What Don is saying is everything is the way it is, and it can't be changed. Such deterministic thinking ignores history, both modern and ancient. Things do change, there was a different system that worked in the past, and we create reality every day according to our beliefs and behaviors. Want some proof that things were different? Here's something from Bill McKibben's book Deep Economy: "in 1900, in the state of Iowa alone, which was then crowded with small farmers, there were also thirteen hundred local opera houses, all of them hosting concerts. "Thousands of tenors," writes Robert Frank [in Luxury Fever], "earned adequate, if modest, livings performing before live audiences." There were also permanent ensembles of actors in every town in the nation making their living doing plays. The way things are was created in the 1870s by a bunch of businessmen who bought up all the theatres across the nation and created a syndicate. It isn't a carved in stone, it's been ever thus sort of thing.
Mike and I think that the system is wrong, that it doesn't support artists, and therefore doesn't support the consistent creation of quality work. And we say (and yes, I am speaking for Mike now) that a system that is broken can be fixed and should be fixed. Don is saying, "Hey, it sucks, but deal with it. It's reality, and is set in every particular. Suck it up."
And I am not ready to drink that particular Kool-Aid. I believe in progress, and the ability of things to change if people recognize the problems and commit to improvement. And no amount of Don Hall's bluster is going to change that.
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