December 29, 2013

Business Strategy 101

Once at a high school reunion I caught up with an old classmate who had been an undersized but ferocious athlete (his bigger little brother had been John Elway's successor as Stanford's quarterback), and became a motorcycle cop. He had just gotten back from a dream vacation in New York during which he'd seen nine Broadway musicals. 

In case you are wondering, he is the doting father of three daughters. Cop, wife, and three girls times nine equals 45 tickets. Of the nine most expensive musicals on Broadway in mid-December 2013, the fifth (and thus median) was long-running Wicked at an average price of $149. So, that's six or seven thousand bucks for a family of five to attend nine shows.

By the way, Wicked has taken in $793,000,000 on Broadway alone from 2003-2013, higher than the domestic totals of even either of James Cameron's last two movies. That's a lot of money. And that's not the most, either. The Lion King has now surpassed one billion dollars just playing at one theater on Broadway.

As you would expect, various parties have staked their claims to a slice of the pie. After all, you can't outsource Broadway, and it's resistant to insourcing.

Here's a good article on Local 1, the stage hands union in New York that works Broadway and other top tier live events in Manhattan. Their work rules guarantee that they'll put in huge amounts of overtime, for which they are lavishly compensated. A few at the Met opera get over half a million per year in wages and benefits. (The NYT doesn't have access to compensation stats for profit Broadway theaters, but presumably they pay in the same ballpark.)

Not surprisingly, the demographics of stage hands are similar to those of film crews in Hollywood, only more so:
Jobs are often passed from father to son, and some members are now the fifth generation of their families to hold Local 1 cards. [Union boss] Mr. Claffey, whose total compensation in 2011 as Local 1’s chief was $277,000, is one of six Claffey brothers in the union. 
(It is most definitely a band of brothers. The union is still overwhelmingly white and male. Two years ago, it convened a meeting of its Sisters Committee for the first time, drawing 28 women, which the union’s newsletter said was nearly 20 percent of all the women in the local, suggesting that there are around 140 [out of 2,600].)
 
That's Econ 101, as rendered in Business Strategy 101: find yourself a defensible piece of monopoly power, and defend it.

80 comments:

A Working Class American said...

steve, please, remember your audience! You are intimating that labor monopolies are good...that's a no-no. Your readers will not agree with this idea (in general!). I however do agree.

And this blog ventures into an area that you have touched upon before--that white male union labor was the pinnacle of american achievement in some ways. I agree!

And this also touches upon another area you have mentioned -- that america was best for the majority back in the 50s when the workforce was primarily white male. I agree with that as well.

And now we come to a general principle that I happen to think is greatly ignored but that is very important: diversity is strength for business, but weakness for labor. Homogeneity is strength for labor, but weakness for business.

Which leads us to another foundational principle: business and labor are inexorably, inextricably opposed. Something else your readers will not like to hear?

Anonymous said...

Disguising smugness with enthusiasm year in and year out seeing struggling actors struggle, year in and year out... Reminds me of a cartoon.

Guaranteed overtime happens in police and fire departments too.

Anonymous said...

So any ideas?

Anonymous said...

That's Econ 101, as rendered in Business Strategy 101: find yourself a defensible piece of monopoly power, and defend it.

defensible: able to be thought of as good...

defendable, defend: to fight... in order to keep... something... from being taken away

So, essentially, "defensible" means [plausibly] morally good, whereas "defendable" means that the piece of turf in question is [plausibly] capable of being held against most [plausible] on-comers.

Big Bill said...

Odd. Why would feminists fight to get women into the Marines and not fight to get women into the theater trades right there in Manhattan?

Those elderly Restocking gals could get there for only a $3 subway token. What with a senior discount it might even be less.

Anonymous said...

six Claffey brothers

Irish: reduced Anglicized form of McClaffey, Gaelic Mac Fhlaithimh, a patronymic from the personal name Flaitheamh meaning ‘prince’.

The other big question here is how long the Southern Irish can maintain the demographic muscle necessary for defending this turf, and how much longer the, ah, other "Irish", the, ah, "Scots-Irish", who actually run things on Broadway, are going to put up with this extortion.

[And let's face it, the, ah, other "Irish", the, ah, "Scots-Irish", have pwned the entire anti-economic sphere of monopolistic rent-extraction schemes for as long as we have historical records to document the phenomenon of rent-extraction, so you've gotta figure that this shiznat simply infuriates them to no end.]

My very vague non-scientific general impression is that the Southern Irish, like most other libtards, quit making babies back circa the mid-1970s, and that to the extent that they are still holding onto their turf in this century, it's simply because the Boomer Southern Irish haven't started dying yet.

I'd guess that in the next 10 to 15 years, as the Boomer Southern Irish move into their 70s and 80s and start dying off en masse, suddenly the ah, other "Irish" media, the, ah, "Scots-Irish" media, will start to discover and promulgate the concept of Right to Work.

Unless maybe they figure that paying graft to the unions is a necessary cost of business which is required for them to maintain their grip on power in the Blue States.

rightsaidfred said...

I'm sure the Mark Zuckerberg's and Bryan Caplan's of the world are working on how to open this up to a new constituency...

The Anti-Gnostic said...

But, but ... churn, creative destruction, barriers to entry, price elasticity!

This is where economists trip over their own premises. If a cozy little guild or trade monopoly is advantageous, then it's an economic good and people are going to pursue it. So maybe the policy path of least resistance is to bias things more toward letting people find their own level rather than a brutal, all-against-all cage match where the referee keeps adding contestants.

Isn't that what academics like, for example, the Econ department at George Mason U. are doing? After all, GMU doesn't just throw up a few classrooms and charge rent to whoever shows up and can attract the most paying students. On the contrary, they set up a cozy little Bubble with high barriers to entry from which the GMU Econ department can lecture the rest of us about churn, creative destruction, barriers to entry, price elasticity, etc.

Anonymous said...

>>"That's Econ 101, as rendered in Business Strategy 101: find yourself a defensible piece of monopoly power, and defend it."



And make sure that the NYT and other guardians of a social conscience will seldom, if ever, publicly point out in print exactly how these monopolistic practices are run.

After all, its a fair assumption that several on the NYT board of directors as well as their lead writers and molders of public opinion are ready customers of Broadway shows, perhaps some are given a few comps every now and then.

After all, if you're in on the cultural event that is soooo quintessentially New York (Broadway) why rock the boat?

Dave Pinsen said...

Saw Wicked a few years ago on a weeknight. Every seat was full, and the theater looked like it was doing nice business on drinks and merchandise as well. In a way, it's kind of surprising it became such a hit. The music is mediocre and the story is more sophisticated than that of a typical musical.

Re the Broadway unions: in college, I took a theater appreciation class taught by a blue collar sort of Broadway producer, and he encouraged handy students to consider backstage work, saying it paid decently. He was talking about touring shows though; I guess he thought it was pointless to mention how much the Broadway work paid since the odds of breaking in there were so low. Incidentally, those broadway unions are one reason you can find interesting new shows on stage in other parts of the country before they make it to broadway. If memory serves, Wicked opened in San Francisco.

Anonymous said...

During the first half of the previous decade I knew a lot of members of civil service skilled trades unions in NYC. Electricians, elevator mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, glaziers, plasterers working for the city. I wasn't one of them, but I dealt with them at my job. With overtime (which was copious) they made roughly $80k to 100K a year at that time. 35 to 40 paid vacation days a year, lifetime employment. They were overwhelmingly US-born white ethnics - Irish, Italians, white Hispanics (the real thing), Greeks, Poles, etc. Family men. I dealt with many hundreds of them and I honestly don't remember a single woman. Maybe 2% or 3% were black men.

Where the civil service turns NAM and immigrant is in clerical, office supervisory and unskilled blue collar positions. The skilled trades are mostly white. Cops in NYC seem roughly 60% non-white, fire fighters are still overwhelmingly US-born whites.

Why are elevator mechanics mostly white? There's a lot of competence involved there, and Asians, East Indians especially, really don't want to work with their hands if an alternative to that is present. I suspect that on average and controlled for IQ white guys like to tinker with mechanical systems more than Asians.

DJF said...

It also helps that your customers have also carved out a "defensible piece of monopoly power" in the NYC finance industry and get bailed out so they can afford to buy these tickets.

Anonymous said...

"He had just gotten back from a dream vacation in New York during which he'd seen nine Broadway musicals. In case you are wondering, he is the doting father of three daughters."

Rotfl.

Yeah, I was wondering.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, Wicked has taken in $793,000,000 on Broadway alone from 2003-2013, higher than the domestic totals of even either of James Cameron's last two movies. That's a lot of money. And that's not the most, either. The Lion King has now surpassed one billion dollars just playing at one theater on Broadway."

Masses watch movies. Elites--and bankrupt cops--watch musicals on Broadway.

ironrailsironweights said...

The Times has a strange relationship with Broadway theaters. While it may not be to quite the same extent as in the past, a show's success or failure is still significantly affected by its Times review, and shows are heavily dependent on the Times for advertising (for which they pay a higher column-inch rate than any other advertisers).
If a renegade theater owner told the unions to take a hike, the Times would do everything in its still-considerable power to get the theater shut down. Another concern is that the Upper West Siders who still comprise a significant portion of theater audiences would boycott a nonunion theater.

Peter

Dave Pinsen said...

OT, but up your alley: venture capitalist Fred Wilson blogs about the challenge of getting more women in computer programming. I linked to one of your posts on this in the comments. Incidentally, Fred's post was prompted by a Larry Summers sort of kerfuffle involving Paul Graham.

sabril said...

I agree to an extent, but I think it's difficult to see (without the benefit of hindsight) where the defensible, profitable monopolies will be.

Presumably there was a time 50 or 100 years ago when it was a lot easier to become a Broadway stagehand. If it was a lot easier, that's only because people were not aware what a great deal it would turn out to be.

So basically your advice isn't all that useful. However, if your aim was to excite envy, then you've probably succeeded.

Anonymous said...

Two comments: (1) I'm curious how a motorcycle cop comes up with this kind of throwing around money; and (2) After an enormous initial investment a movie can make its investors money forever -- given the copyright protection Hollywood has bought from Congress -- with relatively small and predictable expenses for residuals, duplication and distribution, and monopoly maintenance. The on-going expenses for Broadway productions and even road shows and revivals - as the cited article makes clear - are enormous and this must cut considerably into any profits these productions atcually generate.

d..... said...

Running a Bway show is very expensive. That's the reason ticket prices are so high and it's mostly for the tourists.

When I was a kid you could get orchestra seats for a hit show for $10, which would equate to $20 today. Gone forever.

OT but this is a Steve story about the horror SFX of incest:

http://tinyurl.com/olo6q87

I wonder if they were part-Aboriginal.

I also suspect that the gene pool was pretty crappy to begin with. Not that I'm advocating smart people inbreed, but the founding stock was probably bad to begin with.

Anonymous said...

a motorcycle cop. He had just gotten back from a dream vacation in New York during which he'd seen nine Broadway musicals.

In case you are wondering, he is the doting father of three daughters.


Um, so was it his dream vacation, or his wife or daughters' dream vacation?

fish said...

Once at a high school reunion I caught up with an old classmate who had been an undersized but ferocious athlete (his bigger little brother had been John Elway's successor as Stanford's quarterback), and became a motorcycle cop. He had just gotten back from a dream vacation in New York during which he'd seen nine Broadway musicals.

I could have sworn that a passing reference to his "partner" was going to lead off your next paragraph.....

Harry Baldwin said...

The amount of money taken in by hit Broadway shows compared to James Cameron's movies is impressive, but I expect that the cost of running the show over that lengthy period has exceeded the budget of those movies.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Wicked has taken in $793,000,000 on Broadway alone from 2003-2013, higher than the domestic totals of even either of James Cameron's last two movies. That's a lot of money. And that's not the most, either. The Lion King has now surpassed one billion dollars just playing at one theater on Broadway.

I had no idea they were raking it in like this. Who are all these people watching Broadway shows? Is it due to the successful marketing of going to a Broadway show as a thing you're supposed to do as a tourist to NYC?

E. Rekshun said...

Or, just substitute NYC union stage hand with CA motorcycle cop and it's he same monopoly power and very, very high wages.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that one of the Village People was a motorcycle cop and that the motorcycle cop character and imagery seem to be popular among gays.

E. Rekshun said...

NYT, 12/27/13: Police Salaries and Pensions Push California City to Brink

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/28/us/police-salaries-and-pensions-push-california-city-to-brink.html?pagewanted=1&src=recg

"...Police officers here, as in many California cities, can retire as young as 50 with 30 years of service and receive 90 percent of their final salary every year — drawing those pensions for decades...In Desert Hot Springs, for example, for every dollar that the city pays its police officers, another 36 cents must be sent to Calpers to fund their pensions...The average pay and benefits package for a police officer here had been worth $177,203 per year, in a city where the median household income was $31,356 in 2011, according to the Census Bureau."

Handle said...

Yes, that's pretty much everything Michael Porter ever said or wrote.

Except, maybe, 'there's also some money to be made if you can disrupt and crush some other guy's monopoly with your new one'.

Henry Canaday said...

Oddly, stage unions for both talent and techs are more reasonable and flexible in England, once the home of irrationally greedy labor unions, than in the United States. And that is one reason British stage is so much more healthy and creative than Broadway, which has survived on British imports and a few special shows like Lion and Wicked.
Monopoly has consequences, both economic and cultural.

Anony Mouse said...

My husband is trying to break into the Broadway pit musician scene. I sent him this article and suggested he was in the wrong line of work. Pit musicians are well paid too, but not to the same level. The pay scales are public through the union, Local 802 and a player usually starts at around $100k for a twenty hour a week job. Idon't know any second or third generation holders of Broadway chairs, but it's a very odd business. Those jobs aren't advertised anywhere, and they're all gotten through personal connections. My husband spends an inordinate amount of time taking people out to coffee. The Phantom pit in particular is like it's own exclusive fraternity. (Pit musicians are almost exclusively men.) They've been holding their chairs for so long they're snobbish. There's an apocryphal story that when the oboist was retiring, they couldn't find a score for the new hire to learn. The old oboist had been playing the show for so long the score had long been memorized and lost.

Noah172 said...

These aren't government workers, so they aren't fleecing taxpayers. They are (I presume; correct me if I am wrong) not just white men but straight white gentile men in a Jewish-and-gay-dominated business, so bravo to them for making a good deal for themselves at the expense of people who deserve some humbling (and then some).

Would that the rest of us could follow their example (by, say, moving the political needle towards protectionism and legal immigration restriction).

jody said...

good money. didn't realize their 10 year totals. impressive.

Gringo said...

Back in the 1960's when I was in high school, a friend and I took the train for a day in New York City. We took in a play, which I believe was off-Broadway and was The Mousetrap. I don't remember the the cost of the tickets, but I doubt they were any more than $5, which would translate to no more than 4 hours of my minimum wage as counterman at a greasy spoon.

Anonymous said...

The real money is in rent. It's a more pleasant life than a lifetime of dog-eat-dog competition. I've lived both.

Dave Pinsen said...

Successful musicals don't just make money on Broadway - there are other productions, often concurrent. The same shows play in London, Tokyo, on North American tours, etc.

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG_rEqCivn4

Why I hate musicals.

Anonymous said...

>> how much longer the, ah, other "Irish", the, ah, "Scots-Irish", who actually run things on Broadway, are going to put up with this extortion.

First we have to get all our cousins in Tarzana onto the Longshoreman's gravy train.

Your race group is a set of losers. We will allow you to eat the crumbs of the pie we baked. Now go back to training your daughters try to out-slut Miley Cyrus. They fall right into it, by genetic aptitu cishippde, don't they?

It's your only observable social accomplishment in 3 generations now.

Anonymous said...

9 musicals plus two 6 hr flights in one vacation is one hell of a DVT risk.

Whiskey said...

Steve, Broadway is doomed. It will have to move. Likely, already to Vegas! Baby!

De Blasio will turn NYC into a combination of Taxi Driver and Escape from New York. Tired old 70s people like Laurie Anderson will be happy, rents will be cheap again. But the whole place will be a war zone.

NYC will die as Chicago is dying and Detroit, Baltimore, Philly, and Newark died.

Really, all it will take is about five or six murders of tourists by "vibrant youth" and spending thousands of dollars to see Broadway shows will be a thing of the past. Would your acquaintance take his wife and daughters to say, 1970's Taxi Driver/Death Wish NYC? Past prostitutes, drug dealers, and porn palaces in Times Square?

Car based cities are superior to walking cities, in that it can sustain the highly paid labor force that the nearly all-White stagehands in Broadway consist of; as well as the acting universe in NYC.

You're missing the big picture there. All that money from "Wicked" did not come from the stage hands being a labor monopoly. It came from people willing to plunk down thousands of dollars for a "dream Vacation in NYC." Which requires safety. Which in turn is impossible in a walking city because "diverse" people are just too darn vibrant!

Whiskey said...

As for movies, well they are basically two hour commercials for toys and shirts and video games and lunchboxes.

Wicked? Its revenue stream comes almost entirely from live performances and recorded music, perhaps a DVD. Take "Pacific Rim." That movie will sell a ton of toys, games, t-shirts, and everything else they can think of to teenagers and their parents globally. Yeah domestic box office for Pacific Rim was crummy. Who really cares? The point was to sell merchandise.

Anonymous said...

Random OT question: has anyone ever compared the background of, sometimes great, French author Michel Houellebecq to that of Barry O? Both were conceived, on an island off the continent, by educationally elite parents and both were dumped on a grandmother.
MH became an angry author. If BO were white, would he have become Houellebecq?

d..... said...

" In case you are wondering, he is the doting father of three daughters."

I didn't get the double entendre at first.

Have you all gone crazy? Sometimes I think you have.

It's considered a perfectly normal thing for a tourist to go to a B'way musical.

They also go to museums. Is THAT gay?

What are they supposed to do, go to Giants and Jets games?

Being a tourist in a major metropolis means you do stuff that is (sadly) associated in our dumbass culture with gays.

" that the motorcycle cop character and imagery seem to be popular among gays."

All straight imagery is popular with gays. They are in love with straight men. They rent straight porn to lust after straight men.

"The music is mediocre and the story is more sophisticated than that of a typical musical."

The music of most if not all musicals nowadays is mediocre. This is not the golden age of musicals.

WICKED appeals heavily to adolescent females. BOOK OF MORMON to guys.

BTW the Mormons did something clever and witty. They took out ads in the Playbills at the musical BOOK OF MORMON saying, "Now you've seen the musical, read the book."

Is doing something clever and witty intrinsically gay? Something tells me that Steve's readers would think so.

Anonymous said...

When the big three made up over 60% of the domestic market for auto manufacturing, the UAW had a monopoly on auto assembly labor. For awhile (1950-1970?) a small group were able to extract above market wages and benefits. Japanese and German cars barely met the American taste.

However, above market costs eventually allowed other competitors to destroy the domestic industry.

In my opinion, the market Broadway competes in is "entertainment" or "leisure". No one knows how many people would go to live theater if
costs were more in line with similar labor. Certainly teenagers and young adults weigh the cost of a play against the costs of a movie.

A better example of a protected market seems to be NFL or college football. You need to be connected to an entire network for the game to be meaningful. Still the AFL broke the NFL old monopoly. College competes against pro and I don't think the average lineman, ticket taker or lighting engineer makes a terribly out of line living. Talent (QB, coach), of course, always makes a great deal of money but that is because it is rare - there is no need for a union of successful football coaches.

Anonymous said...

"The (Wicked) music is mediocre and the story is more sophisticated than that of a typical musical."

Ha. A big, loud, green anti-goyim suppository.

Anonymous said...

http://alternative-right.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/looking-back-forging-forward.html

A fight, a fight!!

Daniel said...

>>If a renegade theater owner told the unions to take a hike, the Times would do everything in its still-considerable power to get the theater shut down. Another concern is that the Upper West Siders who still comprise a significant portion of theater audiences would boycott a nonunion theater.

I doubt it very much that either the Times editorial board or Upper West Siders sympathize with the white proles who comprise the union. They both hate white proles. And in this case, I hate these white proles too. It is absurd that any worker should extract such compensation for a salaried job. If I were in charge I would bust those unions fast.

Anonymous said...

My very vague non-scientific general impression is that the Southern Irish, like most other libtards, quit making babies back circa the mid-1970s, and that to the extent that they are still holding onto their turf in this century, it's simply because the Boomer Southern Irish haven't started dying yet.

There was an outstanding series on Showtime, called Brotherhood, about how the aging Southern Irish population in Rhode Island was slowly losing its grip on power.

Kinduva cross between HBO's The Sopranos and Scorcese's The Departed.

Ironically enough, one of the Southern Irish brothers was actually played by an, ah, other-Irishman, a, ah, Scots-Irishman [who went on to experience considerable fame and fortune as "Lucius Malfoy"].

Anonymous said...

My very vague non-scientific general impression is that the Southern Irish, like most other libtards, quit making babies back circa the mid-1970s, and that to the extent that they are still holding onto their turf in this century, it's simply because the Boomer Southern Irish haven't started dying yet.

How dare you not have enough kids to maintain a stranglehold on the union, you foolish Irish?

My advice to my Irish American brethren is to not have kids unless there's a good chance they have the stuff to succeed beyond the level of cubicle drone or tradesman. Those positions are held in contempt by the elites and are envied by the NAMs. Let the elites breed their own "insulation." It's not like the elites will support you in any labor conflict and it's not like NAMs exempt you from being objects of hatred.

How many Nobel winners are of Irish descent? Let's help the nation by practicing some eugenics - addition by subtraction. You're non-existent child will not care that the elites have awarded a NAM his government job via AA. Let's try to change the image of the Irish as a group of community college B students. The Asian/Jewish model might be the way to go.

Anonymous said...

The fact that so many educated rich people go for stuff like Wicked, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Spiderman, and other crap proves that they have no taste.

In some ways, movie people have more sense. Julie Taymore's ACROSS THE UNIVERSE bombed, but had it been a stage musical, it probably would have made 500 million.

Anonymous said...

"I had no idea they were raking it in like this. Who are all these people watching Broadway shows?"

With average ticket costing $149, it's not difficult to fathom.

Elites and their kids are watching it cuz they love to do expensive stuff.

And then you got the rubes from small towns to visit NY or Chicago, and their idea of 'culture' is taking in some crappy Broadway show. But hey, the ticket cost a lot of money, so that must mean it's fancy like.

Opera is just too heavy for most people. Movies are too common and accessible. Something like WICKED is somewhere between, I guess.

Horrible.

anony-mouse said...

Am I the only person here with access to Wikipedia?

The Lion King Musical is owned by Disney (duh) and Wicked by Universal. Most of the other shows are owned by big Corps + the Shubert Org.

So the workers are making good money and (bad news for commenters here) so are the Shuberts, et al.

Anony Mouse said...

If you actually want to watch Broadway, it's surprisingly easy to get tickets for $40/seat, if you purchase them on the day of the show. My husband and I have seen a lot of Broadway this way over the years. For many shows, you just show up on the day of the performance, cash in hand, and buy tickets when the box office opens.

As for why people like it? When City Opera flamed out earlier in the year, people lamented that the Americans weren't like the Italians, who support their opera companies! I pointed out the obvious: Italians invented opera; Americans have their own homegrown form of sung storytelling--musical theater.

I grew up in a small town of 13,000, and there are still a half dozen musicals performed there a year, between the high school's, the middle school's and the tiny local theater company that performs in the church basement. So people are watching shows or sometimes performing in them, from a fairly young age.

That's what breeds an audience, that when they come to NYC, will spring for tickets. That also provides the audience that watches Broadway shows on tour (a season pass to see 6 touring Broadway shows runs $250 or less).

Dave Pinsen said...

There's plenty of Wicked merch. I bought a travel mug so I could take my cocktail from the bar back to my seat after intermission, but I doubt Steve's friend got out if that theater without buying some souvenirs for his girls.

Dave Pinsen said...

That is witty of Mormons, and shows they are good sports. But as Mark Twain said, the Book of Mormon is chloroform in print.

Dave Pinsen said...

Of the shows you mentioned, I've seen Les Miserables, Wicked, and Spider-Man. Les Mis was a huge global hit, based in a classic novel. Wicked was based on a critically acclaimed novel. I'm not sure how either is inferior to a typical opera, some of which are based on thinner stories. Spider-Man was kind of like an overpriced Cirque Du Soliel for kids.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous d..... said...

It's considered a perfectly normal thing for a tourist to go to a B'way musical."

Yeah, but nine of them? That can only bespeak masochism or homosexuality.

Anonymous said...

"And now we come to a general principle that I happen to think is greatly ignored but that is very important: diversity is strength for business, but weakness for labor."

Do you think diversity is really a strength for business?

Dave Pinsen said...

How is Wicked "anti-goyim"?

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, but nine of them? That can only bespeak masochism or homosexuality."

He may simply be hen-pecked (I'm avoiding the more popular description of this condition 'cause I hate vulgarity). It's perfectly normal for a woman to want to go to nine Broadway shows. What's not normal is for a lower-middle class husband to let his wife spend six thousand dollars on them.

Alfa158 said...

I read in a WSJ article that the sweetest stagehand job is at Carnegie Hall. There are about half a dozen of them with the most senior guy making about 450K a year. Unlike an opera or musical stage job where there are sets to be muscled around, their job basically consists of putting out the folding chairs before each concert, then putting them away after.

marco lalo said...

this is great if you're white, male, and a member of this 'elite' club. not so great, if you're not.

it's remarkable how you celebrate this sort of thing. what happened to the notion of the general good?

Unknown said...

In a sane, high trust society, everyone would see that this is a little excessive and not even desirable, ex: a bright son of one of these guys would likely be tempted by 200k doing this instead of 100k mid career as an Electrical Engineer.

As it is, get while the getting is good.

Anonymous said...

"As for movies, well they are basically two hour commercials for toys and shirts and video games and lunchboxes."

But you can't say that about Twilight.

Anonymous said...

How is Wicked 'anti-goyim'?

Never fall into the trap of trying to explain a joke, or an aphorism. They wouldn't.

The Satchmo defence will do: 'if you has to ask, you ain't never gonna know.'

E. Rekshun said...

@Daniel: "It is absurd that any worker should extract such compensation for a salaried job. If I were in charge I would bust those unions fast."

Also applies to cops and firewhiners.

Anonymous said...

No different from the passing of privilege down the generations within the ruling elites in Anglophone countries.

Neither is defensible but one abuse is far far worse than the other.

As certain families entrench their controlling positions nationally they will have to ignore other doing the same on a smaller stage.

;-)

GordoCooper

Anonymous said...

WICKED has pretty much become the rite of passage for young Irish-, ah, Scots-Irishwomen. Their mothers take them to New York around the age of 12 or 13 to see the show together, and it has started to replace the (already ersatz) rite of bat, ah, confirmation.

The show itself is fairly clean and anodyne, but the book on which it is based (which presumably the young colleens will then pick up) is non-stop sexual deviance, bestiality and nihilism.

Mike said...

Even at the excessive rates some CA cops receive a vacation like this should be out of reach financially. This looks like a "how do I dump this money" kind of trip.

Jake said...

I've got a genius idea - let's give Americans a monopoly on the market for labor in America. It could work wonders.

The first time I hated New York and it's insane sense of entitlement I was barely out of college, and hopped a flight to there, where I caught my first Broadway show. We stayed at a hotel near Times Square. We were traveling with nothing but backpacks, and said we didn't need a bellhop, but he was required (by union contract, I suspect) to escort us to our room, where he expected a tip...for two guys with backpacks. We both gave him a "fuck you" look and stiffed him.

My wife and I bought an entire season of 6 touring shows for less than the cost of a plane flight and hotel stay in New York...before the cost of the show tickets. Broadway musicals are better than the touring alternative, but not by enough for me to care, and we get to spread out the enjoyment over a year. I love live theater, but I can't imagine why anyone would want to see more than 3-4 shows in a single trip. Sitting on your ass starts to lose its magic after the third or fourth show.

For what it's worth, the talent, creativity, and energy that goes into producing and performing quality theater is breathtaking. Only a complete asshole would suggest that a man who appreciates that is "gay."

Maxwell Power said...

Which has more lasting civilizational value, IPO'ing a web site start-up that indexes everyone's activities for easy police & NSA access; or crafting a camp/pomo musical spectacular brand -- encompassing both Glee-style adolescent catharsis and old-fashioned frickin' laser beams -- which consistently entertains Median Citizen for a few hours till he returns to his post-industrial make-work professional job or welfare career? You don't need large number of employees to do either one (which is the point) but it's not as if you have to make something really useful like cars or cotton gins or home freezers

d..... said...

"I love live theater, but ...Sitting on your ass starts to lose its magic after the third or fourth show."

If you are from across the country and won't visit for another 10 years (or ever) you'll crowd in as many as possible.

"For what it's worth, the talent, creativity, and energy that goes into producing and performing quality theater is breathtaking."

True. Also, only stage acting is real acting. You don't get to do another take. No comparison between that & film acting. Why do so many bright young "stars" disappear? They are lousy actors, they were only good in one or two parts. They got their parts due to favoritism or the casting couch. You can see the difference in quality between West Coast actors and the NY theater actors who do TV.

"Only a complete asshole would suggest that a man who appreciates that is "gay.""

Yes. You can find a lot of them here.

It's unfortunate that at least with men, too many gays drive out straights. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Regarding the NYC Opera, it was always competing with the Met.

Anonymous said...

Only a complete asshole would suggest that a man who appreciates that is "gay."

We're talking about campy, cheesy musicals here. Straight men appreciate good, serious drama and theater. Appreciating campy, corny musicals is pretty gay though.

d..... said...

"We're talking about campy, cheesy musicals here. Straight men appreciate good, serious drama and theater."

Sez you. I cry BS.

I am absolutely positive that if a guy commented that he saw the recent re-stagings of SOUTH PACIFIC, or OKLAHOMA or CAROUSEL, he would be hooted down as gay, gay, gay. These are musicals from the true golden age, they have brilliant music and made star careers in their day. But no straight man will admit to seeing these classics without being tarred as gay. You'd lead the pack, my boy.

He might get away with GUYS AND DOLLS, but nothing much else.

I find this sad.

As for straight men being the core audience of "good, serious drama", oh, dream on. The core audience of "good serious drama" (if such even exists) are the pet hate group of Sailer readers: middle-class Jews. Mamet is Jewish, and most of his NY theater audience is. He wouldn't have a career if it were up to straight, white guys.

Fun facts:

The original lead in CAROUSEL and OKLAHOMA was Bonnie's dad John Raitt; SOUTH PACIFIC, Ezio Pinza, GUYS AND DOLLS: Robert Alda (Alan's dad) and Sam Levene. Laurence Olivier said that Sam Levene's performance as Nathan Detroit was the greatest stage performance he'd ever seen.

David said...

The Anti-Gnostic's comment is a gem. "[M]aybe the policy path of least resistance is to bias things more toward letting people find their own level [free association, guilds, unions] rather than a brutal, all-against-all cage match where the referee keeps adding contestants."

Jake said...

"We're talking about campy, cheesy musicals here. Straight men appreciate good, serious drama and theater. Appreciating campy, corny musicals is pretty gay though."

Such powers of observation you have. Feel free to cite examples of the "campy, corny musicals" to which you refer, or do they all fall under that category? Wicked? Phantom? Les Mis? The Lion King? Seussical? Bring It On? Next to Normal? Rent? Jekyll & Hyde? Pimpernel?

I can think of a few examples which may qualify as 'campy and corny,' but I won't cite them since you probably have no effing clue what you're taking about.

"Serious dramas" tend to be worse than musicals, on average - frequently little more than leftist polemic masquerading as theater. Authors with little meaningful to say but a hell of a large axe to grind. If you want something truly "gay," a "serious drama" is a better bet than your typical musical.

RonMexico said...

Steve, Is the QB friend John Paye or Steve Cottrell?
Whiskey says that NYC will die like Detroit. You ain't never been to "The D" bro. A few enterprising folks are running "tours" of Detroit where folks can spend $45 for a day of viewing the ruins of the once great city of Detroit. Locals call it "ruin porn" because it has become a profitable venture appealing to former Detroiters and foreign tourists. DiBlasio would have to call in air strikes to get NYC to look like Detroit.

Anonymous said...

Saw Les Miserables this week. Doesn't look like the diversity craze has hit live theatre at all. The cast was all white and the audience of about 2,000 was at least 90% white too. Orientals and a few brown skinned Asians made up the rest. I didn't see one single black face in the crowd and I was making a point to take notice. I did see a few black ushers, but that was all.

Father Time said...

I did see a few black ushers, but that was all.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Anonymous said...

"Saw Les Miserables this week. Doesn't look like the diversity craze has hit live theatre at all."

There's more unity among the elites since they are less diverse(and powerfully controlled by Jews and their mini-me the homos).
They want more diversity among the masses so that masses won't ever unite to take what they, the elites, have.

There used to diversity among the elites. Wasps, Catholics, and Jews all had immense power. So, the elite power had some checks and balances.
Today, it's essentially Jew-homo affair with white gentile elites following their lead like sheep.

But there's far more diversity among the masses. So, the elites are safer than ever.

Jake said...

"Saw Les Miserables this week. Doesn't look like the diversity craze has hit live theatre at all. The cast was all white and the audience of about 2,000 was at least 90% white too."

Les Mis could conceivably have black characters, as there were a handful in France at the time (Alexandre Dumas, etc.) but the main characters were all white in Hugo's book, and if the black cast members didn't especially stand out they would would set off my Intentional Diversity Alarm.

OTOH, I would accept Audra McDonald in just about any roll - Fantine, Mary Poppins, whatever. Acting ability is far more important than race. I've seen actors perform rolls that were obviously meant for another race (this happens a bit in community theater) but they performed so splendidly that I didn't care.

I was more disappointed with the latest Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug. So far as I can recall, all the LOTR & Hobbit movies have had 100% white casts, but Jackson includes a few non-white characters in the scene at Laketown who get several close-ups and just seem absurdly out-of-place. Middle Earth was always meant as a stand-in for Ancient Britain (or Western Europe, at the very most) and including non-white characters is just ridiculous. For a few minutes, the movie feels more like schlocky TV fantasy - Hercules, Xena, Seeker, Merlin, etc.

Maxwell Power said...

I can't get past Audra McDonald's busted nose (even Ellen Barkin would say to get that fixed). But, the rest of her ain't bad...