1. All of human endeavor amounts to a massive exercise in contextualizing.

2. Which means context is everything, even though it's arbitrary.

3. Nothing demonstrates the power of context more than colors do. Depending on what color is placed next to another one, the colors can look completely different. I don't mean altered a tad, but completely different.

4. I watch a lot of golf and tennis, which means I see a lot of Mercedes commercials. I was curious who the narrator is -- the guy who says "the best or nothing" -- so I went online and discovered it is John Hamm. I watched him on Mad Men for years, but didn't recognize his voice out of context. Now it's all I hear.

5. I was listening to "Gimme Shelter" by the Stones, and it occurred to me that if you removed the opening guitar patterns and placed them in another context, i.e. a context in which you didn't know you were listening to a rock band (the rock band), you might think that you were hearing modern classical music.

6. When Michelle Obama said that she was never fully proud of America until her husband was elected president, the outrage on the right was swift. But, come on people, let's think about historical context, OK? But that would require empathy.

7. Setting aside how loathsome Trump is, what is the context for his election? He won for many reasons, and not all are hateful.
8. Do you ever run into someone you know, but can't recall what context you know them in? A work context? The neighborhood? Through friends?

9. Walter Becker's passing provides a good context for people to reconsider Steely Dan, especially those who have written them off as too smug and too perfect. That context is real, but it's never been the one I prioritize.


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