Good New; Bad News
Spent 2 and a half days in San Francisco talking about orchestras and listening to classical music, sleeping in a beautiful room on the 21st floor of a hotel overlooking San Francisco. I was at my first conference of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras for my new job. It was refreshing to explore “the ordering of sound in time and space in order to communicate through the language of music, something of what it’s like to be alive.”
I know many of my brothers and sisters world-wide are struggling to stay alive and many are not succeeding. I glanced at a newspaper, but mostly tried not to. The good news I did see was the “Vote for Change” tour by Bruce Springsteen along with twenty bands and individual performers who are headed out on the road to give a series of concerts in battleground states. The entire proceeds will go to MoveOn and Americans Coming Together for media advocacy in the run-up to the election. Here’s a quote from a longer piece by Springsteen in the 8-5-04 edition of the NY Times:
A nation’s artists and musicians have a particular place in its social and political life. Over the years I’ve tried to think long and hard about what it means to be American: about the distinctive identity and position we have in the world, and how that position is best carried. I’ve tried to write songs that speak to our pride and criticize our failures.
These questions are at the heart of this election: who we are, what we stand for, why we fight. Personally, for the last 25 years I have always stayed one step away from partisan politics. Instead, I have been partisan about a set of ideals: economic justice, civil rights, a humane foreign policy, freedom and a decent life for all of our citizens. This year, however, for many of us the stakes have risen too high to sit this election out.
The bad news outrages me. I learn that the U.S-installed government in Iraq has re-instituted that country’s death penalty and has shut down Al Jezeera media network! This is the brand of democracy being foisted upon Iraq and other victims of what I consider to be a very deranged American administration. (recommended film: The Control Room).
Even moderate NYTimes op ed writer and economist Paul Krugman is being put “on vacation” for exposing Dubya Bush’s lies and misinformation. He was shouted down by Bill O’Reilly last night in a TV interview, in what Krugman said was “one of the worst experiences of my life, next to my recent surgery.” Ei yi yi!