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More on the Orchestra Lockout - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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More on the Orchestra Lockout [Nov. 30th, 2012|12:42 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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So I have a letter in the paper today. I wish I'd been able to get in more stuff about the sleazy verbal side-stepping the management has been doing, but letters to the editor are a brief form, so I did what I could.

I got a letter from the orchestra management on Wednesday--a long time after when the musicians responded, but timing is not everything--and the number of rhetorical tricks it included to try to imply that there's been full financial disclosure, when in fact there has not, without actually coming out and saying so...well, it was an impressive piece of work. I managed to remain polite when I wrote back and not say, "Don't bullshit a bullshitter," because there are more delicate ways to put that, but seriously: professional writers know these tricks. They are transparent. They have been about as bad as having a movie quote reading, "...fascinating..." when the full quote is actually, "It's a fascinating insight into the studio's process that such a terrible movie even got made in today's climate."

I find the "publicity stunt" remarks particularly damning, because--as I mentioned in my letter--most of what the musicians have been doing is playing concerts. Another thing that the management might regard as a publicity stunt is the vote of no confidence in the Orchestra CEO. It's appalling that the management does not even seem to be considering that that might be absolutely sincere--heaven knows my confidence has plummeted there, and I don't even work for the guy--and that their own behavior might impede musicians' ability to work well under this management. The management appears only to be thinking in propaganda terms at this point, not negotiating with their own musicians in good faith. What may be even more insulting is that they're just not very good propagandists.

The musicians' site is here. It goes into what, exactly, they're looking for from management. When it quotes current and past conductors, it quotes their pieces in full rather than pulling a phrase or two. It's also got some ideas for people who want to do something helpful; I've written to Gov. Dayton and Mayor Rybak this week (on Tim Cooper Photography Minneapolis cards!), as well as the letter to the Strib. Not all of you will feel moved to help out in the ways suggested on the site, but I figured in case you were wondering, that's where it is.

There's also an ongoing analysis on this blog, which is about the business of running orchestras. Possibly of more interest to people who want geeky nuts and bolts, but...geeky nuts and bolts, I know you guys, that's at least some of you on every topic I can think of.

I'm going off to hum Woody Guthrie songs and have my workout now.

[User Picture]From: alecaustin
2012-11-30 07:39 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes, the carefully framed "...fascinating..." quote. Tried and true, at least for values of true with no truth value implied!
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[User Picture]From: auriaephiala
2012-12-01 12:14 am (UTC)
Well said, particularly the point about all-too-transparent rhetorical tricks. Congrats on getting a letter in your local newspaper.

Just FYI: A link to your original livejournal article about this issue was twittered by the AFM and showed up in my twitter feed retweeted by jazz musician Geoffrey Keezer.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-12-01 02:33 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks! That explains a lot; I'd been hearing from musicians across the US and didn't know exactly where they'd found me.
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[User Picture]From: freelikebeer
2012-12-01 03:13 am (UTC)

I never know what to do ...

... when the maneuver is so big and awkward that it overshadows any truth-in-message that might be there. It feels overly generous to look for it in the face of lame attempts at manipulation.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-12-01 03:30 am (UTC)

Re: I never know what to do ...

The true message here seems to be "do it our way or else." I wish I could come up with another, but alas.
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[User Picture]From: coffeeem
2012-12-01 04:59 pm (UTC)
I saw my first "I support the musicians" yard sign the other day. <3
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[User Picture]From: blue_hat_guru
2012-12-03 02:14 am (UTC)
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