Etiquette & An Unexpected Journalistic Assist

[UPDATE 05.21.14: David got in touch with me privately and was quite thoughtful and sincere, nullifying the below post.]

I’m happy to report that, albeit in a very small way, I have possibly contributed to an article in The Boston Globe. More on that in a bit. I’d first like to say, however, that this post is simply about manners, if it’s about anything at all (beyond, perhaps, quasi-narcissistic neuroses). I often consider blogging about etiquette, as there never seems to be enough to go around, but this particular episode has provided the proper inspiration. Again, I’m only concerned with manners here. (I am in NOT suggesting plagiarism or anything of the sort AT ALL – my former students know how seriously I consider that charge to be…)

The Globe article in question is last week’s review of Miles Davis’s recently released Miles at the Fillmore – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 3. It appears as though I helped find source material for the opening passage. Neat! However, I didn’t know at the time because the small nugget of information I believe that I provided – or at least showed the way to – to the article’s author, Globe Correspondent David Weininger, went unthanked and ignored. I’m certainly making a mountain out of a molehill here, but it’s nonetheless curious and a bit annoying.

A few weeks ago I happened to see via Twitter that someone (Weininger, whom I was unfamiliar with at the time) was asking about a particular Keith Jarrett interview regarding a Miles anecdote. His question, retweeted by an account dedicated to ECM (Jarrett’s label of choice), grabbed my attention, as I immediately knew the answer. (My large Miles and Jarrett collections pay off in more ways than one, I suppose.) After quietly gloating to myself and quickly confirming the answer with my own copy of the interview, I checked online video sources (hence the YouTube mention) and answered. And, as you can see, I was at least the only one to respond publicly via Twitter (screenshot taken tonight from his page):

One retweet by @ECMSound and one reply from yours truly. That’s the extent of the whole thread. I had visited his Twitter feed a few times after that to see if anything came of it, but I never heard back and eventually forgot about it. Until this evening, that is, when I thought of it for no reason whatsoever. Returning to his feed, I was surprised to see the following succession of tweets from last week:

And if you click on the links to the actual article, you’ll see that that Miles anecdote is the first paragraph.

Now, should I have been cited in the article? Absolutely not – the very thought is absurd. But a simple reply of “thanks” (no capitalization or punctuation required!) or some other brief acknowledgement would’ve been great. And, who knows, perhaps Weininger found his answer elsewhere. Totally feasible, and I completely understand. Though, the aforementioned video of that interview is difficult to track down outside of sold, copyrighted media – hence my YouTube reference. It’s noteworthy that a quick Google search of that quote, for me, is topped by Weininger’s article, which is accurate, followed by some slightly paraphrased versions on websites of Miles quotes. (I just watched the interview on my DVD again to confirm the accuracy.) So he must’ve tracked down the legit video somewhere…

Even so, isn’t it polite to say “thank you”? In a similar crowdsourcing escapade last summer, Dr. Mark Berry asked his many followers (of which I’m one) for recommended recordings of Wagner art songs. It’s a positive case study, considering he already received his answer:
IMG_0527(Granted, I had had limited online interaction with Dr. Berry preceding this, but I doubt he could pick me out of a crowd despite the semi-annual RT.)

Again, my “role” in that review is tangential at best. If Weininger’s a head chef, then I’m a dishwasher…but he did ask for a clean salad bowl! Tonight I tweeted at David to see if he’d respond. He hasn’t yet, but he’s since been tweeting with others, so I’ll go ahead and green-light this post that I doubt he’ll see. And that’s unfortunate, because I really want to tell him something…

You’re welcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *