Love the Cheat (hate the spoilsport)

LOVE THE CHEAT (HATE THE SPOILSPORT) was written as a part of The Games We Play, a new production from the Edge Ensemble.  Searching for interesting observations about the nature of games and human play, I read Dutch philosopher Johan Huizinga’s pioneering book on the subject: Homo Ludens.  In it, he makes a brilliant, off-handed remark:

“It is curious to note how much more lenient society is to the cheat than to the spoil-sport.”

This immediately brought to mind the financial games played by Wall Street bankers, which led to the 2008 international financial crisis. They tried to cheat the system by finding loopholes and retaining plausible deniability about their motives, and they went essentially unpunished. Contrast this to the recent treatment of many whistleblowers, who object to the rules of a system and try to reform it, and are usually punished severely.

As a kind of musical case-study of this situation, ‘Love the Cheat’ uses audio excerpts from Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s testimony to the US congress, and from HSBC whistleblower Herve Falciani, weaving together their words and stories with grooves and harmonies from the ensemble.

Listen to our live performance at Gaudeamus here:

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