Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sign of the times

Maestro Willie just dropped this bomb. Unbelievable.

January 29, 2009

Dear Friend of Connecticut Opera:

Next month will mark the 67th Anniversary of the first performance by Connecticut Opera. Unfortunately, its passing will not be met with great celebration as we must regrettably inform you that Connecticut Opera is the latest victim of the current economic crisis facing our nation.

Last night our Board of Trustees approved a plan to cancel the production of the final two operas of our season: The Daughter of the Regiment and La Bohème. The decision to cancel the rest of the season is not one that was easily made.

The reality of our situation is that ticket sales for Connecticut Opera in a normal season cover less than 40% of the cost of producing the high-quality opera you have grown to expect from us over the past 67 years. This year, however, we are facing enormous economic challenges including a slow down in ticket sales and increased difficulty in raising charitable gifts and sponsorships. This combination has made it financially impossible for us to complete the season.

We know that you, like the entire Greater Hartford community, will have many questions about Connecticut Opera’s future, but it will take a few weeks before we will have clear answers. We ask that you give our Board of Trustees the necessary time to develop a plan for our future.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Management and Staff of Connecticut Opera, we wish to thank you for the many years of glorious music-making, and extend our sincerest appreciation for your support and understanding during this very difficult time.

Willie Anthony Waters

Monday, January 19, 2009

AFSCME - the fucking union that works for YOU

This was a PSA that the voice-over person decided to record an "alternate" version of for fun. It comes from the archives of a local tv station.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Largest Arms Market in the World

Interesting travelogue through the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan and through the Khyber Pass.
h/t to unclewest at Politics for Pros

A crow takes care of a kitten

Andrew Wyeth, RIP

My favorite Wyeth painting, probably because the dog is a dead ringer for Pancho, the youngest in my pack.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Branford Marsalis: What I've learned from my students is that students today are completely full of shit.

I met Branford once when I was tending bar at a hotel he was a guest in. The only reason he came down to the bar was the concierge told him the bartender was a jazz buff and would get a kick out of meeting him. It was a classy thing to do, I could tell he wasn't entirely comfortable, there was a rather boisterous crowd in the bar that night. Being the gentleman that he is, I'm a little surprised at the forceful language, he must have strong views on the subject.

Transcript: What I've learned from my students is that students today are completely full of shit.

That is what I've learned from my students. Much like the generation before them, the only thing they are really interested in is you telling them how right they are and how good they are.

That is the same mentality that basically forces Harvard to give out B's to people that don't deserve them out of the fear that they'll go to other school that will give them B's, and those schools will make the money.

We live in a country that seems to be in this massive state of delusion, where the idea of what you are is more important than you actually being that. And it actually works just as long as everybody's winking at the same time. If one person stops winking, you just beat the crap out of that person, and they either start winking or go somewhere else.

My students — all they want to hear how good they are and how talented they are. Most of them aren't really willing to work to the degree to live up to that.

Maggie's Farm