Wednesday, October 02, 2013


Blogging posts are meant to be self criticism of the process of blogging.

I haven't commented on the crisis in Minnesota.  It is hard to grasp this.  What do they imagine they are doing?  The only thing I can think of is union busting.  Minnesota is not a right to work state, but perhaps it wishes it were.  If they fire the entire orchestra, doesn't the union stay?  Wouldn't they still have to negotiate with all those recently graduated students they want to hire?  Students rehearse a lot more than professional musicians generally do. 

I don't get the impression that there is a lot of understanding of how professional musical organizations work in America, at least in the states that are not right to work.  If a state is right to work, the board can negotiate with the people it can find who are not in the union.  I know that the primary reason for the existence of the New Mexico opera I won't name is that New Mexico is right to work.  In a union state the existence of the union requires all the musicians to join.  There's no getting around it.

The board of an American arts organization is generally expected to come up with the money when tickets don't pay enough.  Perhaps the Minnesota board has been paying out more money than they want.  If the orchestra doesn't make enough money, the musicians don't pay anything.  Perhaps these board members imagine that it should actually make money like a regular business.  That's a laugh.

Don't get the wrong idea.  I find this as appalling as everyone else, but the why part of the discussion always seems missing for me.  Maybe they've been listening to too many conservative politicians and think everything will be better if they just shut everything down.

When I was designing software, I went around and talked to each person one at a time to try to understand what that person wanted to achieve.  Then I made up something that did all those things.  These people have completely stopped talking.  They will be happy when they have killed their orchestra and no longer have to pay its bills.  At least that's how it looks from here.

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