Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's getting so that a person can't take a look at the world around him or her without feeling a strong sense of disgust at the brotherhood of human beings. Every once in a while, it will work out that the event that triggers said disgust is also uproariously funny. An example can be found in the famous episode from last month where one Red Sox fan channeled his displeasure at another fan who questioned his taste in haute cuisine into a small ball of rage and hurled a slab of pizza off the offender's dome.

Tonight, another event must be discussed which shows the breakdown of common decency in a very amusing fashion. One moron went to the symphony and would not shut his big yapper, to borrow a phrase from the late, lamented Chris Farley. Another patron requested that the chatty man keep his peace. And somewhere between there and comic immortality, a donnybrook erupted in the balcony at Symphony Hall in what once passed for the Athens of America before Music City (Nashville) built a replica of the Parthenon and stole the title away from Boston. And that brings us to tonight's tool of note segment.

What manner of man gets into a fistfight at a Boston Pops concert? Maybe if it were the big show on the Fourth of July outdoors on the Esplanade, I could see it. But at Symphony Hall? I know no man likes to get shushed (I imagine no woman cares for it either, but I try not to speak for my female readers), but this is simply not the way adults ought to behave. But have we really sunk so low as a society that unfinished business must be settled amid the dulcet tones of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony?

Lost in all this fanfare is a better question: why was Ben Folds performing with the Boston Pops? I understand that his work will be regarded by subsequent generations as the acme of technical precision and heart-felt passion in popular music in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, but does he really belong on stage in Boston Symphony Hall? Hell, who even knew he was still alive before all this happened?

I suppose I shouldn't lament the decline and fall of American civilization. After all, if it weren't for people acting like tools and other tools recording the scene for posterity (and our enjoyment), where would I find my material for these tool of note segments that so delight you. That's the nature of a catch 22. The world is falling apart around us, and all you can do sometimes is laugh.

It's just sad to see that once was the Cradle of American Liberty has descended into a morass of license. In case you wonder, the difference between liberty and license is simple. Liberty implies that you have the freedom to do what you want and the common sense to employ common courtesy. License means you settle your differences by throwing punches or pieces of pizza or worse as the opportunities present themselves with no regard for decorum.

1 comment:

Alan said...

To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld in a Crazy Joe Devola episode, "I like the Boston Pops crowd. It makes me feel tough".