Archive for May, 2011

The Spring Concert

May 17, 2011

Is it me? Do I expect too much? Am I a jerk? Unfortunately, the answer is probably “yes” to all of these questions.

Beasley’s school had their 4th-5th grade spring orchestra, band, chorus concert. And she wanted to go so I couldn’t really say no since I have Duties as a Father, right? Besides the NBA playoffs didn’t have any games on last night. And it is always such a pleasant experience!

I’ve been to these school performances before. The Fall Concert, the “talent” show, etc. And they suck. They all suck. They don’t suck because the music teachers (god bless them) and the kids (little angles) aren’t trying. They suck because little kids are just learning how to sing or play instruments and it’s not like paying to go to Carnegie Hall in a limo to see lifelong professionals play the object of their lust. Kids suck but it’s wonderful. Because they are trying so hard and some of the kids may even grow up to be professional musicians or singers (in rehab). I’m happy to support childrens’ dreams.

Incidentally, I’ve been performing live since 1974 so I understand performance. When I go to a concert of any level, I know how to behave.  If I go to a kid soccer game, I know how to behave. I’m socially adept. But who the fuck are these goddamn animals I am forced to try to watch a goddamn show with?

I live in the rich suburbs but it totally feels like I’m at a Harlem movie theater.

Before the concert, the jolly principal made his little speech about how we should be on our “best behavior” and “act like we’re at the Kennedy Center.” We are to, obviously, refrain from talking, we should turn our cell phones to mute or vibrate, and we shouldn’t “whoop” nor “holler.” And we are to please keep our seats.  Of course.

Why the hell does the principal even say anything? Is this legal cover in case of riots? Is this a blanket “I told you so” in case of collateral damage? He may as well say, “hey you monkeys, have at it!” Other than my lovely, well-behaved, attentive daughter and myself, the entire audience was composed of mental asylum escapee animal assholes.

What, Julius? What do you mean? It’s a kid’s concert, how bad could it be? Here’s a sampling:

  • Parents brought little bouquets of flowers as if it was opening night on Broadway. Cute? Sure, but it’s such a clearly artificial lemming gesture. I told my girl that I wouldn’t be doing that when she’s performing because it’s stupid. She agreed it is stupid. It’s just pure Princess Culture brainwashing consumerism comparisonism.
  • Parents had Flip video cameras set up all around…on tripods…in the aisles. Really? Record this for all eternity (at least through May 21st). Thankfully, we weren’t subjected to any sort of fire or terrorist attack else we all stumble on tripods like tank traps. The Indian parents had those big ass VHS camcorders strapped around their necks.
  • Parents had point & shoot, mobile phone, 35mm, and full professional digital camera with 700mm zoom lenses at this so important first gig. Of course these mopes were mostly using their built in flashes as if it would illuminate their rotten offspring a football field away. Over and over for real. Images that will sit in these cameras and phones until space is needed. Oh, and they were running up and down the aisle to get better shots up front; mothers directing fathers to do this. The mom in front of me tried to record the two-hour event on her Blackberry.
  • To appease the siblings, kids were being fed doughnuts and burgers in the seats (just like the Kennedy Center).
  • Too appease the siblings, kids were playing with handheld DS units, iPhones, iPads, and every other assorted portable gaming system that projected light backwards at eyeball level toward everyone behind them.
  • To appease the siblings, parents did not sit WITH their kids but let them all sit behind ME to talk and kick my seats.
  • Parents waved to their children as if they were sailing off to the Pacific war circa 1943. I explained to Beasley that I wouldn’t be waving at shows. Ever. Maybe the knowing head tilt but no waving. She was relieved.
  • There was whooping and there was hollering, sadly.

So I have to ask myself, who the living hell are the members of my “community?” I had to compartmentalize so deep that I saw my gall bladder in order to not boot-jack the entire row in front and behind me.

No wonder my wife spends mad bread for live theater subscriptions so we can get out to places with people in their 60s and 70s who know how to behave in public.