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    Monday, August 28, 2006

    Beavis and JonBenet

    On Saturday, Gina took her mom to see the Cleveland Orchestra perform at Blossom.  I tagged along.  Going to Blossom to see the symphony is quite a different experience from going there for any other show.  The most notable difference is that you are permitted to bring in pretty much anything.  They don't search your bags.  And it is generally expected that people will bring in bottles of wine, wine glasses, corkscrews, sharp knives to cut your picnic dinner, hardsided coolers, folding chairs. Almost anything goes, so long as you stay out on the lawn with that stuff -- none of it is permitted in the pavilion seating area.
     
    Now, I have a long established rule that I don't sit on the lawn at Blossom.  I've had too many bad experiences with asinine behavior.  And usually, whenever I have deviated from that rule, I've come to be reminded why I set that rule in the first instance.  And while the orchestra was lovely, the music delightful, the picnic dinner and the wine all divine, and of course the company of Gina and her mom -- we were not spared the asinine behavior.
     
    Now, I am not a parent -- so I realize that I have not, first hand, had to be responsible for calming down unruly children -- or at the very least, I have never been primarily responsible.  Likewise, I can appreciate wanting to expose children to the arts.  But what I did not appreciate were the children 10 feet from us jumping up and down and talking and giggling through the entire show.  The little blond girl kept jumping in and out of their wagon like it was playground equipment.  The baby boy laughed like Beavis through the whole show while his daddy encouraged him by bouncing him up and down and playing peekaboo with him the whole frigging time.  
     
    I made a few rather pointed comments in the dark, directed their way, that they ignored.  Children will be children, yes.  But the adults did NOTHING to try to calm these kids down.  They were oblivious and rude.  There were lots of children everywhere, but the others I could see were behaved.  Instead, these offending adults seemed to encourage the behavior, playing right along with them!  
     
    We got to the featured Debussy piece at the end of the program, and it started off very quietly.  All I could hear was JonBenet playing peekaboo with Beavis, knocking over her chair, causing a fuss, and finally, all of us all around them had it.  They started speaking in pointed, hushed, disapproving tones, with an appropriate amount of cussing at them all -- and under the circumstances, I had no problem with the older gentleman of retirment age, whispering loudly at them, "what the fuck is the matter with you people?"  If it had been a Browns game, we'd have been throwing our empty wine bottles by now. 
     
    The eldest child grabbed the two little cretins and took them away, while the adult cretins stayed behind, oblivious, drunk, whatever.     
     
    Nonetheless, I would go back to the lawn for the orchestra.  Sitting on a blanket, drinking wine, eating coldcuts and cheese, in a pastoral setting -- at its best is worth the chance.  All day Sunday I was updating my iPod with classical music that had gone long unlistened.  But when Stephanie warned me on Friday of her similar experience earlier in the summer, she chalked it up to the youth-oriented program that evening.  But I must report that a program of Debussy, Prokofiev and Mozart is no less immune to unruly devil-spawn of asshole parents.   
     
    Besides, we also saw Andy and Jim -- just by chance.  So not everyone you run into on the lawn is an asshole. 

    Comments on "Beavis and JonBenet"

     

    Blogger Stephanie said ... (11:01 AM, August 28, 2006) : 

    What amazes me is that people pay for a ticket for each of the little buggers, then treat it like a babysitter’s fee for the rest of the audience.

    I'm all for family activities, but, really, if you aren't going to teach your child how to act properly at an orchestra concert or theater show, it's better for everyone involved if you just use the money you would've spent on their tickets to instead pay a sitter and leave them at home with a bag of popcorn and a Dora the Explorer video.

     

    Blogger James said ... (11:48 AM, August 28, 2006) : 

    The more and more I experience little children, I realize that I do not want to have any of the little booger eating miscreants. But then I think about all the times where I was inconvenienced, and there is something about that that makes me want to have one of my own, just to spite THOSE people!

     

    Blogger anne said ... (1:05 PM, August 28, 2006) : 

    Hey, did you see my folks there?

    I've been to the summer orchestra series a number of times, and usually it is very pleasant and sanguine. I sat behind two kids as well, but the parents were kind enough to drag them away when they got restless. Just remember, it's the parent's fault, not the kids. They are just being kids.

    I'm ashamed to say that my mother is one of the people you probably glare at when she leans into my father and in a faux stage whisper shouts "isn't this from Star Wars?"

     

    Blogger melcarrel said ... (6:05 PM, August 28, 2006) : 

    And this is why MDC and I have no life. We are smart enough to not delve into that territory with two young, active, normal boys. Exposure to the arts can be done just as well at home.

     

    Blogger Simply Minded said ... (7:22 PM, August 28, 2006) : 

    several weeks ago Steph and I went and saw Mozart's Rehquiem. Not many kids there, and if you can imagine 5000 people sitting on the grass and being abel to hear the quietest movements, it was really cool

     

    Anonymous Evil John said ... (9:30 PM, August 28, 2006) : 

    "and there is something about that that makes me want to have one of my own, just to spite THOSE people!"

    Hmm... I think there may be a market for a rental service.

    I'm sure, btw, the word verification software is trying to communicate with me.

     

    Blogger Stephanie said ... (10:06 AM, August 29, 2006) : 

    Yes, Mozart's Requiem was a much nicer evening of polite parents and good children (the few that were even there) - especially as compared to the "Bugs Bunny on Broadway" debacle we witnessed a few weeks later.

    The Orchestra was terrific in both shows, but the audience and surroundings definately made the Mozart concert a much better experience overall. As much as I like hearing the more recognizable music, sometimes it's not worth it if you can't even hear it over the crying and yelling and games of tag being played by 2,000 little hellion spawn.

     

    Blogger Gina Ventre said ... (2:59 PM, August 29, 2006) : 

    Ohhh...Mozart's Requiem at Blossom at nightfall. I'm sad that I missed it.

     

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