Is Boo-ing Allowed?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

fans-booing
Photo by Kentucky Sport Radio
 
 
Recently, one of my church members forwarded an article to me that drew my attention. The article is titled, “Why Not Boo?” It was written by Terry Teachout, a drama critic for the Wall Street Journal. He was writing how at the famous Metropolitan Opera House in New York City there was booing after the premiere of Mary Zimmerman’s production of Bellini’s “La Sonnambula.”

Now, I love opera; therefore this Zimmerman’s interpretation of Bellini’s piece was probably pretty bad for people to boo at the end of the show.

WSJ’s writer Teachout challenges the reader with the question, “Is it always a bad thing to be booed?” In fact, he mentions that it might not be a bad thing. He writes,

“Most of the theatrical performances I see in New York receive standing ovations. Time was when audiences reserved that special gesture for a performance of equally special merit, but in recent years it has become a near-reflexive response to anything short of a crash-and-burn disaster. The most popular explanation for this phenomenon is the increasingly high cost of theater tickets, the assumption being that playgoers stand up to help persuade themselves that the show they just saw was worth what they paid to see it. Whatever the reason, though, standing ovations are now the rule, not the exception. It goes without saying that the frequency of standing ovations devalues their significance.”

Hmm…

We are brought up in a “politically correct” culture that we have to be “very careful” how we say things because it might “offend” someone or “hurt” someone. What happened to truth telling? I know that in my life whenever the truth is spoken to me, it does not always make me feel, “lovey-dovey.” In fact, sometimes it hurts; and in my pride, I don’t want to hear it.

But this is what is often times needed in order for us to have a proper perspective of ourselves and most importantly about God. The problem is that not too many of us are thick-skinned enough to handle the truth (why am I seeing the scene from “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson). Teachout says in his article, “I hasten to acknowledge, however, that booing can hurt. Few artists are thick-skinned enough not to be stung to the quick by public rejection.”

Maybe we shy away from telling people the truth because we are more concerned about our rejection from them rather than God. Also, we shy away from hearing the truth because we don’t want to face the reality of who we really are… and who God is and what He requires of us.

You can read the WSJ’s article here.

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