(Some might get the reference in the subject header. Some not. Oh well!)
… “I’m in scary Detroit with @DetroitSymphony. Fine orchestra Managed to walk to a restaurant without a hint of being murdered.”
Those are the words of the Scottish-born conductor Douglas Boyd, who led rousing performances as guest conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall on Thursday night and Friday morning. We caught up with the conductor just a few minutes after the brassy conclusion of Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 on Friday to ask him just what he meant by his tweet.
As he spoke, you could practically feel the perspiration still on his brow from the performance: “Forgive me, but think you’ve got to understand British humor, which is usually a little bit dark,” he said. “And I’m tweeting mostly to people in the U.K.”
Anything you say, tweet, blog, put up at Facebook or Google+ … all of it can be read by far too many. I continue to learn about how very careful one must be. All the emoticons in the world won’t get you out of things. I guess this conductor has now learned that. It’s a painful lesson, to be sure, and I feel for him. I’m sure he was just being witty.
Sometimes our family has a wicked sense of humor. I’ve said it many times: if people who don’t know us heard what we say sometimes with our bizarre sense of humor they’d be horrified! I would never write some of the things we say … you have to hear inflection. You have to know me. You have to understand how ridiculous we are. It’s tough to get any of that via text.
And then there’s the blatant awful stuff I’ve read on Facebook. I suppose people still don’t understand that Facebook friends are not necessarily true friends. Nor do they understand that if they write something absolutely horrible about someone in the music biz some of us who might be able to recommend them as subs would then opt to not do so. I’ve even thought perhaps I should “unfriend” some, merely to save them from getting on my “doesn’t really appear to get along well with others” sort of list. (I know, I know, I’m in only little groups that don’t mean much to many, but even a little gig is better than no gig at all. I think.)
We are in a tricky business. I think the internet has made it even trickier in some ways. I’ve managed to write some stupid things. I’m learning ever so slowly to think carefully before posting. The young musicians who are just starting out on their careers need, I think, mentoring in this area. I hope some will read this and think twice about what they are posting.