“I absolutely hate Glee Club shows,” I say to a friend after being forcibly handed a flyer. “You know I’ve never seen a Glee show,” my friend says innocently, “what're they like?” I would love to answer her question, but I actually don’t know. I’ve never seen a Glee Club show, so I guess I only figuratively hate them.
I don't reserve my arbitrary hatred just for singing men in ties. I'm addicted to complaining about all performing arts troupes, especially those I’ve never seen before. You'll hear me say something like “Penn Illusionists? I’ll barf into my own magic hat,” or “Without a Net show is so unfunny. It’s like watching LARPers—just freaking sad.” I have zero evidence to substantiate these claims, but my friends seem to go with it. When I’m talking smack about ACK, many assume that I know something about a cappella. Have any of us actually been to a Dischord show? I highly doubt it, but that’s the great thing about feeling entitled to an opinion—it’s always subjective, never based on fact.
After some rumination, here’s my logic: I could spend the $7–10 to see your show, but that's also about the price of a Chipotle burrito. I know I like sofritas, but the same cannot be said for a two–hour show composed of undergrad swing dance. Those two hours could be a fun and energetic romp back into the 1940s, but it could also be hell. I am not willing to take this chance, West Philly Swingers, but you can all meet me at Chipotle after the show. Guac is on me.
I sometimes feel guilty about shitting on so many performing arts groups; I wonder if I am single–handedly ruining their reputations. I wonder if people are actually listening to me and actively avoiding the arts. That would be horrible. Believe it or not, I myself am in a performing arts group. The arts are so important; supporting them makes you a “more cultured” human. I want to break my addiction, and I want to get help, but when someone hands me a flyer for “Penn Six–5000: all–male comedy a cappella show,” I suddenly remember: that will never happen.