Mudcat Café message #1838684 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94776   Message #1838684
Posted By: GUEST,Russ
19-Sep-06 - 06:54 PM
Thread Name: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
The following is a RANT:
By a Yank, to boot.

Granted, the monetary amounts involved are relevant.

Granted, if it came to a trial, a number of participants in this thread would apparently be glad to appear as character witnesses for Kennedy's defense.

Nevertheless...

Something is missing in this discussion.

It is also usually missing from discussions like this one.

In such discussions, whether they be about Kennedy, Peer, Sharp, Lomax, Thomas, Niles, or A.P. Carter, the focus is always on the perp.

Nobody wants to talk about the victims.

It would be perfectly reasonable for the victims to ask, "So what are we? Chopped liver?"

Nobody wants to talk about the impact of the perp's behavior on real human beings, and their friends, and relations, and the musical traditions themselves.

Nobody wants to consider the ramifications of broken promises and betrayed trusts.

For example,
John Morgan Salyer was so dismayed by the stories he heard about the predetory relations between "collectors' and traditional musicians that he stopped playing in public and refused to allow anybody to record him.

The only recordings we have of his playing were made by him. His family consistently refused to share those recordings with anybody outside the family until Bruce Greene came along.

Such an impact on a particular traditional musician is not trivial. Now multiply that by 10 or 100 and think of the impact of sleazy collecting practices on an entire musical tradition.

To paraphrase a remark made TO a patronizing collector of traditional music BY someone who wasn't impressed with the collector's "credentials",
"These people aren't a bunch of ignorant natives on some island, they are my friends"

I personally am appalled by Kennedy's disrespect for his sources.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)