I saw the Cure two weeks ago, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. We had managed to get fantastic seats, front row of our section, a mere six feet from the poor sods in front who had paid $50 more.
They started playing at about 8.30, and we were in heaven, dancing and yelling and having a ball and a blast and the time of our lives. It didn’t take us long to piss off some people.
“Could you please sit down” was the nicest comment from behind. As the four of us kept rocking away, some of the unfortunate seat-bound tried appealing to the girls in our group, “Can you get them to sit down???” To no avail.
As the expletives started flying, we got increasingly annoyed, and so I turned around and cried, “It’s the Cure for godsake. It’s a rock concert! Are you going to be sitting the entire time??!!??”
Finally, some smart ass behind us did the sneaky thing and alerted one of the pseudo security guards/ ushers to our misbehaviour (standing and partying at a Cure concert). A sorry youngster half our size came screaming down the stairs and started yelping at us. Not wanting to cause any more of a scene, we sat down.
After about 20mins of listening to the Cure while seated, we had had enough. I climbed to the top of the stairs, and started dancing there, a long way off from our prized seats, which remained empty the rest of the show.
From above, peering down on the Singaporean audience, I felt sorry for Robert Smith and gang. These legends had flown all the way only to be faced with an audience that was sitting down and bobbing their heads up and down. Even the crowd in the pit was more interested in their latest digicam-phone than in the band.
I told a friend, “If you just looked at the crowd, you’d think you were at a jazz concert!”
“Are you kidding? More like an opera!”
(second friend) “No way. This is like a bloody funeral….”
At that moment, I was really pissed. But on the other hand, everybody behind us must have also thought we were real jack-asses for blocking their view. Who is right? I don’t really know…I mean, we felt it ludicrous not to stand at a rock concert. But they thought that the proper thing to do was sit, listen and appreciate. And we certainly weren’t going to change their minds that night…
But it’s a great metaphor, no? –
In any society, there are people who might stand and block the view of others because they think it’s the right thing to do.
Those who are blocked can either stand up and see the difference, or remain seated and scream at the blockers.
The blockers, when screamed at, can hold their position steadfastly, even amidst a torrent of abuse.
Or they can sit back down obediently.
Or they can go right to the back, to the outskirts of the group, and do their own thing there, hoping and wishing and praying that those still seated will eventually hear the same tune, and stand up.
In Singapore, for sure, too many people are doing their own thing on the edges of society, without respect, without recognition, without reward.
I can only wonder how many more were forced to sit back down….and how many more never stood up in the first place.
We should have just bought the cheapest tickets.