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Antony Cooke
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At the risk of leading the disingenuous and insidious sockpuppet to think that I am interested in engaging him in debate (I most certainly am not), it is worth pointing out for everyone else yet again - and just to make a point by repeating one good example - the fundamental dishonesty and fraud of his arguments (and, oh yes - he'll be back with some other BS rebuttal, along with all his familiar protestations of innocence): "the AFM has been left standing as the LAST organization on the planet that demands special payments for film/TV recording music and refuses to offer some sort of a buyout contract." No other organization on the planet ever had special payments! The very success and strength of past AFM struggles have led to musicians being properly compensated and made AFM musicians the envy the world over - particularly in an industry where many people (and not necessarily as well qualified) in other aspects of it are infinitely better paid. But the sockpuppet will never be happy until he has seen the livelihoods of his own members reduced to those of Outer Slobovia, where he belongs.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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I give up.....once again.
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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As long as I'm talking about Mark Tully Massagli, I should take it further to illustrate why he is he occupies such a heroic position in the AFM. During his first term as AFM President, Massagli also came into office with a negative predisposition towards recording musicians, for whatever reason, but just as we see today. This was the time when Salt Lake City (and soon after Seattle) and reared its ugly head with cash recording, and the recording community was up in arms about perceived inaction by the AFM. The AFM was threatening to implode, and the turbulent times culminated in a disastrous and divisive convention, where recording musicians and the RMA were portrayed in a very negative light. Sound familiar? It's not a whole lot different to the antagonism toward the recording community today, but worsened by the apparent agenda of the AFM to take the contracts down. At least, this would be the result of successfully pushing through such policies, on top of all the damage that has already been done with one-off agreements with no input from those who actually do the work. So what did Massagli do in the face of the impending fireball? The situation appeared quite dire, in view of the fact that the RMA had openly opposed him. He did something that great people and leaders do: he embraced his former adversaries as his own, reached out with inclusiveness in all areas, asking for their help. He knew that we all needed each other. The net result was the greatest period of AFM unity and progress I believe it has ever seen. The recording community sees him almost as a national hero. The debt that every AFM member owes my friend (and I'm proud to call him that), Mark, is huge. I was never prouder to be an AFM member, and to have had such memorable personal contact with him, and the joy we all shared with our fellow AFM members at several subsequent conventions was memorable. Too bad that Tom Lee has learned absolutely nothing from this great man's example, where we could still be enjoying a strongly united and positive AFM. And the RMA had backed and supported him in his election! The cure for all of the present warring is written in its recent history, if only those at the helm would take notice and learn from it. While Massagli's legacy is assured, the opposite will be true if history records that the present administration allowed it to collapse into separate warring factions, having apparently rushed headlong into oblivion, but having dug in its heels by the need to be 'right' in all things!
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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Mark Massagli was, in my opinion, the 'great one'. He exhibited all the traits that great leaders and great people posess, who unite through humility, wisdom, respect, intelligence, kindness and a special form of genuine warmth towards all others. These qualities are all sadly lacking in the present AFM leadership, who can never admit they might be on the wrong track than try another approach, a track that has neither stopped the wars nor created more members in an ever-shrinking and bitterly divided AFM.
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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I give up.........
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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Actually, sockpuppet, I don't respond to your every post; it's not worth it. However, I will respond to some of the ugly absurdities you just wrote before I bow out of this hideous discussion: "You can't see beyond the LA recording elite and that closed, narcissistic bunch who care only about fattening their wallets no matter how many other AFM members lose work as a result. This group smugly justifies the losses of others as a result of them "not working hard enough" or "not being talented enough", utterly ignoring the massively protectionist, exclusionary nature of many current recording agreements as if it were truly a level playing field." No-one has caused other musicians to lose work, and there is nothing exclusionary about recording contracts, except, that is, that they guarantee a livelihood commensurate with a level of professionalism rare in any corner of the world. If they want to come to where the work is, jump into the big pool and compete they are more than welcome. Virtually all successful recording musicians had to do this, and by their abilities and tenacity were able to make it in a very competitive business. Most had no help; they did it by their own efforts and talents. RMA played no role whatsoever. However, in the present AFM climate, why would any new recruit want to join an organization that has nothing but contempt for its most successful players?......! In an industry where money is not in short supply at any level, musicians will be reduced to janitorial wages under your plan. This is the level playing field you write of. But this is exactly what you want. Once again, in revealing your true nature and motives, you have played your hand badly, and we all see you for what you are. "It's a hard thing for some people to face, but if the top 100 recording musicians decided to stop working tomorrow and 100 B-listers took their places (which would happen very quickly), do you honestly think that people who watch TV shows and movies would know the difference when they hear the music?" Well that settles it. We should all just stop practicing and striving to be the best we can be because there's no point. No-one can tell the difference. Especially you.
Toggle Commented Jul 3, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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Hey sockpuppet! - haven't you figured out yet that you consistently betray yourself with every post? And talking of an ego problem...... And while we're at it, sockpuppet, it's also time that you understood that the AFM administration is supposed to work for the membership. It's not the other way around, i.e. as in your oft-stated term "AFM management". But that's clearly your view of things: good little musicians, doing what they're told, and God forbid they should ever speak out in opposition...... You aren't worth the time of day.
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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"Sockpuppet, you are de-socked." Yet again. Yawn.
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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Please.....ENOUGH already!
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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Sorry Rick. The sockpuppet has zero credibility with anyone who has followed as his many alibis and spun personal scenarios have imploded. And motion picture producers come from all across the globe to record in LA on AFM contracts. And considering the number of contractors busily at work in LA, Rick's assertions about everything being in the hands of one contractor are ridiculous. I should know; unlike the sockpuppet, I really do live and work here.
Toggle Commented Jun 28, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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Busy recording musicians work on every tier of film scale, including the "lower and mid-budget" projects, not just the big budget features the anonymous sockpuppet would have you believe. As usual he presents entirely false and manipulative 'facts', as only someone resentfully on the outside the industry might think sound plausible. And he still thinks he can kid us that he actually lives and works in LA. There is something so onerous and insidious about his words - none of which have any bearing on reality, and presented as if they are credible, even accepted views - that could not have been said better by Tom Lee himself. And there's that "recapture" word again......
Toggle Commented Jun 28, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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It is quite gratifying that Rick and I can deal with each other's points of view with respect, and even amicability, and feel quite sure that we would get along well as friends. I'd certainly enjoy meeting him! We certainly disagree on many key points, some of which I will briefly outline, but beyond his and my stated views, we have obviously debated all that we can on these issues. However, beyond the history of the RMA and AFM that I have repeatedly outlined on this blog, I have a few final thoughts. Others can form their own conclusions and opinions: RMA, as a player conference in a specific area of work - just like the other conferences - is concerned with representing those people who work in recording. It neither recruits people for this work, nor is interested in controlling which people works. Nor is it concerned with restricting work access. In over 25 years in the business, I have not witnessed or experienced these things. LA has remained highly competitive, and it is still by far and away the largest film recording center in the world. The number of projects has been gaining annually in recent years, many of them independent projects with no obligation to record AFM. The FMSMF's own statistics - on which monies are generated - show this. The much-touted "outdated business model" theme has been done to death by Lee and the AFM. It simply flies in the face of every other major entertainment union or guild. The entire structure of the industry is built around existing models of participants having some form of vested interest in the earning success of the product. The only change to market conditions that would make the AFM happy would see musicians reduced to living standards of the old days, where even the most prolific professionals were 'hobbyists' - to use 802's term - and one's love for music had to matter more than actually making a decent living! So, at the risk of seeming blind to the 'realities' that Rick states, I must stress that these remain his perspective, and much as I do believe this is his sincere opinion, it does not make it so. However, I think it best to leave these topics alone for others to debate - we have exhausted what we can say at this point. Let's agree that you and I leave this thread for other bloggers for now........ Meanwhile, Rick, best to you.
Toggle Commented Jun 28, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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With the tone of the blog slowly descending to ever-greater depths, it may still not too late to bridge a gap, and now seems the time to look for some common ground. Rick understandably does not appreciate being lumped in with Nazis. Robert doesn’t like being called a Marxist. Having also been so labeled (a Marxist) on this blog, maybe I, too, should have felt similarly offended, but despite the label not fitting (I am basically a centrist) I didn’t immediately link the political philosophy of Marxism with the actual deeds of Nazism – a horrific manifestation in actual deeds of another discredited and unfortunate social experiment in people control. I do, of course, see the link now to where Marxism in evil hands ultimately has gone, but do not believe that Rick ever meant to imply such things of you, Robert. Just for the record, I can state that I do know Robert, albeit only on a level of committee involvement years ago, and in a little interaction at conventions. He is a good, motivated and highly intelligent person, and always a positive force for reasonable dialog. I think you’d find that you like him, Rick! On the other side of the coin, I do not know you personally, Rick, but have no reason to believe that a highly articulate and well-read individual such you would be anything less than engaging and personable, and I'm sure you are a good person as well. The trouble with blogs in general is that the written thought doesn’t communicate the human side of any argument, where reasonable people can exchange their ideas – and perhaps even change a few minds. Perhaps one thing that would help, Robert, for this blog, is that you allow only named and in some way authenticated people to post. It would eliminate many things, from malicious anonymous attacks to interlopers and frauds with hidden agendas. I can also tell Rick that the RMA is hardly a radical or Marxist organization. Those individuals whom I know on any of its boards are about as mixed in political stances as one would find in any group, and certainly have no malice toward anyone in their hearts. They usually step forward (often reluctantly!) from the pool of their colleagues trying to make a difference in the workplace they come from. Do they never make mistakes? Of course not, and from my experience have always tried to correct where they have gone wrong, are earnest and trying to do their best in the most altruistic way. I am truly sorry that you have such negative impressions of the organization. I would never tell you that you are wrong, or that your own experiences with RMA should automatically echo my own, but I know there are fine RMA people in Nashville and LA who would love to try and put right whatever you feel was ‘put wrong’ for you. If I were still on the RMA Board, I would try to do this myself! You would be an asset to any group, and we only lose with you on the outside. I can also tell you, as I mentioned in the past, that the RMA members I know would like nothing more to be embraced by the AFM, they still feel proud of their membership, recognize what it has meant for them, and wish it to be preserved for future generations. However, at this time they do feel under attack for no doing of their own, their livelihoods and trust in the support of the AFM suddenly being pulled from under them. In many years of professional work, first in London (symphonic, studio, solo, BBC), then via 10 years of being a university professor, solo performer, and now 25 years as an LA freelance studio musician, I can tell you that I have never been immersed in such a large pool of remarkable players as I am in the LA freelance studio world. Most of them are as decent people as you would ever hope to meet, and certainly not befitting of the many ugly descriptions we have seen on this blog. What they do on a daily basis, often in seemingly impossible circumstances, still dazzles me, after all this time! They deserve to be treated better than is the case at present, especially since most of them still hold ‘the faith’. Anyway, just a few cents worth, in the hope that something can still be revived out of the ashes before even our goodwill towards other human beings – all with the same love of music, the greatest bond with the fabric of the universe itself – is pushed into the dust piles of history. Regards to both of you, Robert and Rick.
Toggle Commented Jun 23, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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You're welcome, Rick; and thanks for your nice words. Regards -
Toggle Commented Jun 23, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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Once again, Rick Blanc has suffered a personal attack. When posters do this, even if they are on my side of the fence, they do a grave injustice to all of us, and reduce the dialog to a cat fight. It's especially unfair when the attack comes from an anonymous source; Rick Blanc is open with his identity, so this is not an level playing field. Let's not do this please. And while we are at it, let's also get away from all these assumptions, conclusions and deductions. None of us here has any idea how all this will play out, especially in the courts. Here's an idea for the RMA's critics: why don't you put in a call to the RMA and ask for answers to these questions? Maybe you'll hear what you want to know. It would surely be far better than all the speculation going on here.
Toggle Commented Jun 23, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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"OK, Tony, how about you tell us why the RMA would remain silent on 2 major federal lawsuits that have a direct bearing on their members?", etc., etc....... What am I - some kind of spokesman or something?! Go ask the RMA.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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Full of assumptions, aren't you, sockpuppet and Rick......
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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"As I've said before we're dealing with a Marxist oligarchy. Power is concentrated down to a very few and they are secretive. At first I couldn't figure out why Robert Levine was supporting them so solidly.........he's also on the far left ideologically. One thing we know about the far left is their desire to control and impose their will on others..........the RMA seeks control of the marketplace, and they use questionable tactics.........it's a little amazing they are appealing Parmeter after such an unambiguously clear defeat.".......... Have we now entered the Twilight Zone, or what? More of why I can comment no further; where in the world did this come from?
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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And now it's back to library scoring again and outdated business models....around and around and around. This sociopathic Punch and Judy figure just never gives up, while touting "all those union benefits" that will surely lure all those on the outside to join the AFM. Dream on; I'm outta here.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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Another red herring from you know who: "Pursuing policies that could bring them into the AFM fold is an important thing in my opinion, and is something that I believe is behind the promulgated agreements." When (1) non-union players can make as much (or more) doing cash work than they can under the new promulgated agreements by staying outside the union, (2) without the benefit of residual income, and a pitifully low present pension multiplier, and (3) with the spectacle of the AFM demonzing its own, I ask again, why would anyone from this group be inclined to join the AFM?
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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More BS from the sockpuppet, (who one may deduce does need others to contribute to his material): "I think the recording musicians, or more accurately, a small minority of rich LA orchestral recording musicians, decided to go to war with the AFM after the AFM finally elected a President who wouldn't be bulldozed by the RMA and refused to pander to their demands, instead looking out after what's best for the entire AFM. Believe it or not, there are lots of "recording musicians" - some full-time even - other than full-time, mostly-LA-based orchestral film and TV scoring musicians." A more disingenuous statement you will seldom find. And we can see just how well things have turned out with Lee looking out "for what's best for the entire AFM". (More exact Lee words.) The sockpuppet would not want you to know that Tom Lee was elected with enthusiastic RMA support. The RMA never asked him "to pander to their demands"; rather, from the start, Lee turned out to be a Trojan Horse, who had a special agenda in mind for the recording community. And if "all these recording musicians" are out there, where are they? There is simply no evidence of much AFM recording done outside the major recording centers. If the musicians the sockpuppet refers to are non-AFM, it is not for the AFM to look after their interests. And after all of the AFM's malicious display, who amongst them would join?? And yes, I am sure I know you personally.
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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As I said, the sockpuppet wouldn't be able to help himself. And it's funny to be told that I am playing the nickname game by someone who is so chicken that he has to use one for himself. For his reference, Phil Ayling nor anyone else 'feeds' me anything, and it's highly insulting to imply I can't write for myself. I also never stated that 'sockpuppet is Tom Lee, although he might just as well be. He should read my words more carefully; I compared records. But it's the twisted counter-arguments he poses that reveal the mentality of who we are dealing with. He can turn anything on its head and think no-one notices. Does anyone believe for one second that the recording musicians just decided one day to go to war after years of a good relationships with AFM Presidents? That's what the sockpuppet would have you believe. The sockpuppet also claims not to have attended meetings with the IEB, yet always seems to know intimate details of everything whenever it suits him. The sockpuppet also feels quite comfortable calling me 'Tony' once again, clearly indicating he knows me personally. I think I know him personally, too.
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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By getting into any of this, we are playing sockpuppuet's game. However, what he says is so outrageous and identical to the AFM's stance that to stand idly by is worse. Sockpuppet says "the vast majority of recording musicians are honest, hardworking, loyal AFM members." Too bad he doesn't treat them that way. In eight years, President Lee has attended just one membership meeting of Local 47 – one of the two largest Locals in the Federation, and by far the largest recording Local. Local 47 members know that Mr. Lee is regularly in Los Angeles, but sees no reason to meet with them, or the RMA. This would have been an ideal opportunity to build relationships, and consolidate the sense of partnership and pride of belonging to the AFM. Almost all these members feel let down by the many broken promises and commitments Lee has made to them. Indeed, none have been kept. Sockpuppets states that it's "a small, bitter group of the most radical recording musicians are the ones engaged in a continual, well-funded attack on the AFM using federal lawsuits." This is his description of the vast majority of recording musicians (hardly a small bitter group) who fully support their colleagues' positions. Don't take it from me; just come to LA and find out firsthand. Then something even more ridiculous: "We see the same few names of disgruntled members over and over with these lawsuits." Most of the few names we see on the lawsuits are individuals the Federation had no direct dealings with before, such as Stephen Erdody or Andrew Shulman. Others, such as Raphael Rishik, are only known to Federation officers since the lawsuits were filed. Tom Lee used to refer to him as Rapahel Rishnik! And: "the FMSMF work dues case - the democratically passed rule change affected only a tiny group of the highest-earning FMSMF recipients." So it's OK to beat up and tax this "tiny group" I suppose?! And there is NO democratic representation in the AFM for what is the minority of its members who actually work full time as professional musicians. That's built into the structure; any opposition has no direct platform at conventions. Let me add a little more from the past as a reminder of the perspective possibly getting lost amid all the smoke and diversions from one divisive sockpuppet: Most recording musicians in the film music business relocated to Los Angeles out of a desire to work in the industry. They took big risks and came from many the highest walks of professional life, including major chairs in symphony orchestras, prominent academic positions, even solo or chamber music careers, with no guarantees, in order to take their shot at building whatever they could from their own enterprise and labor. Only the fittest and most able to deliver would be left standing at the end. These musicians did not expect the industry or the work to come to them. However, it has become clear that the AFM leadership prefers to cast recording musicians as public enemy #1. There is no sign that Lee regards "the vast majority of recording musicians are honest, hardworking, loyal AFM members." Such was the tone at the last AFM Convention - chilling to hear from our own elected representatives. The vast majority of these members would love to feel embraced by the AFM again. Instead they feel threatened by an AFM leadership that has no contact with its largest Local, and worse, actual resentment of its members. No wonder there is a membership crisis. The present crisis is more like a personal vendetta than a plan for the future. There is an uncanny similarity between what we read here and what has gone on at numerous meetings with Lee and the IEB since 2001, where Lee would throw curve balls, change the subject, lie about stats, use “facts” that always were preceded by “I have heard that...”, and draw conclusions that could be hurtful to our business. In the end he’d finally say “We’ll just have to agree to disagree”. Sound familiar? It should. Eight years of this. Hundreds of thousands of our own dollars in dues spent in attorney fees and letters to fight us. How would that make you feel? Appreciated?!? Is it any wonder that after being attacked for eight years that there is now legal action? The horse precedes the cart. It’s not the other way around, I know this first hand. I attended multiple IEB/RMA meetings; I watched it develop item by item, year by year, meeting after meeting. Lee’s actions provoked the PMG. Lee’s actions provoked Fareplay. Lee’s actions provoked the lawsuits. Could Lee have ended this war at any time during the last eight years? Of course. Could he find common ground? Of course. Why hasn’t he done that? Because he does not want to! This war gives him purpose. He’s going to come to the rescue of all those musicians who believe they’re getting a raw deal. He claims that RMA members are few, greedy and rich, and the ‘raw deal’ crowd is many. It’s bogus. The aim is to seek out people who can be convinced, through surveys and one-on-one contact, that they are getting a raw deal. And who’s to blame for the raw deal they're getting? Who else? That greedy RMA, of course! Lee has been doing this now since at least 2003. And now we see the identical pattern, phrases and language throughout this blog. Why would Lee want to cause harm to so many AFM members? Simple. He wants to. It’s personal. Because he has not been able to exert 'top down' authority over its members he hates RMA, and would like to see the FMSMF self-destruct. He has tried repeatedly to get Dennis Dreith fired as SMF administrator. He has made these very statements in numerous public places. Many at conferences and even at 1501 Broadway have heard it over and over. Don’t believe it? Too far fetched? Ask some ex-IEB members, or even some current ones. Start with Ken Shirk, Ed Ward, Florence Nelson, or Hal Espinosa. Extreme Lee action has begotten extreme player reaction. We’re well on our way to a permanently fractured AFM, and sockpuppet88 is laying it all out for you. You can see why it is pointless to engage him in debate. But of course he will respond. He can't help himself. And it will just be more of the same diatribes all over again.......
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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I rest my case: sockpuppet88 just demonstrated precisely what I wrote about, a discredited source who just slides from one dodge to another. And his resentment of successful musicians is laid out plainly for all to see. What'll be his angle next week?
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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Sockpuppet/downkeys/88beats/karmadness is an interesting study in behavior. Masquerading as a reasonable, thoughtful person, push his buttons and off he goes to reveal his true self: an ugly bully, squealing and lashing out like a baby. More interesting is the continued lying about his professional situation - he's 'worried' about retribution in a field in which he doesn't work - and the continued ridiculous justifications about the reasons for his anonymity, especially since he's been exposed over and over again. But he's not fooling anyone. I recommend again that people not engage this character in debate on this blog. It's utterly pointless.
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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