HWSRN gets the union newspaper. He belongs to the union. Musicians union. The American Federation of Musicians. AFM. Affiliated with the AFL-CIO. They let the Canadians in too.
The paper is called International Musician. That's so you know they let the Canadians in too. Canada has its own vice-president. He has a moustache.
I've got three articles here from the Jan/07 issue of International Musician. (They're a little tiny, but if you click on them you get a larger version.) The first one that caught my eye was this one:
Check out that last paragraph. $7 a day! In the good old US of A! Does this not seem Third Worldish to you? Does it not conjure up images of shacks in the Ozarks and Dustbowl Okies? Can you not picture some wide-eyed little nappy-headed boy sitting in the corner of a dank verminous underground parking lot in the projects? Wondering whether he should spend that seven bucks on a Big Mac or smokes? And the population that's living on that is larger than Canada's whole body count!
I thank my lucky stars I'm not in that situation. But all I know is, I've been working harder (it seems) for about the same money for a couple of years now. And the same can not be said for the oil companies, to which I am such a generous contributor.
Just to the left of that article was this one:$200,000. That's a lotta money for horsehair. (Or whatever. I'm not too familiar with Cellos. I have more experience with Jello. Red is my favourite.) This goes to show that the world of classical music is still a big business with a lotta money floating around. And it also shows that branding holds sway even in the rare air of Symphonic Olympus. "It is the bow's provenance that is the most significant element of its sale..." not necessarily the qualities of its construction, or whether a modern-made bow might actually be better. (Everybody loves antiques.)
Finally, on the next page of the paper, to the right of the incomes article, was this:
What do you think of a company that controls $18 billion worth of communications? If all those $7 per day people had access to the supposedly public airwaves, I wonder what they would say.
I suppose I'm commenting, eh? But I'm really just making an observation. In this union newspaper we can go from abject poverty to spending a coupla hundred grand on a cello bow to billions on ways to influence the minds of the masses. And it's all happening in one little corner of the universe called USA. (Of course, they let in the Canadians too.)
Oh, and here's another benefit of union membership...Clipart!