Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Am a Bad Person

Mostly because I am a judgmental ass, if you're not doing it my way you're wrong. I do, however, allow for the possibility that two reasonable people can examine the same set of facts and come to two different, yet equally valid, conclusions. If your opinion differs from mine though, it is most likely because you are a mouth-breather who should be neutered and disenfranchised. It is from this personal failing that today's blog post flows because I am getting ready to put an elementary school's Christmas Program on blast.

I fully understand that the purpose of an elementary school Christmas program is not to provide adults with some sort of high quality performance. The purpose is to give kids a chance to showcase what they've learned and how they've advanced with regard to various skills and abilities. I get that, but that does not mean that Christmas programs have carte blanch to suck ass. On Monday Ta-Nehisi Coates told SNL, "Motherfucker, be funny," and I'm telling these kids I saw today "Motherfucker, be cute" or if you can't manage that then at least "Motherfucker, be brief."

I guess my first beef isn't even with the kids or the teachers that put on today's horror show, but rather with the folks who told us to the program started at noon when it actually started at 12:30. So right off the bat WifeRat and I are in a peevish mood about this whole deal. We're going to return furniture and go have an early Christmas celebration up north with the Aunts this weekend, so we have shit that needed to get done today.

Shortly before the program starts I find out that the niece I'm there to see isn't playing in the band, has no speaking part in the play, and only appears in the chorus. Now my niece isn't in the chorus because she's tone deaf or has no dramatic chops, really quite the opposite. Because my niece is appearing in the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater's production of Miracle on the 34th Street, she wasn't available for the big evening performance and the decision was made to leave her out of the play. Now it seems to me that if you have a kid who has appeared in productions at a renowned performing arts school and obviously has some interest and talent with regard to acting, don't you want to get that kid more involved in your production?

So the band starts playing and they begin to systematically launch a full frontal assault of awfulness on just about every Christmas I've ever known and loved. Eventually I look down at the program and I see that allegedly "Greensleeves/What Child Is This" was played by the band. I'm stunned because at no time did I hear anything that remotely resembled the trademark riff of those songs.

You have to understand, I'm not criticizing these kid's performance nor am I trying to impugn the band teacher's skills. Really I'm a little bit in awe of what an elementary school band teacher does, I've never met one that didn't play at least a half dozen instruments and could perform servicably on most others too. What I am criticizing is the decision to let that shit drag on for almost an hour! For fuck's sake, everyone would have been better off if the band had played half the number of songs and spent twice as much time rehearsing them.

Then after the band played, there were a half dozen songs played on hand chimes before we finally got to the play. The play was truly odd; something about a shepard that can't stay awake who goes to see Baby Jesus and becomes a real estate agent. I don't have anything against religion, I kind of like the idea of religion but the way it ends up being applied is what usually gives me the creeps. What does the birth of Christ have to do with real estate or a dude who sleeps on the job?


clara said...

Last year my oldest's school Christmas pageant was like watching Handel's Messiah, it should have taken an hour, but it literally took 3 & 1/2. We didn't get home until 11pm on a school night, so I hear you! It sounds like the show you saw was really weird. I like it when they just stick to the basics, Mary, Joseph & baby Jesus & the normal story is interesting enough.

LAst night, they had this years pageant & I guess enough people complained--it was just 1 hour total!

Hill Rat said...

I actually went to two school programs yesterday, 'cause BabyRat's program was yesterday too. Fortunately, it was much better than the first one I saw; held at a better facility, shorter, and the kids were much cuter too.

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