NYCB Dancers Cut
Posted 23 July 2009 - 10:42 AM
Posted 23 July 2009 - 01:43 PM
Posted 23 July 2009 - 02:11 PM
Posted 23 July 2009 - 02:37 PM
I got the same feeling when I read that after all the years of service to the Royal Ballet, Margot Fonteyn was never awarded even a meager pension.
Posted 23 July 2009 - 03:48 PM
Posted 23 July 2009 - 04:18 PM
You’d say “You’re fired” directly only as a way of being deliberately harsh to an employee who’s being dismissed under very unpleasant circumstances. The use of euphemisms can be an attempt at kindness as well as a self-interested effort to defuse a fraught situation.
I understand that, certainly. But all over the country people are getting tossed out of their workplaces far more unceremoniously. Some of them are older people who will have a much harder time than these dancers in their efforts to rebuild their personal and professional lives. The dismissed dancers are receiving high level media attention, if they want it, and people seem to be reaching out to help and sympathize. Many are not so fortunate.
Posted 23 July 2009 - 04:35 PM
the Metropolitan's staff has been reduced by 357, to fewer than 2,200 employees. Nothing comparable has happened since 1972. Has this been a story in NYC?
Posted 23 July 2009 - 04:43 PM
Posted 23 July 2009 - 05:25 PM
Since technically these are non-renewals of contracts, "let go", as a synonym for "release" seems perfectly appropriate to me, even though it does minimize the harshness of the event.
Posted 23 July 2009 - 05:34 PM
Posted 23 July 2009 - 06:03 PM
Of course it is difficult for anyone to lose a job, and in the current economy it can be devastating, but I think the issues for the dancers are a bit different. The dancers aren't expressing the fears I hear from my friends who have lost jobs, i.e. financial fears, finding another job before their unemployment runs out, loss of health insurance etc. They are grieving the loss of the thing that gave focus and meaning to their lives.
From the Times article:
The emotions are especially acute because, more than many other workers, ballet dancers define themselves and their self-worth by their profession. Losing a job is like losing one’s identity.
Sophie Flack, “It was the end of the life I knew since I was a little girl.”
Posted 23 July 2009 - 06:11 PM
Imagine, for example, that I am holding you by with hands to keep you from falling off a high balcony. I may prefer to see this as "letting [you] go." But you fall nonetheless.
No matter what you think about the specific situation, or the underlying economics, it IS interesting that this phrase has become so deeply a part of the way we use our language. I wonder when it began. Is it used in Britain and English-speaking countries -- or only in the U.S.?
Posted 23 July 2009 - 06:20 PM
I think that the museum has the opposite viewpoint. Great artwork is unique, whereas human capital is not. They can always hire more people in the future when the economy improves, but they will probably not have the opportunity to re-purchase certain artwork if it is sold off.
Posted 23 July 2009 - 06:47 PM
Also, Bart -- in England (or at least in London) the euphemism is being made "redundant." I don't think I've ever heard anyone there (I'm in London a few times a year) say "fired." So maybe it's not a euphemism, but what they say instead of "fired?" (or "let go" etc.).
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