Tuesday, October 17, 2006

IBMA: Silence of the Lions

That is my little play on words for the day ... bluegrass e-zine editor Bob Cherry writes "about the roaring silence" from the IBMA, which made me think of the movie "The Silence of the Lambs"; but leaders of an international organization like the IBMA could hardly be seen as lambs, now could they? Cherry says ...
Back on October 3rd, I wrote an editorial about IBMA Bluegrass Awards Show Goes Awry - David Crow Resigns. This article received a great deal of interest from the international bluegrass community and I received a lot of mail about the article. One prediction that I made was that the IBMA would remain silent and hope the whole thing would be forgotten and just go away.

Well, almost 2 weeks after that article, that appears to be exactly what is happening. The IBMA has yet to make a formal statement regarding the incident or ... anything.

Failing to respond to a constituency smacks of politics; the last thing in the world the IBMA membership wants from its leaders is politics! It gives the impression you think you sired your own ancestors. Real leadership is identified by the genuine approval of a leader's efforts by those who follow. Where there is no leadership, the followers falter

Before I go any further I need to get something off my shoulders; I'm not a member of the IBMA, I'm not even sure if I qualify. So before I get all uppity about what does or does not go on inside the association, I need to tell you I'm writing as a bluegrass fan, one who buys and listens to the stuff ... that is my only qualification for commenting on these matters.

John at Bluegrass Blog addresses the issue of being a member ...
Let me reiterate Brance’s suggestion that, if you are eligible to become a voting member of IBMA, and have not joined, you certainly should make the minimal effort to do so. Regardless of where you may stand on recent IBMA controversies, you can’t have an impact if you don’t join and vote!
That being said, the other bone I want to pick is the manner and treatment of the patriotic component of the awards program. You can examine that bone here! Cutting to the chase: Bluegrass is uniquely American by creation, to heck with what the international fans say!

The Kindom of Blue
is not a place for PC or Globalism; if the IBMA wants to go that way let them ... but the membership should maintain its American identity and history or it will find itself going the way of other once great American institutions.

Bob goes on to state his feelings regarding the deafening silence of the board ...
The Awards Show was on September 28th. The discussions started up the next morning. Here it is almost half way through October and there hasn't been a meaningful statement by anybody about what happened and what is being done to insure that doesn't occur again. [it is now 17 October]
This is disturbing on two accounts according to what I know: first, "the awards show media ... is in the mail" and, second, "the offensive material [sic] has also been removed."

I'm no insider, but that's a lot of work and yet no official has had or taken the time to communicate with the proletariat ... strange-suspicious. See what happens when the troops aren't told, the battle goes sour!

But the other is really disturbing ... Bob calls it what the critics are calling it, "the offensive material." Dang that's about as bad as a cockroach in my wife's lingerie drawer.

He relates some thoughts on his 4 October letter to the board ...
The bottom line, in my opinion, is that the IBMA board and director should have put out a statement by now. It's been almost a week. So far, they have not. When and If they do, it will probably be when this is no longer newsworthy and nobody is interested anymore. It will be forgotten and swept under the rug. The bluegrass community will have been neglected once again.
Ouch! He goes on ...
It appears ... my predictions were right on. History does repeat itself and the IBMA is extremely predictable when anything unfavorable occurs. It is "business as normal." Nothing has changed over the years.
Bob says more but you'll have to click over there to read it; it's worth the trip.

And speaking of more, Brance at Bluegrass Blog has an informative piece up on each IBMA board member along with bio links. I suggest we contact them and let them hear our voices. Brance also offers this ...
Remember these people represent us, the membership of IBMA, and should be representing our desires and concerns on the issues the board faces.
Right on! They are supposed to represent the people for crying out loud; this ain't the U.S. Congress or the UN here!

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