Monday, October 1, 2012


Today, I'm feeling a lot like I felt in December 1999 after I finally recovered from a serious bout of the influenza.  Would the computers bring down the country and the world?  Or will the Y2K bug be totally benign and do nothing?  Uncertainty.  A sense of outrage.  Being appalled.

It began last night while watching 60 Minutes.  Lesley Stahl interviewed Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I wondered immediately: Why a woman interviewer?  Why not a man?  Where's Mike Wallace when we need him?  He's missed.  Anyway, Ah-nold demonstrated just how clueless he was and continues to be about himself and his own behavior.  He admitted, however, that he is not an introspective person.  For him, it's always move it forward!  Forget what just happened and move ahead!  So what's he afraid he might find out if he takes the time to think about it? 

I was always mystified why Maria Shriver married him.  I guess he charmed her into believing that he would respect, cherish and keep the vows he made when they married.  But guys like him with extreme wealth, ambition, and success in their endeavors tend to allow their over-abundant self-confidence turn into arrogance and superiority.  Deep down inside, though, they're still the little boys reaching into the cookie jar and waiting for their mom to catch them.

As Socrates put it, "An unexamined life is not worth living."  So is that the reason Schwarzenegger has written an autobiography that's coming out this week?  Really, he wrote it himself?  This guy who says he's not an introspective person? From what he said during the interview, I doubt he spends many words examining his life and learning from it.  Lesley Stahl pointed out that he'd kept making the same mistake, cheating on Maria, over and over.  Clearly he'd not learned. 

I find it odd that Schwarzenegger should be pricking my mind today when my heart has broken: the management at the Minnesota Orchestral Association locked out the orchestra musicians last night at midnight, topping off a weekend busy with proposal votes and counter-proposals.  Today, the management announced that the first five weeks of the 2012-13 season have been cancelled as a result of their rejection of the "play and talk" proposal given them by the musicians last Saturday. 

Orchestra Hall's empty stage 

The photo above says it all.  No music in Orchestra Hall.  Actually, that's symbolic right now, because Orchestra Hall is closed for renovation and the Orchestra would have performed in the Minneapolis Convention Center Auditorium for those first five concerts.  Management was quite quick to cancel those concerts, too, as if they expect the lockout to last a long time.  I take that to mean that they have no intention of reaching an agreement with the musicians any time soon.  Is this a union busting effort?  Sure looks like it.

I share the musicians' and their families' sense of deep uncertainty.  It must be terrible to try to negotiate with someone and be met with a wall of stone.  I think if management were to agree to an independent audit of the Association's finances, the talks would progress again.  The musicians made it clear that they would not approve anything until they had the results of an independent audit.  Alles klar?  Apparently not to management who seemed to ignore the request and proceeded to make a contract proposal a week ago.  The musicians rejected that proposal last Saturday but made two counter-proposals: one to continue to work while negotiations proceeded, and the other for binding arbitration.  Management locked them out.

So, I'm outraged, saddened, uncertain, disgusted with management, and frustrated that I will not be going to a Minnesota Orchestra concert in a couple weeks......

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