A sign of 'Peak Everything', a sign of the Apocalypse, and a Sign of Hope...and I heard it all on NPR's Morning Edition
A Sign of 'Peak Everything':
Philadelphia Orchestra to File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
As energy and other resources become harder to get and much more expensive, everything suffers. The age of energy abundance became the 'age of exuberance' as it reached its climax, and we over-extended ourselves with everything. The 21st Century is shaping up to the the Century of Decline. I first noticed it in late 2008 when my alma mater University shut down its football program. Now, one of America's venerable cultural institutions, The Philadelphia Orchestra, announced it will seek bankruptcy protection. How very sad indeed. But as our professional artists suffer, at the same time more opportunites arise for a relocalization and democratization of the arts - be sure to appreciate, celebrate, and participate in the local art scene - perhaps in the living room of a neighbor. House concerts (or rent parties) are the wave of the future.
"It is one of many orchestras to fall on hard times as cultural and monetary support began to wane."
A Sign of the Apocalypse:
Music Stops for Pianists at Nordstroms
My alter ego, Dr. D.D. McCloidsman named Kenny G the anti-Christ a number of years ago in my popular book and website "Dispensational Jazzology." Another sign of the impending apocalypse has now appeared: consumers apparently now prefer to hear recorded elevator music played over tinny speakers over a live concert pianist playing on a quality grand piano. Hopefully this IS a sign of the apocalypse of consumer culture. The word 'apocolypse' actually means an unveiling, a revealing...a "Revelation." What is being revealed to us now is the utter emptiness and vaccuousness of consumer culture, that was SO last century.
"For years, the upscale department store Nordstrom has hired piano players to perform as shoppers browse the racks. But the Los Angeles Times reports more and more stores are firing their pianists. A Nordstrom spokesperson said the company has "learned that most customers like contemporary, recorded music better." In other words, Muzak."
A Sign of Hope:
Foraging The Weeds for Wild, Healthy Greens
Oh yes, how entralling to hear NPR giving serious consideration to the idea of foraging for weeds in downtown Washington, D.C. We could view this as another sign of 'Peak Everything,' which of course it is, but when they actually do a story on a positive alternative that is not focused on some un-proven techno-fix, all you can do is celebrate! When they include Portland's John Kallas, recently in Snohomish for a workshop we promoted, that kicks it up a notch! When they not only promote the idea, but refer to it as the 'ultimate in locally grown food' and 'gourmet,' then we come to a loss of superlatives to bestow on this story!
"Can we come up with a tasty, healthful salad, just by foraging the urban neighborhood around NPR's Washington, D.C., office? That would be the ultimate in locally grown food. But most of us don't know the first thing about foraging wild greens."
with Sam Thayer and John Kallas