When I come to someone with an announcement of a new technology or practice that I have adopted, I often get the "You'd be better off ..." response. You know the type. "I just got a new Droid phone," you announce. To which they reply, "Oh ... you should have gotten an iPhone." As if that was an option or something you would have considered.
The proper response would have been, "Oh, that's nice. Great!" Or something in that vein. We do not announce our life's decisions with the idea that they will be greeted with anything but approval. We want our decisions to be confirmed by our peers. It's one of the things that separates us from the spiders and lizards. We have politics.
Which brings me to my television viewing habits and the reasons I turn the television off sometimes. I was aimlessly tuning around the thing after Wednesday's usual awesome episode of "Modern Family," which included the line "This whole thing is a colossal fog cue," which, if you didn't see the episode, is lost on you. Nevertheless...
As I turned the stations, I came across an Ani DiFranco concert on my local PBS station. It was a few years old, but I like Ani, so I figured it would make nice background music while I stalked Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and such.
Ani came out on stage - in her hometown of Buffalo - to tumultuous applause, as one would expect. The camera did one of those crowd pans, which gave me an idea of what would follow. There seemed to be a dearth of men in the audience, and a lot of wide-eyed women with hero worship glowing on their faces. At the very least, there was a dearth of men in the front of the auditorium where the camera was focused. I have been to Indigo Girls and Holly Near shows, so the thought occurred ... let's check the Wikipedia listing to see what is going on here.
What was going on was that Ani has admitted (an odd word) to being bisexual. So now, the show took on an entirely different meaning. As the crowd swelled and cheered with each of her proclamations, I started to get annoyed that the music did not seem to be the priority. The priority was that Ani was standing up for like-minded women regardless of her music or whatever the show was supposed to be about. Every syllable was greeted with a "whoop" or round of applause that became annoying to those of us who were tuning in to hear the ... um ... music.
Then, it dawned on me. Several of them weren't there to hear the music as much as they were there to have their beliefs and lifestyle vindicated by a celebrity - such that Ani is a celebrity. The between-songs chanting and cheering affected me to the point that, after a half hour of it I decided that I didn't need their lifestyle approved of on my television. Sadly, I couldn't concentrate on her music as much as I fixated on the pending approval of her viewpoint by the audience of sycophants.
I didn't think that's what music or entertainment was supposed to be. Perhaps there are thousands of people who need their lifestyle vindicated by a celebrity in public, but for me, that isn't the case. If the chanting approval of like-minded people is going to get in the way of art, then perhaps the art isn't the priority?
I'm just saying.