Friday, December 15

The Validity Of The Concert Performance In The 21St Century

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Imagine for a few moments that you are waiting in a subway in a major metropolitan city.  There are many others awaiting the same transport.  Cell phones are everywhere.  Camera phones abound.  You’re being pushed, jostled and eyed on a near constant basis.  Sounds come from all directions.  Snippets of both inane and intelligent conversations taking place beside you, behind you, somewhere in front of you.  You’re either cold or hot, but hardly comfortable.  You check your wallet or purse often.  And you’re waiting for an indeterminate amount of time, depending on how responsible the conductor is to their schedule.  You’re disturbed from time to time of the thoughts which make their logical way into your mind:  Will there be violence today?  Will you get robbed, or worse?  Somehow, you’re able to make the effort to push them back; yet still aware of the crucial part they play to keep you alert at all times during the course of your transit.  Topping off this anxiety-inducing scenario is the fact that you cannot stand crowds.  This is not the way you want to spend that precious extra hour or two of your exhausting day, either.

If the preceeding scene is similar to some of your past experience, you should have quite a bit in common with many more people such as yourself.  And, in the world of the 21st century, that count is in the ever-increasing millions.  Of course, it has been for a long time now.  Still, you may feel somewhat and somehow isolated during these commutes to and from work, or whatever reason you may have for such a trip.  And, as previously mentioned, 21st century technological advances–for all they’re wonderful usefulness–can make things much worse than in the previous decade and a half; due simply to the fact of their myriad functions and proliferation.  Quality “you time” doesn’t seem to be an abundant resource as once it was anymore, does it?

Now imagine for a few more moments that you have successfully negotiated the subway routine once again.  You somehow manage to make your way home.  Your mind is numb, yet you do remember to check your wallet or purse one last time for the day.  You may lead yourself to believe this to be true, also.  A pat on the back is in order, however, you must only do so mentally; because you know that you must check your answering machine for messages.  You’re expecting a call, and, besides, you need to order pizza anyway. 

And the call you’re expecting concerns something which, inexplicably, you’ve managed to work into your quite busy existence.  Something which you feel you need in such a desperate way to escape the societal rat race–the “sociological gauntlet”.  You…need a rock concert.  And you need to check your e-mail–you didn’t do so on the trip because you were worried about getting killed–to confirm your ticket purchase.  Something like that.  Something that will deliver you into that wonderful, heavenly place of euphoria.  A rock concert.  Many, many people.  Very, very loud.  You have no time for even a simple rest, because you must order pizza now, remember?  You have to keep your strength up, shower and get ready for one of the best times of your life.  A rock concert.  And you’re going with someone you really don’t like in the first place, but you need some kind of a partner to kick around with at that concert, don’t you?  Besides, they have a car.

Maybe that fact is the reason you will differentiate with infallible logic between riding the subway and going to a rock concert.  That and the music.  And the sexy people you’ll see.  They’ll behave much differently than on the subway, or elsewhere for that matter.  It will be much better because you will be constantly assaulted by both the music and the audience.  Well, there may be small breaks in the action–times when you’ll feel…like you’re waiting on the subway!  That will be of some comfort…somehow.

Is this a valid way to spend your evening in the 21st century?  What is validity anyway, compared to a rock concert?  Hey…it’s better than riding on the subway train, isn’t it?     

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