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Thread: Oh dear! - James Levine

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by arpeggio View Post
    I remember reading that there were rumors that Levine may have been a pedophile twenty years ago. I can not remember where. I do remember discussing this with my opera friends at work.
    That was my first reaction as well, that this was old news

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Not a new problem. In the 1500s Nicolas Gombert, "Master of the Boys" in the court of emperor Charles V, was found guilty of being far too familiar with one of his charges. Although he was (and is) a highly-regarded composer, he was sentenced to hard labor in the galleys and served there for several years. He later returned, chastened one would hope, and evidently resumed his duties.

    Such solutions are no longer available to us. Do we live in a crueler age?
    Jean Baptiste Lully apparently belonged to a club of pedarasts that would serially abuse poor children of both genders. His only punishment was to be banned from some Court activities at the end of his life by The Sun King

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    Quote Originally Posted by eugeneonagain View Post
    It's high time this was accepted as a generalised problem. No more of this doubting and individual cases hiding behind a perpetual defence of 'innocent until proven guilty' and claiming a witch-hunt.

    Thirty years ago I was a boarder at a fairly well-known school where these things were common talk among students. We used to laugh when we saw a student had a private lesson scheduled with a particular teacher; because we knew no better at that age. I suffered no major abuse, but I had unusual experiences, like the old fellow who ran his hands up and down my ribs and over the pectorals when explaining 'breathing' for the trumpet. I told him to cool it, but it took some courage. Another grabbed me by the hair after I refused to eat a Mr Kipling's 'fondant fancy'. I now realise that it was a 'test' to see how malleable I was.

    It's depressing to realise that almost every corner of activity, education, work even when people are in care situations, seems to harbour some of this activity.
    Me too. I literally had to fight my way out of the room of one older boy who had kindly offered to coach me in Latin verbs. Turns out that was the last thing he had on his mind. Nonetheless, this sadly seems to have been much more prevalent than I thought. I would like to add, however, that this does not relate to the case of Mr Levine and "innocent until proven guilty" is still a generally accepted legal precept in most countries.

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    Let's be clear, this old man is not likely to go to trial anyway. People talk about the end of his career, but how old is he? He's had his career and already more-or-less retired. His minor recovery from recent ailments will no doubt relapse as and when necessary, like Bill Cosby suddenly becoming blind and disabled until he emerged from court in triumph.

    Please, I don't want to hear another repetition of "innocent until proven guilty in this country!". We all accept that principle, so cut it out. It's as if folk have trouble learning from recent history. I'm especially disappointed to see UK members parading it and others 'liking' it.

    Jimmy Savile was able to carry on with his activities precisely because of a culture of disbelief and sweeping things under the carpet. He was questioned numerous times by police throughout his career and it went nowhere until it was too late. This was entirely due to the same attitude based upon a naive understanding of what the presumption of innocence actually means. It means holding ALL judgement in abeyance until any accusations are investigated and proven beyond reasonable doubt, which also means taking all of it seriously. However what is has become in these cases - especially among a certain slice of the population under the idiotic sway of the populist right-wing - is a presumption of the guilt of the accusers.

    It does not help that there is always a concurrent 'trial by media' going on and that it now includes anyone with an internet connection and a twitter account.

    When shrieking 'innocent until proven guilty' those same people might want to think about how they apply this to different cases. How many of the same people would be so nobly balanced in the case of the Nuremberg Trials? Or the trial of the Rosenbergs? Or Saddam Hussein? Or the crashing of a national bank? ...etc It doesn't seem to operate the same way with cases of multiple sexual abuse. The denials are instant and people start crying 'witch hunt!'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eugeneonagain View Post
    Please, I don't want to hear another repetition of "innocent until proven guilty in this country!". We all accept that principle, so cut it out. It's as if folk have trouble learning from recent history. I'm especially disappointed to see UK members parading it and others 'liking' it.
    I understand your viewpoint, merely saying that it does not help anyone if the world starts pointing the finger before all the facts have been established. If he is found guilty following due process then he should, quite rightly, be punished. Irrespective of his age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eugeneonagain View Post
    How many of the same people would be so nobly balanced in the case of the Nuremberg Trials? Or the trial of the Rosenbergs? Or Saddam Hussein?
    I'm sorry, but while (if those allegations are true) what Levine would have done was disgusting, morally inexcusable and criminal: The abuse of power to have sexual relationships to young men does just not put him in the same league as Saddam Hussein (!) or the Nazis (!!) who committed mass murder and genocide. I'm saying this because I've read numerous comments on Facebook calling for Mr Levine to be shot ot hanged. What is wrong with those people???

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    Some of the rabid arguments presented here are exactly why certain laws are still needed, a certain need to suspend judgment, until more is known and culpability is established without doubt. Some never consider that there is always the possibility of a false accusation in such matters that could ruin or damage a life, if not here than elsewhere. But if any of it’s true, Levine‘s career is probably over anyway and what a tragedy to give so much to music and then to have such a tragic downfall. So that’s what investigations are for—to look into matters further to dig out the details and find out more about the circumstances, where the responsibilities lie, and those who are likely involved. God only knows what some of us have done ourselves and happened to get away with. “So innocent until proven guilty” is still better than a lynch mob mentality when people think they know what’s going on but maybe don’t know even the half of it, one way or another. I prefer to wait until more of the details have emerged before coming to any final conclusions about what exactly happened and for how long. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good for Levine’s fate with his suspension, and if the details are confirmed I hope his accuser(s) will get the help or financial compensation he needs to heal and eventually put this matter behind him, if possible. In the meantime, it might be wise to cool off, chill out, and calm down.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Dec-04-2017 at 23:26.
    "That's all Folks!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by interestedin View Post
    I'm sorry, but while (if those allegations are true) what Levine would have done was disgusting, morally inexcusable and criminal: The abuse of power to have sexual relationships to young men does just not put him in the same league as Saddam Hussein (!) or the Nazis (!!) who committed mass murder and genocide. I'm saying this because I've read numerous comments on Facebook calling for Mr Levine to be shot ot hanged. What is wrong with those people???
    Why are you quoting me with regard to those foolish facebook posts? I didn't say anything about Levine being in the same league as the Nazis or Saddam Hussein. Clearly I was referring to the universal principle of presumed innocence, which is not so universally applied in anything like as neutral a manner as people like to pretend.

    Anyone paying even cursory attention to the history of cases of sexual misconduct/abuse knows how few are successful for the plaintiffs and about the persistent low esteem in which such plaintiffs have been held by the media and general public. That is not the description of a witch-hunt.

    Now that these matters are having a period of being more thoroughly investigated and taken seriously, all manner of reactionaries come crawling out of the woodwork squawking about 'presumed innocence'. Where was all that decent treatment and concern before? Standard opinions up to now have been the usual:' gold-diggers', 'spurned women', 'women seeking to further their careers', acting like sl*ts one minute then changing their minds...' ad nauseum.
    For these reactionaries it is only when it is a young man is the victim that they stop and take stock for a minute - whilst at the same time wondering how a young man didn't just 'man up' kick someone like Levine in the goolies. They seem to have no concept of how these situations unfurl.

    It is this toxic culture which has led to deeply divisive opinions. The constant talk of 'presumed innocence' (which under current law will always be in force anyway) is distracting red herring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    That was my first reaction as well, that this was old news
    Rumors about this may be old news, but people filing police reports and going on the record is news. The Metropolitan Opera being approached by the police about this in October 2016 is news. Them announcing that they were starting their own investigation - and even having an independent law firm investigate - only now, more than a year later, is news.

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    Default James Levine banned from Met

    What is this hysteria?
    Now James Levine is banned from Met. I have no idea if he is guilty or not, still it's a bit weird. It looks like hunting witches in the black ages.
    I agree we people are not saints and we are full of mistakes. Still looking for some potentially ugly things things that happened 20 years ago is not what we should do right now.
    Or, it's all about stinky money?

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    Give me strength O Lord...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabrina View Post
    I agree we people are not saints and we are full of mistakes. Still looking for some potentially ugly things that happened 20 years ago is not what we should do right now.
    If they indeed happened, does 20 years make them less ugly?
    Alan

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  22. #43
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    Witches aren't real. That was a way to terrorize people that had little social power (especially women).

    Sexual predators are very real. And some predators have enough power, money, and admiration (which can be from being a Count or a Don or a conductor or a great singer) that they may be able to avoid any serious consequences for a long time, especially if they prey upon people with little social power.

    This is not a single thing that happened 20 years ago, but what looks like it could be a pattern from his entire 50-year career. We know for certain that the Met Opera knew about this over a year ago, and it appears they didn't begin any formal investigation until it became a news story. That is to say, as of a couple days ago, the Met Opera was protecting James Levine.

    Because yes, much of it is about money. For 40 years, James Levine has meant money for the Metropolitan Opera, so he was allowed to prey on teenagers. But that has changed now that there are news reports and since the culture has changed such that at least some victims are being taken seriously.

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    1. I had the primal Luke Skywalker reaction when I first saw the news on my newspaper feed.

    2. I may not be an ignorant and have my own opinion about this whole general situation since October 2016 and the locker room talk, but the Internet has shown me that sharing my opinion about such sensitive topics is a waste of time and positivity (does anyone care?). I've made those mistakes in the past and will not fall again.

    Reading your posts with attention, like the "Misogyny" thread. See how well you build your arguments and respect the ToS...

    Popcorn and Bruckner!
    Last edited by Granate; Dec-04-2017 at 23:17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eugeneonagain View Post
    Let's be clear, this old man is not likely to go to trial anyway. People talk about the end of his career, but how old is he? He's had his career and already more-or-less retired. His minor recovery from recent ailments will no doubt relapse as and when necessary, like Bill Cosby suddenly becoming blind and disabled until he emerged from court in triumph.

    Please, I don't want to hear another repetition of "innocent until proven guilty in this country!". We all accept that principle, so cut it out. It's as if folk have trouble learning from recent history. I'm especially disappointed to see UK members parading it and others 'liking' it.

    Jimmy Savile was able to carry on with his activities precisely because of a culture of disbelief and sweeping things under the carpet. He was questioned numerous times by police throughout his career and it went nowhere until it was too late. This was entirely due to the same attitude based upon a naive understanding of what the presumption of innocence actually means. It means holding ALL judgement in abeyance until any accusations are investigated and proven beyond reasonable doubt, which also means taking all of it seriously. However what is has become in these cases - especially among a certain slice of the population under the idiotic sway of the populist right-wing - is a presumption of the guilt of the accusers.

    It does not help that there is always a concurrent 'trial by media' going on and that it now includes anyone with an internet connection and a twitter account.

    When shrieking 'innocent until proven guilty' those same people might want to think about how they apply this to different cases. How many of the same people would be so nobly balanced in the case of the Nuremberg Trials? Or the trial of the Rosenbergs? Or Saddam Hussein? Or the crashing of a national bank? ...etc It doesn't seem to operate the same way with cases of multiple sexual abuse. The denials are instant and people start crying 'witch hunt!'.
    I think that you are pretty unhinged.
    If I understand your rants correctly, you seem to think that there is a Right Wing Conspiracy to protect predators. In this country, however, the accusations have gone against members all over the Political Spectrum. Harvey Weinstein was a huge contributor to all of the right Liberal Causes. Anthony Weiner was married to Hiliary Clinton's Chief of Staff, as well as being a poster boy for Liberal Democratic Politicians. John Conyers is a Black Politician who at the age of 88 will probably be reelected
    by his constituents from both a jail cell and a cemetery. Leon Wieseltier is a bastion of intellectual old school Liberalism.
    Most of the Hollywood Personalities that have been accused routinely support Leftist Causes. The list goes on.
    Nancy Pelosi said that we should give Conyers a pass because of his eminence. Al Franken has Liberal Politicians tying themselves in knots to explain why his case differs from others. All of these people are more likely to oppose the Death Penalty, Climate Change, LGBT Awareness, and all the faults that you find with this country. And on the other side of the Spectrum, we have the Fox News People, Roy Moore...it cuts both ways.
    In this kind of a climate, the McCarthy element can be quick to rise. Have you ever have a desire to smear someone, for whatever reason? Well, ruining their lives would be simple. Accuse them of impropriety at some remote point in their lives. And save the accusation for when it can do maximal Political or Personal damage. And enjoy watch the accused squirm as they try to "prove a negative"--prove that they didn't do something, when the standard has become to assume that they are guilty, just because someone says they are.
    I personally have seen at least 3 cases where people where accused of wrong doing, and at great financial and personal expense, where able to clear themselves. In each case, it took years, and the Psychological toll on them was horrendous. Try Googling "Tawana Brawley" for one example of how a utterly baseless accusation can inspire a lynch mob mentality and ruin innocent lives.
    Yes, "Innocent until proven guilty" can be a tiresome burden for accusers to overcome. It is the only standard however that can be reasonably employed. Since you live in the Country that gave us Madame Defarge, and the rule of the mob

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