Friday, September 26, 2008

Tenured (Not)

I have a bone to pick, an axe to grind. I'm stuck at a repeat sign that says vamp. Why are bad guys rewarded with fat paychecks, job security and media protection, while good guys suffer? Why is lying to the public the accepted norm? How can American society be so gullible, so easily duped? The Unanswered Questions.

In orchestra politics, I find it inconceivable that one person's contract of tenure is deemed valid all the way through to the expiration date, while another person's contract of tenure is null and void, a useless piece of paper designated for the toilet; an uh-uh, we finagled a spontaneous, tiny technicality so you don't have tenure after all, even though for years us big guys pretended you had tenure, offering you and your family a false sense of security; so don't spin off claiming you had that tenure, you hear, because you didn't. (I need the aid of my daughter Anna's boyfriend, Andrew the linguist, to help me comprehend doublespeak). Finaglers and financiers; two sides of the same coin. Makhers, CEO conspirators, chronic talkers with halitosis, narcissists, terrorists, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde music directors, slumped-over-in-their chairs dead wood, and self-absorbed, stiletto-heeled prima donnas; pampered, praised and lavished year after year with salary increases, generous benefits, bonuses and acclaim for being world class. What's this world coming to?

I predict a cataclysmic end to the flush era for orchestras and other classical arts institutions. But here's what I'm grateful for: I've got tenure. My husband Ilkka insists that no matter how many pairs of socks I mismatch, or how many meals I over-cook, however much I argue, nag, tease, snore; I'm Wife for Life and Partner in Talvi Studio. I won't end up in the Dog House. No technicalities here; technology, yes. Look Ma, I've even learned to scan!

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