The grand total of readers this week equals the grand total of books I have sold in the last five months: zero. Writing is a tough racket. It’s not unlike opening the door to a dark, damp basement and yelling down into the void with absolutely no expectations of anything coming back.
Last night my wife and I did something unprecedented: we actually went out to a show. A concert. As in, downtown. On a Friday night. I don’t believe I’ve gone “downtown” on a Friday night in two decades. Ok, maybe hyperbole, but it seems that long.
We splurged (don’t ask how much, I’m already depressed as it is) on so-so seats to see Diana Krall at the Raleigh Duke Center for the Arts. It’s a very nice venue; it’s the home of the North Carolina Ballet, as well as the North Carolina Symphony. My wife had seen Diana Krall some time ago in Toronto when she played in support of the SARS outbreak that maligned Canada in 2003.
I’ve been a long-time fan and am actually more enamored of her piano playing, as well as her various incarnations of her touring band, which has consistently featured jazz giants such as Jeff Hamilton, Christian McBride, Peter Erskine, John Clayton, and many others.
Overall it was a very solid show, despite our seats. They weren’t so bad, but for that type of music–intimate and layered and scrumptious–I think the venue is too large. But I understand; it is, after all, Diana Krall. (Hey, that rhymes!)
The experience for my wife was horrible, unfortunately. The number of people around us constantly turning on their phones, taking selfies, taking video of the performance, texting, and doing other insufferable business on very bright screens in a dark auditorium, took away all the magic that promised to make a pleasant end of the week to a very very difficult time in our lives presently.
More surprising to me than infuriating was how old these narcissistic people were. I think easily my wife and I were among the, if not THE youngest couple attending (I am soon 46 and my wife is 39.). At one point, a couple of the geriatric section to my right, both had on their phones in the middle of the performance, texting someone.
I truly believe we are doomed. The “smartphone” is a magnet for the asshole that lives within all of us. It sucks it all up to the surface and puts it on display for the entire world to deal with, be subjected to. The idiot seated next to my wife, at one point, didn’t know how to turn off his flash for photos, and actually asked Siri how to do it…in the middle of a number! This man was fifty-something years old, way past the appropriate age, I think, of being a self-absorbed, world-revolves-around-me typical teen. I suppose being a narcissistic parasite transcends all age brackets.
I was able to mostly tune out/ignore the dozens of bright screens in the dark theatre by concentrating on watching the hard-working band, but I was aware of the distractions nevertheless.
For my wife I feel truly very bad. She was miserable. And rightfully so. We spent nearly two C-notes to see this show…which mostly was ruined by people.
But I shouldn’t be surprised. Time and time again people never fail to disappoint me. There were two ladies who were stone drunk at the end of the show (don’t ask me about the two 4-oz. glasses of wine we bought for $16!). One of them had much trouble navigating the stairs once the lights went up. Who in hell gets drunk at a Diana Krall concert? Apparently two 50-something-year-old women dressed in tight, black, leather pants and 5-inch heels. Classy. Class moves by class acts.
People…most people…are complete shite. I know you may be reading this and thinking: “well, that may be true, but I certainly am not.” Yes you are. Let’s just…let’s just get it all out there. You are THAT person that has to take photos regardless of how it may affect others. You are.
Am I better than you? Certainly not. Not at the core. You don’t know what and how I think of many things. I am the last person you’d probably want to hang out with or talk with. I am opinionated and ruthless and would be one of the worst people to live in history, were I to be a dictator. But it’s ok; I can’t stand you either.
Quick note: neither of us took a photo last evening. You see, we can actually REMEMBER our experiences without documenting them on idiotic devices that mostly are of no valuable use for anything.
Are you insulted by my attitude? How can you be? After all, no one reads this blog. It’s had 0 visits in the last several weeks.
(Basement door shuts.)