The rest of us didn’t pay to listen to you chit-chatting while rock and roll royalty is on stage playing our favorite songs. If we wanted to struggle to hear these songs while people shouted over them, we’d listen to them on our iPhones while sitting in some random noisy bar.
I’m not sure when this inconsiderate bullshit really became a problem, but it’s undoubtedly gotten worse in my lifetime. If it was a local music show and you didn’t have to pay a cover to get in, then I might understand that there are people at the bar who are just there to have a drink and be social, regardless of whether there is any live music happening (talking would still be a douchey thing to do, but not as bad). But when every person who entered the door had to buy a ticket in advance, then there is literally no excuse for showing up and running your mouth the entire time. You knew damn well that you were heading out to see a show and as soon as you open your mouth and start yapping you’re guilty of being a selfish twat who doesn’t actually care about the musicians, their music, or their actual fans.
Alcohol certainly only serves to exacerbate the problem. I’ve wanted to open a juice bar/coffee house rock and roll club for years. Think about whatever you favorite local stage is - now imagine the bar serves pretty much anything other than alcoholic beverages. I’d actually get serious about trying to make something like that a reality if I didn’t know without an inkling of a doubt that it would fail - because I firmly believe that most adults would rather go to the bar down the road where they can drink shitty beer and be terrible people while a musician struggles to make a connection with his fans from the stage.
Anyway. I think Black Francis was great last night in Ithaca. I mean, I certainly enjoyed the bits and pieces of his set that I could hear over the constant din of conversation and clinking shot glasses, but I can’t really provide an honest review because I was too distracted to actually focus on the music he was playing.
Thank You Henry, appreciate that.
I hate small talk. I truly and deeply hate it.
Just because you’re a stranger who is standing next to me at a concert or sitting next to me at a wedding or waiting behind me in line at Chipotle doesn’t mean you have to talk to me. Why can’t you be content by just being quiet?
My problem is that I feel like an absolute jerk when I ignore people or don’t engage in their attempts at conversation. So, I’ve started to assemble a list of ridiculous lies that I can drop when strangers try to strike up a conversation.
- You know the roller coaster animation that plays before movies at Regal Cinemas? Yeah, the one with the theater rules and the concessions and the planets. I made that.
- I operate a skydiving business that specializes in letting people jump with their pets. They can either jump with Fifi strapped to their chest, or for an extra fee they can give Fifi a little custom parachute that is deployed via a remote control trigger*.
- *This option requires signing an extra waiver.
- My grandfather was one of the men involved with stringing up Mussolini for public display following his execution.
- I volunteer at the local planetarium where I spend time cleaning each of the 8,900+ tiny holes inside Carl (the star projector) using lens cleaner and specially designed ionic Q-tips. When I started they were using OxyClean®, but I convinced them to stop that because, duh, there’s no oxygen in space.
- I’ve traveled to 17 countries in Africa but I’ve never been to Canada.
- My mom designed the patterns of some of the most popular fabrics used for covering the seats of chartered busses.
- Grasshoppers have been known to travel thousands of miles across water.
- During the winter of 1999 I was employed by a local municipality to walk around all day knocking icicles off of the street lights using a large telescoping wand. They required me to wear a helmet so I had one designed that was an exact replica of the one worn by Iceman in Top Gun.
I think that’s a good start.
CHSH is not likely to happen for me. Airfare from ROC to ORD cannot be had for under $320 (I’ve been searching daily for 2 months). Toss in hotel costs on top of that and I’m looking at $550+ just to spend one night feeling uncomfortable in a very loud room and not talking to anyone because I can’t hear them or myself. It’s the sad truth that I’d rather spend that money elsewhere.
I love everyone attending CHSH, but it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be there this time, or likely, anytime. I’d rather see you all in groups of 5 or less and have quality conversations than to see 100 of you get sloshed together in one night and not be able to have a meaningful conversation.
Our time will come.
- I get unreasonably annoyed when people reblog my audio posts and strip out my commentary or, in general, any reblogs that remove my original content.
- I avoid most large scale tweetups/meetups/social gatherings/parties for several very valid-and-important-to-me reasons, but never because of the other attendees.
- I don’t read books. At all. None. Nada. Zero. Zippo. Zilch. The only book I’ve read since graduating college in 2001? Slash’s autobiography. It was awesome. I don’t read books for several very valid-and-important-to-me reasons.
- I love music. Holy crap. I love it so much.
Man, It's So Loud In Here
They Might Be Giants
How To Be Alone: A video by fiilmaker, Andrea Dorfman, and poet/singer/songwriter, Tanya Davis
This is entirely sappy and sweet and sincere and I want it on my blog. A big part of being an introvert, for me, is feeling content when alone. More so, I seek out time to be alone. I crave it and I need it, like a flower needs sunlight, to recharge my insides and grow. Some of my happiest moments have been spent doing things alone that are traditionally done in company.
And so, in the event that we ever meet, please do not be offended if I excuse myself to leave before everyone else. There is a great satisfaction that most people never get to experience because they’re too caught up in some inherent need to constantly be around others; it comes from leaving a party long before everyone else does and enjoying a quiet and contemplative trip home, alone.
1. If you must drag them to a party, please don’t abandon them.
Don’t go rushing off to catch up with your other friends without including the introvert; the inny will die in a corner.
2. If they actually call and want to talk, listen!
These moments may not come often, since Innies usually work out their problems within their own brains, but that does not mean they are all Bella Swan “suffer in silence” types.
3. Realize that they do want to be alone sometimes.
They may have gone to that party, and even enjoyed it, but they burn out faster than you and need time to recharge alone. The assumption that all introverts are shy really bugs me. This is not always the case. They can be charming, tell jokes, and generally be the life of the party…but for a limited time only.
4. Skip the small talk.
Introverts are reflective beings and enjoy conversations about feelings and debating things like the ontological argument, and whatever interests they have. They can only tolerate chitchat with people they just met or haven’t seen for awhile. If you must tell them your entire jam-packed weekend in detail, check your inny friend for signs of consciousness periodically.
5. Introverts don’t hate people.
They just find them tiring.
6. Introverts are socially aware.
Yes, we are well-versed in social nuances, customs, and mannerisms; we just don’t implement them as frequently as extroverts do.
This is a good summary.
I’ve been drafting a longer post on introversion since I attended the Pittsburgh Twootenanny way back in May. Hopefully I’ll be able to focus long enough to get it published before 2011.
How to Care for Introverts
I’m reblogging this again, because it’s very special to me.
- Don’t interrupt them.
How to Care for Introverts
On the eve of one of the most exciting weekends of my life -in which I will meet many of you awesome people for the first time and then celebrate my birthday at what has become an uncomfortably large party - this post needs to get on my dashboard.
The most important item on this list, to me personally: “Don’t interrupt them.”
It’s not easy being an introvert who loves people.
I know the flaming swords will come and kick us out eventually.
I’m going to enjoy it while I can.
Jack is right on the money here.
I love most everything about most of you people and I’m glad that I can enjoy your lives comfortably from in front of this monitor rather than struggle to enjoy your lives while I’m uncomfortable in a large, loud, public gathering.