Sunday, May 20, 2012


Warning:  This is straight from the Kurmujjin.  Neat.  Straight up. No soda.  No water. It has been clear to me for years, years! that very often, applause is the sound of two hands clapping because their brain doesn't know what else to do with them at the moment.
Applause at the end of a movie?
Applause at the end of a list of announcements communicating the week's schedule?  
Applause at the end of a YouTube.com projection?
Save your applause for when I die.  Then I'll know what it means.
I was about 5 years old when my aunt Pearl took me to the movie, "Dumbo, the Flying Elephant."  It was my first time at the movies, and so I fussed and complained and cried when we had to sit through all the preliminary, incomprehensible [to a five-year old] stuff like the newsreel and the introductory cartoon.  It wasn't Dumbo, so I was grousing.  Finally, Dumbo came on and it was rather nice and I behaved.  In fact, I was so docile that it earned me a trip to see the "Song of the South" a year or so later.  I liked the "Song of the South" better than Dumbo. Don't ask me why.  I don't know, "Why," I just know.
After Dumbo, neither I nor my aunt applauded.  After "Song of the South" we didn't applaud.  Many people did.  I asked, both times, "Why aren't we clapping?"  The response was the same both times, "There's no one to clap for.  It's just a movie."  It made sense to me then.  It made more sense to me as I grew older...and older...and older.  It even made sense to me when I was moved to deep appreciation by the story.  I didn't clap for "Shane."  I didn't even clap for my total favorite, "Shawshank Redemption."  I have NEVER clapped after watching non personal phenomena.  I have never clapped at my computer.  
I think that applause is to show recognition to a live person for work well done.  That means that if you do not do good work, I will not applaud.  Least of all, I will not stand.  I have sat still in an audience that was applauding a piece of crap performance.  The performance was so bad that people were talking to one another as it was unfolding.  Then they gave a standing ovation.  They really did!  This happened to me when I was in my early 30's.  The IQ of the masses has a below freezing chill factor.  Some have the gaul to talk during the performance and then sneer at the person who listened in silence, albeit sacrificial silence, and then refused to congratulate the performer via applause.  
I one time had a conversation in which the participant in the conversation asked, "Aren't you afraid to hurt the performer's feelings?"  Huh?  Hell, no.  I suffered though his incompetence, he can suffer through my silence.  I had to pay for him/her to make me suffer.  He/she can suffer though my silence while he/she pockets my contribution to his/her emolument.
This thought came to me this morning when a congregation of which I was a part applauded at the end of a YouTube.com projection.  I enjoyed the show.  I enjoyed the song that it contained.  Applaud?  Are you kidding me?  
Don't tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about.  I have discussed this with numerous people throughout the years.  Their position is always the same: "I liked it, so I applauded.  If I like something I applaud."  That's fairly highly sophisticated thinking.  I applaud myself for liking something.  I never thought of that.  With my ego, I'd have swollen hands at the end of every day from applauding my admirable successes achieved from morning 'til night.  Come to think of it, I'm glad I don't clap because I like something.  I only clap to congratulate others, who are present and who can actually hear my entousiastic expression of satisfaction for their work.

You all have my permission, nay, my invitation, to applaud my departure from the earthly stage, even in my cold, rigor mortified state, right in front of me.  If you do that, at least you won't be crying.