the wider church when the standing committees in each diocese failed to confirm his election in South Carolina in 2006. Many were concerned that Lawrence would do exactly as he has now done and lead his diocese out of the Episcopal Church. South Carolina promptly reelected him and he was finally confirmed on his second attempt in 2008.

The Bottom Line

Lawrence and a majority of his deputation from South Carolina walked out of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church last July after it passed resolutions lifting restrictions on the blessing of same sex unions and access to ordination by transgendered persons. He returned to South Carolina and set about the business of secession resulting in the suspension of Lawrence from his role as an Episcopal bishop by the national church’s Disciplinary Board of Bishops last month. The Board’s actions were a response to legal actions initiated by the diocese to change the status of church properties in South Carolina pursuant to secession.

Where Lincoln was more than aware of his imperfections and grieved over the losses his decisions caused, Lawrence embodies the blindness of the true believer and the egocentrism of the self-styled martyr. His dissembling in efforts to procure his election is particularly telling. In a Nov. 6, 2006, letter to the wider church whose standing committees would first reject his election only to later affirm it, Lawrence promised that he would “work at least as hard at keeping the Diocese of South Carolina in the Episcopal Church as my sister and brother bishops work at keeping the Episcopal Church in covenanted relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion.”

Ironically, the actions leading to his suspension and the subsequent secession of South Carolina from the church began with his storming out of the General Convention even as it voted to affirm its commitment to building relationships across the Anglican Communion. Apparently that was not enough for Lawrence.

Ultimate and Penultimate Concerns

Theologian Paul Tillich was very clear that anything that anything that achieves the status of ultimate concern for man has been elevated to their god.  If you want to see a person’s or a group’s true religion, look at what they see as the bottom line. When penultimate concerns - like the nation-state, financial success or a socially constructed ideology - become elevated to the level of ultimacy, they become false symbols of ultimate concern.  There is a word for that confusion of the works of our own hands – or minds – with the ultimate: idolatry.

One of the marks of ultimacy is comprehensiveness. If G-d is the author of all creation, the divine whose image all created beings bear, policies which seek to include ever more aspects of the good creation within the scope of its care and ethical duties point toward ultimacy. Those policies which create ever tighter tribal circles which separate us (the good, the elect, the chosen) from them (the evil, the damned, the sinful) by a willingness to agree to ideological constructions speak to penultimate concerns – such as security, control and self-affirmation - and thus to idolatry. In Catholic theologian David Tracy’s terms, it is the analogical approach to religion focused on belonging versus the dialectical approach which is obsessed with distinction based upon beliefs.

The Misanthropy Commanded by Tribal Deities

Of course, this is hardly a new story. Even as Abraham Lincoln agonized over how to achieve the greater good of holding his country together and how to deal with the new realities of those who had previously been held as slaves, men of presumably good conscience denounced those plans from pulpits in the name of a god who not only permitted slavery but in most cases commanded it as a part of the natural order.

They spoke of a god whose highly rigid hierarchical universe reflected the values of the aristocratic planters from the southwest of England who first settled and later controlled most of the Southern colonies.  They also spoke of the dark, grim judging and punishing tribal deity of the highly sectarian Calvinists from the battle-scarred borderlands of Scotland and England who settled the backcountry of the Appalachians. The god of slave state apologists was not the god of all creation which bears the divine image. It was rather the god of a self-proclaimed elect within their circled wagons who looked upon the damned outside that circle with fear, loathing and a determination to control them.

The deity articulated by Mark Lawrence and his fellow secessionists is such a tribal god. The religion of the tribe is not interested in ministering to all the children of G-d bearing the divine image. Rather, it serves the perceived needs of a self-appointed elected to affirm itself by denigrating those outside the wagons. And it reveals itself in its own bottom line - the penultimate concern of a common social prejudice which has been raised to the godhead, a misanthropic idolatry.

One would have thought that South Carolina would have learned its lesson the first time considering how poorly its original secession turned out. But, as Eric Hoffer observed in his classic work The True 

It is the true believer’s ability to “shut his eyes and stop his ears” to facts that  d not deserve to be either seen or heard which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy. He cannot be frightened by danger nor disheartened by obstacle not baffled by contradictions because he denies their existence.
-       Eric Hoffer, The True Believer, Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, (San Francisco: Harper&Row, 1951), p. 71.

Abraham Lincoln wept.

The Rev. Harry Scott Coverston, J.D., Ph.D.
Member, Florida Bar (inactive status)
Priest, Episcopal Church (Dio. of El Camino Real, CA)
Instructor: Humanities, Religion, Philosophy of Law
University of Central Florida, Orlando

 If the unexamined life is not worth living, surely an unexamined belief 
system, be it religious or political, is not worth holding.
Most things of value do not lend themselves to production in sound bytes.