Actually, the "Austin policies" were promulgated as "guidelines" (not even policies), but in subsequent years suddenly became treated as "rules," exactly as I had suspected they would be. That is the danger: the overreach and MISAPPLICATION of well-intentioned but poorly-drafted guidelines, not the good intentions behind creating them and the intended purpose behind creating them.Toon Town Dave wrote:I think the goal of this discussion (and the Austin policies) is to establish some terms of reference or baseline skills that a new DJ should learn. * * * * I do think it is a good reference for new and potential DJs to identify what they should be trying to learn.
In one instance, someone complained last year that I had violated the "rule" against playing more than two "non-swing" songs per hour. I got reprimanded for doing so even though the DJ coordinator hadn't heard my set to verify that I had played more than two non-swing songs, which I hadn't. Indeed, the irony is that I had received more spontaneous COMPLIMENTS for that particular set--from complete strangers, mind you--than almost any other set I can remember, which would not have happened if I had not stuck to mostly swing rhythms. The floor was packed, and the gig was a blast! The newbie complainer just didn't know what constituted "swing" (swing rhythm), got a copy of the "rules," and twisted them to get me in "trouble." He or she considered Blues music (including Jump Blues) to be non-swing because it didn't sound like Benny Goodman or Cherry Poppin Daddies. (The other problem stemmed from taking an anonymous complaint at face value, but that problem stemmed from having the rules, in the first place, upon which to base the anonymous complaint).
In a flippant act of defiance, I intentionally flaunted the "rules" for a few months thereafter to test the issue and show just how successful a set could be while blatantly flaunting the rules, until some friends convinced me to just continue to simply ignore the guidelines instead of intentionally trying to push the issue. Of course, they were right and the "rules" have faded back into obscurity where they belong. But they are still there to be abused, again.