Thursday, December 27, 2007


I promised I would post this, and due to some Shakespeare, I'm feeling rather human tonight.
This is some further factification 'round the "Origins issue" story September 11, 2006

April 21 2004

Doug, Some months ago, I asked you to leave me alone and explained as best I could why.
You stopped e-mailing me, which I appreciate. However, since then you have offered to come with me on Symphony on Wheels, asked me to play flute for your composition at Composers Salon, and now asked me to listen to your composition and give you feedback. I don't think you understand that this is not what I would consider leaving me alone, so I am repeating my request. Please leave me alone.

Thank you


P.S. I have put your CD in Bryan's box, as I think he wanted to hear it.

Pretty tame, except sending it to "human" resources makes it a harassment complaint.

Pisses me off if you get my drift.

I was told "O, that's just Meighan"
That really pissed me off.

So here's my response, which I didn't send upstairs.

In spite of it's toothlesness, your complaint does constitute a harassment complaint.
This makes it a serious act on your part.

I am not the cause of your discomfort.
I am not the one who beat you up.
I am not the one who put you down.
I am not the one who verbally or psychologically abused you.

I am hurt and angry that you would do this to me
But I refuse to be your enemy.

All I can do is stay on this side of whatever line you draw and offer you my sympathy, my empathy, my compassion, my love, my intelligence and my concern for your pain in the hope that it may be abated.

My heart is open to you and my hand is out in friendship.

That worked to get me an interview with "human" resources.
It wasn't done properly of course. They didn't care about either one of us.

But My ally informed me that they thought of it as a "poem"

It is a simple statement of my relevant feelings in the matter.

So, bite me, Buttkus



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo, Lane!!
Many, MANY thanks for posting Meighan's letter of 21 April 2004!!
This is what I thought the gist of her complaint might be! That is one (the main!) reason I once gave you the autobiography of a composer-pianist-teacher (name and title since forgotten and I have no copy overhere), as he mentions the same procedure that is NORMAL for composers trying to get their works improved and performed!!!!
So, it is NORMAL for a composer to do the things for which Meighan criticizes you!!!!::
"You asked me to play flute for your composition at Composers' Salon"
"You asked me to listen to your composition and give you feed back"
What is "sexual harassment" in these normal requests??
Further: "You offered to come with me on Symphony on Wheels". If Bryan remembers, I had been recommending YOU for this activity as you have an EXCELLENT way of helping young kids with instruments! Does this make you a pediphile(sp?)?? No more than it makes you a sexual harasser because you wanted to help out in a way for wich youm have an apt!!
The SEA-SYMPH should be grateful for volunteers, who offer to give valuable time to go around to schools to help young kids become familiar with musical instruments!!

AND, now that the complainer is long-since gone, why is the SEA SYMPH not eager to have someone with this ability to replace, as a volunteer (=free of charge) the one they had been paying to do this work?? It all does NOT make sense to this retired Professor of Management.
But the SEA SYMPH has done/is doing many other things that don't make sense to me.
-- Perplexed and

4:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo, Lane, Meredith, and Keth!
The LL wants me (as usual) to say "hi!" for her and me to the three of you.
She is also incredulous as to why the SEA SYMPH is acting soooo irrationally with you, Lane. She wonders if it might not be the bourgeois idiots who do not want anyone with a beard and long-hair around their prissy place (see also the long-bearded first violinist, who is also harrassed by Geraldo.

5:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo, Glenn!!
In case you no longer look back on teh comment section of FFTL for 20 December, I'll repeat this here:
The LL and I thank you for your electronic "greeting card" to us in your contribution to said 20 Dec. blog, and we wish you and yours a happy and (especially) HEALTHY 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonomann (+LL)

5:32 AM  
Blogger butch said...

For whatever reason your "relevant feelings in the matter" came out in the form of something poetic is immaterial; it does in fact scan as something other than block prose or random thoughts.

In spite
of its toothlessness,
your complaint does
constitute a harrassment complaint.
This makes it
a serious act
on your part.

I am not the cause
of your discomfort.
I am not the one
who beat you up.
I am not the one
who put your down.
I am not the one
who verbally or psychologically
abused you.

I am hurt
and angry
that you would do this
to me;
But I refuse
to be your enemy.

All I can do
is stay on this side
or whatever line
you drew;
and offer you
my sympathy,
my empathy,
my compassion,
my love,
my intelligence, and
my concern
for your pain
in the hope
that it may be

My heart is open
to you,
and my hand is out
in friendship.

So the ingrate bureaucrat who labeled this response, this message as a "poem", probably thought he was slamming the work, but actually he was praising it.

As we approach the end of 2007, now coming up on four years since your psychic and emotional wounding, I hope it begins to heal; and I hope by demonstrating the poetic quality of your written thoughts is not too big of a bite.


7:44 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

Monsters and Angels
by Seymour Bernstein

There is very little that is "normal" in the "artworld"

As I predicted, Ophelia has gotten herself to a nunnery

At least she's not traipsing about yapping about flowers

And Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are still dead

11:10 AM  
Blogger butch said...

Yeah, you bet your bippy, and these monsters and angels are rampant in the many fields of endeavor in Art. I can only speak for actors, and to some extent writers --but these critters do abound, and the artist is prey, and needs to wear their armor, and proceed with extreme alacrity.

This book by internationally known writer, composer, teacher and lecturer Seymour Bernstein expounds upon topics touched on in his bestseller With Your Own Two Hands (HL50482589). Bernstein teaches readers the truth about performing careers, offering insights and advice on both personal and musical issues. In Part 2, he discusses the importance of music education, covering both "monster" and "angel" teachers, managers and critics. Bernstein believes that everyone has a right to develop whatever talent they have, for self-fulfillment and self-development, if not necessarily for a career.

About Monsters and Angels:

In Monsters and Angels - Surviving a Career in Music, Seymour Bernstein takes readers behind the scenes, where they learn the truth about performing careers. Because he sees career survival as surviving life itself, he offers the reader insights and advice on personal as well as musical issues. In Part 2, he discusses the importance of music education in everyone's life. Through his vivid and often humorous accounts of his own experiences with teachers, we learn how to discriminate between good and bad ones. As he traces the path of his career, he brings to account monster teachers, managers, and critics for their abuse of young aspiring musicians.

The author pays special tribute to non-professional musicians who pursue their art primarily because of their love for it. For serious amateurs who have reached a professional level of accomplishment, he has created a new category of musician - professional-amateurs.
Seymour Bernstein strongly believes that everyone has a right to develop whatever degree of talent he or she possesses ... not necessarily to have a career, but more importantly for self-fulfillment and self-development. His first book, With Your Own Two Hands, touched upon this subject. Monsters and Angels enlarges upon it.
This book will have special appeal to:

1. The ordinary readers, who will be fascinated and also shocked to learn what performers endure in their quest for a musical career.
2. People with frustrated dreams who were categorically discouraged from expressing their artistic gifts simply because they were not thought to be talented enough.
3. All musicians, professional and otherwise, whom Seymour Bernstein offers advice and career alternatives in a profession fraught with frustration, deception, and heartaches.

Seymour Bernstein:
"Seymour Bernstein Triumphs at the Piano"
(Donal Henahan, The New York Times)

Seymour Bernstein has accrued scores of "triumphs" in a variety of activities. He studied with such notable musicians as Alexander Brailowsky, Sir Clifford Curzon, Jan Gorbaty, Nadia Boulanger, and Georges Enesco, both in this country and in Europe. His prizes and grants include the First Prize and Prix Jacques Durand from the international competition held at Fontainebleau, France, the National Federation of Music Clubs Award for Furthering American Music Abroad, a Beebe Foundation grant, two Martha Baird Rockefeller grants, and four State Department grants. His concert career has taken him to Asia, Europe, and throughout the Americas, where he has appeared in solo recitals and as guest artist with orchestras and chamber music groups. In 1969, he made his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, playing the world premiere of Concerto No. 2 by Villa-Lobos.

Acclaimed for his "...technical brilliance and penetrating interpretive skills," Seymour Bernstein is also an internationally known writer, composer, teacher, and lecturer. Many of his piano works are on the best seller list. His books With Your Own Two Hands, 20 Lessons in Keyboard Choreography, and Musi-Physi-Cality (the children's version), have been published in German, Japanese, and Korean. They, along with his videotape, You and the Piano, have been hailed by critics as "...firsts of their kind," and "...landmarks in music education." In constant demand for master classes and educational programs, he is one of the most sought after clinicians in this country and abroad. Performances of his piano works have earned him awards from ASCAP.

Seymour Bernstein maintains a private studio in New York City. In addition, he is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Piano and Music Education at New York University.


Monsters and Angels - Surviving a Career in Music is really about surviving life itself. In recounting my own survival, I hope to speak for all people, professional and otherwise, who strive to express their artistic passions. Self-expression through music is perhaps the deepest source of satisfaction available to mankind. Yet, the process through which our talent allows us free expression is fraught with difficulties. Chief among them is the struggle to achieve a balance between our artistic and personal selves. "Does my performance measure up to what others can do?" "Will I ever be recognized for my efforts?" "I can't live without my art; but how can I practice seriously and support myself at the same time?" These are some of the questions addressed in this book.

As everyone knows, parents, teachers, siblings, and friends shape and influence our lives for good and for ill. Survival, as I see it, depends to a great extent upon how successfully we learn to differentiate between the "angels" and "monsters" - those whose sole intent is to benefit us, and those who seem neurotically driven to dominate and control everyone within their grasp. Adulthood, however, has one distinctive privilege: it gives us the right to reject certain authority figures - even a parent, if need be.

My overview of music education and performing careers is not a positive one: Composers and performers of the twentieth century are now separated from each other; ruthless managers have turned the performing scene into a veritable Armageddon; and some music critics demean music and performers and infect the public with the poison of their own boredom. Worst of all are certain teachers and managers who use their reputations and positions of power to demand sexual favors from young musicians.

On the positive side, amateur musicians protect the sacred art of music even more than most professionals do. There are, to be sure, dilettantes among them. But some amateurs have achieved the level of competence that we associate with professional musicians. They differ from professionals, however, in two respects: they make their living in non-musical fields, and they perform and compose for one reason only - a love of music, as the word amateur implies. Strange as it may seem, many professional musicians, caught up in the vicissitudes of careers, have all but forgotten their initial love of music.

To elevate serious amateurs to the status they deserve, I have placed them in a new category - the professional-amateur. The future of music is safe in their hands. In the end, it is they who will defend and promulgate music, not to gain public acclaim, but to benefit from and communicate music's harmonizing properties, and not for financial gain, but for the spiritual enlightenment which money cannot buy.

Genius always manifests itself, whatever the obstacles. But what of us non-geniuses? How do we find the courage to pursue our individual callings in the face of a society that bows to fame and money above everything else? I trust that others may find their own answers to this question as I relate my musical and personal experiences. For somehow, and in spite of everything, I have survived. I have shed my victim status and am now in control of my own destiny.

Often, people who have worked their way into positions of power have tried to
undermine my efforts. One of them, a well-known writer, said to me, "Oh, have you done enough to write your memoirs?" Given his great accomplishments and generosity towards struggling gifted musicians, plus the fact that he admired my book With Your Own Two Hands, I thought he would have a clearer perspective about everyone’s right to self-expression. Yet his question seemed to imply that while people like Artur Rubinstein have with good reason written their memoirs, who am I and what have I done that I should write mine? I am sure that my response, "Yes, I believe I have done enough," made him think I was as arrogant as my intention to write my memoirs.

This book is my answer to him. It affirms the right of all people, whatever their level of advancement, to develop and express their talents. Its chief purpose is to justify and encourage people like me who are not geniuses, and not world famous, but who are, nevertheless, imbued with an artistic passion which cries out for expression. It proposes that self-development and self-fulfillment are among life's greatest rewards. Ultimately, self-fulfillment reaches out beyond the self, enabling and inspiring us to contribute to others in countless ways. This giving of oneself, to be sure, brings the greatest rewards of all.

As I have discovered, the best antidote to rejection and discouragement is to marshal the courage to begin all over again. In the end, we and we alone know our strengths and weaknesses. Many of us are called. But to disagree with the last half of this familiar adage, we can be chosen, so long as our goals remain both idealistic and reasonable. With perseverance, we can, as the great scholar and classicist Gilbert Highet put it, "outsoar" our origins.

Doug, I guess you would be included in his catagory on "professional-amateurs". I wonder if Alex has read the book? although she could probably have written one just as brilliant, and perhaps has done so, sort of, with all of her published essays, most of which are linked to on her website.


6:00 PM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

My discipline is still mechanics.
I study how things work
Not just material things, psychological things, emotional things, noise things, social things, philosophical things, metaphysical things.
In fact, I have an overarching theory about it all.
A theory that has proved uncannily accurate in it's ability to predict events.
I don't store this theory in words because I don't really care to explain it to the disgusting world in general.
It's mine, it works, and it gives me an advantage over the rest of you.
It is basically a knowledge of the difference between an ape and a human being.
The real difference, not that "scientific" hogwash or the "religious" nonsense.

In other words you need me more than I need you.
My revenge is that you will never realize this.

Footnote; Words like "you" are to be interpreted as plural and general and not to be taken personally by anyone I do actually give a shit about.

3:35 PM  
Blogger butch said...

Melva got home yesterday, and she had been given the 34 hour flu for Christmas. She is feeling a bit better this morning. I have to watch my ass, or I will be talking to Ralph soon myself.

Does your study of mechanics then include quantum mechanics and physics. That is the way things really work. I never realized that your harbored this dark secret, this ability to be a closet prophet. Maybe you could share a word or two on the upcoming Presidential election, who will steal it, what kind of skullduggery is about to descend upon us.

I am presently reading Cormac McCarthy's book, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. The film was so incredible, it drove me to the book store, and the written page. Cormac sees a re-emergance of the soulless ape, the men who kill without remorse, the consumate evil dark side of our natures, is coming on like a devil train, and nothing can stop it; that drugs, oil, power, sex, greed, capitalism, have reshaped the planet, and our schools, offices, and malls crawl with these nine year old automatons who would rather shoot you with their Glocks than say good day. Is there an inherent moral system within some of us, most of us, missing in the latest generation of desensitized overstimulated dispassionate arrogant cruel children?

This degeneration masked as evolution may not be the marked difference you refer to between an ape and a man, but it comes damned close in my book, in McCarthy's book too. Surrounded by this chaos, this tragic pill we must consume every day as we count our dead, say kaddish, force a smile, and use our Visa cards to forget our pain, it becomes abundantly clear that you and Alex and others are more important to society, to the gentle balanced order of things, with your compositions, with your music that can drown out the sorrowful notes we are assaulted with by life.


10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo, Lane!
Is Orphelia (a.k.a. M.P.) really about to (or has taken) her vows as a nun?? That is her true calling, I believe. I'm (and the LL, too) am anti-church and -religion, but, as Lenin once said, some need this opiate, and M.P. is one of "those"! If she is safely ensconced ín a cloister, then the SSO should welcome its once-best volunteer back!!

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo, Glenn!
Thanks for your extensive report on Seymour Bernstein. You write more about him than is contained in his excellent book, which should be Exhibit 1 in Lane Savant v. Seattle Sumpfony! (Sumpf in German is "mud" in English).

2:28 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

I predicted that Ophelia would "get to a nunnery"
but that's just a metaphor for my opinion of her insistence on avoiding facing reality.

10:52 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Web Counter
My worth as a human being