Digging himself an ever-deeper hole, Chief Executive Invertebrate at the Toronto Symphony, Jeff Melanson, has an extended brain fart over the Valentina Lisitsa affair, which I’ve already written about.
There’s a piece in yesterday’s Musical Toronto, giving Jeff Melanson a platform to try to explain his inexplicable cancellation of Valentina Lisitsa’s concert with the TSO. The article also links to a document prepared by TSO containing Lisitsa’s tweets. Unfortunately, Melanson just regurgitates his past statements albeit at greater and more boring length. Issues he could have addressed, but didn’t:
How is “hate” defined?
Who exactly is offended, and can they reasonably justify their offence?
Where in Lisitsa’s contract does it say they can cut her because of her private activities?
How were the tweets collected that allegedly demonstrate Lisitsa’s “hate” chosen? How do we know they weren’t cherry-picked? Where is the context of those tweets?
Without answers to these questions, Melanson is just blowing smoke, and he’s still a coward.
An upcoming performance by Valentina Lisitsa, a rising star in classical music, has been cancelled by the Toronto Symphony for reasons that are altogether unacceptable.
Lisitsa, born in Ukraine but ethnically Russian, has been tweeting statements about the ongoing strife in Ukraine, and that has apparently pissed off the wrong people. Media reports attribute the cancellation of her performance to a decision by TSO that her tweets are “provocative” and “deeply offensive.” (source) But try as I might, I cannot find any analysis of the situation that rises above the level of knee-jerk pandering to political correctness and, possibly, ingratiation to funders – who are admittedly few and far between these days.
As I enter serious middle age, and I retain memories of youth while gaining a certain wisdom of age (and still have the energy to care), I find myself wondering about some of the canards I have heard for decades. One of them is that the younger generations are always somehow worse than they were “once upon a time.” I really think that’s not true, and here’s an argument to support this claim. Continue reading “Are young people really that bad?”→
I’ve waited a while before posting this because I didn’t want to be caught up in the unholy craziness that surrounded “ShirtGate” when it first happened.
Unnecessary, invasive, medical procedures.
Women treated like chattel.
Irrational body image expectations.
Whole industries devoted to telling women what to be and how to be it….
In 2012, Mike Moffatt, and economist at UWO, wrote a piece called “David Suzuki needs an economics refresher course.” Well, no, actually he doesn’t. Indeed, it’s Moffatt who needs a refresher course – in the ethics of economic decision-making and of public debate.
There are two components to the question of protection (and restriction) of free speech: the idea being communicated, and the way it the idea is communicated. Too often, I think, the two are conflated, much to the detriment of a society’s success.
Evidence-based policy-making is the best known way to make policy. But it’s not enough to depend on evidence, even if the evidence were fully recognized by all participants. The agents who develop evidence – discover, measure, and communicate it – are biased by their value system. Beyond that, policy-making itself has its own biases independent of the nature and quality of the evidence used. Continue reading “Intentionally missing the point”→