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ARSCLIST  July 2020

ARSCLIST July 2020

Subject:

Re: Comments on the open letter

From:

Sarah Bryan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 20 Jul 2020 14:06:24 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (172 lines)

Hi everyone,

Former Journal editor weighing in here. The fact is, ARSC's membership has
a reputation -- a reputation for being unwelcoming to people who don't fit
the stereotypical profile of the conservative straight cis white male older
record collector -- that needs to be addressed in order to remain relevant.
I don't have the  knowledge to speak about what the experience of people of
color, LGBTQ people, or other communities may be with ARSC, but as I
learned from women colleagues outside the organization when I first came on
as editor, ARSC's membership has a damaging reputation for being deeply
sexist. In the several years I worked as the Journal editor, I found that
reputation to be very well earned. Please note that I'm talking about
people among the general membership here. Without exception I found my
Journal colleagues and all the ARSC leadership to be welcoming, respectful,
and receptive to my points of view; it was a pleasure and a privilege to
work with them. But dealing with some of the general membership, in
particular when it came to editing work that members had submitted, showed
me an entirely different side of the organization. At the less malignant
end of the spectrum, members were frequently and sometimes profoundly
patronizing to me, questioning my professional abilities constantly at the
most basic level -- but in ways of which I don't think they were aware, and
that I feel sure weren't intended to be hostile. At the other end of the
spectrum, more than one member attempted to bully and even threaten me in
ways that I believe -- and maybe I'm wrong about this, but a lifetime of
experience tells me I'm not -- they would not have tried with a male
editor. And in every single issue that I edited, I had to make many
judgment calls as to how to balance the right to free expression of
opinions that I found offensive against presenting those opinions in ways
that might suggest erroneously that they were condoned by the organization.
It was exhausting and thoroughly disheartening. There is, without question,
a strong element of ARSC that holds socially retrogressive -- in my
opinion, backwards -- viewpoints. The actions that ARSC's leadership is
taking to express a commitment to diversity and equity, and which Kurt's
letter in the newsletter objects to as politically correct and
offense-policing, are utterly crucial if ARSC intends to be a relevant,
sustainable entity in the future.

Obviously there needs to be room for differing philosophies, and people
with opinions that are counter to the prevailing social movements have as
much right to voice their opinions as anyone. I fully support Kurt's right
to express the opinions he shared in his letter, including in such a public
forum as the newsletter (though I hope that opposing viewpoints will appear
in subsequent issues). And I can vouch for the fact that, as much as I
disagree with his sentiments, he is voicing the sentiments of other (I
suspect many) ARSC members, who perhaps view expressions of a commitment to
equity as irrelevant and intrusive.

(I'd like to emphasize the fact that I'm not equating the views expressed
in Kurt's letter with the hostility that I often experienced from other
ARSC members. My personal dealings with Kurt over the years have been quite
the opposite; I've found him to be a friendly person, a valuable and
knowledgeable community member, and an honorable businessman. But as I
understand his letter, he's disturbed by ARSC's taking an active stance on
social issues that he may not consider to be related to recorded sound
history.)

What we need, I would suggest, is for the ARSC leadership to continue doing
exactly what it's doing, and even to amplify its efforts: repeatedly
demonstrating that at an organizational level ARSC not only welcomes
(welcoming is not enough), but actively seeks the participation of, people
with a wide variety of lived experiences and beliefs; and making public
statements in support of the grievously overdue period of societal
reckoning we're going through. And for the membership whose views run
counter to the retrogressive elements, we should continue to do exactly
what we're doing: speaking up and disagreeing when we find someone else's
viewpoint troubling.

Best wishes,
Sarah Bryan



**************************
Sarah Bryan
http://sarah-bryan.com
www.ncfolk.org
www.oldtimeherald.org
**************************



On Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 1:35 AM Charles Reinsch <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Here's the link on the ARSC publications page
> http://www.arsc-audio.org/newsletter/NSLR153web.pdf
>
> On 7/19/2020 9:31 PM, Shai Drori wrote:
> > Can someone provide a link to the letter?
> >
> > Cheers
> > Shai Drori
> > Expert digitization services for Audio Video
> > 3K scanning for film 8mm-35mm
> > Timeless Recordings Music Label
> > www.audiovideofilm.com
> > [log in to unmask]
> >
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 7:20 AM Alex McGehee <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Very much appreciated your thoughtful response Chuck. I wish I felt the
> >> pandemic alone was the reason for an "environment that fosters
> impatience
> >> and anxiety, and where people react swiftly to what
> >> they see and experience." It's very much the case now, though (IMHO) I
> >> think social media led us down this troublesome path many years ago and
> we
> >> have willingly followed it. Now it festers regulation free. I can see
> how
> >> Kurt's letter may have been the only one received by the editor, but
> that
> >> doesn't excuse its full acceptance for publication. I've had the
> newsletter
> >> for more than a week, but Cory certainly sparked my response to the
> >> listserv. Glad he did.
> >> Alex
> >>
> >> On Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 12:00 AM Charles Reinsch <
> [log in to unmask]
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> I was disappointed that Kurt's was the only letter shared, but maybe
> >>> there were no others.  The pandemic has created an environment that
> >>> fosters impatience and anxiety, and where people react swiftly to what
> >>> they see and experience.  The subject under consideration is a struggle
> >>> for equality of economic, judicial, and social opportunity that has
> been
> >>> percolating since slaves were taken and used to build this country, and
> >>> indigenous people were subjected to intentional and casual genocide.
> >>> Unfortunately, we live in a time when articulate orators are a rarity,
> >>> and there are few, fewer today, who can express the angst that so many
> >>> are feeling.  Three or six word slogans may be all we have, but even if
> >>> they lack the orator's finesse, they will have to due.  "Black Lives
> >>> Matter"; "Get your knee off my neck", "Enough"
> >>>
> >>> Does ARSC have a role in this struggle? I would say yes, but I am only
> >>> one.  For those of you that may ask "why?", I say, because we are the
> >>> caretakers of history.
> >>>
> >>> I am glad Kurt wrote his letter, and that Cory poked the ARSCList,
> >>> otherwise we might have another 300 years of festering pain and
> >>> anguish.  I'll be dead by then.  I would like to see life better for
> >>> everyone before I go.
> >>>
> >>> Chuck
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Charles Reinsch
> >>> KRAB Archive: www.krabarchive.com
> >>>
> >>> On 7/19/2020 5:24 PM, Corey Bailey wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Hi All,
> >>>>
> >>>> In the last newsletter, there was an open letter to the ARSC
> >>>> membership titled "Letters to the Editor" by Kurt Nauck.
> >>>>
> >>>> Anyone care to comment on that letter?
> >>>>
> >>>> ~CB
> >>>>
> >>>> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
> >>>> www.baileyzone.net
>
> --
> Charles Reinsch
> KRAB Archive: www.krabarchive.com
>

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