The proposed cuts to musicians' salaries infuriates me and will undoubtedly result in some of our very best musicians relocating to other cities/orchestras ("Economy of Scale," Aug. 1). Yet significantly smaller cuts to the excessively high administrator salaries? It's a sad, frustrating, misguided thing.
This is simply outrageous ("Economy of Scale," Aug. 1). To balance the books on the backs of these wonderful musicians, without whom there would be nothing to rescue, is beyond unfair. The cuts that [music director Giancarlo] Guerrero and [CEO Alan] Valentine took pale in comparison to what is being asked of these musicians. My own support of the symphony, which has been consistent for many years, would certainly be reconsidered if this goes forward.
The potential disparity in effects this will have on administrative staff compared to musicians is disturbing ("Economy of Scale," Aug. 1). As a former Nashville Symphony musician who is now working in another nonprofit organization, I can't even fathom what it would be like to have 15 percent cut from a salary in the hundreds of thousands. Most musicians have never made that much money. Would the cut even be noticeable? Impossible to say. But I do know how devastating to my family and our lifestyle and well-being and our daily existence these cuts would have been when I was in the orchestra. We would have moved from the house and neighborhood we loved. We would have stopped buying the organic food that we feel we should be feeding ourselves and our kids. We might have had to change where our kids went to school. For sure we would have spent less time with them because I would have had to go back to the teaching and freelancing I had let go when they were born, thinking my symphony salary gave me the privilege of more time with my children. Please remember the humanitarian aspect of this complex picture!
I don't think Adam Gold gets why people are outraged about the Rolling Stone cover ("Tweet Fighting Man," July 25).
I'm 47 and have been reading Rolling Stone since the late '70s and have been a subscriber for the vast majority of those years. Growing up in Philadelphia, the walls of my room were covered with pics I'd cut out from RS and my closet was filled with back issues. While I've found myself reading each issue for a much shorter time over the years due to the increasing focus on music, entertainment and politics that don't interest me that much, I swore I would never cancel my subscription as RS has been a part of my life for so long.
I canceled my RS subscription when the Bomber cover came out. As I wrote in an email to them, I did so for the following reasons:
1. I respect RS's right to run this story. I would actually have been interested in reading it as I think it's important to try to understand how a monster like this is created so that perhaps we can prevent others from following them down the wrong path. [But] putting the bomber photo on the cover crosses the line from a publication attempting to understand someone to instead glorifying a person whose only claim to fame is that they killed innocents.
2. While I respect RS's right to run the story, there was no need to out this criminal on the issue's cover, other than for RS to get publicity at a time when hard copy magazine readership is continuing on a downward trajectory.
3. Writing a letter in protest to the RS editor is all well and good but the only way to make a real impact is to hit them in their bank account. I will miss getting RS in my mailbox every other week but it's a small price to pay in order to stand up for what is just. If the editors at RS want to get off their journalistic high horses and show some sense of humanity by apologizing for their stupidity, an RS issue profiling the victims of the terrorist along with a collage of their photos on the cover along with the donations of all profits from the current issue to charity would be a nice way to start.
Rolling Stone can investigate the conversion of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev into a murderer, but to slap a picture of what looks like Albert Hammond Jr. from The Strokes on the cover — a tasteless and stupid decision bafflingly made by a dozen or so journalists — has to be one of the hardest slaps since Charlie Murphy laid five to the face of Rick James ("Tweet Fighting Man," July 25). And if they were trying to make a point about the "normal kid gone bad," there should have been some allusion in the bold headline, "The Bomber," below his almost airbrushed portrait. As is, it's sympathetic, compassionate and breezy Sunday afternoon, carafe of gooseberry wine, sunshine kisses and soft-strumming underneath the willow tree with emotional powerhouse and shrapnel tastemaker Tsarnaev.
Marijuana should be decriminalized and fully legalized. I am almost 25 years old and have grown up my whole life being told that marijuana is a powerful and dangerous substance that only lesser, weaker, criminal people use. It is only recently that I was able to look at the facts objectively. Cannabis is rated as a Schedule I substance, which is reserved for drugs that have no useful purpose, including medically. They also hold the highest punishments for any offense of the law. How is it that a drug that has not killed anyone is ranked as dangerous as heroin and LSD?
Because marijuana was placed as a Schedule I substance, practically no research has been allowed on any potential benefits of its use, until recently. This has allowed the "reefer madness" propaganda concept to fester and stagnate for 30 years longer than it should. Recent studies have shown a myriad of health benefits in diseases and illnesses including: cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic pain relief and many more things. Another consideration is the deadly and addictive effects of prescription drugs, which also have a much higher chance of abuse than marijuana. Drugs such as Oxycontin and Xanax are widely abused.
Our stance on marijuana as a country has been ineffective and ruined more lives than it has helped. I do not use marijuana, but I have seen people's lives affected on a deep level from being subjected to the court system for simply possessing a plant. How much would we save as a country each year by freeing up our overcrowded prisons for nonviolent offenders that simply smoke cannabis? How much would our economy thrive from allowing industrial hemp (non-psychoactive) and marijuana to be sold, regulated and taxed like alcohol? Time will tell because we are headed in that direction. It's time to think about this issue for yourself. Look at the facts. Do your own research.
If you live in Tennessee, we currently have a petition to end marijuana prohibition in the state. Please visit the link below to sign the online petition and help move this process along.
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