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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Know Your Audience...

Good advice if you ask me; know the audience. Know who it is you are speaking to or at least have a good feel for who might be listening.

I have many people who find this blog through searches and, honestly, I can't anticipate every combination of words that Google might extract from my lunch reviews or strange sightings to have readers end up here, but I do know that I have a very small group of regular visitors to this blog based simply upon the fact that I am writing to people in my city, to people in my neighborhood, and to people I know - at least a little. So regardless of how you got here, I'm writing to people I know or have come to know at least via e-mail.

I'm no prude. My kids have heard me cuss and we have Showtime, HBO and about every other cable channel with filth on demand, though I confess, at a discounted rate.

Okay, so you have my bonifides. I'm not going to wince if you say "shit" in front of me, and I suspect you won't be appalled that I have used such verbiage as an example in illustration of my point. Know your audience.

So we attended a party that was a neighborhood thing. The folks running it did an awesome job of transforming the outdoor pool setting into a Luau atmosphere, and they were sure to check ID's to make sure the attendees were all adults. This was a BYOB event and even though easily the majority of the people attending had gray hair and other signs of being over 40, the staff wanted to be sure no body under age was being served alcohol. So far, so good.

The DJ for the event did a wonderful job of mixing the music up - I mean everything from Frank Sinatra, to Garth Brooks to AC/DC and more. For most of the night, the makeshift dance floor around a pool was filled with people dancing, and I should tell you, there were several couples who danced most of the night and they were not twenty-somethings or thirty-somethings or even forty-somethings. I'll stop there with guessing actual ages, but seriously, these people put on a clinic, no pun intended, on what it means to stay "hip" while qualifying for the AARP discount at an early bird dinner.

Then it was Karaoke time. Our DJ started off by displaying his own vocal talents. At first, as he was trying to show people who may not be familiar with Karaoke how easy it is, I thought he was just playing around with the song, Unchained Melody. He was working the audience and people were getting into it. Turns out he had an incredibly strong voice and easily hit the notes required to finish the song and garner thunderous applause and appreciation from the crowd.

We would enjoy several more singers showing us their talent, and occasional lack of talent, but it was all enjoyable. Then it happened; there is always one person who thinks it would be a hoot to toss a turd in the punchbowl.

Some guy gets up to sing/rap the Kid Rock classic, Cowboy. You may not be familiar with this tune in the full, not suitable for sale at Wal Mart version. Instead, if you have heard it, it probably was the "radio edit" version, where most of the words are filtered out or beeped or, a female voice actually says "Radio Edit".

I don't doubt for a minute that Ol' Blue Eyes, chillin' with his homies, The Rat Pack, used colorful language, but I can't recall hearing him entertain a crowd of enthusiastic fans by shouting profanities at them. Or maybe I missed that video.

I'm not slamming Kid Rock or the fact that some guy in my neighborhood knows the lyrics so well that he didn't require the monitor with the words highlighted with a bouncing ball to sing them. I just have to ask, aside from 13 year olds, who finds it cute or funny or entertaining to shout into a crowd filled with people easily old enough to be your parents, and emphasize the naughty words in between sips from a beer while smirking to friends who believe this to be just the latest crazy thing you've done?

And don't get me wrong, nobody fainted in horror at the mysoginsitic rambling of this guy. The words aren't unfamiliar, though I suspect most had never heard them in this context. The shock was that, somebody - an adult - would demonstrate such a lack of situational awareness and class. Did I mention we were outdoors in the middle of a neighborhood?

Okay, so people in charge quickly moved in to advise the DJ that this was not a good idea. There would be no more distasteful lyrics, and Karoakers were advised not to push the limits of good taste.

I learned later that one of the cohorts of the bad boy rapper approached a neighbor and tried to justify the behavior by pulling the "adult party" card. Really? If it's an adult party, why didn't we just bust out a sheet and shine pornographic movies as a back drop for the dancing? We're all adults, right?

Really, there is a time and a place for everything. Knowing that time and that place is called knowing your audience.


sapphire said...

Good thing I stayed home and chilled with the 12 year olds, instead of donning coconut boobs and a grass skirt and actually traveling to chill with the 12 year olds. ;-0

Anonymous said...

Funny, thats why I didn't go. Not because of the lewd language, but because this neighborhood is now run by the geriatric crowd. We now live in a freakin (so I don't offend anyone) old folks home!

Anonymous said...

We could just spend the night having our senses assaulted by the screach of Janet Dougherty....

Dave said...

Funny, thats why I didn't go. Not because of the lewd language, but because this neighborhood is now run by the geriatric crowd. We now live in a freakin (so I don't offend anyone) old folks home!

I don't think the age of the crowd has anything to do with class and common sense. You don't stand in front of any crowd (or by yourself for that matter) and yell into a microphone in the middle of a neighborhood at 10PM in the evening, "S**k my d**k!"

I'm sorry you don;t feel you fit in, but this isn't an issue of the age of the crowd, it's an issue of what is suitable for an outdoor, envent in a neighborhhod.

If I choose to attend a Kid Rock concert, I would expect that as part of his act. Going to a neighborhood party, it's just wrong.

Dave said...

We could just spend the night having our senses assaulted by the screach of Janet Dougherty....

Hey! She was accompanied by The Sounds!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"S**k my d**k!" Oh, those lyrics! OK, hard to argue that point, even in my most obnoxious mood! You win, thats a little over the line.

I respect most members of the Sounds for what they try to do, just don't know how they work with others in the group. They have my sympathy.

To the other anony: I'll make my real estate decisions, thank you very much.

Dave: Thanks for the site, even if we may not agree on some things (and apparently I'm not too classy) I appreciate the forum!!

Dave said...

Yelling person: ALL CAPS is like yelling. In fact, it is almost like picking up a microphone in the middle of a neighborhood at 10PM and, well, you get the point...

Original Anonymous person: Thanks for visiting and commenting. But the quoted lyric was not even the worst of it. E-mail me if you'd like the full report.

Anonymous said...

sir..yelling to defend the honor of your great community..and all the hard work that you and your friends do..graffiti painting coverup...garabage detailing..just watching over each other..and even thou i am a visitor..do you get the point now................

Anonymous said...

Eva says:)
Wow I have to admit if it wasn't such a big deal Why all the comments. Apparently it did hit a nerve. I was there and I even being a "Prince" fan was shocked to hear that in a more wholesome environment. I would although expect it at the bar.I was more embarrassed for the seniors that were around me than for myself. These are the same people that wipe out graffiti and clean our parks on a monthly basis . Next year hopefully we have learned from this and set some pre guide lines

Anonymous said...

One observation... The resident in question should be chastised. I've been told that the DJ told the singer to skip the bad words, that this was being heard through out the neighborhood, but the singer apparently ignored his instructions and said them anyway.

Did the Karaoke stop at that point in the evening, or did they simply quit playing offensive music.

I heard that the DJ was pretty much playing whatever songs that were requested, and that he kept announcing when a song was a requested song vs a song he picked out for the crowd. Was that true?

...signed "tone deaf"

Anonymous said...

Chastise the resident? How about a public flogging? How about we keep in perspective. It was in poor taste, true enough, but now we;re gonna send a lynch mob? haha

The lyrics weren't the worst part? What was? )(Do I dare ask???

Lynne said...

In response to anony.... the karaoke kept going after the controversial performance, with no further incident.

My 2c - it is my understanding that this singer was the purveyor of a similar performace last year, so why was he allowed to sing such a song THIS year? I think he should be banned from karaoke from here on out (or be restricted to Disney songs).

It was something I'd expect at a bar, and I really wasn't surprised, but I can say that I felt like a young'in at this Luau, so I'm in the minority! Considering the audience, yes it was inappropriate and Numbnuts should know better.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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