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The Clap

The Clap

September 30, 2014

I was going to title this column “Applause”, but that word was copyrighted by Lady Gaga. Apparently she lives for the applause or something like that. So I went with the next best thing, “The Clap”. That doesn’t have any negative connotation, right?

Here is how the scale of applause or live feedback works: good performance — clap, great performance — standing ovation, bad performance — “boo”, and terrible performance — throw tomatoes. You don’t normally bring tomatoes? That’s like not coming to school with a #2 pencil. You have to be prepared and bring tomatoes to any live event. My mom taught me that at a young age. Let’s just say my performance as Humpty Dumpty in my preschool play did not meet her standards.

Besides for by my mom chucking tomatoes at me, the live feedback system is great — when it’s accurate. The system tends to fall apart during standing ovations. For example, if a few people start standing, then I’ll stand just so I don’t end up being the only person sitting. It’s like the opposite of the domino effect — objects are standing after one another instead of falling.

It’s definitely nice to let the performer know that he or she is doing well, but sometimes it gets excessive. Have you ever watched the State of the Union? The answer should be “yes” — but I have a feeling it’s “no”. The State of the Union is an annual speech that the President makes about — you guessed it — the state of the union. After each sentence, the audience bursts into applause as if the President just executed a flawless cartwheel. The amount of applause is so unnecessary that it sometimes interrupts the President. I guess if you really dislike the President, then you should clap after every word he says just to interrupt him in a socially acceptable manner.

Personally, I am not too enthusiastic as an audience member. I tend to treat my hands as if they are two floppy fish and smack them together. Live entertainment just doesn’t amuse me. The only time I can remember clapping my hands off was to save Tinkerbell. There was no way that little ball of light was dying on my watch.

Speaking about things dying, I have no idea how to end this column — except for the lazy way…

Clap on. Clap off.

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