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Subject: Re: Ashes-Scatterer Apologies in Letter to Gelb
From: Ken Wilson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Ken Wilson <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 3 Nov 2016 14:37:44 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (120 lines)


Mr. Winter makes excellent points.

As an out-of-towner, I too have to spend a great deal on transportation and 
lodging to catch performances at the Met, and my heart goes out to anyone 
who lost money and/or lost the chance to hear a favorite opera. And I don’t 
think accepting an apology and asking the wrongdoer to do what he can to 
make things right are mutually exclusive. But I do think Shakespeare was on 
to something when he had Hamlet ask "Use every man after his desert, and who 
should 'scape whipping?" Is there anyone anywhere who would not be 
humiliated to see the dumbest thing he's ever done, much less the worst 
thing, become national news? In that light, while initial anger is clearly 
justified and appropriate, the best response to an abject apology, in my 
opinion, is a thank you.


-----Original Message----- 
From: Max D. Winter
Sent: Thursday, November 3, 2016 2:23 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Ashes-Scatterer Apologies in Letter to Gelb

Alain Letort wrote:

"I am scandalized and indignant that this irresponsible lunatic dickhead 
nutcase Kaiser, who
has his picture taken with an apple on his head, gets off scot-free with 
just an “oops,
soooor-ry” letter."

Let's be reasonable about this.

First, Kaiser apparently did not break any Federal or State laws, at least 
none for which
Federal or State authorities are willing to prosecute.  So, he can't be 
fined or otherwise held
to account for any criminal action.  (Stupidity isn't a crime, which is 
fortunate, because if it
were most of us would be felons and our entire political class would be 
behind bars.)  He
may have violated some city health ordinance but that would just involve a 
slap on the
wrist, not the desired Wrath of the Gods.

Second, the Met clearly does not want to take any further action on this, 
including pressing
charges for any criminal violation that might be applicable.  So that's out. 
While Kaiser
clearly would be liable to the Met in a civil action for negligence and 
damages, to the tune of
tens of thousands of dollars, that's not going to happen either.  That's the 
Met's call and it is
a reasonable one, given that Kaiser is probably judgment-proof.  Of course, 
anyone who
was at one of the two canceled performances and is sufficiently annoyed can 
bring their own
civil action for damages against Kaiser for any losses they have sustained. 
But I doubt he is
what lawyers would call a "deep pocket," and you can't squeeze blood out of 
a turnip.
Additionally, any such civil action would have to be brought in New York 
City (that being the
venue of the tort), which any sensible person from out of town would not 
want to do.  I
suppose a class action is an option, but just try and find a lawyer to take 
it.

Finally, Kaiser certainly has not gotten off "scot-free."  He has achieved a 
very unpleasant
form of notoriety in the opera community and has been publicly embarassed 
and
humiliated.  I doubt that his present status is one he enjoys.  This is 
going to follow him for
a while.  Condign punishment.

So, just go ahead and vent on Opera-l.  It doesn't cost anything and it may 
provide a
momentary sense of satisfaction.  I think we can be sure of one thing (at 
least, I hope we
can): we are unlikely to see any more deceased opera lovers' ashes scattered 
in orchestra
pits in the future, certainly not by Mr. Kaiser.  For myself, I am willing 
to forgive, although I
certainly won't forget any time soon!  Come to think of it, what happened 
last Saturday is
probably far more memorable than Act IV of "Tell" would have been, 
disappointed though I
was to miss it.

MDW

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