Saturday, June 8, 2013

I could not help myself, I had to post this article I read. Love it, and wonder
just how many of us feel this way. Or is it all about age and the younger
 generation really has no clue about civility or manners?

written by Kevin Williamson, writer for the theater column The New
Criterion :

The audiences, unfortunately, are drearily predictable. It's the old
one-in-every-family phenomenon: They will be late. They will talk. Their cell
phones will ring, and some of them, by God, will answer them. They will text,
 and they may even play a few rounds of Words with Friends during the third
 act. They are the enemy. They are depressing not because their bad manners
 surprise us, but because they do not surprise us. I found myself in the news
 this week after offering a surprise of my own at a New York theater: The
woman seated next to me was on her phone throughout most of the show.
 (It was "Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812," in case you're
wondering, a musical based on "War and Peace." You know what show you
shouldn't see in New York if you have the attention span of a goldfish? One
 based on "War and Peace.") When she was not on her phone, she and her
 friends were engaged in a four-part imitation of a "Sex and the City" brunch conversation.
I asked her nicely -- more than once -- but she did not respond
 to courtesy. She said: "Just don't look." So I took her phone from her and
 tossed it. There was a moment of wonderful, shocked silence. She salvaged
such self-respect as she could -- which is to say, she slapped me -- and then
stalked off in search of her phone. A few minutes later, I was visited by an
annoyed gentleman in a black suit and soon enough found myself out on the
 street. Yes, it was worth it. In part, I blame the theater managers. If you seat
 people who show up late, they will show up late. One or two high-profile
ejections a month would go a long way toward beating some sense into the
theater-going public.
But you can never design a perfect protocol. Audiences must behave. People are \awful, of course -- somebody once observed that every civilization faces a
barbarian invasion every generation in the form of its children -- and the
Broadway and off-Broadway crowd is full of miscreants. Theater is New York
and New York is theater, and New York is not much like the rest of the country.
 New York is one of the world capitals of self-importance. And, with the
 possible exception of Washington, there is no city in the country where self-importance is more disconnected from actual importance. If I could buy New
Yorkers for what they're worth and sell them for what they think they're worth,
 I'd own Fifth Avenue from Saks to Harlem. That guy whispering into his
 cell phone? He isn't getting the news that little Timmy finally has a donor
for his heart transplant -- he's just another schmuck having a schmuck
conversation with schmucks elsewhere. That guy tapping away on his smart
phone isn't restructuring the derivatives markets -- he's playing "Angry Birds."
 The lady to my right, I am willing to bet, was not receiving her orders from the Impossible Missions Force, and her phone did not self-destruct. I destructed it
. And I am not sorry. I am advised that what I did was almost certainly a crime.
And if the law, in its majesty, should decide that I need to spend a night in jail
 over this episode, then I will be happy to do so. But I think of it as an act of
criticism. Occasionally, a shocking gesture is called for, perhaps even a
histrionic one. I may have met conventional-grade rudeness with thermo
nuclear counterforce, but I did it in the interests of civility, violating standards
 to preserve them. Theater-goers on Twitter jokingly compared me to Batman:
Not the hero Gotham deserves, the hero it needs. I don't know about that:
Grumpiness is not much of a superpower. But we will live in exactly as rude and coarse a world as we will tolerate, and I do not intend to tolerate very much.

I could not have said it better.
(below is a digital page I created from one of our trips across the ocean. Wished
I was there...)



 



2 comments:

DogArtist said...

Ah, I see you are still here! LOL
Good. I am glad to see you are blogging!! And I know this is a pet peeve of yours ;)
(you may not want to post this - hahaha)

Well...I think this guy was wrong. He should have just left. (duh) Yes, I do agree that people use phones,etc. when they shouldn't. That IS wrong. I don't do it; will not do it. But,otoh I do not think I am above it all (or worth more than the person next to me as it is obvious he felt that way) and go around taking matters into my own hands. Insulting a group of people (NY'ers)like he did was not very civil either. It probably was a publicity stunt/move by Mr. Williamson. Maybe he needs his book promoted more...hahaha. (Don't put much stock into critics anyway.)

I say - deal with it. I am sure there were things that totally irritated the generations before us-that drove them crazy - that made them think the civilized world was coming to an end. The sky is falling Henny Penny and all that.

This man showed less class than the woman with the phone. Of course it is my opinion and I am entitled to it- just as he is his. Theaters and the like need to NOT seat people who are late. They do not do that here in the Schuster Center (I recall rushing several times to get back to our seats before the doors closed @ intermission)at shows so...I guess the house he was in needs a policy change.
I go to many shows - movies, concerts, the ballet- and never do this with the phone; and I am a "connected" individual like the hoards of others out there. I just don't see it as a big deal. Rude is rude. (like incessant coughing, snorting/throat clearing, talking, shifting weight or going to the restroom every 2 sec)
He demonstrated his rudeness pretty well. Shame on him. He just took it down a notch...

Sabina Pamphili said...

lol, yess, it's a pet peeve that many people have including younger ones. It's rude when you pay for a good seat and then find yourself surrounded by uncivilized people. Actually it's unbelievable. Cellphones have no place in restaurants or other public places. It's 'cheap' and definitely not sophisticated. But again, we are all 'different', are we not? (you turn them off!)