What, Were You Raised by Wolves?

Friday, December 12, 2008
My Smart Boy is a vocal musician, and has been participating in his school choirs for the last six years. This year he's a senior and he's leading the tenor section of the top co-ed choir at his high school. I'm proud of my Smart Boy, and I've always enjoyed going to his concerts.

My family enjoys it, too. Depending on the time of year, the weather, and everyone's health, he typically has anywhere from 2 to 12 family members there to cheer him on. While it's embarrassing to have your own cheering section at a school event, he secretly likes it and certainly knows that it beats the alternative, i.e., having no support at all.

Last night was his Christmas concert, and there was nine of there to cheer him on. His choir did some pretty challenging pieces, and closed with a great rendition of one of my favorite pieces, The Carol of the Bells. Fun, right?

Well, yes. It was fun. But it would of been more fun if the spectators hadn't been raised by wolves.

When we sat down, there was a couple in front of us. There was about 20 minutes before the concert was scheduled to start, and the man was fiddling with his Blackberry.

Now, I have nothing against putting "wait time" to productive use. I myself brought my Kindle so I could show it to my Hot Aunt, who's considering buying one for herself.

The difference is that when the music teacher came out and started the concert, I turned it off and put it away. The guy with the Blackberry? Not so much.

There were three groups performing last night, as well as a number of solo performances, and the show lasted for an hour and forty minutes. I shit you not, this asshat fucked around with his Blackberry the entire time.

His kid was obviously in the last group to perform (the same one the Smart Boy is in), because when they took the stage, he put the device away and made an effort to pay attention. That lasted about 2 minutes, where he took it back out again, just so he could hold it in his hand. Crackberry much?

Attention, asshat parent! Reading your e:mail while the students are doing their best to give a good performance is disrespectful, discourteous, and makes you a self-important fuckstick. I've got news for you - you are not that important. You're not. Your time was no more or less important than anyone else's at that performance, including the students. You may think you're the MAN, and that makes good manners optional for you, but you couldn't be more wrong if you thought GWB was the best president EVAH. Why the hell didn't you just stay at the office, if it was such a sacrifice for you to lose those "productive" hours? Or you could of hung out in the hall with your precious Blackberry, until your kid's group came on.

What a dick.

The Smart Man was tempted to snatch the Blackberry out of his hand and fling it against the concrete wall. All of us were making sotto voice cracks about the glare from the screen and his incredibly bad manners, including the Smart Man calling him a prick in a loud voice after the show was over.

I know a lot of people who choose to use RIM devices. I realize it's a valuable tool that helps people manage their professional and personal responsibilities. What it's not is an excuse to behave rudely in public, and to disrespect the people around you with your self-importance.

Get over yourself, people, and turn that shit off when your attention should be elsewhere.

13 comments:

Karl said...

I went to my son's concert last night too - he's a percussionist... On the way to the concert I found someone's Dingleberry in the parking lot - got to the auditorium and handed it to the announcer so she could find out who it belonged to - grateful owner shows up... Cool.

I find my seat and I notice the owner of the Dingleberry one row ahead and 4 seats to the right - lights go down - she starts playing with the thing. And not only is it bright enough to guide ships by, but every time she pressed a button the thing beeped. It only took a couple of grumpy mumbles from folks nearby to give her a clue, though, and she got up and left to do her 'business'. I'm thinking I might have left that thing where I found it.

Why go to a concert and then monkey with a phone? Hell, you coulda stayed home and done that... Yep - get over yourselves, people.

'Sleigh Ride' was the best part of the show ;)

Random Michelle K said...

Well, on the bright side at least he *went* to his kid's concert.

Some parents can't managed that.

Janiece Murphy said...

Michelle, don't get me started on those parents.

But I still think the bar should be set a bit higher than "showed up and acted like a pretentious asshat for 2 hours."

Steve Buchheit said...

Went to a concert my niece gave a few years back. The performance was like a talents show. Lots of kids performing singly or in groups, not many repeating on stage. At the intermission, more than half the audience left. After all, their kid had performed and was done.

Yet another reason why I should be allowed to (but am prohibited by law from) carry(ing) my machete.

vince said...

Steve, been there seen that, too. The only excuse I can think of for leaving early is when the concert is during the day on a work day, as opposed to an evening concert.

Janiece, about a year ago I went to a movie with a friend, and all during the movie there were a group a kids moving around and texting. They were being quiet, but the lights from their cell phones along with the constant moving around was very distracting.

I know that cell phone blockers are illegal in this country (that's a rant all on it's own) but I swear I'm going to order one from overseas and carry it with me for just such occasions.

Cindi in CO said...

Go, Smart Man! Sometimes, you just have to call a prick a prick.

mom in northern said...

Raised by wolves...

I was there too

Please don't insult the wolves. They are very well behavied social animals in their own communities.

This jurk would not have lasted a nano-second in the company of wolves. He obviously has had no "Fetch'in".

I just wish that the person two rows down had not retrieved the silly thing for him when this low life dropped it on the floor early on in the program..

mattw said...

What an asshat. I hate it when people do that or when the kids are playing with their phones during movies.

Vince, in defense of responsible people who leave their phone on at the movies, I leave my phone on when we're at the movies but keep it in my pocket and on vibrate, since I need to be able to answer if something's happened with Logan while the babysitter is there watching him.

vince said...

Hey, Cindy's back. Yay!

Janiece Murphy said...

Vince, she's been popping in and out as she gets a chance to go on-line at the library.

Anne C. said...

Hi Cindi! We miss you!

And I can just imagine SM's snark. Hee! :D

Carol Elaine said...

Janiece, your Smart Man sounds like me - loud and pointed comments so that the asshats in question can hear them. Needless to say, I fully approve of Smart Man's tactics.

Sometimes CuteFilmNerd is a little embarrassed by me when I do it, but most of the time he just laughs.

I'm sorry that your evening was marred by the asshat, but it still sounds lovely. Yay Smart Boy!

Matt, I leave my phone on as well, but it's also kept on silent and vibrate. Not because of baby-sitters, but because there have been enough weird things to have happened to family and friends over the years that I want to make sure I'm available if needed. But if I were to need to take a call, I leave the damned theater. I mean, y'all know how I feel about rude people. I'd hate to have to rip my own head off.

Welcome back, Cindi!

Wendy said...

It's universal. Manners, if ever taught now, have gone by the wayside. And you're right, the wolves wouldn't have them.

I learned concert manners at an early age, coming from a musical family. We attended events from as early as I can remember, and both my brother an I sang AND played instruments in band and orchestra respectively. We even had family tickets to the Buffalo Symphony and attended regularly.

I am frequently horrified these days when at the movies, plays, concerts with the gabbing, cell phone, blackberries, it's constant and way past annoying. And I will ask people to stop, if they don't, I go get an usher and let them handle it.

I applaud the parents who take the time to attend their children's concerts & sporting events. But PAY ATTENTION & BE THERE 100% for your kid and ALL the other kids there on their team or group. They worked just as hard as your kid did to get where they are. Don't leave in the middle, don't fiddle with your gadgets, there is nothing as important as those children that wants your undivided attention at that moment in time.

I take public transportation daily, and frequently see parents with small children heading home. They sit there with fussing at the child to be still while they yack on their cell phone or text constantly. After the child has been stuck in day care all day. And then they wonder why their kids act out.

AND, last but not least...
The two least heard words in the english language...excuse me. In public situations with lots of offenders, I thank people, loudly so all can hear, when they say "excuse me" for bumping me or passing in front of me while I'm looking at something.

(steps down from soapbox, thanks everyone for their attention, goes to get coffee)

Have a great weekend.
WendyB_09