Saturday, June 24, 2006


Mike and his former roommate coined the term PRAM -- perfectly responsive audience member. They used it pejoratively for someone who laughed at stupid, obvious jokes, got choked up over manipulative sentiment, cheered for unearned victories, etc.

But I think it's important to be a PRAM. Performances require good audiences. The energy of appreciation provides fuel to the live performer. I've seen professional productions of the musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood fall flat because the audience was too passive, while an amateur production came together brilliantly through the willingness of the audience. But it's not just about audience-participation shows like Drood or even live performances of any kind: books and movies are better when you put yourself in the spot of the intended reader or viewer. That role may not be to your taste; I'm not interested in being the intended audience for the latest Adam Sandler movie, but if I were forced to see it, I would certainly hate it less if I met it on its own terms.

Today I'm celebrating Gay Pride by being a good parade watcher. I've thought about being in the parade (I'd love to get a group of librarians together to do a Book Cart Drill Team routine). But I get a bigger kick out of cheering. I'll meet family and friends downtown later this morning. We'll try to stake out the front window of Barley's, drink lots of good beer, and then go outside and watch the parade. Despite the heat, Mary will have her rainbow boa (yesterday she referred to it as a "down jacket, inside out") and I will have my bubble machines. And if I can find some at the drug store, I want to bring little bottles of sunscreen to give to the go-go boys and topless lesbians.

Post-Parade Update, 3:30 pm

No problem getting the front table at Barley's. (We've had trouble with this in past, since the restaurant doesn't take reservations, but staff members have reserved the table some years). Some of the bubble guns wouldn't blow, but the Turbo Bubble Generator I bought last year was a huge hit (as was my "I'm a librarian. Don't make me shush your ass" shirt). I ended up giving the bubble machine away. There were people with air horns following the homophobic Christian protestors, blowing the horns every time the protestors got on their bull horns. I gave them the bubble machine in exchange for the promise to keep blowing bubbles on the fundies until they left. (Reviews of these types of machines suggest that they don't last long anyway).

I didn't find sample-sized sunblock, but I did buy some of the new Coppertone aerosol, which is a great product. (Yes, I'm keenly aware of the irony that the reason we all need to wear sunscreen all the time is because we've depleted the ozone layer by using aerosols). I couldn't get close enough to the people who needed it, however. Next year, we need samples to throw out to people (I'm surprised companies haven't thought of this already). And many more bubble machines.


JoVE said...

You are a good spectator! The little bottles of sunscreen sound like a great idea. And Pride wouldn't be Pride without beer.

But I think you need to start planning now for next year and get that book cart precision team going. It looks like a fab idea.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

It was great meeting you last week!
nice to hear someone was taunting the religious trouble makers.

Mel said...

I love it, absolutely love it - the bubblemaker, the t-shirt, everything. I think the book cart drill team will be an instant crowd pleaser.

Cat Herself said...

Is there still a Doo Daa parade? What about the drill team for that? Is there still time?

Either way, don't forget me when you plan the drill team. I'm all for it! I like how the one team had signs on their carts advertising their different services.

Michael said...

Honey, as you know, I'm currently at the beginning of a huge weeding and reshelving project at my library, so maybe by next year, I can earn a place on the library cart drill team. I can dream, can't I?