I was cc'd on an unusual email this afternoon:
Dear Count de Monet,
Over at San Francisco Classical Voice, Janos Gereben has the most up-to-date information regarding the Symphony’s strike, including some information that will likely further solidify that portion of public opinion that thinks while it certainly would be nice to see the musicians (and everyone else whose work we love, respect, and admire) make more money, they have it pretty good overall and should probably just shut the fuck up and continue to enjoy their 10 weeks of paid vacation, very generous pensions, fully-employer-funded medical insurance for themselves, salaries that allow them to live comfortably, if not well, while living in one of the world’s greatest cities and having a job most people could only dream about. Because you know what? The alternative is not getting paid a few thousand dollars more a year like they do in LA or Chicago (and who the hell in their right mind and currently living in San Francisco would willingly trade living in this easiest of all cities for the traffic of the former and the winter of the latter?) Are you kidding me? You don’t even have to own a car here, which saves you easily $12,000 a year! No, the alternative, as we see it, is to live like the rest of us- your audience, who for the most part would love to have benefits like that, and know we never will, because those days are long gone for us, and only remain available for special people with special skills, like classical musicians, and we don’t begrudge them this, because we know, we really do know, that very few people on Earth can do your job as well as you do and that’s why we come and listen to you in the first place. We love you guys- really we do. Until you start whining, that is. And you know what? Every company has a boss. And the boss makes a lot more money than the “talent.” You think you have it bad? The CEO of the my company makes 275 times the amount that I do. That’s right- 275 times what I do. According to the management and board of my employer it would take 275 of me to do his job. Do you think I like that? Do you know how undervalued and unappreciated I feel when I think about that? Do you know how much that hurts me deep inside. Right here. No, right here. Thank you. More to the point, do you even care? No, of course you don’t, and I wouldn’t bother you with my complaints about it but now that you’ve brought up how unfair life is… Oh wait. Sorry. I’m being so self-absorbed right now I can hardly stand my David Herbert ass-self. So shut up and play some music already, ok? Because please, no one likes a sniveler. Who am I calling a sniveler? Hmm, maybe it’s that person, the whining complainer, the hole reeking of entitlement, who receives 60% more vacation time than his peers (that’s 16 weeks total), makes $214,000 a year for his trouble and claims that management doesn’t “value and support” him, even though it offered him a raise and a bonus to stay with the orchestra. Yes, I’m talking about you, Mr. Soon-to-be-Principal Timpani-of-the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Just go east already because you are annoying the piss out of me with your whining and the guy from Boston is better than you anyway and maybe we can get him to take your place. Yes, we can win the damn World Series without Buster Posey and what kind of fucked up analogy is that anyway and why the fuck are you guys wearing Dodgers caps? What the fuck does baseball have to do with classical music performance? This is real life, not some fucking Don DeLillo novel! Take off those fucking baseball caps- don’t you know Mark Inouye is the only one of you who doesn’t look completely ridiculous in one?
"The P. Boy"