~ 30 October 2007 ~

Please, be seated

It’s official. Standing ovations are now meaningless.

I recently attended a political event here in Washington where nine presidential candidates came to speak to a crowd of nearly 3000 people. The same crowd gave every candidate a standing ovation. While some of this was due to the politeness of the crowd, it was noteworthy that each candidate received the superlative endorsement of the crowd. Later at a tribute dinner, there were so many standing ovations for the tributee that it often seemed more meaningful to sit and clap.

Therefore, I’m proposing — if you’ll join me in this contrarian revolution — that a sitting ovation now be the sign from an audience that the limits of greatness have been reached.

Think about it. No more having to stand up again once you’ve situated yourself. No more wondering whether or not you should stand, lest you offend. This revival of the long lost sitting ovation will bring about a new sort of equanimity to the crowd that will further marginalize those rabble-rousers who try to stand up and clap.

Join me in not standing for this nonsense any longer.

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