Put your hands together

Lest you think that the gatekeepers of classical music are unduly harsh about the issue of excess applause (for the record, I say clap whenever you want), behold the five graduates of Galesburg High School in Galesburg, Illinois, who were denied their diplomas at commencement because their family members cheered when their names were announced.

“Lots of parents complained that they could not hear their own child’s name called,” said Joel Estes, the school’s assistant superintendent. “And I think that led us to saying we have to do something about this to restore some dignity and honor to the ceremony so that everyone can appreciate it and enjoy it.”

Look, the only thing to appreciate and enjoy about a high school graduation is hearing your kid’s name, because the rest of it is insufferably boring. My poor parents have had to sit through six of these hot, overcrowded dronefests—you want to tell them they can’t cheer? Because no jury of their peers—namely, anyone else who’s ever listened to what passes for high-school principal inspirational rhetoric—is going to convict them. Oh, and by the way, those five students who were singled out? Black and hispanic. Proving once again that nothing curdles the minds of those in power in places like Galesburg, Illinois like the realization that you’ll never be in charge of anything larger than Galesburg, Illinois.

In the same subject area, our friend Alex Freeman sends along this photo. As he descibes it: “Rare footage of Fidel Castro trying to coach Pierre Trudeau in a pick-up performance of Clapping Music.”

“Come on, asere, you just do the same thing over and over again…. No, no, you pasty man, I’M the one going out of phase. Stay on your own part! STOP CLAPPING WITH ME!”


  1. Many thanks to Matthew and Dr Freeman for the laughs. The very idea of this unlikely duo is too much to comprehend… Oh how I giggled 🙂

  2. Check out < HREF="http://mleddy.blogspot.com/2007/05/proust-and-finger-snapping-bit.html" REL="nofollow">Michael’s<> Orange Crate Art blog for some of Duke Ellington’s finger snapping instructions.

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