Midcoast Community Council Meeting, January 9, 2008

I was out of town for a few weeks and was unable to attend the January 9th Midcoast Community Council meeting–thankfully Neil Merrilees agreed to set up a stationary camera so that we would still have a video record of the night.

But I have a confession to make–Neil’s effort and hard work in getting us the video may have been in vain. I, for one, am unable to watch it. I tried. I watched a little here, a little there. But I couldn’t make it through.

The problem is that the structure of the meeting–to put it charitably–is too casual. One board member talks, another talks at the same time, a third adds their voice to the mix, a fourth chimes in amid the din saying that the first three are talking about the wrong agenda item, while the fifth and sixth members talk to each other, ignoring the other four.

Readers may recall that in the film Amadaus Mozart gleefully bragged about doing much the same in a newly composed opera–keeping multiple voices going at the same time. And as he says, such a thing is possible only in opera:

MOZART: Sire, only opera can do this. In a
play, if more than one person speaks
at the same time, it’s just noise.
No one can understand a word. But
with music, with music you can have
twenty individuals all talking at
once, and it’s not noise – it’s a
perfect harmony. Isn’t that marvelous?

The MCC meeting contained little of that harmony. Perhaps incoming Chair, Leonard Woren, can provide the much-needed structure to allow ideas to be shared, time limits to be observed…even to permit sentences to be completed.

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