Thursday, March 30, 2006

Keep your seats, please

Blogging away while wondering why I keep receiving mail-outs from The Scooter Store and a reminder for the Surviving in the 21st Century senior citizens seminar. Perhaps I can drive to the nearest Scooter Store and give them back. Or just cancel my mail.

The weather today was gorgeous. I opened the sunroof, adjusted the rear-view so that I could look at my beard (yeah, that's normal), then drove around listening to cassettes. You just aren't going to find that last sentence anywhere else in the blogosphere, my friends. If you're nice, I'll make you a mix tape. Like many of you I'm sure, days like today make me want to play frisbee. I think that would be one of the best things about being a dog. Playing frisbee. That and not having to work.

However, forgive me if I do seem a bit cantankerous this eve. I'm still not over being submitted to coerced standing ovations Monday night. And having to miss all but ten minutes of 24. I had to attend some chamber of commerce banquet. You know the drill. Every single person who goes up on stage gets a standing ovation. I'm the last person to stand up each time. Because I keep thinking maybe we won't stand up for this one. So I look around to see if anyone isn't standing. Because if just one other person isn't standing, then I won't either. But everyone is. So I give in to peer pressure, sigh very heavily, then act like it's a major chore to stand up and clap. I think maybe I'm developing a few misanthropic tendencies. (I only know that word because it was used to describe Larry David in an article I was reading once.)

It is my opinion that we are giving way too many standing ovations in this country. A standing ovation used to mean something. You had to save a life. Or win a Nobel Prize. Or score a touchdown. But now? It's like the NBA slam dunk contest. It just doesn't mean what it used to. We're giving standing ovations to every Tom, Dick, and President who walk into a room. It's lost its luster. Like a month-old imitation silver watch that your girlfriend gave you. Like the Super Bowl halftime show.

Let me tell you something. If you get a standing ovation, chances are that, at most, five percent of the people really wanted to stand up. The rest are just thinking "here we go again." If I were getting a standing ovation, I would rather just ten or twenty people stand up. Because at least I'd know they meant it.

Contrast all this with Sunday night, when I went to see Merle Haggard in concert. He put on an excellent show. And I was happy to see that he still played and sang very well. A legend. A songwriting genius. He got several standing ovations. Deservedly so.

And the misanthrope in the balcony didn't even sigh.

"Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear. Beads and Roman sandals won't be seen..."


  1. Have I mentioned that I'm glad you're not going anywhere? If not, I am! I appreciate you, and for more than just this blog :-)
    Moving on...
    First off, a beard? Did I miss that? I don't recall seeing that in your may want to update us on that one!
    Secondly, Merle Haggard? I'm jealous! I was raised on that man!! A legend is an understatement...that man paved the way for SO MANY singers and songwriters...a true musician which is almost a fable these days!
    Oh yeah, and standing ovations...I could not agree with you more!! This is right up there with them not scoring Ariel's sporting events. God forbid we make anyone feel unappreciated these days. It's bull. Society is trying to make us feel bad for being real. What happened to making people earn respect, making people work hard for what they have, having someone do something truly wonderful before we tell them how wonderful they are. It's crap! Everyone is not equal, and some have to work harder than others, and some are amazing and deserve that respect. Others float on coat tails and get the same respect, only they don't deserve it, because they didn't earn or work for it...
    That's all for now...sorry to rant on your comments :-)

  2. The weather was beautiful here yesterday too.
    I did yard work...
    With my 'white legs' and all.

  3. I don't stand up for standing ovations, even if I'm the only one still sitting.

    I don't care what others think because I agree with you, you have to earn a standing ovation, and I ain't standing up for every Tom, Dick and Harry.

    Standing ovations make me crabby.

  4. I thought Merle Haggard was dead. I guess not. Well, I'm giving you a round of golf applause for your wonderful post.

  5. Arlene: Yes, a beard. It was my inner hairy man post. I've now invested in clippers and everything.

    I remember in little league, we had to win before they'd take us to Sonic after the game. Now everyone gets to go!

    Sherry: Yeah, I went running yesterday. Gotta work on my tan, too.

    Chickadee: Alright. Now we're getting some support for our anti-standing-ovation campaign.

    Carnealian: Golf applause, I'll accept. Or an enthusiastic "You da man!"

    I hope you're joking about Merle Haggard. Really.

  6. Agree with the Standing-O philosophy. When I was in college a billion years ago, I had a professor that challenged us with only standing for three performances a year. I have been more guarded with my standing-O's since then. It actually is a bigger compliment to remain seated, suggesting to the ovationee that the audience wants to hear more from you, not that they are ready to leave. That year I only gave one. When I saw Petruschka performed by my college's symphony orchestra. I was in most everything else. I agree that award ceremonies/banquets should have seated applause only, except for the truly rare gift to humanity. It's like Jerry's kiss hello, you don't want it to be expected. So adopt your "Heck NO, Standing-O", but be prepared for people to blacken the teeth and draw a dastardly moustache on your photo in the lobby.

    And Merle...congrats. My brother in law performed at the same casino with him a few months ago. Took my MIL. She about died...she was sitting in the front row. BH sounds just like him when he sings. I might have to audioclip BH's CD on my site. We love Merle. I would have stood at the end, but smiled all the way through.

    "Football's still the biggest thing on campus. And the kids here still respect the college dean"

  7. Sir Bone~

    With promises of mixed tapes in our future, how could we not be nice?

    I completely agree with you regarding the standing ovation, especially during the State of the Union... that's enough to drive anyone nuts. I really don't think that all lips should be so firmly attached to the ass of anyone receiving the ovation, unless it?s truly deserved. Merle is deserved...


  8. Too right. Keep your butts in your seats and we all go home earlier.

  9. Sorry I haven't been around for a while. It just seems it's one thing or another. Hope you have a great week-end coming up. Yesterday was beautiful here, but today it is rainy. I shouldn't complain, we need the rain to make flowers and the grass turn green.

    Have you posted a photo of your beard yet? I will have to check your photo gallery when I get done here, if you have one.

    Keep up the good blogging.

  10. Dorothy: You're right. We have to start somewhere if we're gonna stop this.

    I'm also thinking of starting to eat my candy bars with a fork. Do you think that will catch on?

    OCG: Mix tapes are soo much cooler than burned CDs.

    Lass: Good point. That turned into a two-hour plus banquet. For a town of like 12,000 people? That's crazy.

    Patty: I haven't posted a photo of the beard. I've thought about it. We'll see what I can come up with. Getting mostly positive feedback thusfar.

    Hope that you have a good weekend, too.