Musicologist Phil Ford is smart. In my limited encounters with him, he’s also smart about the things that matter. Assuming you’re not a musicologist and don’t care about the particulars of last weekend’s conference, skip down to his fifth point. His discussion about blogging, and more particularly the points he builds out from there about improvisatory scholarship and the necessity to do what one person can do, are worth keeping in mind as we engage in our myriad projects.
A particularly striking way of describing something many of us have felt in recent years: “…it occurred to me that the old Soviet bloc represented a kind of Tyranny 1.0: it was afraid of the truth, and so worked to suppress it. The United States in the present age has figured out a better system, a Tyranny 2.0: it, too, fears truth, but has created a system in which the truth doesn’t matter.”
I’m back from AMS, which means I should write an AMS wrapup post. No—I get to write an AMS wrapup post.
Things that happened:
1. I got stuck in the aptly-named Dulles airport for seven bloody hours, waiting for a 40-minute puddle-jumper flight that was delayed by mechanical problems. But as luck would have it, Jim Buhler (University of Texas at Austin) and Andrea Bohlman (UNC Chapel Hill) were there too, and had the opportunity for a leisurely talk with two old friends—an enforced opportunity, yes, and in a context in which one is stripped of all agency and basic human dignity, but still, it was nice. For the rest of the AMS, dinners/drinks with other AMS friends, old and new, were for me (as for most, I guess), the highlight of the meeting.
2. My book was for sale at the Oxford booth. Wow, that’s weird, seeing your book…
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