posted Wed, 12 Jul 2006
What is the point of spending money on a concert ticket for a seat – a chair, -- mind you, if you are not going to sit in it? That is, why buy the seat if you are going to stand for most of the concert?
I am not talking about a bunch of teenagers at a rock concert here. I am not talking about young legs. I am talking about middle-aged, relaxed-fit Dockers-wearing yuppies at the Gipsy Kings. People who can’t even be bothered to walk to the TV to change the channel. People who buy riding lawnmowers. You know – lazy people.
This was the line for the ladies’ room. No line at all for men’s. The woman behind me and I discussed potty parity. She said she had taken a feminism class, which made me stiffen immediately, but I kept my mouth shut. In her class she learned the difference between equality and equity. Equality is when there are the same number of toilets. Equity is when everyone gets to pee in the same amount of time. When we finally got into the restroom, I bent down to make sure there were feet showing in every stall. She said, “That’s the German in you, isn’t it?” Dang if she wasn’t right! And I hadn’t even told her I have German blood!
So why do they want to stand and block my view? I want to sit and enjoy the music. I don’t want to stand. I especially don’t want to stand just because everyone else is standing. Tyranny of the majority is what I call it. De Tocqueville nailed it when he warned us about it. That really is one of the dangers of democracy. The majority imposing its will on the minority. Perhaps we need to have a constitution for concerts.
Part of the problem, though, was the band itself. The Gipsy Kings are great, but they kept encouraging the audience to stand, clap and dance. They must not have realized that they were in the land of lutefisk. You know, Lutherans, Germans and Norwegians. Norwegians and Germans do not dance. They do not move their hips. They do not clap. At least, they do not do any of these things in public.
The crowd did make an effort. They got to their feet – except me, the stubborn holdout. I hate, hate, hate peer pressure. Nothing makes me dig in my heels more than to have people tell me what to do. They stood and made half-hearted attempts to clap and sway, but it was like a bunch of Episcopalians trying to sing gospel music. It was painful (yet somehow entertaining) to watch. This was not the Go-Gos concert of 1982 in the Astrodome when all the sophomore girls in my dorm danced in the aisles.
Eventually, the bands’ appeals fell on rational ears. Scandinavian/Aryan sense won out over Iberian emotion. There were a few dancers up front (mostly lithe, underdressed – it was only 64 degrees – young women hoping for – something), but the people in front of us, with one mind, thought, “We’re keeping our butts in these perfectly good seats. If we stand, we might spill our beer.”
The end of the line
11 months ago