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26 August, 2005

Shut up or stay at home

Paul Stokes, writing in The Scotsman, shares my annoyance at concert and cinema audiences who talk throughout performances.  The article ought to be summarised and printed on the back of concert tickets, or encoded into a text message automatically sent to anyone entering a venue with his/her phone switched on.

The whole point of going to the cinema is to gawp in awed silence at the 40ft-tall projected visions before you, to lose yourself in the wraparound images of the silver screen. The whole point of being in a concert hall, whether listening to Mogwai or Mozart, is to let the soundwaves wash over you and transport you to a different place.

All the chatterers and the texters and the mobile phoners want to do is anchor themselves in the here and now, the everyday, the ordinary. They don't want to go elsewhere with the artist. They want to stick with their mates. Of course, part of the point of going to any event, a concert or a film, is to be able to say: "I was there." There is just no need to say it while you still are.

I do think this is a side-effect of the mobile phone age. Nowadays there's a blurring of public and private space, which I don't regard as an advance.


Thoroughly agree with the sentiments there. Last year I went to see Bill Bailey in Edinburgh, and all over the hall you could see the brilliantly illuminated mobile screens of people texting.

Posted by looby at August 28, 2005 11:02 AM
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