The other day I had a bit of fun at the expense of Blair Tindall's forthcoming book Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music. I received various responses, ranging from "That sounds completely silly" to "Darling, you have no idea." No doubt the truth lies somewhere in between, and, fortunately, Tindall's book promises something other than a sensationalistic tale of oboe crack whores (entertaining though that might be). The author writes me: "Mozart in the Jungle is really meant to illustrate how the Cold War-era 'culture boom' established an unrealistic blueprint for arts economics and attitudes in America. The resulting system, with which we're now stuck because of full-time orchestra contracts and an explosion in the number of performing-arts centers built in the 1960s, can cost communities more than it returns in public service. One orchestra manager told me his job revolves around providing full-time employment for musicians rather than serving the audience." This, of course, is important stuff, and I'll be very happy if Tindall casts a cold eye over the entire question of musicians, management, contracts, unions, and the like. Everyone in classical music knows that the big ensembles need to take bold measures to adapt and evolve. Yet the network of contracts that envelops them means that even the tiniest, most timid notions require protracted negotiations, usually ending in stalemate and stasis. If Tindall uses a bit of gossip to draw attention to the bigger issues, more power to her. I'm thinking of changing the title of my book to The Rest Is Noise: How Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and Other Radical Extremists Brought the World to the Brink of Harmonic Armageddon, and Why the Critics at the Times Don't Want You to Know About It.