Dear Interim Music Director
by Jody Nagel
Dear Dr. M----, Interim Music Director,
You said that people truly skillful were confident with themselves and therefore friendly to be around, that people unsure of themselves were less friendly to be around. While your description has a component of good reasoning to it, it does not include anything of the following: skilled persons that have a position supportive of the status-quo power structure are confident and are pleasant to be around by members of the shared ideology; this is the source of their peace of mind and their security: the fact that they have power on their side. Persons representing positions not in agreement with the power structure are more readily in a state of conflict and probably seem less friendly to those inside the power structure. All this is not about psychology, per se. This is about power and ideology. A well-paid saxophonist, say, that is pro-capitalist and plays some kind of music that provides him his paycheck, can easily seem more friendly and secure with himself to a fellow pro-capitalist. A socialist defender of Sonic Exploration and Art Music living in a capitalist Entertainment-oriented world obviously finds more conflict with the status quo reality, and seems less friendly to the status quo supporters. Your correlation of "self-confidence and skill" with "friendliness" has partial merit, but it's less than half the story.
Dr. Jody Nagel
October 9, 2000