Turn off your damn phone

In the great scheme of things and compared to the larger woes of the world, it’s not that big a deal. On this we can probably all agree.

But those woes, those great schemes, are precisely what we seek to escape when we engage in art and culture. And when the escapism is rudely interrupted by the thoughtlessness of others…well, it’s probably not a hanging offense. But sometimes we wish it was, don’t we?

I’m haranguing here about the philistine at the Philharmonic (New York Philharmonic, to be exact), who on Tuesday night wrecked a performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony with a marimba ringtone. According to witnesses, it went on and on and on. Conductor Alan Gilbert eventually stopped the concert, turned toward the area of the offending racket and asked for it to stop. After he repeated his request a few times, it finally did.

Again, this might not be the world’s worst transgression. The offender very well might be a fine fellow, perhaps an altruistic friend to widows and orphans. He probably shouldn’t be judged too harshly for that one lapse.

But you know, that one lapse was so easily avoidable. It’s something we all can avoid, something we all very much should avoid, whenever out and about engaging with our fellow earthlings in whatever culture that trips our trigger.

It’s this simple: turn off your damned phone.

About editor, facilitator, decider

Doesn't know much about culture, but knows when it's going to hell in a handbasket.
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