Blog page: 14

Robert Frost schools us on life balance

On July 18th covering

I recently rediscovered an old favorite, Frost’s poem Two Tramps in Mud Time. I hesitate to say any more about it, because it’s really impossible to add anything to the poem without taking more away from it.

The poem has a lovely payoff for anyone who strives to combine work for money with work for other satisfactions. I could write a little summary of what I think it’s saying … but then I’d be substituting my halting prose for Frost’s poetry. I think he says it just fine.

Why I don’t blog more often

On July 16th covering

It ruins my life. it’s too easy to be obsessive about thinking of material, noting other blogs and news items to link, checking the stats, etc.

Ecto makes it a little better because i can just write a little note like this without opening up my WordPress control panel, which makes one thing lead to another.

Reality Shopping and the group psyche

On July 12th covering ,

This Onion interview with Matt Taibbi, who I only know as an annoying and smug guy who comes on the annoying and smug Bill Maher show that I watch religiously, is brilliant in many respects. The topic is superficially political, but it’s really about the national psyche.

Taibbi is a keen observer of the way people in groups distort reality for emotional reasons. Never mind whether you like his politics or his blunt and profane manner of expressing himself. He deserves notice if only for the wonderful phrase reality shopping, which describes groups that have been gripped by a particularly virulent form of groupthink. Read more »

The magic of buy-in Part I

On July 4th 1 Comment covering ,

Here’s something I see all the time with couples, families, music groups, and businesses of all sorts.

Somebody has an idea that will affect everyone, and some risk is involved. The idea could be “let’s go to a movie” or “let’s go camping” or “I think we should approach X manager for representation” or “let’s make this capital investment”.

All of these ideas require agreement form the other parties, and all of them could go badly or well. The movie could be lousy, it could rain, the manager might be the wrong one, the investment might turn out to be bad. Got it? Read more »

Who owns the orchestra?

On May 29th covering , ,

Even though orchestras are bigger and more complex organisms than chamber groups or bands, the same questions of ownership apply. Orchestras have formal boards of directors and union contracts, which are supposed to represent the interests of the larger community and the musicians, respectively. This can bring the issues to light in ways that in rock bands tens to be vague.

These questions are all over the place in the debacle taking place in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus symphony is within a couple of days of closing down altogether. Drew McManus has been covering these sad developments in his blog, which is always instructive and entertaining. I recommend reading all of the posts with “Columbus” in the title for a case study of how music groups can be torn apart. Here is a letter from the orchestra musicians in Cleveland and Cincinnati to the board and management of the Columbus Symphony. It’s a good read. notice how much of the letter makes the point that the whole community hs a stake inthe orchestra.