A few months ago, I wrote about how insensitive and potentially harmful it was for parents to take their young keiki to loud, scary and violent movies. In another article, I pointed out how rude it was to light up a cell phone in a dark theater, distracting everyone around you. Sometimes the answers are not as cut and dried as is the case with those two examples of lapses in judgment.
My entire radio show on WBCN in Boston one morning years ago was dedicated to the discussion as to whether or not it was disrespectful to stand up in the reserved seating areas at rock concerts. The question we asked our listeners was this: "At an indoor concert, should you be standing in front of people who pay big money to see the show--people who want to remain seated for most of the show and simply hear, see and enjoy the musicians on stage?"
Many listeners called in to say that they loved to get up and dance and shake their butts in front of everyone who was sitting and didn't care if they were blocking the view of others. By mid-morning, the calls increased, the arguments got heated and the insults grew more intense.
and Another Thing...Charles Laquidara
"Why do you want to sit down, you old fart? Can't you rock out with the music?" argued one caller. "Why don't you just go home and sit in your old rocking chair!"
There were several other callers who said, "Hey, please sit down! If I wanted to only hear the show, I'd buy a CD! I paid for these seats, I want to see the damn show and I also want to enjoy the show sitting down. Down in front! Go stand in the aisle if you want to dance!"
(While we're at it, let me mention that I don't go to concerts to hear fellow audience members sing either, no matter how great they think are!)
Strangely enough, it wasn't always only an argument between younger people and older people: Many of the younger members of the audience wanted to sit down to enjoy the shows as well, and conversely, several of the older people preferred to stand up for most of the evening.
By the end of that radio debate, we all decided it was up to the concert promoters to provide separate standing sections and sitting sections. But, of course, they would never do that; they might lose money.
Unfortunately most promoters' security people don't let the high-energy fans dance in the aisles these days.
And so it goes. The rock wars continue, but hopefully they will never escalate past the irritated whining level to the Florida "Stand Your Ground" level.
This opinion column is written by Charles Laquidara, who has lived on Maui since August 2000. He worked at WBCN radio in Boston for 30 years as the morning-drive host of a show called "The Big Mattress" and is occasionally heard on Mana'o Radio here on-island. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to his daily ramblings on Facebook.