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That certain quality

12 April 2009

Two weeks into rehearsals for Ah, Wilderness! and happy to report the pleasure of working with a competent cast and design team. And since we’re still ten days away from opening, allow me to digress into a brief rant about competence.

I saw a fence made up of boards nicely designed to form the shape of an anchor out of negative space (the design may seem kitschy but the concept is clever). All one has to do is put two boards adjacent in a mirror arrangement:

anchorfence-correct

How sad, then, that whoever put up most of this fence was clueless, or worse, didn’t give a damn:

anchorfence-wrong1

Seems to me the first step in being competent is awareness—knowing what is needed or intended; and the second is investment—caring that those needs are met. It dismays me how many people never get past those two  rudiments, much less go further and put in the effort to study and learn or work and strive towards some notable level of achievement. Worse, they either defend their mistakes (unconvincingly) or dismiss any criticism, in a kind of reverse snobbery, as unimportant and pompous.

One of my least favourite arguments defending shoddy work is, “No one will notice.” I guess integrity is just too inconvenient.

At least incompetence can occasionally provide amusement. Still, my compliments and gratitude to those with whom I am privileged to work—and indeed to those everywhere—who recognize, care, and aim for excellence.

Hugh MacLeod, http://www.gapingvoid.com

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One comment

  1. Amen, Brother Truelsen! Amen!

    As a friend who used to be a typesetter used to say, “If you have time to go and fix it later, you have time to do it right the first time!”



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