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About crest99

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    DCP Rookie
  • Birthday 12/08/1981

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  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    Pacific Crest, 1999-2003
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    Tarrytown, NY

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  1. So it's discriminatory by definition when of the roughly 3300 spots available in World Class Corps this summer, about 3260 were available to men and 3000 were open to women. Was that a lot of spots for women? Yes. Was that an improvement over bygone decades? Absolutely. Was it an equal opportunity? No. As I said above, I'm open to the idea that a single gender corps or section offers some special and unique benefit to those members that you can only get by being single gender. That might certainly justify it. Clearly all boys and all girls schools make some version of that sort of argument (though they too are in decline). But I think any nonprofit educational organization saying that only certain folks are allowed in deserves a fair bit of scrutiny. It's hard to speculate about an all-female corps because there hasn't been one in a long time, which in itself says something. But if you were going to defend one and not the other, I think that idea of empowerment from your quote on the Crossmen is the key.
  2. Just a few points in no particular order: The argument that 21/22 corps being coed is good enough boils down to the claim that a little bit of discrimination is OK. As long as you base the argument in the idea that women should not feel bad about having only one door closed to them, then you should at least be honest with yourself that you are defending discrimination. It's been said many times on this thread but it bears repeating: would you be OK with 21/22 restaurants in your town being integrated? I'm more receptive to the argument that a single-gender corps offers such unique benefits to its members that it justifies the exclusion of others. I wish I'd seen more of that on this thread. But honestly most of the time this comes up the values I hear about (teamwork, fraternity, etc.) seem familiar to me as a veteran of a coed corps. I also wouldn't take seriously any argument for a single-gender corps that did not incorporate robust recognition of trans rights, an issue on which the Scouts had not previously distinguished themselves. A number of posters have advanced the idea that these corps are private organizations who can behave as they please, and the rest of us should mind our business. This claim is groundless. While I believe in the importance of autonomy in the nonprofit sector, the tax benefit they receive as nonprofits justifies public scrutiny -- especially when it comes to issues involving discrimination. I'm generally skeptical of all-___ anything (guards, corps, whatever), but I'd push back against the idea that all-male is necessarily equivalent to all-female, etc. For me the difference is the historical connection between single-sex male organizations and power. My guess is that this is the comment people will jump all over, but I don't think you need to be buried deep in academia to understand that relationship. That said, I'd reiterate that I'm still not pleased by the reappearance of all-female guards.
  3. Thanks for your super thoughtful posts. I do wonder about the relationship between the production costs of the field show (props, ever-changing uniforms, etc.) and membership fees. I'd love to see some data on how much expenditures on the former have risen in the past decade or so, and how that compares with rising fees. Not especially on topic, but I'm also curious about your valuation of corps membership costs. What summer experiences did you have in mind when you argued that drum corps is underpriced?
  4. You might as well have written this as the OP.
  5. Worth underscoring that you would have had to say the same thing to a young man whose gender identity did not match the sex assignment on their birth certificate, at least in regards to the Scouts.
  6. I'll take equality over privilege and exclusivity every day of the week and twice on Sundays. If you actually listen to the words coming out of the mouths of the Scouts' leadership, it sounds like they did this in a thoughtful way and for the right reasons. If competitive struggles brought those right reasons to the front rank of their concerns, then so be it. I'm not too picky about the reasons behind positive change. I hope and believe that a more inclusive corps will open up richer experiences for current and future members -- and for alums too. Lots of institutions have found ways to reconcile tradition and inclusivity. My guess is that the Scouts can figure out how to accomplish that too.
  7. Strengthen the financial health of all corps by separating competitive success from DCI's membership compensation structure.
  8. For what it's worth, I usually describe drum corps as "club marching band" to those not yet initiated into the cult. Adults with kids on traveling sports teams usually grasp the meaning quickly enough: (1) not attached to a football team and/or military unit (2) not actual bugles (anymore) (3) really expensive (4) really good.
  9. This. As a marching member, I remember my corps being on both ends when a judge went off the reservation. And I distinctly remember it altering placement for better and worse in some rather important shows (quarterfinals, for instance). As a spectator, I have to admit I kind of enjoy seeing marks go all over the place every now and then. It preserves at least some semblance of the idea that drum corps is a live, spontaneous art-form about which people may form differing opinions. I also have a feeling that any system enforcing judging consistency would only serve to reinforce the status quo in corps placements, keeping the haves at the top and making sure the have nots continue having naught. It would also work against some of the story lines we enjoy most each season: the little guy having an exceptional year, the surging dark-horse, and the half-mad half-genius mid-season rewrites.
  10. I still can't listen to Adagio for Strings on the field without thinking of Vanguard.
  11. This is a fabulously talented corps and kind of a hip show. Can someone more learned than I explain how the poles make it better?
  12. Playing the yeti in Regiment's backfield has to be the best assistant drum major gig in the entire long and storied history of drum and bugle corps. Edit - Evil queen, yeti, what's a mistaken villain between friends.
  13. I pray for the day when dancing brass players finally go out of style.
  14. Slow-walk debate must mean a slow Sunday night. Is it football season yet? When I was a drum major back in the early 2000s, the Troopers were invariably classy, nice folks. DM included. Walk wasn't to my personal aesthetic taste, but live and let live. Like the guy above said, we invariably ended up getting to the sideline and waiting for the scores for a half hour anyway, so it's not like we needed to do a wind sprint across the field. I was generally more worried about someone stealing my plate of food than my stride size/pace. Chris
  15. To return briefly to the OP. Part of the issue here is correlating "success" to placement. Many of the corps in the lower tier of the World Class standings are at least as well managed as the top corps. They have smart, creative, and fiscally prudent directors and boards, excellent staff, supportive alumni, and yes, talented members. That they do not consistently place well does not mean the organizations are in danger, or that they cannot handle a tour (or some version of it), or that they struggle to provide their members with a quality educational experience. One could argue that they actually do more real "education" than the top corps, which are essentially semi-pro at this point, but that's not quite on point here. This is not to say that all is well in DCI land, but let's not make the mistake of conflating competitive prowess with organizational solidity. Let's not make that mistake in particular because that is the mistake that many of the top corps' leaders seem to be making these days.... This is true, and has been true from the beginning. Those of you who rant against the G7 (and I am emphatically on your side) often seem to overlook that it's in many ways a logical end of the financial model that DCI has used for 40 years. That is one which pays corps primarily through competition appearance fees -- fees that are structured based on the previous year's competitive standing. No one ever seemed to complain too much about this until the G7 asked for a much bigger cut. But given the earlier payout structure, it really was only a matter of time until they asked to renegotiate percentages. I think the stability and future of DCI actually rests in going in the exact opposite direction the G7 want to take it, with financing and competition entirely separated from one another. Kids should compete. Corps as organizations should not. Financial rewards should not be based on what a corps puts on the field. They should be based entirely on fiscal and organizational evaluations of the member corps that determine their financial health, organizational solidity, and basic quality of education. For the corps at the top who have multiple revenue streams, I doubt this would detract much from what you see on the field, but on the other end it might level the playing field a bit and perhaps (and more importantly) prevent more Teal Sounds, etc. Drum corps' problems are myriad and complex, but removing direct financial implications from a 10-12 minute performance would go a long way towards creating a healthier and more stable activity. At the very least it would help neutralize the poison in the well and reaffirm the activity's status as an educational nonprofit, which some leaders in the activity seem to have forgotten lately. Whether wiser heads have the political will and ability to prevail is, of course, another matter entirely.