Sunday, June 21, 2009

Am I Crabby or What?

Twenty years ago (or so) I was reading a publication of the Business School at the University of Chicago. It seems that some folks, I think it was the Harvard B School, held a competition among student teams whose goal was to create and sell a similar product.

The winning team not only worked to move their own products, but also undermined their competition by methods that in the real world would border on or be illegal. The losers complained and wanted the winners disqualified--but the professor in charge said no -- this is the way the world works, get used to it.

What does this have to do with music composition or the arts?

It occurs to me that the profession of artist is not just about advocating one's career but also about "blocking" others, keeping the competition down. Gamesmanship is a tool to keep the competition in check. On the other hand, this also creates opportunities for those artists attuned to the "blocking" activities of gatekeepers.

In this case, style, uptown or downtown is not an issue nor has it ever been -- being an insider is.

That is; the important thing is to gain power within your circle. Power is the point.

So every time you hear about how powerless famous connected folks are -- run.

Kinds of active political plays:

  1. Countries have an interest supporting immigrant artists who create art critical of their former countries.
  2. Some pretend their country has a single artistic voice.
  3. Some feel only a certain type of music represents their country.
  4. Some countries have official composers.

  1. Some states are more important than others.
  2. Some states have more influence than you think. Like Texas .

Wealthy hangers on anyone?

The below are well known so no explanation needed:

  1. Religious
  2. Institutional
  3. Team
  4. Old School Tie
  5. Family
  6. Plain old power games
  7. Hip cool--however you say it--in tune with the "young folk"
  8. Jealousy
  9. Hate
  10. Love too.
  11. The old country
  12. Quid pro quo

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