Not that I don’t appreciate good performances. Not that I don’t want to honor what’s honorable.
But let’s not pretend that the school band is Maria Callas.
And let’s not pretend Maria Callas was perfect, or never wished after singing just to mosey on home.
What I don’t like is when clapping becomes a public test of enthusiasm. My aversion to it shouldn’t belie a lack of admiration or fan-feeling. Didn’t you see me last week weeping through an amateur orchestra’s rendition of Bach?
I simply like a gesture delivered in appropriate doses. I like the efficient flutter of clapping that issues the thank-you note and releases me to go.
Especially distasteful is when the wanton smacking together of hands goes from tribute to demand.
What I don’t like is sitting through a string of encores.
What I don’t like is when the performer forgets all modesty. It is nice to be acknowledged, but one should also examine oneself critically.
Have I ever mentioned the poet who, upon receiving the first copy of his book, ripped the pages from the spine and started every poem over?