An FYI on Audience Participation


Please don’t.


Okay, so I’m admittedly a traditionalist on this issue: 8 years of concert band will do that to a kid. But there is a time and a place for everything, and often the time and place doesn’t include the audience.


Hence the word “audience” instead of “participant”.



Audience (Photo credit: thinkmedialabs)


Sighing over the in-girl -guy in movie theaters? I’d prefer you keep your preference to yourselves, but sure, so long as you’re not too obnoxious. A thirty decibel difference in the clapping vs screaming at a high school graduation? The poor kids have suffered enough through high school that those who’ve pulled together an entourage are the ones who don’t need it.


All those shrieking people outside Good Morning America (and similarly, anything televised)—do you ever feel the least bit silly?


These, though, I can grudgingly accept as a consequence of the total lack of subtly in our culture. Or our total lack of culture, which ever way you want to look at it.


After the Aurora, Colorado shootings, President Obama used the platform of one of his intended campaign speeches to address the nation. That’s fine. Just as well he suspend campaigning on a day like that and it’s standard practice that the president make a speech after such tragedies. It’s sad that we have such a precedent.


But that’s absolutely no excuse for all those audience members, especially those standing behind him, to start squealing and hollering in today’s Hollywood ‘applause’ I get to see the president! That should have been a time of horror—respect and honor for the victims. Contain your fan excitement and understand there’s a world outside of you.


Sometimes silence says most of all. OK?



4 thoughts on “An FYI on Audience Participation

  1. Pingback: Let’s Not Talk Politics, Talk About Sex! | Plot Configuration Parameters

  2. I was there a two weeks after the shootings. I was a grown up when the first round happened in 99 I believe. I live near where that man shot near the A&M campus. All tragic. I was a debater. I was in theater. I used to compete in extemporary speaking. I do speeches now. I was a drummer in band like you. I write crazy stupid satire and humor on my blog. In all of that, I still don’t find, when something tragic happens, it appropriate for people to be excited at a time like that.

    Sometimes people don’t think.

    • I have to imagine that, at least in part, it’s because they’re simply not taught about how to function as a member of a society and not just an individual. But I still quite wrap my mind around how even seeing the president is enough to overcome the consciousness of such a terrible thing.

      Thanks for the comment!

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