Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I warned the Glassmen these times were coming

I left the following gloomy footnote at the end of spreading some Christmas cheer last year.
Enjoy this while it lasts.
There is a double meaning to "this." Not only does it refer to the video, but the drum corps activity as well. I fully expect Peak Oil, economic decline, and social upheaval to end the national touring model, which has been around since 1971, by 2020. I started mourning in 2008, when I quit writing for Drum Corps World and stopped going to shows. This will be the fourth year I haven't seen a corps live.
I may be wishing you all a happy holiday, but this is still a blog about collapse.  Be prepared for a lot of your favorite things, especially cultural institutions to go away, or to fight very hard to keep them.

As for drum corps' hopes, they rest on the one thing that makes Americans act, messing with their entertainment.  Americans want their entertainment, and will do just about anything to keep it going.
Here is an example of what I began to mourn in advance five years ago.

Toledo Glassmen Sidelined for 2013 DCI Summer Season

The Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps need to fill a $300,000 gap in their $1M annual budget. They cancelled the 2013 Summer Tour, but will hold an "All Star Review" featuring other Drum Corps June 23, 2013 at the Doyt Perry Stadium at BGSU in Bowling Green, OH.
Ironically, the first corps I warned about what was coming was the Glassmen, so this hits me especially hard.

During Thanksgiving weekend 2002, my daughter and I visited Glassmen's first audition camp for a Drum Corps World story.  During part of the visit, I interviewed their director.  He complained about how the recession was hurting the corps' finances and hoped that things would get better.  I told him that this was only the beginning and that things would get worse.  He looked at me in disbelief.

When I last saw him in June 2008, the current crisis was just getting underway.  I reminded him of what I had said.  "Remember, I told you it was going to get worse."  He shook his head and said, "You were right."  I had hoped that I wouldn't be, at least in his corps' case.  Glassmen is one of my personal favorites and has been ever since I began marching in corps in 1978.

I wish the Glassmen and their supporters all the luck in the world.  They'll need it.

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