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Uncouth Youth

Hello blogureaders,
Nicole here, your girl for all things nerdy in pop culture. I'll be reporting from the pseudo-intellectual perspective, being a person who lives for the scholarly aspects of popular media, such as NPR, the New Yorker, book readings, random foreign films, smooth jazz in dark clubs...but I'm getting ahead of myself. It's not to say that I don't love the gossip, though, watch the trashy TV, and subscribe to tabloids. But every writer needs a niche. Especially on the Blogulator, where powerful opinions and personalities run the show.

I'm reporting today from bed, after an excruciating night of music at First Avenue. "But how can that be, Nicole? You saw the New Pornographers!" I'll tell you how: the whole show, including special guests, was brought down by the Drink bar behavior and ignominious acts of fellow members of the crowd. They pushed me, grabbed my feet as they drunkenly fumbled around looking for dropped clothing, elbowed me in the head, and intermittently yelled out highly relevant exclamations, like "If you drink Stella, you hate George Bush, you liberals!" You know the type. They are the slimy, bizarre, selfish, and infuriating creatures that ruin a show. Here's a list of them.

1. The Personal Space Invader
This guy or girl doesn't understand the unspoken rule that unless you're in a mosh pit (by choice), you shouldn't be purposefully touching a stranger. Especially a stranger who's trying to listen and watch something (constant jostling impairs the focus of both of those senses). Once you have enough room to stand on the floor, you stay there, or you dance a little, as space permits. But you don't attempt to expand your space through passive-aggressive butt bumping or arm slapping (or, hair flinging into eyes and mouths). Obviously some physical contact is unavoidable, but if it seems intentional, there may be some reciprocity.

2. The Wanderer
This person has some pressing need to leave and return to a space numerous times throughout a show. Each arrival and departure involves wedging of bodies and trampling of toes, and obviously, many evil glares. But this concert loser avoids eye contact and pretends like there's no problem; like it's their right! With this situation, I may throw in a discreet and powerful hip bump of my own, while the person is trying to reclaim their spot, to throw them off balance and out of my line of sight.

3. "Why are you here?!"
The people around me last night fit into this category. Their presence at the show was probably the result of this scenario: one of the guys was searching online for some base forms of entertainment (that he can't get in his daily life because of the incredibly tight tees and thorn tattoo). He googled "new pornography" and a band website came up, which was obviously frustrating to his very short attention span. But he happened to mention it to a colleague the next day: "Dude, there's this band called the New Pornographers!" "Dude!" High five. Then they walked back to respective cubicles to look it up on Cities 97 .com. Coincidentally, that station was sponsoring the show. And then they arrive in DMB t-shirts, drink a ton of beer, and slam dance to the opening acts. I gave them numerous dirty looks, but to no avail. So I left. I'm mad at myself that the losers got me down, but I won't let it happen again.

But at least last night had some highlights. I heard my favorite author, Ann Patchett, do a book reading and discussion at the Fitzgerald Theater. Apparently, her last novel, Truth and Beauty, stirred up a lot of controversy at Clemson University. A local politico decided to take her down, with slander about pornography (not new) and promiscuity in her novel, which she describes as a "sweet...no scratch that, wonderful" story of her friendship with the writer Lucy Grealy. But once southern discomfortists have taken a stance, then can't flip flop. So when Patchett visited the school for a freshman reading seminar, she was given a body guard and was assaulted with shouts from the student body, questioning her fidelity to her husband. After recounting the story to the interviewer (Cathy Wurzer of MPR), the author explained her theory behind the rudeness of all the students: pop culture today. Interesting. It seems the rapid attack of reality television and youtube on youth is making us more uncouth, more judgmental, more unforgiving. That doesn't remind me of anyone I know, but maybe it's a sign that the laws (of conduct) have changed.

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  1. Blogger qualler | 12:12 AM |  

    Books? I don't read!

  2. Anonymous Dan W | 9:15 AM |  

    Another one could be "lady who flings around her purse so much that it hits you in the crotch eventually". That actually happened to me at my last show.

    -Dan W

  3. Blogger chris | 11:39 AM |  

    i've never read a more refined post on the blogulator! and it has the word "pornography" in it numerous times!

  4. Blogger Brigitte | 12:35 PM |  

    wow, grandma, are there any young people you don't hate?


    i also dislike when people invade my personal space at a concert (see Qualler's recent post on the Fiery Furnaces concert), especially when those people are so intrusive that they take away from the concert.

    on the other hand, if you drink Stella you absolutely hate George Bush; that is just a fact.

  5. Blogger Brigitte | 12:36 PM |  

    wow, i said concert three times in that sentence.

    and i call myself a writing consultant...

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